A Week in the Life (Block 1, Woodworking)

This post could be titled: “That in which I insert foot into mouth.”

It seems only fitting that since we started out our journey of homeschooling with Waldorf education, that I finish Sky’s last year with it.

Tuesday was our first day back to school. This year I have a 7th and 12th grader. I spent the summer deep in planning and came up with this year’s plans.

I have thoroughly been enjoying Betty Staley’s book Between Form and Freedom. Honestly, I couldn’t have found it at a better time.

Instead of creating their own main lesson books, the girls will be working in their Thinking Tree journals. I gave each of the girls new binders to keep any extra papers in, along with their attendance. I decided to start out our new year gradually with a short, 2 week, woodworking block. Most Waldorf main lesson blocks last 3-4 weeks.

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Since Little Sis has never colored with block crayons or played the penny whistle or stitched anything before, these next two weeks’ extra lessons are kind of a “crash course” introduction.

The girls copied the first stanza of a Michaelmas poem (They will recite the poem from memory for Michaelmas on September 29.)and worked on their first form drawing.

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Since Little Sis is between the ages of 7-14, she falls into the “heart” stage of learning, that means she learns best through stories. One of her math blocks this year will cover business math. So, I have come up with a story that our family owns a bakery. This will be the theme running throughout her year.

It is hard to explain how Waldorf education is different from mainstream education in a paragraph, but what I will say is it meets the individual child where they are developmentally. The stories should feed their hearts. Though the subjects may be the same (like business math), the lessons will look different for each family.

Little Sis loves to cook. We have been watching all kinds of different baking shows this summer. She has been coming up with her own recipes, trying this, making that. I think using baking as the theme for her lessons this year is going to work out for her.

Sky, on the other hand, falls between the ages of 14-21. She is ready for more intellectual thinking (head). One of her history blocks this year is History through Architecture.

Being that Little Sis never had a”shelter” block, I thought a good woodworking project would be to build a dollhouse. I mean, a “bakery”. Sky is learning how to design a structure, then build it.

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These houses will be the center of the majority of our handwork projects this year.

Speaking of handwork projects, our first project this week was to make our own handwork bags to hold our current project.

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We learned the notes B, A, and G on the pennywhistle. The girls’ first assignment was to write a song using those notes. Sky picked up right where she left off like she had never stopped playing.

For our block crayon lessons, we worked using the three primary colors to make orange, purple, and green.

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Little Sis has been working on some of her own art projects.

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We still have a morning rhythmic routine like our circle time before the main lesson, just now that the girls are grown, we perform brain gym movements and Bal-A-Vis-X exercises. The girls also have a critical thinking challenge. This week’s challenge was Animal Crossing from the book Family Math.

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For Little Sis’s read aloud, we are reading The House at Pooh Corner. (We loved the new movie.)

Sky’s interest in Skyrim has sparked an interest in mythology, so mythology will be her first literature block. We are reading Dante’s Inferno, and actually really enjoying it.

Next week I will add journaling, spelling, and vocabulary back into our lessons.

Though we encountered a few bumps in the road this week. I am feeling positive about our year.

Peace for the journey.

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