Archive for April, 2010

It’s Raining Buckets

April 29, 2010

Well our family has finally got us a rain barrel. This has been one of those things we have been looking at for a while. I can’t believe our luck as to how we happened to come across it , now we can water our garden without using city water. The last few days we have been very blessed with rain but today we got to try out our new watering system. We gathered 4 buckets ranging in sizes from Papa Bear all the way to Baby bear and each took turns filling our buckets with water to feed  our “little babies” as Little Sis likes to say. The Little’s thought this was so cool and Miss Sky said she knows now how Almanzo felt even though our garden is no where near the size that he had. Between the 4 of us it took maybe 15 minutes ,about the same amount of time it would take dear Papa to unwind the hose and spray the garden down and wind the hose back up. I am pretty excited to see  just how well this works and happy to yet find one more way to help do our part as Stewards of the Earth.

Today for breakfast Papa made eggs, and bacon while I helped make toast. I also chopped veggies to make minestrone soup for our lunch. After clean up we spent circle time weeding and watering our garden. Miss Sky learned from our Native American block the Hopi talk and sing to each of their plants so she has been serenading our plants to see if we yield a better crop this year. I have to say it hasn’t hurt :).

Yesterday for main lesson we talked about the seder plate and how each food represents a piece of the passover story. We also talked about how the Jew’s celebrate this reliving of history. Today Miss Sky made a summary in her MLB. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4561422205/

 I gave Miss Sky this weeks vocabulary words and had her alphabetize her list.

appeal

intriguing

participant

population

prosperous

fortify

dwindle

harsh

foiled

astrologer

She finished looking up the rest of them today in her dictionary.

Yesterday she practiced her spelling words and this weeks form in cornmeal. She worked on her form using both hands and then made it with her eyes closed. Today she worked on it outside with chalk and she practiced her spelling words both forwards and backwards.

She has the ten commandments memorized for Friday and tomorrow we hope to write them out in Hebrew. We finished our school day with Miss Sky reading to chapter 7 of the Chalk Box Kid and I read to chapter 16 of Little House on the Prairie.

Blessings

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Pesah (Passover)

April 26, 2010

Ok call me a nerd if you will but this weekend our family went on the spring “buy local” farm tour put on by our local farmers market.  I could not contain my excitement, as I approached one of the farms my eyes were instantly drawn to the green radiating from one of the farmers booths. “SPINACH” Oh sweet mother of pearl , could it be a mirage? No it really was spinach , I felt like Ralphy from A Christmas Story when he was outside the department store window. His eyes wide with envy as he checked out the “Red Ryder carbon-action, 200-shot range model air rifle BB gun”. Only this could not shoot my eye out. It has been several months since our family has had something green on our plates and I was not about to let this opportunity pass me by. So it looks like spinach feta quiche is back on the menu boy.

This morning I made banana coffee cake for breakfast . Since we would have pita pizzas for lunch today ,we got started on morning clean up then I called The Little’s to circle. It looks like the rain is going to be staying awhile so we are back indoors for this weeks circle time.

We’ll All Join In A Circle

Prayer

Good Morning Dear Earth

I Can Turn Myself

I Wake Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things -Lazy eights eye tracking verse

Raindrops fingerplay

My Garden fingerplay

This Is The Way We Plant Our Seeds

Little Peter Rabbit

Little Bunny Foofoo

This week we are learning a Maypole song on our penny whistles thanks to Miss Jodie Mesler. It can be found on her blog. http://homemusicmaking.blogspot.com/2010/04/blog-post.html 

Miss Sky practiced math problems I had written out on the board taking a little break from her times tables. I am not worried about having them all memorized this year. Miss Sky has made tremendous progress in her math skills this year and there is plenty of time for her to “catch up”.

For main lesson this week we are studying the Jewish holiday of Passover. Today I read Pesah, A Season of Freedom and Breaking Out from The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays then I gave Miss Sky this weeks spelling words.

seder

beginning

escape

bitterness

freedom

ceremony

Exodus

lesson

question

prophet

matzah

birth

spring

Omer

barley

We marched out the spelling of each word. Miss Sky is getting really good at finding the hidden words now and is starting to spell them out to me without looking at the board, like beg inn ing. Next she copied them twice in her MLB.

Miss Sky marched in place while memorizing the ten commandments and we worked on this weeks form drawing. First in the air with our right finger then using our left. We ended practicing on each others backs.

Today for reading Miss Sky read the first 2 chapters of The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla and I read to chapter 10 of Little House on the Prairie.

  

Wishing everyone a happy Monday.

Haystacks And Babies

April 24, 2010

Well I knew the beautiful sunshine could not last forever and I guess we do need the rain. So with The Little’s spending the day indoors (the first time in weeks) I thought today would be a good day to work on some handwork. This morning for breakfast I fixed potato cakes, sausage, and eggs and we started on morning clean up.

I called The Little’s to circle and we sang our morning songs and said prayer then headed into the schoolroom for Miss Sky to take her spelling test and to draw her form in her MLB.

It was time for our baking project. This week we made haystacks. http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Haystacks-39870 This is like my recipe but we add 2 TBSPs peanut butter also.

Next we moved on to our handwork project. As soon as I saw these sock dolls I knew I wanted to make them with The Little’s, http://daniellesplace.com/html/SockCraftsforKids.html#baby  and decided the baby would fit in well with this weeks story. Well even though I had socks on my list of supplies needed from the store I somehow walked out without them, so we used knee highs instead.

The instructions are pretty easy to follow and Miss Sky was able to make her own. These were a big hit and I see more in our future.

Even though we are weeks late, next week we will be studying the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Preserve Childhood

April 23, 2010

Have you read this great post from Carrie over at The Parenting Passageway? http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/18/the-assault-on-girlhood/#comments Please take some time to read if you haven’t .

I made a decision when I first started this blog to “try” not to be to preachy. There are a few things I have very strong opinions about and from time to time I like to help share information that helps support my stand. This on the other hand is something very near to my heart.  Our family has received so many labels over the years from being way over protective to just plain wierd and I find this sad. Not because my shoulders aren’t big enough to take criticism but because people have become so far out of touch to what the word “childhood” really means. It feels good to know I am not alone in this fight.

Heres to saving childhood, are you in?

This Is The Way We Plant Our Seeds

April 21, 2010

The last few days we have spent outside working in our garden.

Besides our usual crop this year there are a few projects I wanted to get started for our last block of the year . We will be ending our third grade year with a math block on linear measurement which will take my pioneer family outdoors. Yesterday The Little’s helped plant sunflower seeds which will become one of Miss Sky’s measuring projects. The other’s include egg seedlings,(It’s a surprise)

and growing a potato and bean plant. http://imnh.isu.edu/digitalatlas/teach/lsnplns/potaoelp.htm 

http://www.ehow.com/how_2108951_science-experiment-child-bean-plants.html 

Today was our homeschool skate so this morning was a quick breakfast of leftovers. Once home we started main lesson with Miss Sky writing her summary. Yesterday she recounted the story of Moses with a puppet play and made a picture in her MLB. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4541875264/

Yesterday she alphabetized her spelling words and today she practiced her words and this weeks form in cornmeal. Then Miss Sky looked up the rest of this weeks vocabulary words in her dictionary.

bulrushes

pitch

procession

interference

suspicion

flounder

spokesman

plagues

wail

dwellings

She also finished copying the ten commandments in cursive.

We called it a day with Miss Sky finishing the story Tornado and I read to chapter 7 of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Thoughts About Oblivion

April 20, 2010

What a beautiful weekend we were blessed with, plenty of sunshine and the temperature was perfect. Though due to the frost advisory unfortunately we were unable to plant our garden. This did however give me a chance to start reading my new book I have had on my wish list for quite some time, Teaching As A Lively Art by Marjorie Spock. Not that I don’t have enough to read (does anyone else have 5 books going at once?) but I came across a statement Mrs. Spock made  about main lesson and why Waldorf Education studies a subject for 4-6 weeks then lets it rest. “When the teacher working with the Waldorf plan turns from one subject field to another, he chooses the subject that is in his estimation offers the most refreshing contrast possible. In the meantime the experiences reaped from the subject temporarily dropped from the curriculum are allowed to sink into seeming oblivion. But in reality they lie in a state of fallow resting from which they will one day spring up with greater vigor in a riper form.”  Ok when first discovering Waldorf I have to say after being “trained” to what I thought education was this was really hard for me. We don’t tell the children the moral of the story , we let them sleep on information , and we let the subject sink into oblivion? How on earth are they going to remember anything? You know, somehow they just do. So many times if you were to quiz Miss Sky about a topic we *just* studied she would give you a look of bewilderment. Then months later she will come to me and say “Mom you remember when we talked about XYZ?” Then it is my turn to give her the look. It is so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t follow the Waldorf method how it works , but once you do take the plunge you will never think the same of education again. Wow that is some heavy thinking from my brain on a Monday.

 Well after meditating on what I had read over the weekend Papa made pancakes with bacon for breakfast. He also made hamburger soup last night for dinner (lucky me) and taking notes from his wonderful , intelligent wife 🙂 he doubled the meat for me to make chilli (in the crock pot)for today’s lunch. After morning clean up I called The Little’s to circle we sang our morning songs and said our movement verses then headed out for a walk around the neighborhood. Now that the weather is nicer we will probably be taking more walks for circle time only doing our seasonal songs and fingerplays when it rains.

After our walk we worked on lesson 16 with our penny whistles and Papa had some math problems wrote on the board for her to solve.

Today’s main lesson was all about Moses. I unveiled my drawing http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4535809399/ and told Miss Sky the story.

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=steedman&book=nurserybible&story=finding&PHPSESSID=ef5b68b04735d46358727cce160e9e93

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=steedman&book=nurserybible&story=leader

Next I gave Miss Sky this weeks spelling words.

shepherds

cradle

palace

princess

lotus

basket

maidens

anxious

adopt

gratitude

royal

fled

desert

shore

passage

Miss Sky marched them out then we broke each word down finding any hidden words and she copied them twice in her MLB.

Instead of grammar this week Miss Sky copied the first three commandments down in cursive and she will be reciting the ten commandments from memory at the end of next week.

I showed Miss Sky this weeks form tieing it into the story how the Hebrews crossed the red sea. We first practiced in the air then on each others backs. http://www.millennialchild.com/Slideshows/Resources/Grade03FormDrawing_files/page29-1003-full.html

We finished main lesson with modeling the burning bush with beeswax. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4536443816/

After lunch Miss Sky read the first two chapters from Tornado by Besty Byars and I finished Farmer Boy. Miss Sky was so excited Almanzo finally got his colt. She *loves* horses and all through the book she kept saying “that would be so hard not able to pet the horses”.

    

Wishing everyone a happy Monday.

A Day Of Many Colours

April 17, 2010

In honor of Joseph’s coat of many colours I thought we would try our hand at tie dyeing. This was a project I was going to do with The Little’s during our fiber block but we ran out of time. I have never tie dyed before and was a little intimidated at first until I stumbled across these directions.http://www.kinderart.com/textiles/easytiedye.shtml The Little’s picked out their colours.  Little Sis is on a red kick right now so she of course had to pick bright red (which didn’t turn out as bad as the package colour). We started by rubber banding our shirts.

Then placed them in the pot to sit for about 40 minutes.

During this time Miss Sky took her spelling test and made this weeks form in her MLB. I also read the next 2 chapters of Farmer Boy. Then we anxiously went into the kitchen to see how our shirts turned out.

(I think they are catching on to why I take so many pictures) I really like how these turned out and am *very* excited to try this again.

For today’s baking project I surprised the Little’s with their most favorite cookie recipe, gingerbread cookies. I can not cut these out fast enough because they want to eat all the dough. I divided the icing into three colours and The Little’s went to work decorating the cookies that made it out of the oven.

Next week we will be talking about Moses.

Wishing everyone beautiful weather and a great weekend.

Playing Catch-Up

April 16, 2010

Thank you guys for still wanting to swing by here after I aired my little secrets. I guess honesty is the best policy :). I really had to laugh yesterday because I had my crock pot going full of ham and beans as I read my e-mails. Our family’s hours are so crazy I “have” to cook two meals at once but I guess if someone didn’t know that they could get the  impression we eat all our meals that way. Dinner for us is leftovers or what we like to call free-for-alls.

To catch-up from these last few days we took our circle time outdoors. We have been blessed with such beautiful weather we could not resist. I set up a little obstacle course in the backyard. Miss Sky is still not jumping rope yet so I started by tieing one end of the rope to our clothes line and I held the other end. She practiced jumping over it while I held the rope still. Then I started to swing it back and forth while she jumped over it. She tried jumping rope on her own for a little bit then we moved to some other activities. Using hula hoops we  practiced jumping in one circle then out. We moved to jumping in with our right foot and jumping out on our left foot then we switched sides using our left foot first. She had problems using her left leg first and I had her practice a little longer. Then I put the two hoops together and we sang Little Bunny FooFoo while hopping forward through the hoops then backwards.

Next we marched across the balance beam then hopped through the hoops and skipped back to the beam while touching left hand to right knee and right hand to left knee. Next I brought out the basketball and had Miss Sky dribble using her right hand counting to ten then switching to her left. Once she got the hang of it I asked Miss Sky her spelling words while dribbling the ball. She spelled them forwards then backwards. She also practiced her form outside with sidewalk chalk then I made a big one on the driveway and Miss Sky walked it moving inward then moving outward. Yesterday Miss Sky practiced her spelling words and form drawing in cornmeal ,she also tried making this weeks form with her eyes closed.

 Tuesday for main lesson Miss Sky decided to put on a puppet play recounting the story of Joseph and she thought she was rather clever with her props.

She made her picture in her MLB and Wednesday I had her come up with her own summary. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4522059247/

I gave Miss Sky her vocabulary words for the week and she looked them up in the dictionary.

preference

envious

sheaf

hastening

devoured

gallant

sullen

famine

hostage

shekels

For grammar I wrote noun, verb, adjective, and adverb at the top of the board and Miss Sky practiced making sentences. First she came up with a noun like Dog. Then she added a verb like ran. Next she came up with an adjective Big dog ran, and last she added the adverb. The big dog ran quickly. She practiced making a few more sentences and she copied them in her MLB.

Today we painted a picture of the sunset Joseph might have seen on his journey to Egypt. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4523949333/

Miss Sky finished reading the story The Night Crossing and this story was the center of this weeks play.

The doll on the right she made recycling one of “my” cork tops 🙂 .I read to chapter 25 of Farmer Boy.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thursday !

Honestly Speaking

April 14, 2010

A recent thread has popped up on the HomeschoolingWaldorf yahoo group about blogs. I have to say I started this blog for several reasons , One being that we are on a VERY tight budget and I wanted to help others that might be in the same boat as me. I wanted people to know they could teach Waldorf Education to their children without taking a second mortgage out on their house (for real a certain curriculum company asked me to do just that). I have a confession to make we don’t have Stockmar watercolor paints or watercolor paper for that matter . We can’t afford to buy a wooden flute for $90 then turn around and buy another one for third grade (because the first one is missing a few holes). Point ? I never started this blog to make anyone feel bad in any way about their own journey. This is my homeschooling journal only. I do not post what happens in between. I struggle to get up before my children. There are days I don’t feel like teaching. There are days my brain hurts from reading too much  Steiner and I just have to walk away. I struggle with memorizing stories (good thing Miss Sky doesn’t know the original). Sometimes we eat popcorn for dinner. There are days I don’t want to cook, I am very lucky my husband will. There are times I have locked myself in my room with a glass of wine while Papa listens to a story or takes the girls to the store. I have lost my temper and my children think I am nuts. I question myself all the time. I have another confession to make I am actually a VERY shy person. This blog was a huge step for me but I am so glad I did it. Homeschooling is hard ,it seems a lot of people would like to see us fail. Waldorf Homeschooling is hard I could have easily chose another path but then I would have missed out on my own healing and growth. There is so much negativity or as Melisa Nielsen
 says “a lot of poo slinging” all around us. I want my blog to be one of those that helps uplift  people not bring them down. Maybe this post can do just that. (Thank You Julia for the reminder)

Peace 🙂

PS  We had left over waffles tonight for dinner

A Coat Of Many Colours

April 13, 2010

Oh Monday’s, time to get back to the grind stone. For us it is time to finish up our Old Testament stories.  I have to say starting this blog has been such a blessing. I have enjoyed looking back over my outline I made at the beginning of the school year and being able to see how the year played out. I thought we would have been done with Old Testament by now but yet here we are picking up where we left off. My goodness as I look over some of the pictures I took from yesterday’s outing I have really noticed how much Miss Sky has grown since the start of the year physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am actually really glad how things played out this year as I feel she is much more prepared to hear the rest of these stories now.

This morning after meditating on the days flow I fixed waffles and bacon for breakfast. Saturday I made the dough for refrigerator dinner rolls and set them out to rise while I fixed breakfast. Then I prepared the pot roast for today’s lunch. The Little’s got dressed, made their bed ,sorted laundry and started the first load. After breakfast clean up I called The Little’s to circle. This weeks circle is

We’ll All Join In  A Circle

Prayer

Good Morning Dear Earth

I Can Turn Myself

I Wake Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things (Eye Tracking)

Raindrops fingerplay

Planting Time song http://www.preschooleducation.com/sgarden.shtml

The Seeds Grow

This Is The Way We Plant Our Seeds

Little Peter Rabbit  

Little Bunny Foo Foo

We started lesson 16 on our penny whistle and did a review of the times tables during beanbag. Then we stomped out the 6 table.

Today for main lesson I told the story of Joseph and unveiled my drawing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4516406400/

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=steedman&book=nurserybible&story=dreamer

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=steedman&book=nurserybible&story=ruler&PHPSESSID=76115a28c784fb9f55a311b463431e79

First we did a little review of the story of Jacob and Esau. I had ended the story with Jacob on the run from his brother and his dream of the ladder. I started today’s story with how Jacob was tricked into marrying the wrong girl he did not love and ended up with 2 wives ,then went into the above stories. Next I gave Miss Sky this weeks spelling list.

tenderness

colours

clever

journey

memory

dream

possible

prison

governor

betrayed

fortune

sorrow

grace

innocence

servant

Miss Sky marched in place while we spelled out each word. We looked for the hidden words like g over n or then Miss Sky wrote them twice in her MLB.

I introduced Miss Sky to what an adverb was and she copied the adverb part of the poem she had started earlier in the year in cursive.

I gave Miss Sky this weeks form and tied it into the story of how Joseph saw many pyramids on his way to Egypt. http://www.millennialchild.com/Slideshows/Resources/Grade02FormDrawing_files/page26-1005-full.html We practiced it with our fingers first in the air then on each others back.

We finished the lesson up with modeling the silver cup with beeswax that was placed in Benjamin’s bag. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/4516407272/

After lunch Miss Sky read chapters 1 &2 of The Night Crossing by Karen Ackerman and I read to chapter 19 of Farmer Boy.

Wishing all a Happy Monday !!!