Archive for the ‘Third Grade’ Category

Dog-Gone Dingoes

February 10, 2011

Now that I am not spending the majority of my time listening to lectures or reading books on how I should educate my children, I have found time to pursue something I want to do. Reading for ME!!! (Yay) I picked up a copy of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson at the library and am enjoying it very much. I won’t lie and say it is an easy read after all it is written by a scientist but it has answered SO many questions I have as to WHY we started to use pesticides. The answers have surprised me, well maybe not that much being this “was” a quarter of a billion dollar business(back then). It started during WW II while trying to invent chemicals to use during warfare. They just so happen to stumble upon a way to help farmers kill those pesky insects damaging their crops and gave the discoverer a Nobel Prize(here,thank you for giving us cancer). I might add they tested these pesticides on insects to see how they worked and NEVER tested to see how they would react with humans or animals. According to Rachel Carson it was when farmers started growing one crop only for profit instead of everyone growing their own food when we started having problems with pesky insects.

Okay I could seriously write a book about my findings but that defeats the purpose for anyone else to read it. What I will say is this book was written in 1962 and could easily have been written yesterday.

Yesterday for main lesson Miss Sky told me all she remembered about dingoes and drew her picture. Today she came up with her composition.

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She also looked up this weeks vocabulary words in the dictionary.







Today she practiced her spelling words at Spelling I have decided ,after listening to our presidents state of the union address, there is no way getting around computers (Back to the future II here we come). Just like television they are here to stay and I have excepted the fact my children need to know how to use them (in “moderation” of course). So I thought spelling city was a good start for Miss Sky to practice her typing and spelling. She types her spelling words in the list and then can play games to help reinforce how to spell them.

She is also learning how to look up information on the computer. Yesterday she could not find the word canid in the dictionary so she looked it up at This led to wanting to know what a jackal was and she looked it up too. She learned jackals are from Africa and like to eat sheep. She said “Just like our coyotes”. Have I mentioned I am loving this?

Little Sis has been continuing with the letter D, drawing pictures in her book.

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Today we practiced making words using the letters she has already learned. Starting with dad. I spaced the letters out on the chalkboard and asked her which sound each letter makes. Then we went faster and faster until she said “DAD”. Then we practiced with cab, bad, and add. As we add more words I will make readers out of these words for her.

Miss Sky read a book to Little Sis from her basket and we are on chapter 7 of The 101 Dalmatians. We are SO loving this book. I highly recommend it to anyone that has an animal lover for a child and even if you don’t. It has inspired so much play around here not to mention inspiring Miss Sky to study codes. She has been writing notes to Little Sis for her to decode.And that is just fine with this mama .

Wishing everyone many blessings for the week.


Favorite Third Grade Resources

June 24, 2010

I said I would make a post of what resources “we” liked best for third grade. I will start out by saying I have developed a pet peeve against Waldorf “dogma” I already made a post about that rant entitled What Is Waldorf Education? where in my opinion I stated you can not fit Waldorf Education in a “box” It comes from us the teacher. So to make a long story short I am not one to use “materials” just because they have been used in a Waldorf school for the last 20 years. I meet my children with their interests. Now saying that there will be some of these resources that may not work for you, or even Little Sis when the time comes around for her to enter third grade.

We are a literature loving family, we would much rather curl up on the couch and listen to a story then watch tv any day. When the weather is bad outside more likely that is what you would find us doing. So the majority of my school budget is spent on literature.

Here is my list of our most favorite resources for third grade. To be added to the list it must pass a certain test. Has it been read more than once? Everything on this list passed this test.

For me:
I loved The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays by Malka Drucker.
This has everything you need to understanding Jewish festivities, recipes, stories, and handwork.

A Pioneer Sampler by Barbara Greenwood
I can not say enough about this book, this was my most used resource. It has everything you need to teach about farming, fibers, and even math topics discussed in third grade.

North American Indians by Marie and Douglas Gorsline
This little book covers the majority of Native American shelters all in one resource.

(Update) I can’t believe I forgot my most treasured cookbook

Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair     I used this book for the majority of our baking projects this year, including our study on the 7 grains and the Native Americans.

We read a lot of wonderful books this year but these are ones that will stay in our personal library.
I recommend the whole Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder but Farmer Boy is a must.

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Naya Nuki by Kenneth Thomasma (These 2 are a must for girls)

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac
Though we are not gendered specific I recommend these a must for boys.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  L Frank Baum (updated to add) and the rest of this series.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children This was by far the most read book this year.

Miss Sky’s favorite readers:
These spoke to her the most and was spotted reading them on her own several times.
A Grain of Rice Helena Clare Pittman

The White Stallion Elizabeth Shub

A Horse named Doodlebug by Irene Brady

The Night Crossing by Karen Ackerman

The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr  This has been Miss Sky’s favorite book for 2 years in a row.

I hope this can be helpful to anyone getting ready for their third-grade journey. I have to say I enjoyed this year way more than I thought I would.

Now to start on my fourth-grade outline.

“And That’s A Wrap !”

June 15, 2010

Oh so much to do in so little time, but Miss Sky’s brain has left for summer vacation. I have to say I am pretty pleased how third grade played out.  I had every intention to complete the rest of our math block but having Papa home full-time has really threw our rhythm off making it difficult for any of us to focus. I still hope to measure out the ark at our next park visit and maybe compare it with Miss Sky’s new-found interest of the Titanic. We still also have a backyard campout in the works if the rain would hold off for 24 hours, other than that I am calling it a wrap while we finish up our end of the year project.

It was time for our pioneer family to visit the general store to get some fabric to make our handwork project. I explained to Miss Sky how in the pioneer days the merchant measured out a “cloth-yard” by stretching the fabric out in his arm from nose to thumbtip. We each took turns seeing how close the measurements were to “todays” yard.

Both of us were about a half yard short of the precise measurement.

Next Miss Sky measured

and cut out 9 5×5 inch blocks

to make her pillow.

She layed out her design and stitched the first two blocks together while I read On The Banks Of Plum Creek. We are almost finished and Papa has enjoyed being able to sit in during storytime.

I still hold the same rhythm during summer keeping with storytime and handwork but allow our main lesson topics to “sink into seeming oblivion”.

We ended our math block with Miss Sky making her own ruler.

I wanted to wood burn the numbers on but our wood burner decided to go on a permanent vacation so she decorated her ruler however she wanted.

While looking back over her MLBs I asked what was her favorite part of third grade. She replied ” It is hard to just pick one thing because I REALLY liked third grade, but I enjoyed our pioneer (math) blocks because I like working in the kitchen with you” (words that went straight to my heart ,gulp).

I think I will make a separate post on what our favorite resources were for those of you getting ready to journey down this road next year, but for now I am headed outside to enjoy the sunshine releasing third grade out into the universe before the next thunderstorm hits.

Wishing you all a wonderful “wrap” to your school year. Peace

Strawberries, Gardens,& Garage Sales

June 12, 2010

Oh my,  I don’t know a better way to teach a child about money than to have a garage sale. It’s funny to observe what things are selling and what is not. Clothes were definitely not a hot item, I also had a lot more bartering then ever before.

We also have been working hard to wrap up the school year. For starters, it was time for our pioneer family to check the status of our vegetable plants. A few months ago The Little’s planted sunflower seeds as part of Miss Sky’s project. She also measured out how deep and how far apart to space the onions and potatoes. So Miss Sky used her tape measure to see how tall our plants have grown.

She then made a page in her MLB.

She also said her last memory verse for the year. This time I used Mrs. Marsha’s (from waldorfhomeeducators yahoo group) method for memorizing. I said the poem every day and had Miss Sky repeat after me. She had it down( as well as Little Sis) by the end of the week. After she had it memorized I had her copy it in her MLB in cursive.

Our rain barrel is working out really well, we have not had to use city water yet to water our garden. I for one can not wait for our first batch of fresh veggies.


Beef and broccoli stir-fries

and breakfast burritos. Our basil seems to have sprouted up overnight and pesto has been added to the menu.

As for Miss Sky’s science projects, we could not get our potato to sprout. We did find a sprouted helicopter seed and planted it to see if we can grow a tree.

And the egg plants The Littles’s planted are growing good and needed to be replanted.

Miss Sky is pointing to hers to prove that serenading her plant is paying off.

Last but not least it was time for our pioneer family to make jam. So out we went to the strawberry patch to pick the first fruits of summer (YES).

This reminded Miss Sky of our Native American story Children Of The Longhouse. I love when a lesson comes full circle.

Once home The Little’s helped me de-stem the strawberries and make strawberry jam for our baking project.

Miss Sky made sure to leave 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar for the jam to expand.

And it was only fair to receive a reward for the fruits of our labor.

I love summer. We wrapped the night up with a reading from one of our favorite summer books. Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend, Peace

I’m Back

June 5, 2010

First I want to say thank you for all the positive thoughts and prayers. I also want to thank Tonya from Plain and Joyful living for taking the time to share their families journey with all. It has been so inspirational for me this week.

There for a while I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity then I remembered something ,that I am a choleric child of God. My faith and temperament will not allow me to go down without a fight alone.

Some amazing things have happened to our family this week that could only be the hand of God and though I am a little (what the heck A LOT) frightened I know everything is going to be alright.

Well what have we been up to this last week.  We took a few days off as my head and heart was just not that into the lesson, and the Little’s and I  spent a lot of time out in our garden. We should have some fresh veggies on our table very soon. All of us are waiting in anticipation to bite into that first juicy sweet tomato.

I introduced the ruler to Miss Sky and talked about how the Greeks came up with what we now know to be the foot. We spent lots of time measuring out different objects and Miss Sky made a page in her MLB.

Then our pioneer family fixed biscuits for breakfast and I taught Miss Sky how to make them. I love the recipe from The Tassajara Bread Book and without wanting to break any copyright rules I thought it would be ok to post what I think is the secret to  fluffy biscuits, adding eggs to the dough. Miss Sky measured out all the ingredients and added the cut up pieces of butter. I taught her how to use a pastry blender.

She cracked the eggs and kneaded the dough. Next she measured to make sure the dough was rolled out about a half-inch thick.

She cut them out 

and biscuits is the next recipe she added to her cookbook.

Meanwhile there has been lots of time spent out in Papa’s “workshop” as he took over as teacher.

And I look for some exciting new things to happen.

After all two heads are better than one ;).


Lessons, Thrifting, and Videos

May 27, 2010

Well It sure has been a full week and we have just reached the middle of the road. Our lesson block on measurement kicked off with me explaining to Miss Sky how “Man is the measure of all things”, and I unveiled my chalkboard drawing.

First starting with Old Testament measurement each of us traced our cubit, span, and foot on a piece of paper. We cut them out then went around the house measuring different items and writing down our measurements. It did not take Miss Sky very long  to realize our measurements were different because I was bigger than her. This led  to me explaining how the Pharaoh of Egypt came up with the royal cubit to be the standard measurement for his land and I just happened to have a royal cubit scepter. Miss Sky went around the house measuring different items with the royal cubit.

She made a page in her MLB. 

We did the same thing with our span. For handwriting practice I had Miss Sky copy both the Egyptian golden rule and the Hebrew’s.

I found it very interesting when researching the golden rule , I did not realize that a translation can be found in the majority of all religious scripts.

 Miss Sky is working on memorizing We Have A Little Garden by Beatrix Potter for her end of the year memory work.

We also did the experiment to see if our body was the same length as our arm span.

Using a piece of string we measured out our arm length then cut it and measured our height. We found out that it is true each of our measurements turned out to be the same height as our arm span. I explained how in pioneer times if people knew how tall they were they could measure how big an item was with their arm length.

We were hoping to measure the ark out today but instead decided to go thrift shopping for some of Miss Sky’s books. It never turns out to be a wasted trip. I always find some real jewels and today was no exception.

The Little’s being way to excited by their new finds we settled for just storytime leaving more time to play in their new attire.

Miss Sky finished The Littles to the Rescue and today read The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward. I read to chapter 12 of On The Banks Of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.


As for myself I spent way to much time on YouTube diving into past videos of Pink Floyd, Queen , and The Beatles which brought me to this video.

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We Miss you Aunt Laura 🙂


Snapping Beans

May 22, 2010

As I look back over past blog posts I have noticed I seem to write about the seasons and how each one happens to be my favorite. Well I can’t help it, I think there “is” something special about each one,something that connects me to nature or to the women from generations past. I get these feelings every time I work out in the garden, when I am elbows deep in flour kneading bread,while I am hanging laundry out to dry, or hear the sound of Papa’s ax out back splitting firewood.

Springtime brings with it many things but one of my favorites has to be the sound of snapping beans.

There is something so meditative about using ones hands to service others, and I can see why the hands play such an important part in the Waldorf curriculum. I am also very happy to be along on my children’s journey of discovering this out for themself.

Today we brought our Old Testament block to a close with Miss Sky’s last spelling test of the year. She also made her last form drawing as a third grader in her MLB. Today The Little’s and I decided to make peanut butter cookies for our baking day just because they sounded good.

  Miss Sky read to chapter 7 of The Little’s to the Rescue while the cookie dough chilled.

Yesterday ,due to all the rain we’ve had lately, We made a big bowl of popcorn and snuggled up while I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I think this will be a great series to read over the summer, something that we “all” can just let our minds get lost into and enjoy the beautiful land of Oz that Mr. Baum created.

Today the rain had finally came to an end and even though the day was still dark and gloomy, The Little’s were tickled pink to find out some gnomes had moved into our backyard.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Next week will be our last block of third grade (Yay). We will be doing a math block on linear measurement.

Fingers And Toes

May 20, 2010

Well there I was last night listening to lecture 5 of Kingdom of Childhood by Rudolf Steiner up way to late when he started to talk about using your fingers and toes to count.

Now I have listened to this lecture before and it never fails that I walk away with something that I must have over looked ( I think I was more focused on the whole to parts thing). Anyway I could not help but laugh because this was how I taught Miss Sky how to add. It wasn’t until she started school that this became a problem. I was told that using fingers to count was discouraged because it slowed you down during drills (and using plastic teddy bears to count with is way faster). Ok I can understand where this could be a problem say in 5th grade(even though I still use my fingers at times) but not in kindergarten.

The way Steiner explains it  a child needs movement to help trigger memory and even stated that children who were able to use their fingers and toes to count would be more flexible in their joints later in life. So I have encouraged Miss Sky to go ahead and count away on her fingers when she needs to and told her she can thank me for it later.

Today was our last homeschooling skate of the school year so this ment left overs for breakfast and lunch today. I snapped a few pictures while she was warming up before her friends showed up.

She has really improved since we started going a year ago and it brings back SO many memories from childhood when I watch her. Little Sis still will have nothing to do with skates ,she says she will try when she turns 5.

So today after lunch we started  main lesson with Miss Sky writing her summary in her MLB. Yesterday she retold the story by acting it out and I have to say I think this was probably the funniest of all our retellings yet. Miss Sky was David , Little Sis was Samuel, and the sheep. I played all 7 of David’s brothers and Goliath and really enjoyed slinging the sword around for once. Then Miss Sky drew her picture.

Yesterday I also gave Miss Sky her last third grade vocabulary list ,she alphabetized her list and looked up the first 5 words in the dictionary. She finished looking the rest up today.











She is looking them up now without any help and next year I will have her write out the definitions.

Yesterday Miss Sky practiced her spelling words and form drawing in cornmeal, and today we played hangman with her spelling words using bananagrams.

She practiced her form on her mini chalkboard using both hands and with her eyes closed.

Miss Sky finished The Little’s yesterday and read to chapter 4 of The Littles to the Rescue by John Peterson today. She is really liking this series (it was a favorite of mine too) and I have caught her reading ahead which makes me smile. I am on chapter 12 of The Wizard of Oz and “we” (I love it)can not get enough. It has been requested at bedtime too.  Has anyone read more of the series? I am wondering if we should read the next book.

Wishing everyone many blessings.

From Shepherd Boy To King

May 18, 2010

Well I have to say for once I am glad for the rain this day has brought with it. I knew today with Miss Sky not being able to go outside I would have her attention. After my week of meditation and prayer I have come to the conclusion this will be our last Old Testament story. I wanted to get to Queen Ester but due to our week off from main lesson we have fallen behind. So I think I will save her for grade 5 to go along with the ancient civilizations block of Persia. I still feel confident with the stories we did cover this year and it has been interesting to see which ones appealed most to Miss Sky and how much I myself learned about the Old Testament and the Jewish culture.

I was raised with these stories so they were not new to me but this year I stopped looking at them from the angle of “Bible” stories and focused on them as the history of the Jewish people. So many new things had been revealed to me and I am really glad to have done this block.

This morning for breakfast I made waffles and bacon. I pulled out the round steak and started the rice for today’s lunch of beef and broccoli stir-fry. Miss Sky volunteered to help with clean up and then I called The Little’s to circle. It has been awhile since we have had a formal circle but we fell right back into our rhythm with this weeks line up.

We’ll All Join In A Circle


Good Morning Dear Earth

I Can Turn Myself

I Wake Myself

Chip Chop

Lovely Things eye tracking poem

This Is The Way We Plant Our Seeds

Raindrops fingerplay

My Garden Fingerplay

There Was A Little Turtle fingerplay (This was a huge hit with Little Sis)

Five Little Tadpoles

The Fuzzy Caterpillar sung to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider (another hit)

We worked on lesson 17 with our pennywhistle and can not believe we only have 3 more lessons to go. It was neat to see penny whistles being sold at our local living history museum and I am really glad we learned how to play this piece of history.

For main lesson today I told the story of a shepherd boys journey of becoming king,

and unveiled my drawing

I started with a mini review of our stories past and gave a brief history of who Samuel was. I also brought the story to a close with how eventually the rule of kings had become crooked and God allowed His great city to fall. Miss Sky made a very interesting remark “I sure would not want to be God, because it would make me so mad that people keep turning their backs on me.” This led into a conversation about how many people in our Old Testament stories were not perfect. That they had many flaws but God still loved them and used them to be a part of his plan.

We moved on to Miss Sky’s last spelling list for third grade.
















She marched out the spelling of each word and found any hidden words. Then she wrote them out twice each. We practiced this weeks form drawing first in the air with her right finger then her left, then on each others backs.

Next we modeled a sling and some stones with beeswax.

 I bought Miss Sky a word search to practice with for the summer and I have had her working on the puzzles then writing out the words she is looking for in cursive and alphabetizing them.

After lunch Miss Sky read to chapter 9 of The Littles and I read to chapter 5 of The Wizard of Oz and called it a day.

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday.

Civil War on the Prairie

May 16, 2010

One of the things I love about homeschooling is all the learning opportunities that take place “outside”  the classroom. Having a chance to see history not just read about it ,and I really like when you can kill two birds with one stone. A trip to our local living history museum was planned this year as part of our Native American lessons but with this weekend being civil war days on the prairie I knew it was the perfect time to go.

Each member of this family has our favorite time in history and the civil war just happens to be Papa’s.

Now of course The Little’s can’t grasp exactly what this war really ment to our country but I would be lying if I said Miss Sky had never heard of it.

Besides this is part of the pioneer times and there is so much more to learn then the battle.

Miss Sky got to sing Old Dan Tucker with the confederates and help tan a deer hide. I also forgot to mention Miss Sky got to help spin wool on a real spindle, which was much different from our drop spindle.Yes it was another very exciting day of school.