Waldorf-Inspired Homeschool Planning: Daily Lesson Plans
It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details of planning your Waldorf-inspired homeschooling lessons! So far in our planning series we’ve looked at: The big picture for your unique family
If you’ve gotten this far, you have a solid plan for what's going to happen when. With all those decisions out of the way, now you can focus in on what exactly you’ll be doing each day in your homeschool.
Step Eight: Make a plan for each block
For each main lesson block, look more closely at what you want to cover. What are your academic, artistic, or other goals? What stories will you tell? What academic skills do you want to review from previous blocks? What handwork projects will you do? What will you cover in any additional subjects (foreign language, form drawing, math practice, etc.)?
I find it really helpful to have a chart for organizing all this information. I started out using a teacher planning notebook that I purchased but then switched to printing out a simple table that I created on the computer. My table has the weeks of the month across the top and then different focus areas down the side - this is my whole “block at a glance” on one sheet of paper. Here are the categories that I’m tracking for each week in the last few blocks of first grade:
Main Lesson (math, nature, etc.) Story (Queen Bee, The Frog King, etc.) Movement Focus (active times tables work, etc.) Artistic Focus (crayon drawing, “neat and tidy main leson book,” etc.) Academic Focus (four processes, writing, etc.) Arts Lessons (what are we doing for form drawing and painting) Read Alouds (The Wise Enchanter, Donsy of Gnomes, etc.)
I like this system because it’s very flexible. For example, I don’t need to track handwork projects right now because the goal for my particular seven-year-old is super simple (keep knitting).
Even if you’re using a curriculum with fairly detailed plans, you might like to sketch out your own block plans this way. This is your chance to integrate those two meta planning questions, “What does the curriculum suggest for my child?” and “What does my child need right now?”
Step Nine: Fill in the details for each lesson
The last thing to plan are the details of what you will do in each lesson. Not everyone will want to plan to this level of detail the summer before. You might prefer to have everything sketched out by August, or you might prefer to have time each month when you plan the upcoming block, or time each week to map out the details.
The amount of work you have to do at this point depends a lot on what curriculum resources you’re using! If you’re using a full curriculum, you can read through the lessons and make tweaks as needed to fit your child or add in your own ideas. If you’re using a curriculum that expects more teacher preparation or you’re pulling things together from several resources, you’ll need a system for keeping track of everything you want to do. You could use color-coded post-in notes, an accordian file, Evernote, a daily planner with plenty of room to write, charts that you create in Word, and so on….
Waldorf is a holistic method and learning is always an active, whole-body, artistic experience, so especially in the early grades you won’t have plans that look like “read pages 83-86 and complete worksheets 10A and 10B.” Instead, you’ll need to plan what you will paint, model, build, sing, craft, draw, act out, practice, write, play, recite, etc. each week. For each lesson, you will want to have a plan in place for the following:
Story/presenting the material Recall/review/practicing what has been learned before Something new to learn How you will use art and kinesthetic experience to deepen learning Songs and verses to use What to draw and write in the main lesson book (or what you’ll do instead for this block) The rhythm of the lesson
Step Ten: Order supplies
As you plan everything out, be sure to keep track of all the supplies that you’ll need. You might like to do your shopping for the year all at once so you have the peace of mind of having everything you need at hand.
Planning out a full year of Waldorf-inspired homeschooling is a huge job. If you’re working on this now in May, you’re in great shape! And if time is slipping away from you, don’t panic! Start with the big picture of what matters most to your family and what your child needs, get the resources that you need to support you, and then start working your way towards the itty-bitty details.