Archive for February, 2010

Preparing For A Road Trip

February 27, 2010

Oh I have been enjoying waking up to the sun these last few days, and finally there is a hint of green starting to show itself from underneath the snow. It’s just the reminder our family needed , that soon spring will be here. Papa and I have been spending our evenings going over our garden plans for this year ,and neither one of us can wait to get out there and get our hands dirty. Until then a day trip is just what this family needs to beat the winter blues. First though I needed to bring my  focus back to today. I made biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs for breakfast with the help of The Arkansas Traveler playing in the background. This and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf have been in rotation all week. After morning clean up we gathered for a short circle and Miss Sky presented her memory verse to Papa and I. She did so well with no hesitation. Then she practiced her times tables on her multiplication board.

Yesterday for main lesson Miss Sky told me all about the fiber cotton and she drew a picture in her MLB. Today she wrote the summary in her MLB .

Yesterday Miss Sky finished Lewis and Clark and Me and today I finished Children of the Longhouse. These were two great stories and even Little Sis listened in to the Longhouse story to see how it ended.

Then we got started preparing our snacks for our road trip. Since our family does not support the fast food industry it takes a little planning on our part to make sure we take with us plenty of snacks to keep from getting hungry. Since we will be heading out to Amish country for the maple syrup festival I thought it would only be fitting to center today’s recipes around that ingredient. I pulled out two of our favorite snack recipes from Feeding The Whole Family. First up oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies.

Miss Sky is becoming very confident in the kitchen needing me only to supervise. She measured out all the ingredients while Little Sis mixed.The best part of making these cookies is you get to shape them out in your hands. We made a double batch using white chocolate chips in one for Mama who sadly can not eat chocolate. Next up was maple glazed nuts. I have to make a double batch of these as well because they never stick around long. Now to add some sandwiches and carrot sticks to the list and we are all set to go.

Today wrapped up our block on fibers. Next week I will be telling the story How Gluskabe Changes Maple syrup.

Wishing everyone a very happy weekend.


Oh I Wish I Was In The Land Of Cotton

February 25, 2010

Because maybe (I say maybe) it is not snowing there. Though I might have found an answer to my breakfast boredom. I was really excited that the author of my most treasured cookbook, Feeding The Whole Family, made a video on how to make sauerkraut. Now she has given me a recipe to have it for breakfast (Yeah). I can’t wait to try either of these recipes. I mean who wouldn’t like pounding their fist in a big pot filled with cabbage? 🙂 This morning I settled on making cinnamon muffins for breakfast and put my spaghetti sauce in the crock pot for today’s lunch. We started our circle after morning clean up and this weeks circle really has the Little’s moving. We set up a mini obstacle course that has the Little’s marching up and around the couch while singing The Bear Went Over The Mountain. We practiced on our penny whistles and stomped and clapped out the 4 times table.

Yesterday for main lesson Miss Sky demonstrated how to tan a buffalo robe the way she learned from her great, great, great-grandmother many moons ago. I wish I could write the name she has given herself but I can’t spell it let alone pronounce it. She then made a picture for her MLB. We also made our handwork projects using the fiber leather. We used the instructions found from Kids Craft Weekly . We made #4 the pirate money pouch but used suede and leather cord. I had to make Little Sis’s pouch from felt ,somehow I forgot to purchase enough suede to make 2. Big mistake on my part but I think the tomahawk might have made up for it. So today Miss Sky copied the steps down in her MLB and we moved on to the fiber cotton. I used this site to gather information from. This site has a story as well as great pictures. We talked about how not only is cotton a fiber but it can also be made into cottonseed oil and used as animal feed. We talked about how hard it must  have been to be bent over in the fields all day plucking each piece by hand. We also talked how important the invention of the cotton gin was and went through the house on a cotton scavenger hunt.

Miss Sky has her memory verse memorized and is ready to present it Friday. She has been practicing her cursive and is having trouble with some of the lower case letters.

We finished the day with Miss Sky reading chapters 7 &8 of Lewis and Clark and Me and I read chapters 7 & 8 of Children of the Longhouse. Also for the last to nights ( and probably tonight as well) I have read The Girl Who Loves Wild Horses by Paul Goble for our bedtime story.

Wishing everyone a warm Wednesday.

That’s Using Your Brain

February 23, 2010

Well it is Monday again. Yesterday I spent much time researching today’s lesson. I couldn’t help it, I became fascinated with my study. Having a grandfather who is very in touch with his Cherokee heritage I was raised always having the most respect for the Native American culture. Now that I am older ,and would like to say much wiser ,I truly can appreciate how smart the Native Americans really are not to mention they are totally Waldorf. Learning through imitation, storytelling, age appropriate tasks. Between our visit to the museum and all of yesterdays research on tanned buffalo robes my respect has broadened (if that could be possible). Today Papa made pancakes and bacon for breakfast as I finished preparing this weeks lessons. I am in a kitchen slump as our ingredients become bare. I have even found myself strolling down the middle isles of the store for ideas. After clean up I called the Little’s to circle with We’ll All Join In A Circle and continued with the rest of this weeks songs. I changed things around a bit this time to make room for more tongue twisters.

Good Morning Dear Earth

I Can Turn Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things eye tracking verse

Head and Shoulders song

Little Brown Bulbs (Mrs. Johnson’s winter circle verses)

The Bear Went Over The Mountain song

Ten Fingers fingerplay

Open Shut fingerplay

Tongue Twisters

We will be working on Lesson 12 this week with our penny whistles and today Miss Sky figured out how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb. We transitioned into beanbag with Crick Crack Snippy Snap and we stomped and clapped out the 4 times table.

Today’s main lesson was all about the fiber leather. I decided to bring it from the Native Americans perspective and I talked about the many steps it takes to tan skins. I explained that leather is probably the oldest of all the fibers and some of its many  uses. Last night I told the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker for bedtime and used this story to jump into the discussion of the ways we can use leather today. I used this chart to talk about how the Native Americans use every part of the buffalo including the brains for hide preparation and even the dung .

This week in place of grammar I am having Miss Sky work on word searches and she will continue to find the parts of speech she has learned in her copywork.

This is the last week for her to practice her memory verses and I have been writing sentences on the board in cursive for her to copy practicing her cursive.

We finished the day with Miss Sky reading chapters 4 & 5 of Lewis and Clark and Me and I read chapter 5 of Children of the Longhouse. This story fits perfectly into this years studies and is very Waldorf.

Happy Monday

Field Trip

February 21, 2010

It’s always great when you can kill two birds with one stone. Today we paid a visit to our local Native American Art museum. They have a Annie Oakley exhibit. Miss Sky can tell you any thing you would want to know about Miss Oakley and today she got to see her solid gold pistols , a gift from her husband. The visit couldn’t have fit in better with our study of shelters and fibers, today we saw plenty of both.

Painting by Ms. O ‘Keeffe.

Bags weaved from corn husks and lots of blankets from the Navajo.


A 38 foot totem pole and a full size stage-coach.

What a great way to wrap up a block.Peace

Anohter One Bites The Dust

February 20, 2010

Oh yeah how good it feels to have another block wrapped up. I don’t like leaving blocks unfinished and I feel one less thing nagging in the back of my mind. Today I decided to do something a little different. After breakfast we bundled up and had our circle outside. It was so cute hearing Little Sis sing Frosty The Snowman while Miss Sky and her rolled the snow into balls.

Once rosy-cheeked The Little’s came in and warmed by the fire while Miss Sky worked on a word search. Papa also had some math problems written out for her to work on . For main lesson we talked about the Shoshone’s brush huts and Miss Sky made a page in her MLB . While Miss Sky looked back through her MLB she said “Mom isn’t it amazing how the Native Americans used the resources from their surroundings to make houses?” A big smile came across my face as I answered her. She had “gotten” the lesson. That’s the thing about Waldorf Education your not filling buckets with endless facts . You are feeding their souls, allowing them to become free thinkers. The joy that comes across her face when she figures something out for herself is priceless.

Miss Sky worked on her memory verse then practiced writing sentences in cursive.  We finished up the lesson making a paper tepee.

I would have liked to spend more time on this project but we must be moving on. Next week we will be talking about the fibers leather and cotton since the Hopi also grew it and I think that will wrap up another block as well :).

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Stitching Time

February 19, 2010

This morning I woke to find Miss Sky awake in her bed working on her potholder loom. I think she fell asleep with it. We now have 3 lovely wool potholders for our kitchen. Little Sis again feeling small wanted to make “something” so I pulled out the burlap and yarn and showed her how to stitch I knew nothing else would do. She is a very determined little girl, I don’t know where she gets it from :).

This made her feel much better. This morning’s breakfast consisted of left overs on account of errand day. Once home we gathered for prayer and a few verses and started main lesson. Today we talked about the Hopi and the pueblo Indians of the southwest and Miss Sky made a page in her MLB. Then we talked about Kachinas and how the Hopi believe they are powerful spirits and perform dances that talk to the spirits asking for rain to help crops grow or drive away sickness. We decided to look at what resources we had on hand to make a doll of our own.

We worked while listening to American Indian Fairy Tales I found on audiobook and this time Little Sis joined in on the stitching fun. Meet Sunshine and Clouds In The Sky. I am sure they have “many ” stories of their own to share.


Do You Know Why The Creator Made Us With 2 Eyes And Only One Mouth?

February 18, 2010

“It is because we always need to look twice as much as we talk.” We have really been enjoying our Native American block. It has become the focus of our days. A trip to the craft store proved this as Miss Sky spent her allowance on items to bring the stories we have been reading alive. This morning she even had Little Sis sitting on the floor telling her a story she had made up about An Native American girl and a bear while she worked on her new purchase.

Miss Sky has really enjoyed making pot holders and is working on making herself a purse. Little Sis on the other hand is feeling rather small that she couldn’t  make one and went off to make her some dolls to play with while I fixed breakfast.

Yesterday Miss Sky made a page in her MLB for the Seminole’s homes and I started The book Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac. Today we stayed with the same school rhythm as Monday and Miss Sky has been practicing her times tables on her multiplication board. Today for main lesson we talked about the plains Indian shelter’s and she made a page in her MLB

 Miss Sky has been finding the nouns, verbs, and adjectives in her copy work and I think we will start focusing on her writing her own sentences for grammar. We will pick up working with the rest of the parts of speech next year. Miss Sky has also been copying sentences off the board I have written out in cursive.

Today Miss Sky read chapter 3 from Lewis and Clark and Me and I read chapters 3 & 4 of Children of the Longhouse while Miss Sky worked on making an “eye of God” for our seasonal table You can find instructions here

Now back to our adventures.

Wishing everyone many warm blessings.

Jamie Oliver On TED

February 17, 2010

Straight and to the point I love it!

Bring On The Food Revolution 🙂

Way Up High In The Winter Sky

February 16, 2010

Well, I guess King Winter is going to stick around awhile longer as he unleashed the Snow Ponies (Little’s new winter story)on us again. I am not really sure how much snow we now have but it is *a lot*. On the bright side, we had a beautiful weekend full of sunshine and I soaked up every inch of it. This morning I made walnut chocolate chip banana mini muffins for breakfast

These are another “Little’s” hit. I half the recipe adding chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips and bake in mini muffin tins. While these baked, I came up with an all-new circle for the week. I was going to start focusing on springs soon arrival but thought it would be a little hard to do while snow is falling heavily outside. I also made my pizza dough to rise and be ready for today’s lunch. Yesterday I found another great fingerplay site and used some of the verses for today’s circle.

I also found the link that explains the 7 grains in great detail that I wanted to post with that block but couldn’t find at the time.

After morning chores I called The Little’s to circle time using this weeks list.

We’ll All Join In A Circle

Family Prayer

Sing Fire Fairies and light candle

Good Morning Dear Earth

Buenos Dias

I Can Turn Myself

Circle March

I Wake Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things (eye tracking poem)

Build A Home

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Snowing fingerplay

Winter Wonderland

Chubby Little Snowman fingerplay

I’m A Little Penguin fingerplay

Skinna-marinky Dinky Dink (Little’s choice)

We started lesson 12 with our penny whistles and this resulted in a story of Owl Moon by Jane Yolen for bedtime tonight. We transitioned into tossing the beanbag with Crick Crack Snippy Snap and marched out the 4 times table. We started by counting each step 1,2,3 quietly then we clap and say 4 out loud at the same time then continue with 5,6,7, and clap while saying 8 and so on till we reach 48. We tossed the beanbag while counting by 3s forward to 36 then backward and I tossed the beanbag to Miss Sky saying 18 and she tosses it back saying  3×6.

Last week Friday Miss Sky finished her time’s table clocks for 10 & 11.

Finishing our math block and she picked up on the pattern how the 1s and 11s make the same shape. This week we are finishing up our shelters block that I didn’t do in December. We started with a little review of what we had done while Miss Sky looked at her MLB and talking about the Wampanoag’s wetu.  I unveiled this week’s chalkboard drawing.

(Sorry trying to figure out how to fix the glare) I read the book North American Indians by Marie and Douglas Gorsline and today we talked about the Iroquois long houses staying in the NorthEast. Miss Sky made a page in her MLB

Next, I had Miss Sky circle, underline, or box the nouns, verbs, and adjectives from her copy work on the board for grammar and she practiced her memory verse while marching in place. Then she practiced the capital letters Y and Z in cursive first in the air, on each other’s backs, then on the board.

Miss Sky finished Junie B. Jones over the weekend and today after lunch she read chapter 1 of Lewis And Clark And Me A Dog’s Tale by Laurie Myers and I finished Naya Nuki. Again Miss Sky loved this book and I think it fits in perfectly with the 9-year change even though Naya Nuki was 11.


Wishing everyone a happy( nonsnowy) Monday.

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2010