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#121 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post
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?
The block crayons are really special somehow, as you can cover large areas of the paper with color without worrying about lines so much. I would actually say that they totally transformed our coloring around here...we love them very much. If cost is an issue, you could try starting out with just the 3 primary colors.

For the paints, I guess it depends on what kind of water colors you have. If it's the tube kind, I would say go for it and use those up before buying something else. If it's just those little trays of water color paints in the little circles, that would probably not work as well. We started off with 3 of the smallest Stockmar watercolors in primary colors and if you have painting day once a week for example, they nearly last a whole year! And the colors are truly amazing.

hth!

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#122 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been really digging multiplication circles/wheels. I'm sad I missed them my first time around!
I totally understand!

I have my 4th grader planned to review math 'the waldorf way' for grades 1-3 as his math work for Sept-December. And one of the things that we didn't do before that we will integrate in will be the times circles. They are just awesome. I wish someone had showed those to me when I was in elem school. It would have made more sense to me than a standard times table grid.

I have Melisa's (A Little Garden Flower) math book for grades 1-5 and am loving it! I also have the D. Harrer book that Melisa references often and it is full of good ideas.

Even though DS1 has these math skills already, I want him to have the stories and the magic of waldorf math before he proceeds forward. And I am thankful that the next in 'line' is only in kindergarten so that I have time to acclimate this year and be ready to start him out fully waldorf in 1st grade next year.

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#123 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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I really want to get both Melissa's book and the Harrer book.

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#124 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found the Harrer book on the waldorf curriculum supplies yahoo group. It's an awesome place to post what you're looking for or look to see what is for sale. It has no archive, so you have to either receive individual emails or do daily digest if you hope to catch something for sale you want.

Oh, I should post a link:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldor...ulum-supplies/

I got Melisa's book directly from her A Little Garden Flower site, though I have seen it at the curriculum supplies group. Oh, and Melisa sells it in ebook format too.

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#125 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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I posted my slightly hyperactive schedule the other week and I have to say it's worked out to be much less hectic than I anticipated. There's even been breathing room! Our first week is going pretty well. My toddler is the biggest bump in the road, so to speak. Whatever his siblings have, he wants. But I've even had time to spend one-on-one with him each morning, which has been lovely.

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#126 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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what is this multiplication wheel? i am very interested!

h

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#127 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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is this the wheel your talking about?

http://www.naturalmath.com/study/view-23.html

h

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#128 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is this the wheel your talking about?

http://www.naturalmath.com/study/view-23.html

h

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.

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#129 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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Well, that's the clock, which I think we're going to do when we're done. We've been doing these:
http://happy_as_kings.typepad.com/ha...lication_.html
http://melissacalapp.blogspot.com/20...1_archive.html
(scroll down to June 10)


You can also do it with "math boards"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14338181@N00/2753591177/

This video explains it pretty well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ALx5q6jO4

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#130 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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oh my, that looks really confusing. lol even after watching the video. lol

h

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#131 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, those two. I didn't know you were referring to those, Annette.

We'll do the circles and the 'clocks' but I don't think we'll do the nails in a board.

I got an inspiration from a board at a local children's museum, though. They have a peg board and a box of golf tees and a box of rubber bands. You just put the tees in the pegs to make your design and then stretch the rubber bands around it to finish it off. So flexible and we can use it for multiple things.

Getting the supplies for it is on my 'to do' list. Not sure where to find that kind of peg board, but I saw tees available inexpensively at Target recently...and, um, rubber bands anywhere!

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#132 of 397 Old 09-03-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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mary3mama - interesting about the painting boards. I'll have ton ponder that a bit. It would be nice to start with something like that.

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Originally Posted by calynde View Post
The block crayons are really special somehow, as you can cover large areas of the paper with color without worrying about lines so much. I would actually say that they totally transformed our coloring around here...we love them very much. If cost is an issue, you could try starting out with just the 3 primary colors.

For the paints, I guess it depends on what kind of water colors you have. If it's the tube kind, I would say go for it and use those up before buying something else. If it's just those little trays of water color paints in the little circles, that would probably not work as well. We started off with 3 of the smallest Stockmar watercolors in primary colors and if you have painting day once a week for example, they nearly last a whole year! And the colors are truly amazing.
Thanks for both suggestions. The water color paints I have come in tubes. Ds and I have used them several times before so I don't think it will be that much of a leap to explore wet-on-wet painting.

The block crayons are on sale right now at A Little Toy Garden. I'll have to consider getting some. At the very least I know they won't go unused.
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#133 of 397 Old 09-07-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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This thread needs a

My girls are excited to start tomorrow, and I'm relieved that I'm ready too. Getting new desks for the new space and most of our books unpacked has really helped me get prepared. I've reserved more books from the library, and will go pick them up tomorrow.

Thanks for all the inspiration- keep it comin'!
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#134 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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::::
School starts today!

The boys were up before 7:30 this morning (usually they sleep in to 8 or 8:30) asking when we were going to start. It's adorable that they are so excited and eager. Taking the whole summer totally and completely OFF has helped them recharge and have a good attitude.

Not that we are starting this early. I still need to wake up and we need breakfast and we're not starting until their baby sister is up.

We're gonna start with a nature walk in the drizzly morning air. Clapping, counting, playing pennywhistles, stomping, singing, climbing...that should give us a good way to get out those extra wiggles and anticipatory energy before getting down to the 'work' of the day.

Once we come back we'll start with reading a book together and then (hopefully) the two younger ones will run off to build and play together while I sit with Nic and get him started on his new year.

So exciting!

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#135 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Mary- I hope the day continues on such a good note!

It's almost 7am here. My two are still sleeping and I need to put together the school cones and set out the materials I want to use today.

Everyone is excited, it's going to be a good day.:
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#136 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our first school day was/is fantastic!!! :

Once everyone was up I made oatmeal...yum! Then we took a long walk in the cool, no longer drizzly, morning.

We live in a very hilly area, mind you, so a walk automatically becomes something of a hike, even in our own yard. But we walked all the way up to the top of the hill that is to the west of our house. Out there it's easy to imagine that you are far from civilization and in a different age. There is almost no sign anywhere that people have ever been in the forest. It's heaven.

Once we got *there* I got out the pennywhistles and the boys enjoyed making all sorts of random noise. If the local wildlife minded at all, they didn't show it. The birds just sang right along.

Once back home - we were gone for an hour and my 2yo walked the whole time. we gathered on the couch to read the day's book: Grandpa Bear's Fantastic Scarf. This gave everyone a chance to get a drink of water and sit still and rest. It's a lovely book and after lunch I'll be getting out the supplies for painting time. The theme will be the colors of our own life-scarves...though I don't expect overt existential contemplation from the wee ones.

Next the two younger ones ran off to play together while I got Nic started. We started with form drawing...which is brand new to both of us. I have it kinda mapped out to go through grades 1-3 with him over the next several months (first day of the school week only) so that by the time January comes he'll be ready for the harder forms of 4th grade.

After that we read the first part of the 'container story' that is contained within the 4th grade book from A Little Garden Flower. Nic has been eager to dig into this story since I first told him about it in June. He listened intently and asked good questions.

In conjunction with the story, his first day's tasks were to draw and accurately label 3 maps: his room, the house, the yard. The one for the yard was especially detailed as he had to include the names of the streets that touch our property as well as correctly labeling north, south, east and west.

And with the exception of the painting after lunch, everything was done and done well by 11:30.

And Nic is eager for tomorrow.

I know there will be challenging days and days where nothing seems to go right...but just for today I smile and know that this was the very best way to start out new year.

And now the boys are off making and flying paper airplanes and happy to be back together again. (Theo wanted to be with Nic so much that while Nic made his maps, Theo sat at the table and wrote in his own journal....he adores his big brother!)

I hope everyone is enjoying their paths.

I am deeply grateful that this waldorf path found its way into my awareness...our family seems very well served by it.

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#137 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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We started 1st grade a few weeks ago!

The only thing is that ds isn't crazy about drawing the letters in the shape of something. Like C is a curled up cat, or M is a mountain. It just plain bugs him, but we're trying...

Otherwise, so far so good!

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#138 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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We were done by 11:30am also. The routine I'm working into is to take a walk at 9am for about 15 minutes, ( then back home) and start right off with 15 minutes each reading and math instruction. (done by the girls individually at their level) Then a 15 min activity break. Today it included jump rope, 2-square ball, and hula-hooping. Then back in for a 45 min MLB ( animal kingdom). Followed by another 15 min activity break ( we chose more of the same from earlier) and ended up with art time. Today was their choice for art. Colored pencils, glitter, and colored paper and reptiles were the results.

The girls were surprised to find their school cones on their desks this morning. I'd included fun pencils, small construction paper, crayons, fall themed stamps and glitter glue. And a couple pieces of salt water taffy from our recent trip to the seaside.

Alternating a physical activity with lessons really helped define our routine, and keeping things brief helped them keep attention. We could easily spend 20 on the earlier subjects, and may pare down the physical activities to 10 minutes. Getting into a routine is really important to me, and while I'm flexible to changes as needed, I need that structure right now.
The only real trouble I had was my older dd making negative comments to younger dd. Really just sibling rivalry stuff, but so annoying!

I think we're all looking forward to tomorrow.
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#139 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Sounds like you had a great day!

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#140 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Sounds like everyone is having so much fun! This is our second week here DS7 is in 2nd grade and I am doing some really simple things with dd4(who will be 5 next month)

We are super excited for fall to start the kids have already been collecting leaves,acorns for the nature table. This is our favorite time of year here!

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#141 of 397 Old 09-08-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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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.
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#142 of 397 Old 09-09-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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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.
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#143 of 397 Old 09-09-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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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???

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#144 of 397 Old 09-09-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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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.

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#145 of 397 Old 09-09-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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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.
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#146 of 397 Old 09-09-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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,

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#147 of 397 Old 09-10-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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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.
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#148 of 397 Old 09-10-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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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

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#149 of 397 Old 09-10-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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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

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#150 of 397 Old 09-10-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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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.

Mama, writer, partner, wanderer. Living life with my ds (7/06), married to my best friend and nemesis .
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