Our ancestors were master storytellers. For many of them, the oral transmission of knowledge was the only way they had to passed down all the things they had learned to their children. They also were master makers, in an age before you could run down to the local Target for anything you might need.
For 3 year old Kai, we will create a school and home rhythm based around these two most human things: telling stories and making things. To do this, we’ve pulled ideas from Forest Schools, Montessori philosophy, inspiration from Reggio Emilia, and Charlotte Mason’s works. Our plan is to spend time in nature, learn about our world, deepen our connection as a family and have fun.
To do this, we first establish a routine or rhythm. For those of you who follow the agricultural cycle, the idea of rhythm might already be familiar. The celebration of seasonally linked agricultural festivals and holidays throughout the year creates a rhythm. We do the same thing at the same time, every year, which serves to anchor us to our home and our planet. Predictability and repetition helps make humans feel safe, especially young children.
Rhythm isn’t something we should confine to a yearly scale. It works best when you have a daily and weekly rhythm, too. This year we’ve broken our time into six or seven week units, and each week and day has its own rhythm. While we take the idea of rhythm for the Waldorf philosophy, we as a household have moved away from much of the rest of Waldorf style schooling. We are inspired by Charlotte Mason to get outside and pay attention to the natural world around us, by Montessori to cultivate Kai’s independence, by Reggio Emilia to see Kai as an active participant in her own education, and from Forest school to help Kai take risks and solve problems.
Our official “school day” is very short, just right for a three year old: circle time and two activities that can be as short or as long as Kai desires. We also aim to do our school outside as activities and weather allow.
We will be investigating nature, both through nature walks and through handwork and art, learning about science and social studies, mastering some life skills, practicing the foundation of math and reading, and learning lots of stories and songs.
Through out the year I’ll be posting what we’re doing, how we are doing it, and what we’re using to do so, in case anyone finds this a useful resource. I’ll be adding links here to make an index as new information is posted.
- Homeschool in a Backpack
- Our School Supplies
- Our Book Baskets
Our School Year:
- Early Fall (Sept 1st – Oct 15th)
- Late Fall (Oct 15th – Dec 1st)
- Early Winter (Dec 1st – Jan 13th)
- Late Winter (Jan 13th- March 2nd)
- Early Spring (March 2nd – April 15th)
- Late Spring (April 15th – May 31st)
- Early Summer (June 1st- July 15th)
- Late Summer (July 15th – Sept 1st)