Sunday, September 9, 2012

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!

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