We are going to a May Day celebration Friday evening. Brother and I are making Jingle Knots from the Enki Craft book to use as anklets. Basically, it is tying a row of knots and then attaching a bell. He is still in the mechanical stage of the project and can get a knot about 1/2 the time. I think the numbers on the board confused him as well. I'll have to try this craft again in a month and see if it clicks for him then. He was very concerned that the anklet would not be ready on time without my help, so I finished it up for him. He was happy and we all had jingle bells ringing on our ankles for the celebration!
Two weeks ago we "hiked" around Scriber lake. This is one of those places that we try and visit at least once each season. It is in a very urban area, but with the tree growth and bird life I don't think the kids even notice. The really enjoyed the hike. We saw ducks, geese and a hummingbird's nest. We also heard other birds calling.
Today was Co-Op day. Brother actually participated in the circle today, which is quite an accomplishment for him. Its funny, because he knew the circle from watching, he just wasn't doing it. I guess that's proof of the Mirroring talked about in our Enki homeschooling guides.
About three weeks ago, I had to face the reality that I had to decrease my work load if I was going to homeschool and parent the way I want. I have released my largest client. I really enjoyed working with him, but I had too much on my plate. I have kept my three small clients and am in the process of streamlining my work flow. I had to work this afternoon, so our rhythm was pretty disrupted. On the bright side, after Sunday, I should be able to really focus on pulling everything together!
Part of Waldorf education is the experience of baking bread. Since I am gluten free, this has been a really big struggle for me! Today instead of bread we made Gluten Free pizza crust. It was delicious! My husband even said that I could pass it off as a wheat crust and no one would know.
It was our first time making the crust, so it was very challenging. I used yeast, dissolving it in warm water with sugar. It was so fun watching it rise. We had to pour the mixture into another bowl so that it didn't overflow onto the floor. Brother has shown me that he can take baking seriously, so I let him level the top of the measuring spoon off in addition to dumping the dry ingredients into the bowl. I have a really hard time letting go of the control of that part of the process, so that was a huge step for me. On the other side of things, we did use the mixer (as the recipe instructed) instead of a wooden spoon. So, we missed out on the kneading and mixing of the dough. The dough is really, really sticky so I don't know how feasible it is to mix it by hand. Is it that sticky when you use wheat?I am going to ask my friend for advice to see how we can make the process more manual.
The kids and I made a Mushroom & Leek Galette, which was delicious. Here is the recipe. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/mushroom_leek_galette.html. We are gluten free, so I replaced the flours with brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, tapioca flour and potato starch. I also added just a little bit of xanthan gum. I can't really compare how it turned out with how this crust would usually taste, because I have been gluten free so long, but my husband enjoyed it.
The boys were really involved with the whole process from start to finish. Both brothers got to put their hands in the crust dough to combine the flours with the liquids, cut the leaks and mushrooms, stir the food while it was cooking and roll out the dough. The baby didn't get too much cutting done. He mainly threw the leaks around and kept adding them into the "already cut up" bowl, and instead of cutting the mushrooms, he tore them into chunks. I gave him a serrated butter knife, so that he couldn't really get hurt - since he is only 21 months old! Brother is getting really good with his knife skills. He uses a real knife and hasn't cut himself yet. The baby did touch the pan while the leaks and mushrooms were cooking, but since it was medium heat, it didn't really injure him, just surprised him. Now he knows and will be more careful in the future with no real cost. They took turns rolling out the dough. After they had rolled out the dough, I smashed it up and rerolled it. I felt a little bad about that because it is supposed to be "process over product" but it wasn't even close to rolled out in a circle. I guess I am chalking it up to modeling. I didn't want to put the crust in the pan and then have areas with no crust.
To celebrate Easter we went To Grandma and Grandpa's house for brunch. The kids had an Easter Egg hunt out in the yard. Brother really enjoyed playing with his cousin even though she is only 3 years old. He really gets along with everyone.
he really enjoyed looking at car engines with his Grandpa and Uncle. He was able to see where the exhaust system hooked up with the engine. He is so fascinated with how things work.
It was a beautiful day! In the morning we met with friends at the park for a nature walk, followed by lunch with Daddy and rest time. Our afternoon activity on Friday's is wet on wet painting.
While baby was sleeping Brother and I did our wet on wets using yellow and blue. I painted my picture first. This is a huge learning
experience for me because I don't feel like I am very "artistic" or "creative". I figure that i will learn along with the boys.
After I model the picture, Brother is supposed to create a picture inspired by my modeling as his lesson. Then he is free to do what he wishes with a second picture. And it started out that way. He was painting with blue and singing about a snowstorm. Then all of a sudden it changed and he went into a color experience of painting with paint, and then wiping it off with a rag. He did that over and over. After a while he folded the paper as well, creating a huge paint, water, folding, wiping experiment. This was not the lesson and left me with the conflict of "hold the form" and stop the process or let it go on. I felt like the experiment did have value, so I chose to let it go on. His energy was very focused and intent. But after he was finished with this picture. I had him do the second one as the lesson.
Here is the one from his actual lesson. I like it a lot better than mine.
Baby woke up part way through the lesson. I just had him use Brother's old paint. What I think is neat is that when he was making those lines, he was pretending to saw with the paint brush and was making sawing noises. His whole painting experience was very cute. He had a lot of fun and really just lived in the color.
Today was supposed to be a park day, but our friends are sick. So we are doing things here instead. Trying to make it a normal day - I tried to do circle. The kids were running around the livingroom playing circle anyway, so I figured, why not jump in. Well, I met with Great Resistance! So, after the kids ran away, and I was angry, I sat to rest in my meditation spot, which is on the livingroom couch. Then I realized - what is the purpose of circle? To bring the family together and to get morning rhythmic movement. But, if there is Great Resistance and I force it, am I bringing the family together? No! So, I offered Brother the choice of a walk or a circle. He chose walk, and we all happily took a walk together.
FWIW - I love circle. So, I will have on prepared just in case.
It was snowing BTW! So, part way through the walk, Brother asked for Spring Songs. So I starting singing Spring is Coming from our circle. He loved it! He thought it was so funny singing spring songs in the snow! We also squeezed in our fingerplay. My only issue is that he will not be doing naval radiation if we just take a walk. So, I need to ponder that issue for a while.
Our long term craft project is the sail boat from the Enki Craft book. I know, it's in the Autumn section, but we are making it now so that we can sail it on Lake Whatcom with Oma and Opa this summer. When we started the project at his friend's house (with his friend) last Thursday, he had no interest. I was thinking he might not be ready for this craft yet. But I got it out today and put it in the kitchen on our little wood working table and he was very intent on it. He did A LOT of sawing. I think he is ready for it, but he may need some reminding. On the other hand, he set a goal for himself of finishing that cut, and he did! I know he wants the sail boat this summer because we talked about it last year. But I also really feel like it is important that we make at least some of our toys and that I don't just go buy him a sailboat. I see a huge difference in the soul quality between purchased toys and home made toys, for him.