Head, Heart, Hands: How to Create Daily Rhythms in Your Homeschool for Educating the Whole Child is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.
One of the things so many of us love about homeschooling is that we can educate the whole child, meaning we can assist in their physical, academic, spiritual, and emotional growth simultaneously. No need for separate classes or teachers or complicated schedules.
Waldorf educators refer to this as head, heart, hands. It is a simple reminder that we as parents and teacher are responsible for growing all three parts of our children. We can feed their minds, bodies, and souls every day.
Head, Heart, Hands: How to Create Daily Rhythms in Your Homeschool for Educating the Whole Child
Waldorf educators plan each day around a particular rhythm of head, heart, and hands. (Visit my Breaking Down Your Rhythms post for more information about developing regular rhythms.) While most of us, as parents, recognize the need to balance various activities throughout the day (easy/difficult, active/calm, inside/outside), head-heart-hands scheduling requires a little more forethought, but the rewards are well worth the planning.
The following is a simple breakdown of how you can schedule your homeschooling days around your child’s head, heart, and hands.
Daily Rhythms: Head-Centered Activities
Schedule academic, head-centered activities in the morning. Most of us try to do this anyway since our children are usually more alert and ready to learn at the beginning of the day.
Of course, you can always start with circle time or a walk or some kind of movement, but try to schedule your main lessons during the morning hours.
Daily Rhythms: Heart-Centered Activities
Children can become drained from thinking all morning. So make sure to follow up with things that warm their soul or fill their emotional cup.
You can also do a foreign language at this time as long as you keep it light with songs or games. Since grammar and memorization are head-oriented activities, they are best done earlier in the day.
If you center your days with heart-warming activities, you can help them relax and refresh to start the second half of the day with a sense of calm and security.
Daily Rhythms: Hand-Centered Activities
This is a perfect time to plan for all those activities we typically overlook or wish we had time for. It also channels some of that physical energy at a time of day that can often feel chaotic and troublesome.
Don’t Skip the Heart Activities!
The key to head-heart-hands success is to insist on those heart activities. Don’t skip over them because you are tired or busy or have errands.
Do something from the heart list in the middle of the day, then plan ahead to keep those hands occupied in the afternoon. I find that our afternoons run much more smoothly if we recharge properly in the middle of the day. In this way, their souls are filled, and their bodies are kept busy.
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Head, Heart, Hands: How to Create Daily Rhythms in Your Homeschool for Educating the Whole Child was originally published December 29, 2011. It was updated in August 2018.
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