Monday, September 24, 2012

The Sun Egg

The girls got this book for Christmas, and Maxine has been pretty much obsessed with it ever since. 

I was inspired by these sweet little Wind Children that are all over Pinterest right now, and I thought the girls might enjoy having a few little figures to go with it. At first, I was only going to make the little elf and the orange, but then I decided it would be fun to make all of the characters.

And so I did. Except for the frog. Ariana made the frog, and I think it's adorable. I'm glad she thought of making it.

I haven't figured out how to attach a stick to old Crooked-Root yet, but we're working on it.

And yes, the first thing Maxine said after seeing the set was "where's the squirrel?" I just can't win.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Craft: Ribbon Streamers

Nothing exciting here. We revisited this craft from last year. This year, I had the foresight to go to the dollar store by myself.

Action shots, too:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Today was the perfect day for one of my favorite things about homeschooling: an impromptu field trip!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blessings Book

One of my favorite things about Waldorf education is the use of little poems and verses. It's also one I haven't done especially well with. I'm great at finding them, organizing them, categorizing them, basically everything except actually using them (I know! Story of my life). I think the problem I have, is that I just forget. When I'm in the kitchen baking, I don't have my binder with verses neatly labelled and categorized, I don't have my books with pages thoughtfully marked and folded. I don't have anything to remind me.

I got the idea from a couple of different places. My mother-in-law went through training to become a Love and Logic instructor a few years ago and when she was done, she went through all of the materials with Brad and me. When we were done, she gave us a little ring with laminated papers of different colors and sizes on it, each with a little tip printed on it. And then I saw this post from the Chocolate Eyes blog, and how she used watercolor paintings as covers for her index cards for circle time. I thought that a combination of the two would be a perfect way to put together a little collection of verses to use throughout our day. It's small, it's light, it's convenient to carry around, it's beautiful, and it put a nice dent in our accumulation of watercolor papers!

I included a few centering verses for myself:

Some morning verses:

Mealtime verses:

Verses for work:

For peace:

And for bedtime:

I was going to write the verses directly on the watercolor paper, but it's not the easiest thing to write on, and I wasn't happy with how they were turning out. Instead, I printed the verses and cut them out. I debated whether to make all the papers the same size, but in the end, I decided I liked the idea of each verse being its own size and shape. I think that will help me remember what's what.

Lissie had a lot of fun matching each verse to paper. I just taped the printed paper onto the watercolor paper where I wanted it, then cut around leaving about 1/2 an inch around the edges. Then, we punched holes in the corners and put them all on a ring. The ring makes it easy to add and remove verses if we ever want to change things.

This was so much fun to put together, and I'm so happy with the results that I'm thinking about making another one for seasonal verses. I imagine it won't take me too long to memorize a lot of these and get into the habit of using them, but in the meantime, I'll be happy to have this lovely little reminder with me throughout the day.

Getting Ready

Tomorrow we start school. I think I am ready! Lissie just turned seven and we will be doing a Waldorf based first grade, using Christopherus as our guide. Maxine will be turning three soon, and I will be continuing to do some of the things we did last year from the Christopherus Kindergarten book.

I'm still using the same old binder system that worked so well for us last year. This year, instead of a sheet of lined paper for each month, I upgraded to a printable calendar. I think this will make it easier to jot things down and keep track of dates. It certainly looks prettier too! This allows me to have a section for each month, and in each section, I can put printed stories, poems, and crafts that fit with that month, season, or whatever main lesson block we'll be working on then. It really helps keep me organized, especially when I won't be using something for a few months. I'm definitely an "out of sight, out of mind" person, so knowing I can just flip ahead to any month and find the things I need is huge. I plan on keeping these binders intact, so in a few years when it's Maxine's turn, I'll still have everything together.

I also upgraded the binders with labels, so I don't have to pull down seven identical white binders to find the one I need. I used watercolor paper to make the labels, and I love how they turned out.

I've been looking forward to starting first grade for a while, because it's the first academic year in Waldorf schooling. This year, we'll be making main lesson books (all yellow, because Mercurius only sells them in packs of ten now). I've seen some beautiful examples of main lesson books, and I think Lissie is going to love that part of school.

Another new thing is that Lissie (and I!) will be learning to play the pentatonic flute. I'd hoped to get one last spring to learn on, but with Brad still out of work, I kept putting it off. They're not cheap, and I was debating whether to wait, to skip it, or to start with something less expensive like penny whistles or plastic recorders. My dad felt it was important for her to learn on a real instrument though, and generously offered to buy the two flutes and a curriculum for Lissie's birthday.

The flutes are by Choroi, and I chose to use David Darcy's book Playing and Teaching the Pentatonic Flute and the Pentatonic Recorder. Honestly, there aren't a ton of options out there, and they all seem good, but I've read nothing but rave reviews about this one, and it's what Donna Simmons recommends. I've been going through it, and I think I'll be able to pick it up fairly quickly (maybe my elementary school recorder playing and junior high school flute playing will finally come in handy for something!). Teaching it? We'll see. That could be a whole other story!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Craft

We haven't officially started school yet. I was waiting for a couple of last minute supplies to arrive this week, so I decided we'd wait until next week.

In the meantime, we've been working on some little crafts to keep busy. I have to say, I wasn't looking forward to showing Lissie the blanket stitch, but she took to it like a champ.