Archive for January, 2010

Welcome To China

January 30, 2010

Today finished up our week lesson on the fiber silk. The day started with the usual meditation, breakfast , and clean up. Then I called the Little’s to circle and we sang just our morning songs and said our prayer. Today was the day for Miss Sky to recite Ecclesiastes 3 : 1-8. She did great like there was nothing to it. With no main lesson we jumped right into today’s activities. Silk dyeing with Kool-Aid.

I use the instructions found here Miss Sky dyed her own silk and thought it was so cool how the silk picks up all the color leaving the water white.

While the silk was still wet The Little’s decorated theirs with watercolor paints.

While the silks dried  Miss Sky read Welcome To China by Caryn Jenner and I read The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. We finished our stories Day of the Dragon King and Little Pear and Friends yesterday along with Miss Sky making a page in her MLB on shelter’s in China. We took a break for lunch making fried rice and egg rolls with fortune cookies for dessert courtesy of La Choy. We ended the day testing our hand at some calligraphy

and Chinese.


Zaijian pengyou and a happy weekend to all.


Life Of A Silkworm

January 28, 2010

Do I dare admit that last night I found myself staying up way later than I should have. I couldn’t help it I found myself caught up in Melisa’s (from A Little Garden Flower) latest radio show on Steiner’s 7 year cycles Good, good stuff but unfortunately it caused me to sleep right through my meditation time this morning.  So I quick jumped out of bed to fix myself a much-needed cup of tea and went straight to work on breakfast making bacon and eggs. One thing I was thankful for, I had tossed a chuck roast in the crock pot last night to make beef and noodles today for lunch. Which is a good thing because my mind never seems to stay focused when I don’t meditate. I find myself walking around with that “I know I’ve forgotten to do something” feeling all day. Once our morning chores were finished we started circle , penny whistle, and our usual beanbag math. Then Miss Sky recited back the life cycle of a silkworm for today’s main lesson and she drew a picture in her MLB. She also explained back to me the steps it takes to make silk and that it probably took about 1,000 silkworms to make just 1 of our playsilks. I have a feeling that this will be the last time our family buys playsilks. Next Miss Sky practiced her memory verse and practiced writing little words like mom, no, or, & pop in cursive. After lunch Miss Sky read chapters 7 &8 in The Dragon King and I read chapters 7 &8 in Little Pear and His Friends. Both of these books have inspired lots of imaginary play this past week, including The Little’s wanting me to serve dinner on the floor. I have heard a lot of criticism toward the Magic Tree House books but they have done nothing but spark many adventures around our house.

Wishing everyone a very happy Wednesday

A Dramatic Comedy

January 27, 2010

Man did it turn cold I thought 29 was bad ,what a surprised awaited me this morning when I woke up. I guess it is still winter after all. This morning after some quiet meditation (in front of the fire) ,I made bread pudding for breakfast with a loaf of our orange raisin millet bread left over from last week. This paired with a nice hot cup of chai tea was just what I needed to get the day started. I also pulled a lasagna I pre made out from the freezer for Papa to put in the oven for lunch today. After morning clean up I called The Little’s to circle and we continued with the same songs and fingerplays as yesterday.  While we have reviewed songs this week on the penny whistle I have noticed how much we have improved from the start of the year. Miss Sky and I can change the notes quicker now. We transitioned into beanbag math with our verse and stepped out the 3 times table forward then backwards. Miss Sky is really catching on(she has major gross motor skill issues and when we started stomping them out she had problems) so we threw the beanbag back and forth counting by 3s forwards then backwards then I asked her 9 is and she would reply 3×3. Papa had to take Little Sis into the other room and distract her by playing Hi Ho Cherry O because she has memorized counting by 3’s. This can be very frustrating at times when the 4-year-old catches on faster than the 9-year-old. I just keep my thoughts focused on how they are two VERY different children here for different reasons. Today for main lesson Miss Sky wanted to act out yesterday’s story. What started out very dramatic took a rather silly turn and before we knew it we were all laughing to the point of tears. She got the main points down anyhow. Next she drew her picture in her MLB then we looked at the book Silkworms. I thought this book was to scientific of a read for Miss Sky but the pictures are wonderful. So we just observed the life cycle of a silkworm  and I read a poem that I thought explained everything very well. I found it here (scroll down near bottom of page). Today for grammar Miss Sky told me what an adjective was and she copied half of this poem I found in her MLB. I found a neat site with different grammar links that could be helpful and even though it’s not Waldorf I loved the links to the old School House Rock videos. She practiced her memory verse then her cursive letters in corn meal.

After lunch Miss Sky read chapters 5 & 6 of Day Of The Dragon King and I read chapters 5 & 6 of Little Pear.

 Wishing Many Blessings


The Empress and The Silkworm

January 26, 2010

Only in the state of Indiana could you turn off  your heat because yesterday was 5o degrees and today have a fire in the wood burning stove because it is 29 and snowing. I have missed the fire though, the heat is much warmer so when the stove is not going I walk around the house freezing with a sweater on even when it’s 40. This morning I spent some time in meditation running today’s story through my mind. It has been awhile since I have memorized a story and I wanted to make sure I had the facts down. I can always improvise the rest as I go. After writing down some  ideas for the week I started on breakfast. Today I made waffles and bacon. I also started my vegetable soup on the stove to simmer till lunch. After morning clean up I called The Littles’s to circle. We are using the same circle as last week (see last week Monday’s post). We continued reviewing songs we have learned on the penny whistle and moved into beanbag with the rhyme Crick Crack Snippy Snap. We stomped out the 3 times table first moving  forwards then stomped stepping backwards. Then we tossed the beanbag back and forth counting by 3s. We worked on the 2,5,10,and 11 tables this time I asked 2×4, 10×6 with Miss Sky giving me the answer. Meanwhile Papa wrote out some problems for Miss Sky to solve using division ,carrying, and borrowing. It was time for main lesson. I told Miss Sky the story of The Empress and the Silkworm by Lily Toy Hong. We talked about how the secret was kept for almost 3,000 years and the steps it takes to spin silk. I have very mixed feelings about how silk is made. On one side I think it is so cruel to heat the silkworms in the oven to kill them just to get their fiber. Then I understand that they only live long enough after hatched from the coccon to mate and lay eggs. My daughter on the other hand who is terrified of bugs happens to think  silkworms are cute and felt very sad they are being killed just for their fiber. I found this site very useful for pulling together this block and found the resources at our library.  Today for grammar we talked about adjectives and Miss Sky made a page in her grammar MLB.  Then Miss Sky went over her memory verse and she worked on the capital letters M,N,O, &P in cursive. First in the air next on the board then on each other’s back. After break Miss Sky read chapters 3 & 4 of Day of the Dragon King and I read chapters 3 &4 in Little Pear.

     Silkworms (Lerner Natural Science Books) Cover (preview for both at google books )

Wishing everyone a very safe and warm Monday.

Popped Corn

January 24, 2010

Today we finished up our week/grain lesson with what Miss Sky claims to be the best grain of all. Oh corn how we love thee.There was no formal school today just finishing up this weeks lesson in Miss Sky’s MLB . She also made a page in her practical arts MLB.   I found the blessing here on page 4 . .

 And what would a study of corn be without our most favorite snack.

I really couldn’t tell you who enjoyed this weeks study more. 🙂

Next week we will be taking a little detour through China resuming our block on time the week after.



January 23, 2010

Candlemas is coming up February 2 and so is Valentines Day. I came across this lovely idea from Tonya over at Plain and Joyful Living that would work for both.

She is even selling candle making kits in her store.

Sweet Mother Of Pearl Barley

January 23, 2010

I knew it would eventually happen it was only a matter of time. Even though some extra planning on my part seemed to help prolong the occurence. This morning while making potatoes, smoke sausage ,and eggs for breakfast I could hear the brewing storm taking place. Who knows what triggered the incident ,that is never the real issue. All that mattered was I needed to come up with a solution and quick. The Little’s needed to get outside. Sure we played out in the snow for short periods of time but with the snow melting from this last warm front our backyard has turned into a mud pit. On top of that all the rain we received hasn’t helped matters. So this morning after clean up I called the Littles for circle, we said our prayer and morning verses then we all bundled up and headed out for a walk. The mission, to come back home refreshed and rosy-cheeked. It didn’t take long before the storm  subdued and singing soon replaced the arguing. Once home Miss Sky worked on her 3 times tables by stomping out the answers (taking 3 steps and shouting 3 while clapping ,then taking 3 more steps shouting 6 while clapping) forwards then backwards. Afterwards we tossed the beanbag back and forth me saying 3 her tossing it back saying 3×1. We went all the way to 36. Today’s main lesson was all about barley.

We talked about the difference between hulled and pearl barley and got started on todays recipe making beef and barley soup. While the soup simmered on the stove I wrote some addition and subtraction problems on the board for Miss Sky to copy and solve. Then she worked on her page in her MLB.  I had her circle the nouns and underline the verbs from her dictation then she practiced her memory verse while marching in place. We took our hour break and finished up with Miss Sky reading chapters 1 & 2 of Magic Tree House #14 Day of the Dragon King by Mary Pope Osborne and I read chapters 1 &2 of Little Pear and His Friends by Eleanor Frances Lattimore.


6 grains down and 1 more to go.

Wishing everyone a very happy weekend.

Comfort Food

January 22, 2010

Today I woke up so excited like a little kid on her birthday. Out of all the grains from this week today’s was the one I couldn’t wait to get here. Rye? I have a favorite comfort food, one that takes me back to childhood. As the aroma floods through the air so do all those wonderful memories of my grandparents that I have carried along with me on my journey. My comfort food couldn’t be mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese that the rest of my family could enjoy along with me. No it is sauerkraut, something that is usually saved only for my birthday since I am the only one here that will eat it. Well what does that have to do with the grain rye? I have to confess that I cheated a bit on what we would make today. I purchased  ready-made rye crackers and pumpernickel bread to use with todays recipes.Since today is not a regular school day we didn’t start  with our usual circle and jumped straight into main lesson. Miss Sky and I talked all about the origin of the grain an again find myself fascinated that it  was considered only for poor people. Yet it is one of the healthiest grains containing all its nutrients when processed. It also has the longest shelf life and a loaf can keep its freshness up to a month compared to wheat bread. Of corse I can not share my revelation with Miss Sky but I find it so interesting there is a grain that can withstand drought (millet) and is a staple food in Africa and India. Then you have a grain that can grow in snow (rye) and is a staple food of Russia. Anyhow after explaining what rye was to Miss Sky we got busy on recipe number one to eat with our crackers .  The left overs also make a great play off snack (Go Colts). While this chilled Miss Sky made a page in her MLB. Next up was the reason for todays excitement. Though I had to make it myself Miss Sky discovered she likes pumpernickel bread, but still rolls her eyes to think someone could possible like sauerkraut . That’s ok she can still enjoy the stories that go along with the meal.

Wishing everyone many happy memories.

Mellow Yellow

January 21, 2010

Today Papa, Little Sis, and I were invited to breakfast made all by Miss Sky. Ok it was left over pancakes but she had warmed them up, set the table, and had our juice waiting for us. I am thinking it is a combination of working in the kitchen this week and reading Understood Betsy. I could not imagine a better story for a third grade girl. I have read on other blogs who are following Steiner’s method of education having these “How did he know?” moments but I am still amazed at how perfectly matched each years curriculum  is. I have thought back to my childhood about what age I might have been when I took that “mother” roll over my little sister. We are 8 years apart and I keep thinking I was about 10. That would have put me right in the middle of the 9 year change. It’s moments like these that make all the work Waldorf Education brings along so worth it. Since Miss Sky fixed breakfast I let her out of clean up duty and called The Little’s to circle when I had finished up. We used the same circle from Monday then transitioned into beanbag working on the 2,3,5,10,&11 times tables. Today’s main lesson was all about millet.

This grain was new to me so I picked an easy recipe in case we did not like it. I used cooked millet to make orange millet raisin bread(recipe from Feeding The Whole Family). We tried some plain to see what it tasted like and it was given two thumbs up from The Little critics who went back for more than seconds. It looks like millet will be added to more meals. It’s funny that I had never heard of millet before Feeding the Whole Family and yet it is the one of the oldest foods known to humans. While we waited on our bread to rise I copied some math problems on the board for Miss Sky to copy and solve then she made a page in her MLB for today’s grain. I wrote some sentences on the board and had Miss Sky underline the verbs and circle the helping verb if there was one then worked on her memory verses. She now has all her verses memorized and should be ready to recite next week. Little Sis wanted to put on a puppet show so we took our break for lunch and she set up while I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

She did such a great job and I always enjoy hearing what they take away from a story. After lunch we made the bread dough into loaves and let it rise again while Miss Sky practice making words with her cursive letters like ice, jet, kite, lad. Today she read A House For Hermit Crab by Eric Carle and I finished up Understood Betsy. We could not wait till tomorrow to see how it ended. Meanwhile I diffidently know what one item will be tomorrow for breakfast.

Wishing everyone a happy Wednesday

Oat, Groat

January 20, 2010

I have enjoyed reading other peoples blog posts  lately about signing up to make one small change a month until earth day. Though I did not sign up ,our family is always making small changes to do our part as stewards of the earth. I just wanted to add even though it has taken us awhile we have finally downsized our trash to less than 1 bag a week. Between recycling , composting, and not buying products that can’t be recycled our work is finally paying off. I am now working on finding toothbrushes and razors that can be recycled and not added to the growing landfill problem. I welcome any product recommendations. As for school today, we spent another busy day in the kitchen. This morning for breakfast we enjoyed left over rice pudding. After clean up I called The Little’s to circle and we just said prayer and our morning songs along with singing The Mulberry Bush song then got started on todays lesson. Today was all about oats. I have to say I am really enjoying this weeks lessons. Like the fibers study I find myself surprised at all that nature provides for us, and again find myself scratching my head about why we needed to add more. First Miss Sky and I talked about the differences in oats.

This time Little Sis wanted to join in (she heard we were making cookies). I will be honest and say that the Little’s like steel-cut oats better than rolled oats. I think it is a texture thing anyway we got to work on making oatmeal cookies with the steel-cut oats. These are, next to gingerbread cookies, one of the Little’s favorites.

They are also great for a quick breakfast the next day. Something else that makes a quick breakfast is granola (recipe from Feeding The Whole Family).

We do not buy boxed cereal so to the Little’s this is a real treat and doesn’t stay around for long. While the granola baked I wrote a few math problems on the board for Miss Sky to copy and solve then she made a page in her MLB about oats. we worked on her memory verses and she practiced her cursive letters in cornmeal. We made pita pizzas for today’s lunch where Miss Sky informed me I was the most fun teacher ever (let’s she if she still thinks so in a couple of years). We wrapped up the day with Miss Sky finishing A Grain Of Rice. She liked this book so much she read it all again while I fixed dinner and I read The New Clothes Fail from Understood Betsy.

Many Blessings to all