Thursday, May 12, 2016

Times of Transition: Homeschool Toolkit

A Breath of Fresh Air

A new baby, or other times of family change, brings light to a homeschooling toolkit; the activities and rhythm that we create to ease us through periods of transition.
During these periods, there is little time in the day left to lesson or project plan.
However, sticking to your Rhythm and finding no-prep activities saves us from needing to plan (especially when time is better spent snuggling a newborn!)
Our day floats around a loose Rhythm (Lavender's Blue Homeschool has great tips of creating Rhythm http://mamadrool.blogspot.ca/2014/12/parenting-picks-yoga-pretzels.html) and it's focus are the three area's of Waldorf Steiner Education, 'Head, Hands & Heart', reminding us to touch on academics, as well as handiwork and emotions/well being.

Once you look at your families natural rhythm (times we eat, rest, active play, time of peak alertness and performance) you can decide the best times for study and play.
Rhythm does not indicate a strict schedule, so there is plenty of space for drop-ins, play dates, special events and other opportunities that arise during each day and week.

Outdoor Play (HANDS, HEAD)
Making sure we all get a breath of fresh air. Outdoor play can be as simple as mud-pie making or involve scavenger hunts and sidewalk chalk games. Bring a Nature Journal on a walk. Don't forget your camera.

Music (HEART)
We attend a weekly music class, but we also play music all day long. We make sure to switch it up depending on the mood we're looking at creating!

Reading (HEAD)
No planning necessary to sit down with good books. If we get nothing else accomplished all day, we always remember to read.

Yoga (HEART)
Yoga is part of our Daily Rhythm all year round. We usually follow Cosmic Kids http://www.cosmickids.com/category/watch/ , as suggested by fellow homeschooling friends.

Photography (HANDS)
Introducing a camera when a new baby is born is a great way to include siblings in the celebration and give them the important job of collecting memories through art. It's great to go through their photos together and learn about their perspective.
*We also make sure to go through old baby photos and video's of our big sisters. They love learning about when they were baby's too.

Board/Card Games/Puzzles (HEAD)
A deck of cards can mean a game of WAR or GO FISH. We bought UNO as a new game to learn together, which involves recognizing colours and numbers. Keeping a collection of puzzles is a handy Busy Bag tool.

Busy Bags (HANDS, HEAD)
Throughout the year, we are prepping manipulatives and storing them for later use. Times of transition are perfect for pulling out these individual bags-o-tricks.
http://mamadrool.blogspot.ca/search/label/Busy%20Bag

Stock Up on New Resources (HEAD, HANDS)
All year I keep a running 'Wish List'. We would have bought these items anyways, but the fact that they are new during a time when we cannot plan new projects, helps bring fresh material to the table.
Kinetic Sand
100's Board
Uno Game
Tangrams
Jewelers Loupe's
Telescope
Instruments
World Map

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