Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Day In the Life of a Waldorf Homeschool Family

An example of a homeschool setting.(caption fr...Image via WikipediaBy Donna Ashton

Rhythm is the key to making things run smoothly in our household. As a homeschooling mom who is also running a business from home, having balance and rhythm to our days helps make it all possible.

The breathing of the day is an important thing to consider when I am scheduling lessons or activities. What is this in-breath and out-breath? It is alternating between an outward energy producing activity and a quieter inward one. I try to keep this balance and when things get a bit "one-sided" I can tell we need a change. I have given a sample day for you to see what I mean.

8am: Breakfast and Morning Routine - make beds, brush teeth and hair, and dress.

9am: Morning Walk - We try to do this daily, weather permitting. It gets us out in nature, and expels that energy needed before starting Main lesson. And the dog likes it too.

10am: Circle and Main Lesson - Our circle begins with each girl lighting a beeswax candle. We say our opening verse, monthly verse, etc. Play recorder, sing a seasonal song, beanbag toss working on multiplication tables, then we close our circle and blow out the candles.

Snack: We break to re-nourish (girls are always hungry!).

Main Lesson: This lasts about an hour depending on what we are doing. Today, I tell a fable and we draw in our Main Lesson Books to go along with the story. A squirrel is hanging from the branch outside the window stealing bird seed from out feeder. We watch and observe. It begins to rain. We talk a bit about the seasons, getting ready for my block on Seasons, Calendar and Time.

Lunch: They run off to play while I prepare lunch.

1-3pm: Work time - This is a new part of our rhythm, dedicated work time for Mommy. I have hired a college student to come over 2 days a week.. Today is the first day and it goes great! I get so much done without interruption I can't believe it. This frees me to concentrate on work now and be present with my daughters the rest of the day.

3pm: Back Together - This is our afternoon in-breath activity. Sometimes we paint, or maybe run errands. Today it is time for baking. We sift and blend and talk about measurements. While the cake bakes, we knit. I read a chapter from their favorite ongoing book and they each take turns reading from their books. The cake is done and Daddy arrives home. They are off playing again while mommy and daddy catch up on our days and start dinner.

6:30 to 8pm: Dinner and Bedtime - I like to eat by 6:30 so there is time for Family Time. We play cards, games or take a walk. It is such a great time connecting all together after a busy day. The bedtime ritual begins; PJ's, snack and story.

The girls are still in bed by 7:30-8 pm most nights. They sleep long and well. Then, it is free time for me to read a book, do more work, or watch a movie with my husband. Raising twins, I needed this nightly break. I highly recommend it!

By having that in and out rhythm, it breaks up large chunks of sitting still for hours or running and playing so long that they won't come back down to relax. It helps me as mom connect with them for a little while, then I get some time to do what I need to do.

Then we come back together again and repeat. 2 days a week we have music lessons/library and home school co-op in the afternoons, but the remaining days I try to be home to keep a balance.

I hope this peek into our life has brought you some inspiration and knowing that you can find the rhythm that fits your own family.

Donna Ashton has devoted over 5 years to learning Waldorf Education and homeschooling her twin girls. She brings her experience with raising her 8 year olds in a mindful way to help struggling homeschoolers and parents trying to balance their daily rhythm and get clarity in homeschooling. In 2009, she created The Waldorf Connection to bring the experts directly to online homeschoolers.

She is now a certified Simplicity Parenting Group Leader so she may bring this amazing wisdom to her families and help them simplify and balance their homes and lifestyles. You can learn more about Donna and her programs, workshops and products at and

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