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Waldorf Homeschoolers Thread - Page 6

post #101 of 397
Thank all of you for your suggestions about alternative nature shelves! I love reading this thread (and forum) because the ideas are amazing and really helpful.
post #102 of 397
I just thought I'd mention, for you non-music-reading mamas -- the Wynstones series has at the beginning of each book a little section about the pentatonic scale. Starting with the pentatonic scale is a very easy way to start reading music. If you bought either a pentatonic recorder or xylophone it is very simple to pick out the melodies in the books you find. The songs in the Wynstones books are very simple, all pentatonic, and hover around A, going up and down in a very predictable way. It would be pretty easy to learn.
post #103 of 397
oh, that sounds great. thanks for the idea.

h
post #104 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
how are you all setting up your day? do you really do a circle at home? how does that work? how many kids do you have?
do you all plan on doing "school" at home all day long? just wondering... no judgment. lol
and what are "blocks"? do you sort of have all of your subjects come back to a topic? like math and lit and history, etc all involving lets say rome?

h
We also do circle at home. I mingle in some verses, seasonal songs, and movement activities. I have a 7.5 yo, 5 yo, 3.5 yo, and a 3 mo so I have to keep things interesting for all. I will end the circle with a story for my kindergarteners. Following circle will be the main lesson time for my 2nd grader which will last an hour at most. Then we break for snack and a little free play. I am following Donna Simmons schedule, so after snack is Lesson A, lunch, quiet time, then Lesson B. Lesson A and Lesson B change depending on what block we are in, but is pretty much a rotation of math practice, arts and crafts, music, poetry, handwork, and spelling/word family practice.

A block is simply what subject you are teaching- if you are working on a math block, then that would be the subject you are covering during your main lesson time.

We are involved in a weekly co-op and we plan on throwing in some field trips here and there, but for the most part, school will be at home. I am a home body anyways and I dread the thought of dragging my kids here and there all week. Too much stress! Life with 4 kids keeps me busy enough

Hope this helps!
post #105 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumom2boyz View Post
We are involved in a weekly co-op and we plan on throwing in some field trips here and there, but for the most part, school will be at home. I am a home body anyways and I dread the thought of dragging my kids here and there all week. Too much stress! Life with 4 kids keeps me busy enough
I can completely relate to this one...and I only have two kids!
post #106 of 397
Yep, on my weekly template "main lesson" means "block lesson".

OT:
We just got back from a weekend in the city and a trip to the zoo to visit the animals. I was thinking we'd buy a year's pass, and go several times, since we're doing 4th grade and man & animals this year. But holy cow! I couldn't believe how horribly people were treating their kids! I don't hink I can stomach going as often as I was planning....
And why do people even take their kids to the "bug house" if all they're going to do is shreik "eeewww! gross!" at every display?

We're starting school tomorrow! Hooray!
post #107 of 397
How did everyone's first day go? Ours went pretty smooth actually! I only had a few hiccups (with the 5 yo...he always keeps me on my toes). Looking forward to having a pleasant first week!
post #108 of 397

Desparate for advice.

I'm really starting to wonder how Waldorf works with the super spirited child. Anyone have any experience there? My DD2 is my spirited one and today she made it impossible to tell them a story. My DD1 was more than able to sit and listen to a story or walk around and play while I told a story without trying to take my props and such. When I tried to redirect DD2 today she squalled like I had pinched her. I even tried giving her her own props to no avail. It ended in both the girls screaming and crying, and DH getting disturbed from his work to deal with DD2 while I dealt with DD1 who desperately wanted to hear the story.

I'm working really hard on paying attention to the in breath and the out breath, but there has to be something I'm missing. DD2 is very physical. She is the imitation queen and a climber. She is also destructive in many ways. She loves to empty shelves of toys and then pull out the slats in the shelving. DD1 was never like this and I remember Parent/Child classes being like an easy dream. There wasn't a child that reacted like my DD2. Where have I gone wrong? So, much for not jarring them from their dream.

It isn't an option to do everything with DD1 while DD2 is napping. She only naps for 30 minutes to 1 hour most of the time and that is when I sneak in my daily yoga. Also, I think that DD2 needs these songs and stories. DD1 benefited so much from them at this age. The rhythm of our family has to include both children. I'm also concerned as she gets older how this will manifest itself.

Otherwise, the school year is going well for the most part. Yes, we do circle time. I like it as a rest and it helps me to create a time where I focus on sharing things with the girls. We also do a nature walk and a craft about 4 days a week.
post #109 of 397
eastkygal- Hang in there! Here's what I do in a similar situation: 1)Try to adjust my expectations. Flexibility of what I want to do for lessons on a given day has been a sanity saver. 2) Look for the underlying cause of the behavior. (Food/rest/environment) If I'm reading your sig right, dd2 is about 18 months...So, for a spirited child that all makes sense. She probably needs to be able to move nonstop, huh? Is she trying to get your attention? Is she at all interested in the story?
It gets easier! Really it does. Unfortunately there is no magic formula to make them sit still and listen, you get to aim for that every day. Try to be gentle on yourself too.
post #110 of 397
Do you have any reading material about the various ages your kids are? You night be interested in the Gesell Institute books, which, while dated, are practical and informative. Have you read any Piaget? There's some good info there regarding what kids are "working on" at their various early childhood stages. It might help you put your younger dd into a broader context.

FWIW, it sounds like you have a delightfully inquisitive and energetic dd on your hands. It can be exhausting sometime, but it sounds like she is actually doing what she is supposed to be doing at this age.
post #111 of 397
Thread Starter 
I totally agree that your DD is just being her age. Even if your older child wasn't as spirited, it still seems within the realm of normal. I have 3 very spunky children...one who was 'spirited' from birth and the other two seem to get more so with each passing day.

If you've not already done so, check out Carrie's blog: www.theparentingpassageway.com There is an absolute treasure-trove of great information about parenting and what is developmentally appropriate and to be expected of various ages. It's worth digging in to.
post #112 of 397
Thanks ladies. She is a delight and very very inquisitive. I love watching her throughout her day. And, there are things that are far more difficult because of this. I do think she is definitely normal. She is doing exactly what she should be by imitating and wanting to experience things firsthand. I'm just not used to it at all as DD1 was more content to have me show her things, to sit looking at books, and she still isn't very physical.

No, I haven't read Piaget, but I'm trying to decide between buying Beyond the Rainbow Bridge or Heaven on Earth. I do need to study up on Waldorf and early childhood. My oldest is still only 4. I've never gotten to even flip through either book, so I'm buying them without really knowing which would offer more useable information.

So, how do you get your spirited children to stop and listen once in awhile? Or, should I even try. Should I just let her take the props during story time eventhough I feel like that might ruin it for DD1?
post #113 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post

No, I haven't read Piaget, but I'm trying to decide between buying Beyond the Rainbow Bridge or Heaven on Earth. I do need to study up on Waldorf and early childhood. My oldest is still only 4. I've never gotten to even flip through either book, so I'm buying them without really knowing which would offer more useable information.
Heaven on Earth...hands down! It's full of practical, inspiring ideas.

If you have stories you'd like to tell, could you try doing that as part of the bedtime ritual? I'm doing 1st grade with my ds and I tell him his fairy tales before bed so they can rest with him while he sleeps. He then retells the story to me the next day. Then we color or paint from the story, etc.

Just an idea. Hang in there! And read Heaven on Earth ASAP.
post #114 of 397
i have both books and i love heaven on earth. so wonderful and just full of really great stuff. it works great with my little ones!


h
post #115 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
Heaven on Earth...hands down! It's full of practical, inspiring ideas.
:
I read "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" first, but couldn't get my hands on a copy of "Heaven on Earth" from the library. I just got a copy a few days ago and I have to say I much prefer "Heaven on Earth."

Both of your DDs are around the same age as my kids - complete with the spirited toddler (after my laidback ds, dd is quite the shock...I'm really hoping #3 is alot more like ds). I have to say I have difficulties dealing w/dd at times so I'm definitely watching the responses you get.
post #116 of 397
Another vote for Heaven on Earth. I love, love, love this book! I think it will help tremendously.

Is it possible to give your dd2 something to occupy herself while you are doing the story for your other daughter? Maybe some large wooden beads to sort or beans to scoop and dump (some things that she would only play with during this time). That way, she can be busily playing without interrupting your story time and still be absorbing it (BTW, from what I read, it really is very normal for a child to not be able to *participate* in circle under the age of 3). You can then just add in the verses and songs throughout your day when you are working, outside playing, taking your nature walk, etc.

Oh, and I also recommend you visit Carrie's blog! I think you will find a wealth of helpful information over there!
post #117 of 397

For those of you with grade age and kindergarteners

My oldest is currently in 2nd grade and we are starting with a form drawing and math review block. To my surprise, my 5 yo is wanting to participate along with us (last year, he would color and then wander off to play). So he has been doing some of the forms and *practicing* math. I definitely don't want to wake him up too soon, but how else can I get him to not want to do the same things that his brother is doing? I don't guide him, btw, he just does it on his own at the table and then shows me. He has a very determined personality so once he decides to do something, he is gonna do it. Any ideas?
post #118 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumom2boyz View Post
My oldest is currently in 2nd grade and we are starting with a form drawing and math review block. To my surprise, my 5 yo is wanting to participate along with us (last year, he would color and then wander off to play). So he has been doing some of the forms and *practicing* math. I definitely don't want to wake him up too soon, but how else can I get him to not want to do the same things that his brother is doing? I don't guide him, btw, he just does it on his own at the table and then shows me. He has a very determined personality so once he decides to do something, he is gonna do it. Any ideas?
I was just reading Donna Simmons' kindergarten book the last few days (am loving it and so glad I purchased it!) and she addresses this. She talks about not worrying about if a younger one wants to learn along side their older sibling. You can see if you can get them off into more age-appropriate learning, but it's also fine for them to work together. She suggests letting the little one have their own MLB and then being prepared for them to head off to play when they want, revisit the topic when their older, and then ensuring that they have plenty of activities that are geared for their age. I'm fairly new to things, but it seemed pretty reasonable to me.

ETA:

I've actually got a few questions of my own. I just finished Donna's Kindergarten book and was trying to sit down and decide what to get materials wise. She mentions the Stockmar block crayons. We already have the stick crayons (ds much prefers them to the Crayola ones he used to have). Can we just stick with those? Why the preference for block crayons?

For wet-on-wet watercolor - I've already got watercolor paint, paint cups, brushes, and some paper on hand. I'm wondering if I can use it for this purpose?

I love the idea of the painting boards so I definitely want to get a few of those - it would certainly solve the problem of where to put things while they dry (while also remaining mobile if need be).
post #119 of 397
Thread Starter 
Another EXCELLENT blog post at The Parenting Passageway:

I'm homeschooling my four year old

As for painting boards, there was some discussion on making these over on the homeschooling waldorf yahoo group (Melisa Nielson's group) IIRC it involves using a piece of cardboard then several layers of unfolded (you don't want creases) newsprint. You masking tape all around the edges and have a portable painting/drawing board. The newsprint gives it some cushion. Make sense?

We're officially starting our homeschool on Tuesday 9/8. I've been spending time this week reviewing my plans and notations in preparation.

But mostly we're just enjoying this fall-like weather that has descended on us.
post #120 of 397
We've been really digging multiplication circles/wheels. I'm sad I missed them my first time around!
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