Planning: Rhythm

Tom, my husband, is the “Party Dad”. There are many reasons why we have been married for almost 20 years. First and foremost is his sense of humor, a close second, however, is the fact that he loves to take the boys to birthday parties. On Sunday he took them to a party for most of the day, while I stayed home and did some planning. As July got hotter and hotter, my zest for planning waned and waned. But with a whole day stretched before me, I knew I needed to get something accomplished.

Can you say “avoidance”? I wasted a bunch of time convincing myself that I needed a new planner. (Insert eye roll here.) Last year I used this planner from Homeschool Creations and it changed my homeschooling for the better. I loved that my plans were so crisp, neat and easy to follow. On this Sunday afternoon, however, I was doing everything not to start the painstaking process of filling in all those little boxes: chores, main lesson, movement, art, handwork, reading, etc, etc, etc. I thought to myself, “If I just have a newer, better, bigger, prettier planner, my planning would be so much easier.” (Insert another eye roll here.) Luckily, I am a member of Melisa Nielsen’s Thinking, Feeling, Willing program. Whenever I need a good kick in the butt, Melisa is my go-to girl. I downloaded her planning intensive audio onto my iPhone, closed the computer, took the dog for a nice long walk, and got back on track. Melisa is able to break down planning into manageable steps and also provide the inspiration I needed to keep going. I have talked before about what a great value I think this program is and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Anyway, my planner is fine, and I would recommend it too.

Melisa advocates beginning with your rhythm, and I would agree. I thought about our rhythm last year – but that is not going to work this year with both boys in the grades. Adding another main lesson into the mix is  . . . well . . . adding another main lesson into the mix. The boys and I are used to a rather lengthy and relaxed morning that usually includes cooking an elaborate second breakfast before school. This year, I want (Party) Dad to be in charge of getting something substantial into their stomachs before he leaves for work. This is not what we are used to, so I am trying to begin to phase it in now. I have been working with the nuts and bolts our day and have an initial take on our rhythm below.

Tentative Rhythm

  • 9:00 Boys dressed
  • 9:30 Walk
  • 10:00 Circle Time (Verses, Finger Plays, Tongue Twisters, Foot Work); Light Candle/Opening Verse/Poetic Recitation
  • 10:30 Jude (Grade 1) Main Lesson (Vincent prepares snack, does math practice and/or chores)
  • 11:00 Snack
  • 11:15 Vincent (Grade 5) Main Lesson (Jude does chores, sets table for lunch and free time)
  • 12:30 Lunch/Play
  • 1:30 Handwork/Art/Extra Lesson
  • 3:00 Read Aloud
  • 4:00 Free time until dinner

How’s your planning coming along during these dog days of summer? Leave a link and tell us all about it.

11 thoughts on “Planning: Rhythm

  1. Perfect timing. I just found your blog about a week ago (if that). I had read your LAST YEAR’S schedule and was so envious of what seemed to be TONS of time for the boys to play and and just plain gentle, simple, serenity (though I do realize that life is not as pretty as our blogs). I am in the midst of starting to plan rising 2nd and 4th graders. I started with rhythm and got stumped because I wanted room for a walk, both main lessons, reading aloud (ala YOU), meals (we, too, tend to take a long time for meals b/c we eat good, whole foods and it takes to time to prepare, eat and clean up), handwork, baking, rest, PLAY (I have the hardest time fitting in lots of time for PLAY), etc., etc. I was trying so hard to look at your schedule which appeared to have all that I was trying to do, but I couldn’t make it work for me. It took a minute to realize that it was because you only had ONE main lesson, so you were only spending an hour on it. I was going to ask you what your plan was for this coming year with two main lessons, but you beat me to the punch. Thanks. :)

    Our morning is pretty solid with hygeine, animal care, breakfast, chores, etc, and time for Momma to do an exercise DVD and shower, but it all leads us to 10am. It’s there that I get mixed up. Walk first or between main lessons? But, then there is the all-important snack. And, reading aloud and handwork and extras and lunch and we still do “Quiet Time” (I never stopped when they quit napping ~ now, they just read quietly and it gives me a break). I’ll keep you posted as I figure it out.

    Stop by my blog anytime. I’m getting such inspiration from you. You came to Waldorf late, but you’ve progressed in such a short time to someone who seems to really get it and who seems to do a good job at it. I found it almost 3 years ago, but floundered and spent the past 3 years bouncing back and forth between Waldorf and Charlotte Mason. You helped me to realize that I can have both. We can do Waldorf and still read aloud the great stuff. :)

    I still look forward to your 4th grade recap/outline … if/when you get a chance. :)

    Melissa
    http://www.irienarrowpath.blogspot.com

  2. Perfect timing. I just found your blog about a week ago (if that). I had read your LAST YEAR\’S schedule and was so envious of what seemed to be TONS of time for the boys to play and and just plain gentle, simple, serenity (though I do realize that life is not as pretty as our blogs). I am in the midst of starting to plan rising 2nd and 4th graders. I started with rhythm and got stumped because I wanted room for a walk, both main lessons, reading aloud (ala YOU), meals (we, too, tend to take a long time for meals b/c we eat good, whole foods and it takes to time to prepare, eat and clean up), handwork, baking, rest, PLAY (I have the hardest time fitting in lots of time for PLAY), etc., etc. I was trying so hard to look at your schedule which appeared to have all that I was trying to do, but I couldn\’t make it work for me. It took a minute to realize that it was because you only had ONE main lesson, so you were only spending an hour on it. I was going to ask you what your plan was for this coming year with two main lessons, but you beat me to the punch. Thanks. :)

    Our morning is pretty solid with hygeine, animal care, breakfast, chores, etc, and time for Momma to do an exercise DVD and shower, but it all leads us to 10am. It\’s there that I get mixed up. Walk first or between main lessons? But, then there is the all-important snack. And, reading aloud and handwork and extras and lunch and we still do \”Quiet Time\” (I never stopped when they quit napping ~ now, they just read quietly and it gives me a break). I\’ll keep you posted as I figure it out.

    Stop by my blog anytime. I\’m getting such inspiration from you. You came to Waldorf late, but you\’ve progressed in such a short time to someone who seems to really get it and who seems to do a good job at it. I found it almost 3 years ago, but floundered and spent the past 3 years bouncing back and forth between Waldorf and Charlotte Mason. You helped me to realize that I can have both. We can do Waldorf and still read aloud the great stuff. :)

    I still look forward to your 4th grade recap/outline … if/when you get a chance. :)

    Melissa
    http://www.irienarrowpath.blogspot.com

    • Yes this year will be different than last. I still want to have our priorities of play, food, quiet time and reading, but it will not be as leisurely as last year. I was just thinking of you this morning, bc I was working on the grade 4 recap post. It will most likely be ready next week.

      No, life is not as pretty as a blog – especially this past week!

      Glad you’re here.

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