Last month, during the Back-to-School excitement, I wrote about feeling like my little homeschooled Kindergarten boy might be missing out on some of the fun things about actually going to a school. Among the things I remember from Kindergarten was sitting on the carpet every day and talking about what day it was on the calendar. Rain is getting old enough that he can begin to grasp the idea of days and weeks and has been asking about time a lot. I thought this was a good time to introduce the calendar to him.
Besides that, one of the things we are focusing on in our learning this year is the idea of rhythm, or cycles. I am borrowing this concept from some of my reading on the Waldorf philosophy earlier this year. Waldorf places a strong emphasis on celebrating yearly festivals, including birthdays, on the seasons and rhythm in the natural world, and on rhythms during the day. Using this as an over-arching theme works well during this Kindergarten year as it provides us opportunity to go on nature walks, to keep a nature table, to learn about natural science and seasons, to learn about festivals around the world (Humanities) and to incorporate lots of cool crafts. But on top of all that, it gives me an opportunity to help Rain understand what it means to wait 5 minutes, or until Saturday—practical stuff (oh yeah, with a bit of math and reading in there too as he learns to recognize numbers and words).
I wanted a hands-on calendar, kind of like I remember from school where we each got a turn putting up the number for the day. Last winter, I made an advent calendar that didn’t involve daily presents or chocolates and my google image search for magnetic advent calendars yielded up a bunch of different ideas. I decided to adapt one of them to our present use.
Here is the result:
To make this, you’ll need:
Decide on the dimensions you want for each piece. For the months, I used 7cm x 28cm. I was able to fit 3 months per magnet sheet. For the days, I used 4 cm x 4 cm and I was able to fit all 31 days on 1 magnet sheet. Trim the scrapbook paper to these dimensions and carefully rubber cement it on to the magnet sheets. Now, trim the magnets to their final sizes. You can use Word or another computer program with lots of fonts to print the numbers and the names of the months and days on to your clear labels. You might be able to print all of it on just a couple of sheets of labels, depending on the size of font you use and how you space them together. Just make sure you leave a bit of room for trimming them. Trim, peel off the backing and stick them on your magnets to create 12 months, 7 days of the week and 31 dates. Stick them to the fridge.
We also made some extra magnets for marking important dates. We also have plans to make some that show the weather.
Have fun! (It’s not as complicated as it looks).