Archive for March, 2010

Easter Food For Thought

March 31, 2010

Lecture given by Steiner about Easter.

Calendar of the Soul link for Easter.


Between Heaven And Earth

March 30, 2010

“We stand on the edge of the universe and our own creation” 

I can not believe it. It doesn’t even sound right to say fourth grader. No way how can that be possible. Well since there is no getting around it I thought I would post my findings on what I have learned so far about my soon to be fourth grader. I will start by saying this is all new territory for me. I went to a Catholic school as a child and they most certainly did not teach us about Norse Gods let alone the human and animal world. I have been enjoying my reasearch though and it most definitely looks to be another very exciting year.

What I have learned is that the Vikings and zoology do not play a role in next years studies. It is all about the stories of the Gods (and their mischief) and the human being and the animal world is much more about us, our capacities and the three and fourfold human being (Head, Trunk, and Limbs). “We introduce the animals so that students can recognize that each animal is a reflection of one aspect of the human being” Roberto Trostli. I really love this as it counters out Darwinism. I am reading a very interesting book called The Human Being and the Animal World by Roy Wilkinson. In it  explains Steiner’s ideas on evolution and the threefold human being, I really recommend it. Steiner also talks about this in his Kingdom of Childhood lecture number 3. Other books I am using in my research are The Rhythms of Learning by Roberto Trostli,some parts of this book can be found on-line at google books, and I love School As A Journey by Torin M Finser. Mr. Finser has recommended the reading of chapter 10 from Steiner’s Study of Man lecture.  Of course there are Mrs. Johnson’s files from Waldorf  Home Educators yahoo group as well.

Other things taught in fourth grade are geography, fractions, decimals, long division, composition, spelling, the 9 parts of speech, and string instruments. Handwork is counted cross stitch, penmanship , the diatonic flute, and clay sculpture. Something else geared towards the end of this year , on a more personal female note, is the moon cycle ceremony.

As far as Beowulf I found the Dragon Slayer by Rosemary Sutcliff at my Goodwill sale but am having second thoughts. I have always stood behind if a child is not ready for the original script then it is better to wait. I do not believe in watered down or abridged versions of anything so I will just have to listen to my heart on this one when the time comes.

I have also learned that geography starts from the schoolroom and works its way out from the front door. Neighborhood, town, city, state.

I am still in the learning process of all this and don’t plan to make my outline until this summer but do plan to update my notes as I gather more information.

Other than that I am really enjoying my spring break and have been keeping myself very busy. 🙂


What We Did

March 29, 2010

We enjoyed watching darkness fall so much we kept the lights off for the rest of the evening and played games by lantern light.

This week we are taking a”break” for spring. I will be keeping myself busy with spring cleaning.

Wishing everyone A Happy Easter.

Earth Hour 2010

March 27, 2010

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I can’t believe I didn’t know this was tomorrow. We have done it every year so far. 

Earth Hour starts March 27 8:30 PM.


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MM MM Sounds delicious.

“I Did Great Making A Chocolate Cake”

March 25, 2010

Besides a couple a games I have planned for tomorrow, today was Miss Sky’s “final exam” on part 1 of her measurement block. Time to put her knowledge to a test. She was more nervous than I thought she would be but besides being a sloppy cook she did great. Papa celebrated his birthday this week and it was only fitting that Miss Sky got to bake him a cake. This has been a staple birthday cake for quite a while and it is completely dairy free. We have never tried it with icing. The only thing I helped Miss Sky with was getting all the ingredients down. She preheated the oven , greased the dish , and measured everything out herself.

I had Miss Sky write down the recipe in her very own recipe book that we will be adding to over time. She was really excited to be making a cookbook of her own. I think it felt like a rite of passage in a way.

While the cake cooled she practiced her times tables on her multiplication board ,this time adding the 4s. We read more chapters from our books and after lunch The Little’s tore into the chocolate cake and replied “This is the best chocolate cake ever.” As for our cream cheese it turned out great and was only missing one thing.

Bagels. 2 cups yogurt made 1 cup of the best cream cheese I have ever tasted. I have to say for not really looking forward to starting this block I sure enjoyed how it ended.


Don’t Cut The Cheese, Please

March 24, 2010

As our block on dry and liquid measurement comes to a close my pioneer family had one more thing on the to do list. This morning I made maple nut bread for breakfast and while it baked I took to my favorite spot for prayer and meditation. I ran this block through my mind seeing if I was happy with the way everything went. This was actually the hardest block I have put together so far. I was just not feeling it and to be honest I just let it work itself out. To me the learning happens the more you work with money and measurement. I know Miss Sky will get better with these as she grows and I feel pretty good with the way the whole block came together. I went ahead and put my spaghetti sauce on the stove to simmer and made my meatballs to be ready for today’s lunch.

I called The Little’s for circle then we practiced on our penny whistle’s. We moved into beanbag this time really focusing on putting the whole to the part for the 4 times table.

I have been giving Miss Sky 10 math problems daily to work out and she has moved on to carrying and borrowing in the hundreds. I am so proud of her. Math has really been a struggle for her and this year I have seen huge improvements. I actually almost cried today when we were doing her main lesson and asked if 4 TBSP = 1 fourth of a cup then how many TBSP do you think it takes to make 1 cup. She answered 16 , she figured it out all by herself. Anyway today it was time for my pioneer family to make cream cheese. First we broke down a tablespoon and played around with the measuring spoons. Then Miss Sky measured out the yogurt for our cheese.

We are using a simple recipe, just letting the yogurt drain overnight. By morning we should have cream cheese. I want to try making cheese using the recipe with milk and vinegar next. Then Miss Sky made a page in her MLB.

Miss Sky finished copying the poem from yesterday in cursive and I cut our soap into 8 bars. Our estimate was correct.

Now they have to dry for about a week. We finished school with Miss Sky reading chapters 3 & 4 from The Jewel Kingdom and I read to chapter 7 of Farmer Boy.

Tomorrow I will be putting Miss Sky to the test to see how I did this block. 🙂


Happy Spring !!!!

March 23, 2010

Despite the fact that today it is cold (40) and rainy I am floating on cloud nine from the beautiful weekend we had. The weather was perfect for the first day of spring. I put away all of the winter books and brought out the spring ones. The Little’s wake to find the seasonal table changed and as with every season they found their new spring story at the front of the basket waiting for them. This time though as they climb into bed with me, the request is to read the favorite story first. It seems only fitting that The Story of the Root Children is read first to welcome in spring. Now if storytime in bed snuggled up close to my little ones is not enough to make a day great, Goodwill had their 50% off sell this weekend as well. I always find some real treasures for the upcoming school year but this time I struck gold (have I mentioned I love books). Ok really what could be left to make my day any better. Well sauerkraut that’s what, yup I tried Mrs. Lair’s recommendation and had the sauerkraut and egg sandwich. Oh I was in heaven. I can now eat my comfort food whenever I want without putting the rest of my family out. So bring on the rain because I am walking on sunshine.

Today we had pancakes and sausage patties for breakfast and I put extra baked potatos on the grill over the weekend for today’s lunch.  After our morning chores I called The Little’s to circle. This weeks circle is:

We’ll All Join In A Circle

Good Morning Dear Earth

I Can Turn Myself

I Wake Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things (eye tracking verse)

I Love You A Bushel And A Peck

Little Peter Rabbit Had A Fly Up On His Ear

The Itsy Bitsy Spider fingerplay

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Raindrops fingerplay

I also read Snowman from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

We skipped ahead for our penny whistle lesson today learning the song It’s raining, It’s Pouring it just sort of fit the mood. We transitioned into beanbag with Marsha Johnson’s verse puddles and tossed the beanbag to the 4 times table. We also did our clapping game putting the answer to the equation.

For main lesson today it was time for my pioneer family to make soap. Since this was a project Miss Sky and I would be working on I chose to use soap flakes instead of mixing lye. First we broke 1 cup down into parts. Miss Sky knew the measuring cups already from our weekly baking days but today she spent time learning exactly how many fourths make 1 cup.Using the soap flakes she took turns with each measuring cup seeing how many times it took to fill up 1 cup and made a note for her MLB.Then we got started making our soap. I am using the recipe from here http://down—to— Thanks to Mama Acorn’s heads up on the difference in buttermilk, I used the left over milk from butter making in our soap. We patted the mixture down into 2 mini bread pans and made an estimate on how many bars we think we made.

We will have to wait until tomorrow before we can cut them out and see. Miss Sky made a page in her MLB . 

There is no spelling this week so I wrote half of the poem Enter This Deserted House ,from Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, on the board for Miss Sky to copy in cursive. We will be using this poem to review the parts of speech we have studied.

We wrapped up the day with Miss Sky reading ,one of my Goodwill finds , chapters 1&2 of The Jewel Kingdom 1 by Jahnna N. Malcolm and I read the first 3 chapters of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Wishing all a very happy Monday

My This Moment

March 20, 2010

More Capacity and Volume

March 20, 2010

Today my pioneer family paid a visit to the general store, aka the supermarket, we needed some supplies. So this morning was a quick breakfast of grits and we loaded the family up in our wagon, I mean van and headed out. Once home we unloaded the goods and Miss Sky took her spelling test. I gave her an option to take it this week as we only went over her list twice . If she passed she wouldn’t have to take a test next week. She chose to take it and looks like there will be no spelling next week. We went right into today’s main lesson. For starters we did a little experiment measuring volume.

I set out a few different size containers and asked Miss Sky to put them in the order she thought was the smallest to the largest. Next I filled all of them with water and had Miss Sky measure out how much each container held to see if she was right. She found out some containers held the same amount even if it was taller.  I explained the difference between liquid and dry measuring cups and we measured to see how many cups were in a 5 LB bag of flour. Yesterday I made the starter dough for today’s bread baking project. Miss Sky measured out almost 14 cups of flour and we figured out how many loaves of bread we could make with a 5 LB bag of flour. Miss Sky made a page in her MLB. While we waited for our bread to rise Miss Sky finished reading Third Grade Detectives and I finished Om-kas-toe. The only thing left was to enjoy our fresh-baked bread still warm from the oven with some homemade butter. 🙂

Wishing everyone a happy weekend.