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#211 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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one more question i have x-posted.. how neccesary are play stands? they are so expensive! we have a rainbow house for dd (wooden square frame with playclips holding up play sliks on all side and the top) is that good enough? i guess not once shes gets taller huh ?

also we painted dd's playroom an off white color and then hung the flowers abc's on the wall along with the bird 123's (both from magic cabin made by eeboo). is that ok?
birds: http://www.eeboo.com/product.php?cat=30&prod=34


flower abc's: http://www.eeboo.com/product.php?cat=30&prod=72

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#212 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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Welcome counterGOPI, welcome back knittingkara and hi everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
oh and please xplain to me the whole rythm thing..what is this and how do we do it?
To us, rhythm is like building the natural cycles, the ebb and flow of life, into your day. You do something engaging (the inbreath), followed by some time to ponder or process (the outbreath). Your day should be a wavelike mix of inbreaths and outbreaths.

It's kinda the opposite of the pop-culture notion of "cramming" activities and making sure you're always teaching.

Allowing outbreath give your time to just "be," to center (without their consciously doing it as an adult would), and to spend time in their beautiful, imaginative world where reality and fantasy blend together. That imagination will serve them in creativity later in life.

In our day, we'll have structure, then free time, or structure, then lunch, or lesson, and free art time. Try to keep it separate from the clock: like we'll do our walk (outbreath), opening circle and tell a story (in), then we'll have a snack and break (out), then a craft and a closing song (in my opinion, this is inbreath but some teachers disagree), followed by free play.....whatever, just notice no times are attached. I move on to the next structure when the kids are ready.

Your playroom sounds lovely! A lot of Waldorf teachers would hang just one letter at first, then switch it out each week or so (or add one). Supporting her curiosity withpushing is exactly what I did with mine when they were young. I also added a corner nature table where we displayed a few special thing and then would bring leaves, nuts, flowers, etc. from our walks.

As far as playstands are concerned, IMHO you don't have to have one at home. We do now because my best friend made one for my son, but for years I would use two chairs turned back to back and a playcloth (and sometimes a board) to do puppet theater. The kids liked to use one end of the couch which was situated with one end out fro the wall a bit. That made a nice little private play area behind there for tent and such.

But, if you can afford one, playstands are really fun. Go for the lighter ones that the kids can move around, the pairs that truly become a room seem to get less daily use at my friends' houses - the get old. Waldorf Resources has an online pattern for making a set if you're good with wood.

Warm wishes,

Lucie
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#213 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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Not to totally derail a train of thread there, but I had to come and celebrate....

We've been homeschooling ds1 for...well...this is our 5 year anniversary of homeschooling this month He's in 6th grade and we've been fluttering about trying to find what works best for him.

And I'm so in love with Waldorf education, I wish I'd known about it earlier in life.
But anyhow--we are using Oak Meadow 6th/7th grade this year

any my son...who would never draw or color or anything remotely related to that...
has been creating the most beautiful works of art these past few months.

And he is LOVING it--finding new ways to get all those thoughts from his head out onto paper or clay or dirt or whatever else he can think of!

I am so happy for him!!!!

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#214 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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ehhhh now that I think about it I do need some advice....


I have to figure out how to start up with ds2 and ds3 (well, we've got a while for him yet--he's just 9 mo )

Ds2 will be 4 in March (how did that happen???!!) and I'm at a loss.

I work full-time at home (so have ds3 with me) and homeschool ds1 (who is mostly on his own at this point) and ds2 goes to half day of preschool (just to have some time to run and play--although lately they haven't been even doing that much *growl* but it gives me a few hours to get work and schoolwork with ds1 done)

But I see him turning more and more to the computer and tv
and I can't stand it. It's breaking my heart.

But he is so high needs and I'm already stretched so thin.

Dh supports all this, and is in charge of kid wrangling while I work (so he's the sahd) but he isn't *active* iykwim....he's kind of a chauffeur and EMT for the kids--not much for actually doing stuff WITH them.

So...how can I work this and not go insane (more so than I already am, that is)

I can't set my own work hours. If all is quiet, I can be on standby for work, but I have to take calls and emails as they come in.

This doesn't sound very condusive to Waldorf, imo and I don't know if there is a way to compromise

I'd really love to hear any and all thoughts on this.
I feel like I'm missing out on a whole lot with ds2, even though I'm right here

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#215 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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It took me a couple of days but I finally read through all the pages. I didn't really know much about Waldorf and there is a lot of info in here. I'm considering homeschooling and have been reading up about Enki. I wanted to read this thread too so I would understand more about Waldorf as well. We try to limit the plastic in our house and tv, but the changes are slow. I just decided to start doing this on my own and have been doing some books and singing with hand motions with the kids more recently in a more organized way. They've really been liking it and come to find out I guess we're doing a version of circle time? I'd like to find more rhythm in our life as I feel that has been sorely lacking for us due to moving around and other life stuff. The kids are at a really nice age now to start making some positive changes in the way we do things so that everyone is happier and more balanced. I feel like some of the Waldorf ideas and Enki might be able to help us with that.

I really enjoyed reading people's media confessionals because it's something that I have alot of guilt over. The only way I could figure to have no TV though was to get the tv out of the house, but DH would never go for that. So, I've been trying to stick to shows that I feel are less cartoony and fast moving sequences of animation. I've been doing Zoboomafoo and Blue's Clues because the kids seem to like them and they seem more thoughtful to me. I prefer the older Blue's Clues with Steve because it seems like it moves a bit slower and there is less animation. Can anyone weigh in on these. I'm curious what shows people think are worthwhile if you let your child watch some tv.

I was also really interested in the Singing and songbook ideas and I'm looking forward to researching that more. I feel like I have this small repertoire of songs that I remember from childhood, but could use so many more. The kids really love the song time. Another thing I wish I'd been doing more with sooner. I always sang to them, but mostly just at bedtime because that's what my mom did.

There are so many things we repeat just because our parents did it and I appreciate finding more avenues that I had never considered before. Sometimes I think I am doing things better than my parents did, but then realize I could be doing so much more and finding even more happiness in my life with my children.

Thanks so much for this great thread and for letting me see that there are others out there who are searching for the right kind of schooling for their kids. Holistic is such a good way of putting it. I have to admit that I did not check this thread out right away because it said Waldorf and I wasn't sure if that's what I was interested in, but now I can see how much I agree with what alot of people in this thread have said. I'm wondering how I didn't come across more info about Waldorf sooner!

Well, the little one is awake so I have to run!

Laurie
mom to Emma (almost 4) and Lucie (almost 2)

About to have 3 little chicks due with #3 Dec 15th
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#216 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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Welcome, Laurie!

We started out winter teatime circle this week. I love this circle. There are so many good old-fashioned homey nursery rhymes that go along with it!

I think that even though Katie Grace is reading, we're going to go back and do the fairy tale/alphabet main lesson book. I want her to have a beautiful relationship with letters beyond just how to write them and what sound they make, you know?

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#217 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
hmm im not sure if i can be!! i dont know much about waldorf,only htings ive picked up here and there.
my friend who used to be a waldorf teacher told me that they never explained things to kids in the classroom,instead they would say 'i wonder' to the kids to make them try and figure it out on their own. with my DD being 16 months, should i be doing this with her? i mean she doesnt alk so she cant ask questions but she still gives me things and waits for me to say something about them, plus right now i have a tendecy to explain things to her a lot, im not sure why i do it... :

as for what i'm teaching her.. im not really teaching her anything,but should i be? or is she just mimicing me right now?
IMHO it's not only ok, but good to explain things to a baby. My dd is 18 mos old and communicates exceptionally well and is always talking about things and then I tell her something etc. For example when we were in the car a few weeks ago I told her I saw some deer. She repeated "I saw a deer" Then I told her how deer live in the woods under the trees- that is there home. She understands the concept of home. This led to her saying "Deer go pee pee outside" and then about a 10 minute conversation about where different creatures (human and animals) pee. She told me daddy pee pee and when I asked where she said "inside in potty" etc Finally she told me "I saw a deer pee pee outside" I share all that to say - her imagination is developing wonderfully well!! (and because I just had to share our funny pee conversation! ) I think it 's because we do communicate and explain how things work to her.

Must add tho that I don't completely agree with Steiner's idea of not teaching certain things til kids are older: I think teaching and learning should flow naturally in all that you do tho, not be structured, but I do think that they are normal natural parts of any culture.

Just my opinion
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#218 of 230 Old 01-29-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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Anybody doing something special for Candlemas? Simple ideas to share? --Nancy
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#219 of 230 Old 01-30-2007, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ni,
Lucie explained rhythm to you very well. Take it a step at a time the slower you incorporate it the better. You know how people go on diets and then go back to there usual eating habits and gain back the weight? Obviously that doesn't make much sense. It is better to make lasting changes. This is accomplished when you go at a comfortable pace.

As far as explaining things to your young dc. I don't believe that young children should be intellectualized. Here are a couple articles to read:

Go down to delayed acedemics and then click on Children's questionshttp://www.openwaldorf.com/academics.html

http://www.christopherushomeschool.o..._education.htm

This is an article the Donna Simmons wrote. She's great.

" Waldorf education is not anti-intellectual. It is, however, anti-early intellectual. At heart, Waldorf education aims to be therapeutic and its goal is to foster the development of healthy well-balanced individuals. It is deeply felt in Waldorf circles that premature intellectualism can drain and deplete a child, and that the recognized overlapping of the label ‘gifted’ with the label ‘ADHD’ is no coincidence. By avoiding early intellectualism and really allowing our children the time and space to develop their imaginations and to experience life at their own pace, we can allow children to develop the physical and emotional strength to really fly with their later academic learning. Waldorf seeks to avoid the scenario of hothouse flowers, plants which bloom early and bright, but often lack the strength and substance to grow and flourish over time."
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#220 of 230 Old 01-30-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

I think that even though Katie Grace is reading, we're going to go back and do the fairy tale/alphabet main lesson book. I want her to have a beautiful relationship with letters beyond just how to write them and what sound they make, you know?
AM, you read my mind This is why I chose to start doing some of the OM lessons for kindergarten with the fairy tales and doing a main lesson book. I know my daughter is beginning reading and I know she knows what the upper and lower case letter look like and the sounds they make, but I want her to have a deeper foundation and understanding of them. A "beautiful relationship" with them, as you put it.

We've been making beeswax letters and numbers here the past two weeks - and also some activities like marching out the shapes of the letters in the snow, "drawing" them in the air. FUN!

So, we're gonna continue this in February, right gang? I'm having a great time and learning so much from this thread!

Best Wishes!

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#221 of 230 Old 01-30-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Thanks Kara! I love the beeswax and large motor ideas!

Also, I have news to share. I started my own thread, but wanted to share here as well. This is a c and p from the other thread:
Some of you may remember that a little over a year ago, we put Michael in school. There were some major behavior issues going on, plus I was being very inflexible about using a strict Waldorf curriculum. He finished first grade with a not-so-great teacher and is currently in second grade with a truly excellent teacher. He's doing really well. BUT we all want him home. As good as the best public school classroom is, we still all have this niggling feeling that we can do better by him, you know?

We had him tested for the gifted program, and it turned out he was actually really scarily smart. On top of that, he had some pretty big developmental delays in the small motor areas. Put those two things together, and what looked like behavior issues before turns out to be a pretty frustrated kid.

A couple weeks ago, he came home with the word "bitch". We were just appalled. Michael was really upset, because he had no idea it was a "naughty word." Plus, he gets little to no science or social studies and his teacher has to be very concerned with "second grade benchmarks" rather than individual interests. Which we totally understand, given the circumstances, but we're not thrilled about it.

Anyway, tonight he asked if he can come home. I really want him to. DH, who was very resistant a few months ago, is really open to it. I'm really, really praying my little guy is back home for third grade. If you have any prayers or positive vibes to spare, please think of us!

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#222 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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I am currently at home with my 2 dds. my ds goes to public school. I also do a daycare within my home for 2 other children. I am looking at doing a more waldorf style with my 2 dds and the daycare children. I like to come up with themes for each month/season. I am currently trying to come up with more for my winter months. What are you all currently doing?
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#223 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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Oh AnnetteMarie, how exciting! I will definitely keep you all in my thoughts. for Michael to come home!

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#224 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreal View Post
But he is so high needs and I'm already stretched so thin...Dh supports all this, and is in charge of kid wrangling while I work (so he's the sahd) but he isn't *active* iykwim....he's kind of a chauffeur and EMT for the kids--not much for actually doing stuff WITH them...So...how can I work this and not go insane (more so than I already am, that is)...I can't set my own work hours. If all is quiet, I can be on standby for work, but I have to take calls and emails as they come in.(
Dear Unreal,

Wow, relax and take a deep breath. It sounds like you are truly burning the candle at both ends.

One thought - you mentioned that your DH is a sahd. Does he not work also? If not, then part of this is his "job" and perhaps the two of you together can reach an agreement on what types media and of physical activity the kids should get every day. My husband also isn't terribly active, but he still takes the kids to the parks. There are benches if your dh is physically unable to participate in the play.

Also, try keeping plenty of active toys inside the house - Nerf basketball, mini-tramps, Wobbler boards, hopper balls, little plastic, movable slides, etc. inside the house, and then plenty of active toys in the yard. You can usually find a lot of this stuff very inexpensively, and if you have limted space, just use what you have - we used to play ball on a screened laundry porch.

Dh doesn't then have to "do" all of this if it is just everywhere around them...but if it is his job, then perhaps you can plan together a storytime or a simple game they can do together.

I used to work "part-time" but it often ended up being full time. After the first year, I finally decided it was only sane to set flexible "office hours." As part of that, I set up 2 hours when I truly did not accept phone calls at all - turned off the ringer - period. No company can require you to be avaiable 24 hours - even your own. It is especially for the busy days that you need that, but mainly for the benefit of a regular, rhythmic routine.

Choose whatever time of day "works" for this, and make that your time with the kids. With DH helping, perhaps you can have time all together and then time for one-on-one.

You deserve your sanity and as part of that you are going to need some time together - whether it is strctured or playtime. Phone calls in particular can truly derail your moment.

Best wishes for some calmer days,

Lucie

P.S. There's a fabulous book, Are We Having Fun Yet? The 16 Secrets of Happy Parenting in which the author helps stay at home parents to balance their needs - like getting support, "coffee breaks," etc. She has you really consider how your family can meet your needs like a business would - in a structured way - to preserve your morale. Truly great read!
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#225 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Carey~ This is an article from the Mothering website with questions and answers with Rahima Baldwin Dancy. She wrote You are your Child's First Teacher. One of the questions is how to make a child care more Waldorf.

http://www.mothering.com/sections/ex...e.html#daycare

annettemarie~ I hope that your ds will come home. Family happiness is so important.

Nancy~ We do not celebrate Candlemas, but instead we celebrate Imbolc since we are Pagan. The two are very similar, and celebrated on the same day. Here are some things we do. Take what you can use and leave the rest!

We start by going outside to wake up the ground. The children take their magic wands and "help" the fairies and other nature spirits to wake the Earth. We sing and chant. Make up your own song that talks about waking the Earth.

Then we go for a walk to look for signs that spring is coming and that the earth is starting to thaw. We pick up any items that we come across that suggest spring to put on our nature table.

When we come back home we make sure anything that would suggest winter or Yule/Christmas is put away. It's time to move winter out and get ready for spring. This is also a time that we begin spring cleaning.

Then we plant an inspiration garden. We get dirt from our yard and put it in a big baking dish. Then the oldest ds and I write down things we are working on this year and plant them in the garden. These would be things like, I will plant a garden in the spring, I will learn to skateboard, etc. After we plant our garden we light a candle over each "seed" and say a blessing.

Thanks mamas for such a wonderfully supportive thread this month. I will see all you ladies in next months thread. We have to keep this going!
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#226 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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We start by going outside to wake up the ground...Then we plant an inspiration garden.... After we plant our garden we light a candle over each "seed" and say a blessing.
Dear MamaKass, What wonderful, inspiring ideas to take with me today. We were going to start our garden next month with the worm composter, but now I can start it now! Thank you!

We have done candle-rolling for Candlemas before - hobby stores sell inexpensive kits for that and 4 yr olds can do it easily...but I was always advised against doing the dipping with young children as it requires a lot of patience and my little one is a very active boy. With my youngest 7 this year, however, we're thinking of doing it for the first time inspired by my best friend in Texas plus this blog post from Life a La Carte
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#227 of 230 Old 01-31-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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mama_kass- thanks for the link!
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#228 of 230 Old 02-02-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Welcome Laurie! I think you may find that the tv thing starts to resolve itself a bit as you get more into a rhythm with your family. For now I wouldn't stress about it too much. Step by step.

r.e. candlemas/imbolc/groundhog day; none of these mean much to me in their own right since I'm neither Christian, Pagan or American (LOL), but I have been so inspired this year to mark all the subtle changes of season and this day makes sense to me as one to be marked. So we'll be gathering with a group of other famlies in the woods, felting seeds in pods, taking a nature walk where the kids can look for signs of spring, making twig weavings (simply weave some yarn onto a forked twig and weave in found nature objects). We may light a few candles or my slightly-more-pagan-than-me suggested a cauldron fire and making wishes/blessings (sounds fun to me!), before sharing hot soup and bread.

If anyone happens to read this in the next couple of hrs I'm still in search of a fitting - secular - story or poem appropriate for 4-6 yr olds. Something involving spring, light, sun....
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#229 of 230 Old 02-02-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Thanks Maya, I hope you found your poem!

I hope this thread will continue for future months because I've really enjoyed reading it and have found out alot about Waldorf and just some great holistic homeschooling ideas. Maybe someday soon I will be able to contribute more myself!

Thanks again,
Laurie

About to have 3 little chicks due with #3 Dec 15th
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#230 of 230 Old 02-02-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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Thanks Maya, I hope you found your poem!

I hope this thread will continue for future months because I've really enjoyed reading it and have found out alot about Waldorf and just some great holistic homeschooling ideas. Maybe someday soon I will be able to contribute more myself!

Thanks again,
Laurie
Laurie, here is the February thread.

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