New to home schooling? No problem. Daily Wonder can help you get started. You can trust that the planning is tried and true and will save your time to use for assembling materials instead of using your weekend to plan.
Not new to home schooling? Welcome. Daily Wonder offers organized, easy to use daily lesson plans when you are re-thinking your current routine.
Not sure? No problem, you can sign up for monthly membership and cancel anytime. Try it for a month and see if it is a fit. One of the many gifts of home schooling is that you can change and transform your curriculum, routine and schedule as you wish. With DW you are not locked in, we offer you the freedom to try it when, and for how long, it fits your goals.
Here are five reasons parents are choosing Daily Wonder:
We know planning can take the joy out of home schooling. We have your back. We have been panning for 20 years and feel like it is high time we share. What is your favourite part about preparing for a year, unit, or day of home schooling?
Nurtured Heart Tip #6
Help Your Children to See Their Own Greatness
Often in our busy lives, we pay more attention to the difficult traits that arise in our children because we want to address it and nip it in the bud.
However, when you notice a quality of greatness in your child, don't let the moment pass, be sure to articulate it to them with specific words and explain the context.
In this way they can begin to really feel and see this greatness in themselves, and embody these qualities.
You might comment on their positive attitude in a situation, their responsibility, flexibility, patience etc.
What is something great you noticed about your child recently? How did they respond when you pointed it out to them?
Nurtured Heart Tip #5
Our children long for us to see them and be present for them. How we respond gives our child a feeling for whether we are really present, really listening, or only half there and more caught up in our other thoughts and concerns.
We want to give our children positive feedback, we want them to feel confident, but our generation of parenting has taken "good job" to the next level.
We have used it for everything; we have used it so much that it is on automatic pilot, just coming out of parents' mouths, even if it doesn't really fit the circumstance .
Our children can feel empty words, words that lack true connection. When we choose words that are more accurate for the circumstance, our children can feel more fully acknowledged.
Next time you want to say "good job", take a moment and think about what exactly they are doing, and how your feedback could be more accurate. Maybe a more fitting response would be..."that's very creative", "you are very considerate", "you are very resourceful", "you are very responsible", tenacious, committed, a hard worker...
When was the last time you were authentically validated? How did it make you feel?
Nurtured Heart Tip #4
Surviving the Dark Day of Winter
Yay!! Guess What? We are halfway through the winter!
The dark days of winter can be difficult in many ways, as we long for the brightness of the sun to fill our hearts.
The winter asks us to fill our own hearts with light, and to fill our own homes with light. In the time of our ancestors, this was the day when they would make another large batch of candles to get them through until the return of the light.
Light some candles in your home, and be thankful for the warm home you live in, the warmth of your heart when you see your children learning, growing and thriving, and the warmth you share with your children every day.
The pentatonic flute is based on the five-note pentatonic scale. Rudolf Steiner said that this scale harkens back to our ancient ancestors' days and the music that they felt from the spirit world. As human consciousness evolved, so did our understanding and connection to music.
In ancient days, the familiar seven-note diatonic scale "do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do" was not developed yet. The most familiar diatonic scale is C Major- C D E F G A B C. The pentatonic scale does not use the C or the F, and so, the music from our ancient past was played with five notes, D E G A B. These are the notes that your sweet, little, dreamy child feels most connected to. Your young child feels the pentatonic scale's notes in their soul and delights in these tunes. They are the perfect songs to sing and play when your child is between birth and around eight years old. These are the notes that connect us to our ancient ancestors who walked and sang closer to the spirit world than we do today.
The flute is a beautiful instrument to begin with, as your child will become aware of their breath and learn how to regulate their breathing to produce a beautiful tone. Simultaneously, the flute's fingering requires the development of finger dexterity and fine motor movement, which can be challenging. So your child is also developing the ability to persevere through difficult circumstances. The ability to lift one finger or several fingers at a time is a marvellous brain/body activity. And most importantly, creating beautiful music is inspiring and enlivening. When your child knows a song and can sing it by heart, and then they are learning to play that song on the flute, well, that is a most exciting day to behold!!
So, the pentatonic flute is the ideal beginner instrument for your Grade One child. It speaks to the whole child: body, soul and spirit! And music is a great creative force that brings people together.
Daily Wonder highly recommends purchasing the Waldorf Teachers' Companion to the Pentatonic Flute, by John Miles.
Nurtured Heart Tip #3
The Importance of Self-Love
Your child longs for your juicy and focused connection and attention. This secure love and attachment builds their foundation of trust and belonging, and sets them up for healthy relationships throughout their lives.
Homeschooling gives you an amazing opportunity to nurture this connection throughout the day, pacing the time you have together and the time everyone works or plays independently.
Make sure that you honour both ways of being. Everyone needs to enjoy their alone time, and learn healthy ways to self-soothe.
By giving yourself permission to take a break and do something for yourself each day, you can be fully present for your child(ren) when you are giving them connection.
By caring for yourself, you are teaching your child(ren) the importance of self-love.
What do you do to re-charge?
Some of the following was adjusted and reprinted with permission from the Nelson Waldorf School.
At Daily Wonder, learning to read evolves for each child in the same form as it evolved from the beginning of humanity: spoken language developed first, then people drew pictures to communicate their ideas, followed by symbols such as hieroglyphics and finally the abstract letters of our modern alphabets. Once there was a written language, people learned to read. This unfolding inspires the sequence of the literacy program laid out in Daily Wonder curriculum. For Daily Wonder, the central theme for all lessons, in every subject, is the human story. We use storytelling to shape and deliver the living pictures behind every lesson, including the literacy program.
In the Early Years, from birth to age seven, the focus is on the spoken word. When children are young, the emphasis is on spoken verses and stories: nature stories, folktales and fairy tales. Parents and teachers are ‘storytellers’ and are careful not to ‘dumb down’ or simplify the language of fairy tales. Parents and teachers are encouraged to be careful to use clear speech and enunciate well, as this immersion in literature is the basis of literacy. This immersion in the spoken word also supports children later when learning to write and spell.
Repetition supports retention. When the same sequence and stories are repeated daily for weeks, children learn these stories, songs and verses ‘by heart.’ Current brain research confirms that repetition aids a child’s brain development. The connections of billions of neural pathways in the brain are strengthened through repeated experiences.
Writing Begins Holistically. In Year 1 of the Daily Wonder curriculum, the alphabet is introduced in an imaginative, pictorial way. Each letter of the alphabet is presented as a picture representing an element from a story the children are told. For example, they might hear the story of a knight on a quest who had to cross mountains and a valley. The children will then draw a picture with the letter “M” forming the Mountains on either side of the “V” for Valley.
In this way, the child develops a living relationship with each letter rather than going straight to the abstraction of the alphabet letters themselves. These ‘pictures’ can be described as the bridge between the pictorial thinking of the child and the abstract thinking of the adult.
After learning all the letters, children experience copying mom or dad’s writing into their portfolio. The portfolio is an artistically created record of the learning that children using Daily Wonder curriculum create themselves. These first written sentences and stories come from the children’s own experience, and the children’s first practice of ‘reading’ is the reading of their own text.
Reading begins with decoding. It is important to know that reading requires decoding skills that develop in children at varying ages. At Daily Wonder we understand that learning to read will unfold naturally in its own time for the vast majority of children when given the proper support.
Just as a normal, healthy child will learn to walk without our teaching them, and just as a child miraculously learns to speak their native language by the age of three without lessons, worksheets or a dictionary, so will a child naturally learn to read when they have a positive relationship with the spoken and written word and have been provided with the necessary tools and skills.
At Daily Wonder we follow the well-researched three-year Literacy program set out by Janet Langley and Jennifer Militzer-Kopperl in their book “The Roadmap to Literacy.” Over the three years of the program (Years 1 through 3), Daily Wonder supports parents to bring the six layers of literacy to their children (phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, writing).
Once the child receives the alphabet letters and sounds pictorially and through verse and song, they begin to learn approximately 33 phonics rules over the three years. The rules support understanding and skill-building for future spelling and reading. Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and writing are regular parts of the daily lesson plans and expand over time.
Classic books expand vocabulary. At Daily Wonder, we encourage parents to provide their child(ren) with age-appropriate, well-written literature to expand their vocabulary and keep their love for reading alive. We also love a good graphic novel for those who need shorter reading stints to maintain their enthusiasm for reading. Practice is key, and preference is personal.
There can be negative impacts of pushing reading too early. Research has shown the negative impacts of pushing academics, such as reading, at too early an age. Forcing children to read too early often hurts their self-confidence and general passion for books. This research indicates that kindergarten and preschool-aged children should focus on age-appropriate activities such as playing, exploring and socializing. Finland is an excellent example of this, given that its schools lead the world in education standards. Finnish children generally don’t start kindergarten until age 6. And kindergarten is focused mainly on play and socialization; there is no reading or writing. Additionally, their school days are not more than 4 hours long.
Daily Wonder’s teachers are saying that children who read when they are ready can maintain a passion for stories and a love of reading further into their older years. In our experience, when reading is not rushed before writing, students are typically reading at or above standardized government levels and with improved comprehension.
I think we can all agree that we want our kids to love reading and have the ability to express their heart's desires and gifts in writing and speaking.
Nurtured Heart Tip #2
Having an Extra Bad Day!?!
Next time you feel flustered about something your child is doing (or not doing), recognize that giving energy to what is not working is really not the best route.
Take a deep breath, and if you need to walk away for a moment to get grounded, go ahead and do so.
When you return to the scene, find something positive that your child is doing that can be highlighted. Sometimes the scene is so negatively charged, that the best positive thing you can find is actually something like, "I see that you're not throwing your toys against the wall. This shows that you are getting better at managing your emotions."
When you are able to give authentic, positive feedback, it really does help your child to feel positive about themselves, and it guides them towards self-regulation.
Nurtured Heart Tip
Smile! Take a deep breath! You and your child are probably readjusting to school after a little holiday break!
Be patient and ease back into your routine. Choose one or two parts of your daily routine that are working well and allow yourself to feel amazing about it - because you really should.
When you focus on what is fantastic and feel happy about the little victories, you invite more of that energy into your life!
The Nurtured Heart Approach is a relationship-focused methodology founded by Howard Glasser. This approach meets the needs of the parent and child both individually and in relationship. It is comprehensive in its scope, recognizing each person's incredible greatness and individuality and specific and practical in its steps to build these feelings of inner wealth.
Watch for Nurtured Heart Tips weekly and visit our Parent Education page to learn more.
Anthroposophist, mystic, and teacher, Claudia McLaren Lainson explains the Holy Nights:
"In the darkness of Winter’s night, when the great breath of the Earth Mother finds its greatest point of inhalation, human beings are afforded the grace to touch into both magic and miracle. In the pause between her mighty in-breath and out-breath there is a still-point of rest. This still-point has long been known as the Holy Nights. In these blessed Nights, the angels circle the globe as if in a great cosmic dance. They long to speak to listening human hearts. Throughout the ages the ‘listening ones’ on earth have heard the angelic choir; they have received messages of Peace and Love. What is received during these sacred days and nights, resounds a thousand-fold in the year that follows. In this year before us, a great light is striving to find willing human hearts. May we each be the ‘listening ones’ during these Holy Nights. May we work with angels."
Claudia McLaren Lainson is a teacher and Therapeutic Educator. She has been working in the field of Anthroposophy since 1982, when she founded her first Waldorf program in Boulder, Colorado. She lectures nationally on various topics related to spiritual science, human development, the evolution of consciousness and the emerging Christ and Sophia mysteries of the twenty-first century.
The time between December 24th and January 6th offers a period of time in the year, when the veil between the earthly and spiritual world is thinned. This is the time to reflect and meditate on the year that is coming to an end, and to gather wisdom for co-creating your upcoming year with your higher self and spirit guides.
Whoa! That’s a tall order, you may say. Indeed it is! I have taken this meditation on now for 6 years, and each year I take it one step deeper. I believe it starts simply with an awareness of this opportunity, and an intention to take a moment each day to consider or be open to the virtue that is highlighted on this day.
You can trust that the depth in which you experience this opportunity is exactly as it should be.
So how do you do this? We've made it easy for you. See below for 12 days of virtues for you to read each day and reflect on. Your work is to consider how each virtue plays out in your life, generally, and then specifically over the year that is coming to an end. Were there highlights that put this virtue into practice? Were there moments when this virtue could have been strengthened?
When you reflect back over the year, begin with the most recent month of December, and work backwards. Each night you will go back one more month, so that you are reviewing your year in rewind. This act of reflecting backwards elevates our everyday thinking and shifts our awareness to a higher level of observation and reflection.
Once you have a feeling for how this virtue is playing out in your life, you can set an intention for how you would like to deepen or strengthen your connection to this virtue, and a vision of how that might look in your life, and a feeling as to how this will feel for you.
The power of holding the image and feeling will take you deeper into co-creating your upcoming year.
The Stars once spoke to Humankind
It is World Destiny that they are Silent now
To be aware of the Silence
Can become painful for Earthly Human
But in the Deepening Silence
There Grows and Ripens
What Humans Speak to the Stars
To be aware of this Speaking
Can become Strength for Spirit Human
Day 1- LOVE (December 24th)
Love is the meaning of life on earth. Take time to ponder the ways in which you express your love for yourself, your family, romantic intimate partner(s), community, humanity. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand this love into the next year.
Reflect on December 2020, and your experiences.
Day 2- DISCRETION (December 25th )
We learn that there are times to hold our thoughts and feelings to ourselves, and there are times to choose to share them. Not everything, positive or negative in experience, needs to be shared. In silence, the flowering of discretion becomes an ever-deepening meditative force of contemplation. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be STILL into the next year.
Reflect on November 2020, and your experiences.
Day 3- COURAGE (December 26th )
It takes courage to overcome our soul resistance to change. It takes courage to create a future of goodness. Courage, the ability to take on actions and experiences that cause fear. The ability to overcome our resistance, and our fears, and bring more love. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be COURAGEOS into the next year.
Reflect on October 2020, and your experiences.
Day 4- SELF-DISCIPLINE (December 27th )
When we practice parenting our inner Self, we find that we must bring a balance of love and acceptance for where we are at in our evolution, and the healthy push to become more self-disciplined. When we practice self-discipline in our thoughts, speech and actions, this leads to deeper knowledge of our self and other. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be SELF-DISCIPLINED into the next year.
Reflect on September 2020, and your experiences.
Day 5- PATIENCE (December 28th )
Patience is wisdom paired with will power. When patience is practiced, it leads to the gift of spiritual insight. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be PATIENT into the next year.
Reflect on August 2020, and your experiences.
Day 6- CONTENTMENT (December 29th )
When we practice contentment, a feeling of peacefulness in any situation, it brings us the blessing of equanimity. Can I be content with the current moment, even if it is uncomfortable? Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be CONTENT into the next year.
Reflect on July 2020, and your experiences.
Day 7- REVERENCE (December 30th )
This is reverence that is honoring a courteous, tactful heart. This encourages the ability to communicate with kindness and love. To add to this pondering, this day also honours the spiritual nourishment and digestion that is taking place through this whole meditative process. We are digesting the year and nourishing our way forward. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be REVERENT into the next year.
Reflect on June 2020, and your experiences.
Day 8-COMPASSION (December 31st )
Compassion asks us to hold the future of each person as positive and illuminated. Compassion leads to freedom, as we harbor no ill will within us for another. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be COMPASSIONATE into the next year.
Reflect on May 2020, and your experiences.
Day 9- EMPATHY (January 1st)
Here we are reflecting on our capacity for empathy. When we practice selflessness, we are led to an inner awakening. We feel the connection between our Self and the Other, and we become more attune, and more sensitive. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be EMPATHETIC into the next year.
Reflect on April 2020, and your experiences.
Day 10- PERSEVERANCE (January 2nd )
This is the virtue of perseverance to fulfill our soul’s destiny leading us to True Faith. When we feel an inner calling, an inner knowing that we have work to do upon this earth, we have the inner will and steadfastness to work ceaselessly throughout our lives. This inner knowing that we are called to bring to life, is our True Faith in the meaning and purpose of our life. In this way, we each bring our gift to the world, and to the people linked to us by our destiny. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to PERSEVERE into the next year.
Reflect on March 2020, and your experiences.
Day 11- INNER BALANCE (January 3rd )
This is inner balance of soul, body and spirit. It also refers to the balance of our outer work with our inner life. When we find balance in these realms, this leads us to our soul’s progression along our spiritual path. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to be INWARDLY BALANCED into the next year.
Reflect on February 2020, and your experiences.
DAY 12- DEVOTION (January 4th )
We contemplate devotion that leads to self-sacrifice. When we devote ourselves to something greater than ourselves, we feel the power of self-sacrifice, and in this way we serve human evolution. Be open to visions of how you would like to expand your ability to feel DEVOTED into the next year.
Reflect on January 2020, and your experiences.
DAY 13-INTEGRATION (January 5th )
This night is known as Holy Epiphany in the Christian tradition, but if Christianity does not resonate with you, than this is your own Soul Epiphany that has come from pondering and meditating on your year that has passed and the year you are beginning. All of the virtues are now integrated through the force of Divine Love. We can see the year as a whole and have prepared the foundation for the coming year.
May you each find the sacred place within yourself that allows you to perceive with the eyes and ears of the Divine. You are gathering in community with many who share your perceptions and will work with you on transcendent and holy ways. You are not alone.
Know that there is New Life Awakening within your heart that will bless each day of 2021.
- Jennifer Ross
The Wonder Squad