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post #141 of 397
calynde,
are you drawing the letters into other things, or drawing the picture and pulling the letters out?
just wondering....
my older son is always irritated by things like that- turning a letter or number into something else, that is- but they both think it's neat to "find" the letters or numbers or whatever in other things, like a cat curled into a letter C, or a tree that looks like a T.

Our first week of school FLEW by! We're kind of frantically trying to get pears and peaches put up this week, plus packing and planning for a week-long camping trip, and squeezing school in, finishing up summer playdates and starting the autumn cycle- this week already feels like a tornado, and we've only just started! I'm already thinking of what kinds of school things I can sneak into the car for our trip. How sad is that?

Oh well. The good news is our attitudes are all cheerful and the way I have our schedule laid out is very appealing to my 9yo. The 3yo loves having little projects in his basket to work on for his "school". Yeah, it's good.
post #142 of 397
I'm a bit late in the game for planning things out, but I figure it's not much of an issue for me - ds is only 4 1/2. I've got a couple of weeks planned and a few where I have a couple of pieces figured out. I like the Christopherus suggestion for handling story progression (four days or so of the same story with three or so of those days adding in something like painting, craft, etc to go along with the story). That's my biggest struggle - coming up with the additional thing to do most especially because I don't want to get to "formulaic" about how we do it. I know ds will enjoy this, but my well of ideas isn't very deep.

I'm also struggling a bit with coming up with stories for particular themes. I've gotten several from mainlesson.com, but I know I'll need to start branching out some more. So far so good, though with the things that we have added in.
post #143 of 397
Our first week went great as well. This week however, we are off to a rocky start. How do you all handle the "this is boring" and "why do I have to do school" stuff??? We are doing a math review block and he really does pick things up quite quickly, but if it were up to him, he wouldn't actually ever sit down and put anything into his MLB. I am trying not to take it personally...I try so hard to make school not "boring", but at the same time I don't know how to change it and it is so discouraging being the second week of school and all. Any suggestions???
post #144 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-aya View Post
calynde,
are you drawing the letters into other things, or drawing the picture and pulling the letters out?
Kind of both. We go by various examples of what to draw from the story. If I didn't say "let's draw the cat from the story all curled up, kind of like a *c*"...then he would inevitably draw a cat from which no *c* could be extracted, ya know? So I do kinda steer it, and truth be told, it feels a little arbitrary to me, so I may eventually have to rethink it. We'll stick with it a bit longer though, since we're only a few letters in. Also, ds naturally tends to draw with lines rather than blocks of color (despite having block crayons since the beginning. He uses their edges!) and it's really an effort to keep the stick figures at bay, let me tell you!

We also started with circle time, and now we've stopped it, although we still sing our songs and learn new verses, just throughout the day as part of a more natural flow than just officially at one time in the morning. I felt incredibly silly doing it like that, which surprised me. Maybe because I'm only doing it with one child?

Another struggle I have with trying to follow my *plan* is that ds is an extremely self-motivated kid. He's full of ideas and interests, and he is never bored. He tells stories and writes simple books, he plays open ended all day long. He colors and reads and reads and reads. He makes up stories for his parakeets, for me, for his baby brother and for his Waldorf doll, Thomas and his stuffed rat, Gigilist. Then he dresses up as something and sings or whatever. And then...more.

It's constant...and wonderful, really.

So basically to *do* MLB stuff, I have to stop him from whatever grand and wonderful thing he is engaged in and ask him to do the work with me. Now, he really seems to like the MLB stuff well enough, but there's definitely a slight dulling of his formerly twinkling eyes as he "gets it over with" so he can get back to his other stuff.

Maybe we should be Waldorf-inspired unschoolers. Have you guys seen that thread in the unschooling subforum. LuxPerpetua wrote some inspired posts about it there!

thinking, wondering, having fun in the meantime.
post #145 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
We also started with circle time, and now we've stopped it, although we still sing our songs and learn new verses, just throughout the day as part of a more natural flow than just officially at one time in the morning. I felt incredibly silly doing it like that, which surprised me. Maybe because I'm only doing it with one child?
Donna Simmons talks about this in her curriculum guides. She talks about how circle time probably isn't the best suited for a homeschool environment (with one child or several) and suggests doing exactly what you are - which is also what I prefer to do. I've never tried circle time because I felt silly doing it. I don't feel the least bit silly about singing songs and verses with both kiddos through out the day. That feels a great deal more natural to me - ds can initiate it, too which I think helps with the interest part.
post #146 of 397
Thread Starter 
We are *only* on day 2 here...

But here's what we're doing...we do a 'walking circle time' that I read about on the waldorf homeschoolers group (Melisa's group.) As soon as I heard about it I said, YES! Because I knew that circle time wouldn't be effortless with my crew. It would feel contrived to me and it would be forced.

So we get ready and head out the door for a nature hike (walking anywhere here is a hike...very hilly) and I bring along the pennywhistles and we explore and look for signs of the coming of Autumn.

We live in a very rural area, and have no neighbors to bother, btw.

When we get to the top of hill, I give the boys the pennywhistles and my daughter two sticks to bang together and they make a hellacious noise with their amateur band.

As we walk wee daughter collects acorns and other seeds and pretty leaves and brings them back for the nature table. Everyone comes back tired and ready for something calm while drinking water.

While they rest for a moment and drink, I bring out the book for the day or the story I want to tell. This is something related to what the theme for the day is for my kindergartening 6yo. Today I told a story, yesterday I read a book. Both times they were eager and attentive.

Then we finish up and the little ones go off to freeplay while I get my 4th grader started on his more academic work. Eventually I loop back around to an activity with my kindergartener related to the book/story. Wee daughter tags along when it is interesting to her and wanders off to her own adventures when not. Today it was making carrot cake and everyone had to be involved.

Anyway, one of the things I love about waldorf homeschooling...and homeschooling in general, is tailoring everything to the needs of our children/families.

peace,
post #147 of 397
blumom- It is hard to hear "I'm bored" when I've spent lots of time planning and preping for lessons for my kiddos. Sometimes I think it's just a rite of passage we all go through. I try to take the hint and find a way to either spice up the material, or decide if it's possible to put that subject aside for a while and do something more interesting for the kids at the time. That does make me feel less than appreciated though. I hope you can find a happy compromise.

Walking- We are definitely loving it! The weather outside has been great this week, and it gives my kids motivation to be dressed and ready first thing in the morning. We take the dog with us, too. We only spend about 15 minutes, but it's just right, to help shift our attention towards lessons for the day. I also feel like including physical activity breaks between lessons is helping a lot too. I wrote down the order in which I plan to do things, and my girls like being able to tell where we're at in the "school day".

We went to 2 libraries yesterday, so we've got quite a stack of books! Dd2 picked out 16 of her own- and she did a really good job in her book selection too. (esp considering she can't read yet)

Circle time- I too felt silly trying to do a formalized circle. For a while we lit a candle, and that was fun.

calynde- it is what it is, yk? There's nothing wrong with adjusting learning styles as you go- imo that's one of the best parts of hs'ing.
post #148 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
Yep, that is a good example of it. It's fun to make together.

You can make individual (smaller) one's for each number as you are learning the multiplication verses and you can also make the large one. We'll be doing both.
I found those on "A garden flower" math book. i love it!

h
post #149 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
We are *only* on day 2 here...

But here's what we're doing...we do a 'walking circle time' that I read about on the waldorf homeschoolers group (Melisa's group.) As soon as I heard about it I said, YES! Because I knew that circle time wouldn't be effortless with my crew. It would feel contrived to me and it would be forced.

So we get ready and head out the door for a nature hike (walking anywhere here is a hike...very hilly) and I bring along the pennywhistles and we explore and look for signs of the coming of Autumn.

We live in a very rural area, and have no neighbors to bother, btw.

When we get to the top of hill, I give the boys the pennywhistles and my daughter two sticks to bang together and they make a hellacious noise with their amateur band.

As we walk wee daughter collects acorns and other seeds and pretty leaves and brings them back for the nature table. Everyone comes back tired and ready for something calm while drinking water.

While they rest for a moment and drink, I bring out the book for the day or the story I want to tell. This is something related to what the theme for the day is for my kindergartening 6yo. Today I told a story, yesterday I read a book. Both times they were eager and attentive.

Then we finish up and the little ones go off to freeplay while I get my 4th grader started on his more academic work. Eventually I loop back around to an activity with my kindergartener related to the book/story. Wee daughter tags along when it is interesting to her and wanders off to her own adventures when not. Today it was making carrot cake and everyone had to be involved.

Anyway, one of the things I love about waldorf homeschooling...and homeschooling in general, is tailoring everything to the needs of our children/families.

peace,
that sounds wonderful. i like that alot. i have tried the circles myself and i don't know, it just didn't work out. but i LOVE the idea of sort of taking it outside! what a great idea. i am stealing that! ::

h
post #150 of 397
So I am really early in this whole process, my ds is only 3 but I just got the Seasons of Joy Autumn and am trying to psyche myself up to start. We are in desperate need of rhythm around here. But I suppose starting is like jumping in the lake you just need to go. Missing the community and the once a week Kindercircle we were part of last autumn.
post #151 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
that sounds wonderful. i like that alot. i have tried the circles myself and i don't know, it just didn't work out. but i LOVE the idea of sort of taking it outside! what a great idea. i am stealing that! ::
h
Steal away! It was a gift to me to read that and it has been perfect for our group of little wigglies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey B View Post
So I am really early in this whole process, my ds is only 3 but I just got the Seasons of Joy Autumn and am trying to psyche myself up to start. We are in desperate need of rhythm around here. But I suppose starting is like jumping in the lake you just need to go. Missing the community and the once a week Kindercircle we were part of last autumn.
I HIGHLY recommend The Parenting Passageway yet again!!
Especially this post: http://theparentingpassageway.com/20...-kindergarten/

That post will give you so much good food for thought about the types of things that the small ones need to see us doing and that we can do with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blumom2boyz View Post
Our first week went great as well. This week however, we are off to a rocky start. How do you all handle the "this is boring" and "why do I have to do school" stuff???
Ugh! Those are so hard. My eldest child has thrown just about everything at me over the years. His resistance to, well ANYTHING, is one of the reasons we were unschoolers. But now I feel stronger and ready to meet his resistance with a sweet smile and a "because you need to learn these things." I work hard to make sure they are 'packaged' in interesting ways and specific to what I know he likes. And it's only day 3 of our school year and days 2 and 3 met with resistance.

Does your son do the work anyway? Afterwards what does he say? I ask because my eldest resists and pouts and sometimes worse, but once he gets started, he does a pretty good job and most of the time ends up saying, "wow, that wasn't so hard," and/or "that was fun!" So I guess I'm saying a lot of it depends on the child. I have learned that if I believe the work is valuable to just smile and insist that he do it. It's in his genes, apparently, to resist. But it is in mine to make sure that he is not the village idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
Kind of both. We go by various examples of what to draw from the story. If I didn't say "let's draw the cat from the story all curled up, kind of like a *c*"...then he would inevitably draw a cat from which no *c* could be extracted, ya know?
Maybe you can suggest some other creative way of forming the letters? The point isn't that they NEED to make them a certain way, IMHO, the point is that you want the experience to be multi-sensory so that the child isn't just learning the letters 'with their head.' For my very wiggly, very physical 6yo I've found that he does best if I ask him to try to figure out a way to make a letter with his body. This is great for giving him more movement AND it really sparks his creativity. We were doing this just the other day and he had me laughing hysterically at his attempts to make an "M" and an "H."

Sorry I'm not here more...starting up with the new path this week has consumed a lot of my time. But it's all good. We're finding our rhythm and everyone seems to be happy with it.

I have been detailing all that we are doing on my homeschooling blog and I don't want to repeat it here...but anyone interested can look there:
www.motherearthwaldorf.wordpress.com

peace,
post #152 of 397
This week has been interesting. We've been using Little Acorn for the themed weeks for our Circle Time and craft ideas. After last week was over, I was prepared to order the September curriculum. My DD says, "Mama, can we do frogs next week." I didn't know what to say as I knew the curriculum probably wouldn't be frogs. I didn't for the life of me want to say no to her. That is natural learning and natural desire right there at work. So, I said sure. I scrambled to find verse, fingerplays, and songs online, and did along with books and craft ideas much like given in Little Acorn. I chose the ones most Waldorf friendly and went with it. We also did Frog Prince a few nights for bedtime. It's went really well. Now, she doesn't have an opinion for next week, so I may be ordering curriculum - who knows.

I just got Heaven on Earth in the mail yesterday. I can't wait to read!!!
post #153 of 397
Thread Starter 
Love to hear end-of-the-week summaries! I think it can be very good and productive to look back for themes and with perspective.

Here's mine (even though we are 1 music lesson away from finishing our week):

1) Walking Circle Time is FANTASTIC! It has given us a focus -- nature -- for each morning and has completely eliminated any whining or resistance to getting dressed for the day. They don't procrastinate or linger over breakfast either. Everyone is fed and dressed and ready to hit the door.

Even though we have been walking the same path for 4 days now, it is different each day and the attachlings find and notice things they didn't before. Today it was WET it rained all night and was still drizzly when we headed out. It was great to see the forest all wet and heavy-laden. We explored and found tons of moss beds, because everything was darker and they stood out more.

I'll start integrating counting rhymes and such to our walking circle time next week. I made lavender bean bags just for this...to toss around.

2) Yes, Nic resists writing and says he hates writing. But if I remain calm and firm -- giving NO energy to his negativity -- hit gets to it and really does a darn fine job of it. That is a revelation to me this time around.

3) Planning ahead is worth every bit of time put into it. I am calmer and a better resource to them if I review what is coming the night before and then think a bit on it as I go to sleep. Likewise, the last 3 days I've gotten up and to the white board before they are up. There I can write whatever I'm wanting Nic to copy into his main lesson book. Today he was up long before Theo so I could get him started on that immediately. It was great. He got his math work done before his brother even got out of bed and it kept him from asking me 3 dozen times if it was time for the nature walk yet.

4) I need another pennywhistle. Seriously, why did it not occur to me that Whinnie would need one of her own if she was to leave the boys' alone? Well, it doesn't have to be a real pennywhistle, but she needs something to make music-noise with it herself.

5) Make sure the house is tidied up before bedtime. All summer I had the morning time, when the boys went out to explore in the woods, to tidy and cook and clean. Now we are spending our morning on homeschooling, and by the afternoon, I want to just collapse and read or knit. This being 'on' takes alot out of you.
So if I want a reasonably liveable house AND some down time during Whinnie's nap...I need to make sure the house is tidy (sweep floors, deal with dishes, but away clean clothes) before I go to bed. In the morning there is harmony and order and I can enjoy school time.

6) This is way more fun than I thought it would be. They are all at great ages to explore and work together some and alone some. They are observant and quirky and curious.

Off to week 2!
post #154 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
So, I said sure. I scrambled to find verse, fingerplays, and songs online, and did along with books and craft ideas much like given in Little Acorn. I chose the ones most Waldorf friendly and went with it. We also did Frog Prince a few nights for bedtime. It's went really well. Now, she doesn't have an opinion for next week, so I may be ordering curriculum - who knows.
I'm absolutely positive you'll love "Heaven on Earth." It wasn't available at the library when I first went looking so I checked out other ones...I'm really wishing I had just gone out and purchased it in the first place.

I remember your asking about the frog idea your lo had in another thread. I'm curious what resources you used online to find what you were looking for. There are a few weeks here in the Fall that I have something specific in mind for, but when it comes to the story/fingerplays/etc I'm feeling a little bit lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
5) Make sure the house is tidied up before bedtime. All summer I had the morning time, when the boys went out to explore in the woods, to tidy and cook and clean. Now we are spending our morning on homeschooling, and by the afternoon, I want to just collapse and read or knit. This being 'on' takes alot out of you.
So if I want a reasonably liveable house AND some down time during Whinnie's nap...I need to make sure the house is tidy (sweep floors, deal with dishes, but away clean clothes) before I go to bed. In the morning there is harmony and order and I can enjoy school time.
I've found this is so key for me. I used to not worry about it so much, but have found now that we get the toys cleaned up before dinner and the dishes done every night before bed that I have a much rosier perspective on the next day. I need to work on finding ways that my dd and ds can be involved in these kinds of tasks (better step stools maybe as a start) which I think would go a long way.
post #155 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post

5) Make sure the house is tidied up before bedtime. All summer I had the morning time, when the boys went out to explore in the woods, to tidy and cook and clean. Now we are spending our morning on homeschooling, and by the afternoon, I want to just collapse and read or knit. This being 'on' takes alot out of you.
So if I want a reasonably liveable house AND some down time during Whinnie's nap...I need to make sure the house is tidy (sweep floors, deal with dishes, but away clean clothes) before I go to bed. In the morning there is harmony and order and I can enjoy school time.


i am so with you right here. if i do not have the house in order at bedtime, it feels all chaotic in the morning. at least for me it is better to put in that time just before i hit the hay then struggle all day with catching up.

h
post #156 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey B View Post
So I am really early in this whole process, my ds is only 3 but.....
My LO is only 2.5 and I bought SOJ and LA when he was just a little over one. =) so i'm with you.... I just get more and more use out of it each year.
post #157 of 397
I would be interested to hear how TV or videos fit into your homeschool life.

We have been TV-free for almost 10 years, but occasionally watch movies or shows from netflix on our computer.

Do you incorporate educational specials, have special movies as treats, or ever put a show on just for the younger ones?

DD has discovered just how many Disney movies there are, and DS is asking about Star Wars!

oh, and I should add Internet. I will admit to putting on sesame street.org a few times to get a decent shower, and an older cousin showed DD barbie.com and she is now begging to play games on that.
post #158 of 397
just found this thread and wanted to say

we're still not sure who we are in terms of schooling. right now our kids are at the most amazing waldorf-inspired home preschool. next year is still a mystery. (though i feel us leaning more and more towards waldorf-inspired unschooling and me creating a farm-based homeschool enrichment program that our children will attend part-time.)

i've seen this thread referenced on a few other threads and it seemed like it might be a great resource for me.

looking forward to reading back through and getting to know a little about you all and your homeschooling journeys!

~erin
post #159 of 397
I was thinking about starting another thread somewhere, but not sure where it would fit for those of us with children birth through 7. So, early childhood. Not that we wouldn't be a part of this thread, but for the support from each other on our personal growth. I'm finding that so much of my parenting is making a huge requirement for my attention to be placed on improving myself in every facet. I'd rather call it growing. It is hard work, and I am finding that it can be very isolating when there isn't a Parent/Child group near, or you are going to be homeschooling. So, I suppose it would be an MDC Waldorf Parent/Child Support Thread. I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to invite the Waldorf folks from the School forum here. I'm also wondering if the proper place to put the thread would be in Personal Growth. Anyone interested?? You can pm me if you are and I'll get us going.

Again, it would be a thread for discussing our Personal Growth as a parent while practicing AP, natural, and Waldorf parenting principles, not something that takes away from what we are discussing here.

I'm reading Heaven on Earth right now and finding it wonderful. I'd love to discuss things with other mamas.

pampered-mom - I just used Google and searched "frog themes" and found everything I needed. I had to search Grimm's Frog Prince to find that fairytale.
post #160 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnoriensMom View Post
I would be interested to hear how TV or videos fit into your homeschool life.
TV doesn't at all. We have been making the transition to being screen/tv free for about 2 years --- first dumping cable then getting the tv out of the living room and now no tv at all.

The children are almost screen free. Occassionally we'll have a family movie night and I will sometimes put something on on the laptop for the 2yo if she's been especially difficult and I need to be working on dinner. For those times, I love, love, love, No Telly (www.notelly.tv) It was developed by another MDC family as a safe place for the little ones to view videos online without be exposed to advertising (and worse!) I'd say my youngest gets no more than 1 hour of screen time a week. And I'm not saying that to brag. It has been a long time and I am glad for it, but I am more disappointed that it took me so long to get us to where we are now.

Oh, and the older two will sometimes get a DK-Eyewitness DVD at the library that they'll watch during their sister's nap. Typically they are busy reading or playing outside, though if the weather is truly too awful to be outside they might watch a movie or play a computer game while the baby sleeps.

For us (and I'm only able to speak for my own family) having the children be screen free is important for having a peaceful and harmonious family life.

Right now my daughter is playing on the floor, my husband and I are on laptops checking in and the boys are each engrossed in books they just got from the library -- all in the same room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmama View Post
just found this thread and wanted to say


Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
I was thinking about starting another thread somewhere, but not sure where it would fit for those of us with children birth through 7. So, early childhood. Not that we wouldn't be a part of this thread, but for the support from each other on our personal growth.
It sounds like maybe you are referring to what the waldorf materials call 'Inner Work' and I have found it to be crucial to our success on this new waldorf path. Just like AP, Waldorf requires a lot of work and preparation from the parent/s to seem effortless.

I'm all for discussing things like that here, though if you wish to start another thread that's cool too.
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