~ 6 min
Before we moved to Nepal, Ramona was attending school. The public school of my hometown. She had 11 classmates and a wonderful teacher. She was happy there and we are glad that she was able to do a full a semester of school before we moved to Nepal.
Now that we are in Nepal, we thought about sending her to school but the language would be too much of an obstacle (for the moment)… So we decided that homeschooling her for the time we live here was the best solution! She is still very young (3 and a half years old) and I am actually an Early Childhood teacher with 6 years of experience, so teaching doesn’t come new to me!
I was really excited before we moved about this oportunity! Getting materials ready, supplies, ideas, etc. She was too! This past summer I taught an afternoon class in my hometown, where she attended too, and she called it “Mama school”, so that is what we call it now!
Since we have settled in our new place, we have started “Mama school”, even though she was asking from day one to start school!! We needed a routine, to unpack our bags and settle a little bit and now we are on it! Monday to Friday: Mama School.
Here is our daily rhythm:
We wake up (around 7:30), cook and eat breakfast together, Joe goes to work (or starts working from home), I get the kids clean and dressed for the day. We have been playing “hairdresser” as an excuse to do Ramona’s hair in the morning.
Then, around 9, we start with Circle Time. Me and Ramona stand one in front of one another, while Galileo plays around, and we sing some songs and finger play songs together. We always start with the same song, and then I have a list of the ones we know already and the ones I want to teach her, mixing English and Catalan.
"Good morning dear Earth, good morning dear Sun,
Good morning dear rocks, and flowers every one,
Good morning dear beasts, and birds in the trees,
Good morning to you, and good morning to me."
After that, we go potty, put our shoes on, drink some water and get ready for our Morning Walk. This has been so far the most enjoyable thing for me (and the kids like it too). Galileo goes in the carrier, on my back, and Ramona walks. Every day we pick a goal for our walk. Sometimes it is to find some flowers for Suman, some rocks to do a craft later, we bring the magnifying glass and look for small things, or we just decide a destination (the big river, the house with the swing, …) and enjoy everything we find on the way. We spend between 45 min and 1 hour wondering around. It has been really nice to walk out of the house first thing in the morning, to be out in nature, seeing the animals, discovering our neighborhood!
Once we hit back home, Suman is normally there already, getting lunch or laundry ready. We have a snack. Then Galileo may take a nap (he is in the period between needing 1 or 2 naps, depending on how early he woke up that morning) or hang out with her, while me and Ramona work on the activity of the day:
- Mondays: Watercolor painting
- Tuesdays: Beeswax modelling
- Wednsdays: Coloring with block crayons
- Thursdays: Crafting
- Fridays: Free day
We set the activity out in the porch (we don’t have a table, but the porch steps are working fine for now …), we sing the activity song and we do it together. For exemple, while she paints I paint, which is so nice to have the excuse to paint watercolors again!
These may take more or less time, depending on how into it Ramona is in the moment. Sometimes we have time to do another activity after that (from the ones in the following “extra activities” list) or just some free play time before lunch is ready.
- Dance class
- Study Nepali
- Yoga class
- Holiday crafts
- Treasure hunt
- Finger knitting
- Flower pressing
We eat lunch around 12, out in the porch, looking at the people walk by and talking about when I was a kid (Ramona is very into stories about when we were little kids latlely, and loves asking so many questions).
Then it is story time (either me or Joe with Ramona in her room) and nap time. She will not always nap, most days yes, other days she will do quiet time, playing with her dolls and reading books until I tell her is time to get out of the room (after about 1 hour).
If Galileo didn’t take a morning nap he will go down after lunch too, if not a little bit later for his second nap.
After nap we have a snack and go out in our front yard for outdoor free play. We hang the hammock, they play in the sand, build sand-casltes with sticks, etc. Normally the neighbor kids join in on the fun too.
Once Joe is done with work, around 6 pm, I start getting dinner ready, we eat together, then bathe (every other day now…), pj’s, teeth, nurse to sleep for Galileo and stories for Ramona.
After writting all this I realized that we spend most of the day outside and I love it! The temperature is great right now to be outside most of the time without being too hot or too cold, which is so nice. This rhythm may change and will get reajusted with time for sure, but for now that is what works for us.
I have organized our homeschooling days thinking about Ramona’s needs and following the Waldorf philosophy, inspired by the time I worked at Morning Meadow Waldorf Preeschool and Kindergarten, and with the help of the awesome seasonal guides by Whole Family Rhythms. Even though we don’t have everything we would like here (no oven to bake bread, no good watercolor paper, etc) we do what we can with what we have! And I feel like it is working! Ramona is learning so much just being outside, observing nature, asking so many questions and creating and imagining her own little world! It is fantastic and I am so happy to be able to walk with her through this journey.
How does this sound to you? Would you like to homeschool your kids? What other activities should we add to our list?