Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Focus for Each Day of the Week

If you read my post here, you know we started off with a bang and then had to back off.  I was a little overzealous and created some unneeded pressure, and like so many I've read about, have had to kind of "unlearn" the schooling process.  This week we are starting back with a similar plan, catching up on our themes, but hoping to create more elbow room than before.

We did an online assessment and know where we stand.  This was important for me because it showed me that the little bit of work we've done over the last few years has gotten Jetta ahead and ready for first grade, when she's only beginning kindergarten curriculum.  The actual concentrated learning time at school is minimal.  There is a perpetual bombardment of activity and information in the hope of overwhelming the child's brain with repetition.  In some ways that is necessary, and in some ways it is just the nature of the group setting.  Transitions from one task to the other require much more time in group settings, and that tends to fill the hour.  At home, we can relax, do the work (or play, or do art, or walk around the block) and know that we are covering everything we need to cover.
I mentioned before that my rule for the days are to feed the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.  This comes in the form of the elements:  fire, water, earth and air.  Energy (action and awareness of the self), fluidity (intuition and relationships), structure (linear work and ritual), and creativity (broad expression and honoring the spirit).  This does not always look "shamanic" or wild, and in many ways looks like anyone else's experience.  What is different is our intention and where we go with it.

Since I am a global learner and like to see the big picture first (or get lost in the forest) I'm giving the days of our week a label.  With each label, we express a theme.  And when we do anything relating to that theme, I know we have succeeded even if we didn't officially do "schoolwork."

Sacred Sunday:  no electronic media, family time, community time, and finding our sacred roots.  This involves attending the local UU church, no tv or computer, being with my children and husband, and letting the day unfold.

Moonday Magic:  the beginning of our learning week, introduction of a theme, workbook time, and doing some kind of fun mystical work that relates to the unit we're studying, such as incense making or leaving things for the fairies.

Travel Tuesday:  Tuesdays are story time at the library in the morning and homeschool playgroup in the afternoon.  The kids are worn out when we get home, so not much else happens.

Wild Wednesday:  continuing our theme and learning week, this day includes crafts and art, workbook time, and something wild, like dancing to drum music with the lights off!

Thorough Thursday:  Thursdays are catch-up day where we finish up whatever part of the theme we didn't get to on Monday through Wednesday, and do some science along with all that. 

Field trip/Fun Friday:  if there is a field trip, we take it, and if not we head over to the local park/hiking trail and spend time out of the house and in nature.  This day also includes some time for Jetta being on the computer and playing around on which has free reading resources and activities.

Soothing Saturday:  this is a day of relaxation, no worries, no planned activities, and probably more television than I care to admit.  Maybe some ice cream too.

I don't intend to spend more than an hour or so each day on structured linear work, but I have decided that for now, we'll let that be the hard stuff and leave the themes to the books and crafts (as opposed to trying to create linear work that matches our theme).  That makes me happier and more patient.  As I build my proficiency in putting a week together, I'm sure some of this will change.  But for now, we're hitting the easy button.

I would love to hear how you shape your week with your kiddos and activities.  Comments are always welcome!

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