Pretty much since we went on lockdown, we have discussed and planned for what we would do this fall. Just as it is for everyone else with kids, we have experienced a rollercoaster of feelings about school. We wondered if, when and how it would open and, of course, whether it would be safe. Last week school started again.
Prior to the pandemic, our children had been attending the Waldorf School of San Diego. We absolutely love it. They have opened for in-person learning; however, we have decided not to send our children for now. Our 13-year-old Bella is attending classes via distance learning since it’s her last year with her beloved teacher. For the boys, sitting in front of a computer did not seem like the right path, so we’re now using the Oak Meadow Homeschool program. The Waldorf School offers a homeschool option as well, but at $500 per child per month, it was too expensive for us. Oak Meadow’s program is $450 and $305 for the entire year.
We began last week. So far, so good. We have created a homeschool classroom on our patio, and hold class indoors only when there is a heatwave. Located in our garden, the patio provides lots of fresh air, and is calming and quiet. There, the kids also have a sofa for reading or for story time. The homeschool curriculum includes gardening, so naturally we spend lots of time doing different projects with them there.
The part we love most about the Waldorf education is how they include lots of arts, crafts, handwork, movement and music. So we have hired tutors to teach music, art and language either via zoom or in person with social distancing while outdoors. Fridays are our game days, when we do something physical as a family. This might include hiking, surfing, canoeing, or simply taking a walk.
Last spring semester, I learned that lesson plans may need to change because something would happen or the plan did not work, so flexibility and creativity are the foundation of homeschooling in my opinion. We also love learning through games, exercise, cooking or gardening. Our garden provides opportunities to learn about science and botany, and cooking is a great way to bring in math.
I will keep you all updated as this semester progresses, sharing whatever changes or the creative fun ways of learning we might find.