We are having such a strange year for weather around here. It has been so beautiful and mild I'm just blown away. I couldn't really find a story that felt right, so I just started reading the Burgess Bird Book For Children by Thornton Burgess. Brother loves it so I figured it was a good fit. A lot of birds have returned early for the spring. And - I spotted the raccoons mating in the tree tops in our front yard. That was quite a ruckus!
Our Form Drawing today is a curved line.
Here's mine. They are a little different, but I feel like he has the general idea.
In the afternoon we went to the park with some friends. We have had a lot of social time this week!
Well, we've been having morning lessons every day. The weather has been so nice, we've been spending at least an hour outside each morning. I've been reclaiming some of the garden from the blackberries that we inherited when we moved in. The church lot behind our garden is a haven for song birds. I love listening to them sing while I work.
Wednesday afternoon we visited at a friend's house. So far we have had a social outing every day this week. But, what I have noticed is that we have not been doing any projects. It's hard to fit everything in.
Thursday we recalled Little Red Cap and drew our pictures.
Mine. Brother says that I drew another Masha and The Bear.
Brother's. He did show the darkness of the forest, which is what I was using to portray the wolf's spirit. Brother also wanted to show both houses and the path. He's really interested in maps right now. As you can see, outlining is a bit of a struggle for us. I am not sure how to encourage him to fill in, instead.
Brother really loves the Masha and The Bear story. So, in honoring his desire to continue working with the story, we made red bees wax berries and little red birds today. To keep the wax warm enough for use, I put boiling water into a coffee mug, put a saucer on top of the mug, and the wax on top of the saucer. I did have to keep my eye on it so that it wouldn't melt, but this process has been much more successful for us than some of the other things we have tried. Trying to keep the wax warm enough to work with has been so challenging of us that it has really hindered our work with the wax in the past. I am really excited that we have found a process that works for us.
We also followed our regular homeschool rhythm for the rest of the day.
I added another base sense activity to our circle from the Enki Kindergarten Guide called "Snowflake" - So our circle is now:
Walk Form Walk Gathering Song Gnomes Dwarves Winter White Snowflakes - and a short grounding activity Closing Song Closing Spiral
I'm getting closer! All I need to add is a pre-recorder song, foreign language song, and a finger play.
It's hard focusing on winter right now when our weather is so unseasonably warm. Brother's contribution to circle today was "Spring is Coming." We have only had one really cold week so far, about 4 frosty mornings and no snow at all.
With my lack of enthusiasm towards the weather, I just couldn't pick t a snowy, winter poem for Baby's reading session today. I have the "My Bookhouse Collection", so we just read some nursery rhymes out of the "In The Nursery" book. This is Baby's book list for the week:
In The Nusery A Fairy Went A-Marketing The Gingerbread Baby (AAARGH!) Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel
For Brother I am reading the Enki Fairy Tale "Little Red Cap", which went really well!
This afternoon we enjoyed a sunny day at the park with our good friends, and the kids took off their coats. After all , it is such a blustery winter here.
The snowmen are finally sewn together. This was just a wet felting project. Each part was made separately, and then sewn together. Brother had no problem with the sewing! I just started it off for him and he took control! They are supposed to be decorations, but the kids love them and play with them like toys. Hopefully they don't break! They aren't very sturdy.
Poor Baby had to ride in the stroller again today. His fever has broken, but his energy is still low and he has a nasty cough. He is finally eating again though! Brother and I had a fun walk though, he was running all over the place!
Our nature story was the "A Busy Sleep" story again for the third and final time. After the story we rolled around on the floor pretending to be bears again. Then we had drew our first form! I was digging around in our art closet and noticed that we have a black board on one of the easels. So, I pulled it out for Brother to try his form on. Then he drew on his paper.
This is our first form. It was my first time through the process, so I had a lot of my own learning to do. Completing the process brought up more questions for me, so I watched the Enki form drawing part of the DVD that came with our curriculum. Don't ask why I didn't watch it before we did the form. Anyway, now I know that he should not color in an up and down motion, but always start at the beginning and complete the form in one movement. Next time!
I included Baby in the process by letting him draw on the chalk board after Brother was done and then gave him paper and crayons and set him up at the table to draw. I didn't really have much of a choice, Baby was determined to be a part of the action.
Here is Brother's wet on wet painting. He thought about Masha and The Bear while painting it.
Here are two pictures from Grandma's 70th birthday party:
This is Grandma with her tiara receiving the table top votive lanterns the kids made. I saved the big googly eyes from a card the kids had received a few years ago. I didn't want to keep the card around, but I hate throwing out the plasticy parts if we can reuse them. The big googly eyes were the first thing Brother went for when decorating!
Here is Baby eating pita. It's the last thing he ate for 4 days. I'm glad he enjoyed it!
Today was a weird day, not that it hasn't been a strange week. We've been completing all of our activities, but not at the time of day you'd expect. Baby is still sick. He has a fever at night, is sleeping multiple times a day, including falling asleep on his Dad's lap at dinner, and is whiney. Poor Kid. Brother is under the weather, but still OK. I'm crabby from lack of sleep, but holding it together.
So we went to the dentist this morning. It's the same dentist Brother has been going to since he was three, and he is six and a half years old now, so I actually sent him back to have his teeth worked on without me! This is a big deal because it is the first time. But, I wanted him to feel like he had some time away from me and conversations that I wasn't a party too. And it is an open walled area, so there are essentially 5 chairs in one big room. Privacy is built in using counters but there are no walls. So, he was alone with his technician, but not really. That part of the visit went really well! Unfortunately, Brother has a genetic enamel deformity, so he will have many filings in the future. For now, all we can do is continue to focus on tooth care and try and have a good, healthy diet with limited refined sugar.
Meanwhile, the visit really set us back for the day, we were home at around 11:15, so we went on our walk/form walk/circle around 11:30. Baby is so sick he couldn't walk, so I put him in the stroller. Then we had snack right away and onto recall.
Unfortunately, recall went flat. I recalled the whole story. When I prompted him, he would just say nonsense words. Drat! It was so annoying. On the way over to babysit I talked to him about it in the car. Apparently he feels like we haven't spent enough time with Masha And The Bear yet. We agreed that he would work with my story during the week and I would tell the Masha and The Bear story once a week and we would do one art project around it a week. Hopefully that meets his need to be a partner with me so that we can move on. It's hard to know where he is developmentally when he spends he time talking in nonsense words!
We finished up with a led drawing of the Star Frog.
Here is Brother's. He kept jumping ahead and I had to reign him in.
Here is mine. I need to work on rocks! And it may be way too complicated for an older Kindergartner. I am cutting myself some slack because I am learning along with him.
Baby was sick with the mid grade temperature again last night, causing us to cancel regular plans with friends. Tonight when I put him to bed, his fever didn't seem so high, so hopefully he is starting to get better. He didn't really eat anything today, but for the past two days he has been nursing a ton! It will probably hit my milk supply tomorrow, which I am not really looking forward to!
Since Baby was sick we started the day off really late again. 10:45. I had to carry Baby for half of our walk. It's only half a mile, so it's not that much of a strain on me. Brother seems to be enjoying circle. He is still really silly, but he is much more of a participant than he was when he was younger.
I read the "Star Frog" story again today for the third and final time. Tomorrow is recall day. To prepare him, I have been doing a ton of laundry and piling it up on the couch. I keep saying, "Tomorrow is laundry day, look how full the couch is getting." I haven't specifically said that we are doing recall though. Hopefully he is more receptive!
Today for craft we wet felted snowmen. I don't actually have a snowman cookie cutter, so we used different sized muffin tins for the head and body. He really enjoyed it this time, becoming lost in the rhythm of the fingers poking the wool. He wanted to make a little top hat for the snowman, but we didn't have that shape at all, so for the first time he had to hold the wool in his fingers and shape it a little bit. Hopefully it dries overnight so that we can sew it together tomorrow.
Brother self-directed an activity with play dough and let Baby join in when he woke up from nap. And I had both boys help me saw a little bit on our second art board. Right before dinner they made cards for Daddy. I can't believe how much Art is going on around here. It's so different than a year ago!
Brother has been really interested in castles lately. He has been building them like crazy. I showed him some castles in England on the internet. He really enjoyed seeing the moats and the draw bridges. He happened to catch sight of a sand castle picture, so I showed him a few of those.
He really wants me to post his sand castle on the Blog. He made it in his sand box and is begging to go to the beach. But, Baby is really sick right now, so we are staying close to home.
Baby was a little under the weather when we went to Grandma's party last night, but he was still in good spirits. Over night he came down with a fever. My Mommy Kiss Thermometer estimates 101 degrees. So, we were up really late this morning and didn't take our walk until around 11 am. Wow! That is so late. I did manage to get everything in, but we ran late.
Since Brother is complaining that things are changing too quickly, I read the "Star Frog" story again today instead of doing recall. This is really what Brother wanted and he led the way over to the Fairy Tale Telling area.
After the story, I gave him a large casserole pan with brown rice flour in it for him to use as his "sand tray". He was very curious. I told him to draw out what we had been walking in the driveway and he did with no problems. Since it was a straight line, I really didn't expect any. Then I let him play in the flour for a while. I gave Baby a pie plate with flour in it as well so that he was included.
Brother seems to be going through a lot right now. He is often out of control and is very emotional. He openly expresses that he doesn't want things to change and wants to know everything that is going to happen. It makes a lot of sense to me that he is really clinging to our daily and weekly rhythm with both hands since the insides of him seem to be changing so much. He turns 6.5 on Feb 2nd. I wonder if that is when he will be ready for First Grade.
I can't believe it is Monday already! Today is Grandma's 70th birthday. We have been making lanterns for the party for the last 4 days. The kids are really excited. Daddy has the day off work, but he wants to keep his regular schedule. That works fine for us.
So, we had our regular morning "lessons." I switched Baby's reading list around. The new poem is:
When against earth a wooden heel, Clicks as loud as stone on steel, When stone turns flour instead of flakes, And frost bakes clay as fire bakes, When the hard bitten fields at last, Crack like iron flawed in the cast, When the world is wicked and cross and old, I long to be quit of the cruel cold.
Little birds like bubbles of glass, Fly to other Americas, Birds as bright as sparkles of wine, Fly in the night to the Argentine, Birds of azure and flame birds go, To the tropical Gulf of Mexico, They chase the sun, they follow the heat, It is sweet in their bones, Oh Sweet, sweet, sweet, It's not with them that I'd love to be, But under the roots of the balsam tree.
Just as the spiniest chestnut burr, Is lined within with the finest fur, So the stoney walled, snow-roofed house, Of every squirrel, mole and mouse, Is lined with thistle-down, seagulls feather, Velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together, With balsam and juniper, dry and curled, Sweeter then anything else in this world.
Oh, what a warm and dark nest, Where the wildest things are hidden to rest, It's there that I'd love to lie and sleep, Soft, soft, soft and deep, deep, deep!
By Elenor Wylis
Followed up with the picture books: Gingerbread Baby (for the 3rd week!) Twas the Night before Christmas (Baby's request) Fairy Goes a Marketing Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Baby's request)
I've been leaving Baby with the books and with Winter by Gerda Muller, while Brother and I go to the special Fairy Tale reading spot with our candle. This week we are reading "Star Frog" a fairy tale for younger Kindergartens from our Enki Folk and Fairy Tales book. Brother is really fed by repetition, so I have changed our weekly rhythm to include three days with the same story, and then recall on the fourth.
I have also added the verse "Gnomes" to our circle to strengthen his midline crossing skills per the Enki Movement book.
Here are the gifts votive sized lanterns that we made for Grandma's birthday!
Daddy's has the smiley face on it. ;)
We also made a tiara for Grandma with glitter, feathers, googly eyes and sequins! Kids and Daddy had fun making a mess and Grandma enjoyed the tiara!
Today did our regular morning walk/form walk/circle. I read to Baby while Brother listened. Then Brother and I read the Enki Nature Tale - A Busy Sleep. Brother loved hearing it again. Afterwards we rolled around on the floor together pretending to be Bear Cubs. It was really fun for both of us. We were using an Enki Base Sense movement for this activity.
I was completely uninspired for our wet-on-wet painting today, so I just let them experiment with all three colors. Brother was really excited to make brown. Baby had to wait until Brother was done before he could have his turn. He wasn't very happy about it, but he woke up while Brother was painting, so I only had one station set up. Brother was very kind and only painted one piece of paper so that Baby could start sooner.
We were sick again with a small cough, so we had to skip our Games Day. For our craft, we put another layer of tissue paper on our lanterns for Grandma's birthday present.
Since Brother is an older Kindergartener mixed with small amount of First Grade I decided to make us the crayon cases. They really help promote the led drawing sessions.
I really noticed that after I gave him the crayon case, he became much more interested in drawing by himself. And he is doing a really good job of taking care with his crayons. He brings the case to me as soon as he is done. I did buy him new crayons this year as the old ones were all broken in their basket.
I also made one for myself as suggested in the Enki guide. It does really help with the modeling for the led drawing.
I have some extra fabric, so I am going to make a few extra. If you would like one, shoot me an email. I probably will put them on Etsy as well.
Today we had a regular homeschooling day with circle and form walk, etc.
After reading Baby's stories to the boys, Brother and I did a partially led drawing for the story "The Wolf And The Seven Kids". I felt like the main point of the story for us was that the smallest goat heard the clock calling to him and was open enough to the opportunity to hear the call of the clock and respond, thus being saved from the wolf. So, we drew pictures of the clock. Plus, it's something I could draw.
Brother's. We stand side by side when we do the drawings. Notice that his clock is on the opposite side of the page than mine!
For our craft today, Brother and I made "stained glass" snowflakes from even more of our cut out snowflakes.
And we starting making Grandma's birthday present for Grandma's 73th birthday on Monday.
Today we had a "field trip" to the NW puppet Theater to see the show "The Knight and The Mermaid." Ooops, too scary for Brother. I don't really know why I thought this was a good idea except that everyone else with kids of the same age felt comfortable going. Looking back on it though, I should have known better and I think was just hoping that he would be OK with the group feedback of "everything is OK, no one else is upset." Oh well.
So, we left the show and went to Costco instead. Then we had lunch with Daddy as usual.
For afternoon craft we made "stained glass" snowflakes with tissue paper. There was a lot of glue used, so they are still drying. Baby was asleep for the craft, which gave Brother and I some nice time together.
My Dad's leukemia is finally starting to "officially" affect him enough to require treatment. This is not really a surprise to me because I had noticed that he has been catching little colds, etc lately and hasn't been recovering from them as expected. He is going to start treatment in 2 or 3 weeks depending on when they can fit him in. My Dad is taking the "bull by the horns" as usual. He could have waited for his blood count to be a 10 (I have no idea what this means), right now it is a 12.5. He chose to start now instead of waiting because he could see the trend and wanted to start chemo while he was healthier. I'm glad he's retaining his power! I am quite nervous to see how his body reacts to the treatment though. For some reason he has to be contrary and has had unexpected reactions to medical treatments.
Today we woke up late! I am trying to get up before the kids to prep for the day and meditate, however, baby called me back after 19 minutes! I still managed to reread the day's Fairy Tale and mentally prepare myself, but it is frustrating to get so little prep time. At least I am not trying to set up a chalk drawing yet! I did feel like my planning suffered though. I think that the sleeping in late, because I fell back to sleep - or resisted waking - led to a morning of resistance from the boys. For example, I had to hold Brother to emptying the dishwasher, his 1 real chore. And I had to really work to get us out the door for our walk and into circle. I think that Brother and I both have Choleric temperaments, so we do tend to clash a bit, but last week was so good! I was spoiled and was hoping that things were going to get a lot easier. I think I may have unrealistic expectations.
Meanwhile, after snack I read the books to Baby while Brother listened in. Today I switched out the January poem from Around The Year and inserted Little January by Winifred C. Marshall.
Little January Tapped at my door today. And said "Put on your Winter wraps, And come outdoors to play"
Little January Is always full of fun; Today we coasted down the hill, Until the set of sun
Little January, Will stay a month with me And we will have such jolly times- Just come along and see.
So many Winter poems were so beautiful, but very snow heavy. We don't really get snow here, instead our winters are very grey and rainy. I am going to do more research for next week. Perhaps I can find a local poet so that it would be more appropriate for what we are experiencing.
This is Baby's reading list:
Little January Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett In The Land Of Fairies by Daniela Drescher Winter by Gerda Muller Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore The Tomten by Astrid Lingren The Tomten and the Fox by Astrid Lindgren
Brother's Fairy Tale was a repeat of the Wolf and The Seven Kids from our Enki Fairy Tales book. Again it was for the younger Kindergartner. Brother really enjoyed it! He told me that the kids were not using their brain very well and that he would have looked at the wolf's whole body, not just his paws, and then he would not have let him in.
After quiet time today Brother, Baby and I decorated some of our snowflakes with glitter glue. I was feeling a tad guilty because it wasn't a very messy art project. But then the glue just squirted out in lumps, and the kids had to spread it out with their fingers. So, there was a little bit of mess. I'd like to get some plain old glitter for a project later in the year. I try not to use things like plastic, or glitter in most of our art, but every once in a while I like to let my hair down. The kids had a lot of fun, and Baby was very proud of his decorations when he showed them to Daddy.
Wow! This weekend was crazy. I worked on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was out of the house a little more than usual. But, what I really notice is that the kids behavior was kind of crazy since our rhythm was so disrupted. Plus, it was so exciting helping Daddy chose a new light fixture from the hardware store and then finally install it. Personally, I'm glad it's Monday again and we can settle back into our regular rhythm.
This morning we did our regular walk/form walk/circle. I am hoping to actually draw a form this Friday. Last week I just made up a form as a place holder in our morning walk. This week we walked a real form. Brother tried to lead the form walk and went off on his own way, but eventually I managed to get him to follow behind me.
For circle I added the poem "Dwarves" from our Enki movement guide. Brother loves the more forceful movements.
So now we have this structure:
Walk Form Walk Circle - Winter White Dwarves Closing song and spiral
Play outside time
I've decided that Mondays are stressful enough right now without piling on a bunch of homeschooling activities, so I add to - or change circle and change the form walk and then call it good for the day. The rest of the day is for cleaning, social activities and possibly baking. Today we cleaned and then after quiet time met friends at Karkeek park for a walk along the stream. Because of all of the rain we have been having, the stream was really moving fast. It was very interesting to the kids and unfortunately, one little girl leaned over too far and fell in. It was a good three feet fall which resulted in a swelling shoulder and a cut face that wouldn't stop bleeding. It was pretty scary. The little girl went to the ER, where she was glued back together again and is going to be fine! Phew! I brought her little brother home with me so he didn't have to go to the ER as well. Then I didn't have enough room for car-seats, so Brother was taken home with our other friend. It sounds like Brother had a lot of fun at our friend's house! And Baby enjoyed playing with his little friend as well.
Today we went outside for our regular walk/form walk/circle and out door playtime. There has been a lot of digging in the digging spot lately! After snack I read the weekly selection to Baby and then read the Enki Nature Story "Busy Bears" to Brother. We were a little disrupted when Daddy came in for lunch. I think I am going to read this one again next week.
We baked muffins today. The kids are getting really good at it! They are taking turns between wet and dry ingredients much more patiently now. Baby really loved stirring and Brother is measuring much more accurately.
After rest time, we went to a games day in a local park. We hadn't been in a long time, and only one other family showed up. Hopefully it was just an off week. For some reason, Baby is really sensitive to Winter Weather. He stays really close to me and tends to whine a lot. My goal is to stay comfortably for one hour. Baby was pretty comfortable for almost an hour. Since the other family had left, I called it good and we went home too. It would have been pretty strange to make him stay for another five minutes when he really wanted to leave! He is dressed appropriately, so I am hoping he will outgrow this sensitivity.
When we got home, I gave the kids quiet time. While Baby napped, Brother and I painted.
This is a wet on wet using red and blue. To set the mood I sang "Winter White" while I began painting. He said this is "King Winter.
This is his second painting. There is a little bit of unpainted paper on it. When I suggested that he paint his whole page, he informed me that this was his painting, he had already covered the whole page on the first one and that this one was his free painting page. It is so fun to see him excercise his personal power.
Since this is the first week of this new Older Kindergarten/Light First Grade blend, I am really feeling my way. We had our morning walk/form walk/circle -outside play like usual, then after snack I read the weekly selection to Baby while Brother listened in. I really didn't feel prepared to read a whole new Fairy Tale and do another lead drawing. I think once a week is currently fine for that activity. So I read the poem "Old Man Winter" from Enki Nature Tales. I know people usually read it on the solstice, but with all of the illnesses this year, our Winter started late. And the weather here is so mild, it already feels like Spring from time to time. Brother loved the poem! He's heard it before, but this time it really struck a cord within him. I kept finding him burrowing under blankets and pretending to be covered by King Winter with a blanket of snow. It was really cute!
For our craft we cut out paper snowflakes while Baby took another unwanted nap. ;) Brother really became absorbed with the process of cutting the snowflakes and seeing what the results were when he opened the paper. I figured he would cut out a couple, but he kept asking for more and more!
Today we started off with our walk/form walk/circle. After snack, I read Baby's Pre-K booklist to him while Brother listened. Then I took Brother into the other room where I proceeded to do laundry. Brother and I recalled "Masha and The Bear" together. We took turns recalling parts of the story. I see this as another First Grade Readiness test. I feel like when he recalls the whole story himself, then he will be more ready for first grade. To be fair, this was the first time he has recalled a story. I tried it with him last summer to no avail. So, we shall she how this progresses over the next few months.
After recalling the story, we did our first lead drawing. Here is Brother's.
Here is mine.
I'll be learning to draw along with the kids. According to Melissa at A Little Garden Flower curriculum, I just need to be ahead of the kids. That brings me great comfort!
The rest of the day was spent with Oma, Opa, Aunt TiTi, Cousin Daniel and Cousin Lexi. We had a lot of fun playing with cousins!
Today we started off with our walk, form walk and circle. Brother is trying to be the leader and decided to add some Sally Goes Round The Sun. When his leadership turn was over, we continued on as planned.
For Baby's stories this week we read the January page from "Around the Year" by Elsa Beskow, "Winter" by Gerda Muller, "In the Land of Faries" by Daniela Drescher,"The Tomten" and "The Tomten and the Fox" by Astrid Lindgren, and "Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. Brother always sits and listens. Then Brother and I went off for me to read for him "Masha and The Bear." This story is listed as a younger Kindergartener story in my Enki books. It seems as though Brother is still hearing the stories with his "literal ears" so I am still on the fence about offering first grade activities. Last year when I read this story for him the first time, Brother was very upset. This year he found it humorous when the bear was afraid of Masha. It's interesting the difference a year makes.
This afternoon Brother and I made pinecone bird feeders while Baby took a nap he insisted he didn't need. ;)
We're back in the swing of things now that the holiday season is over!
We started off with our morning circle. Currently it is a .5 mile walk. We walk up the driveway doing our "form walk", followed by songs in the front yard. I am starting off with only one song this week - Winter White, from my Enki Kindergarten Movement book. We close with a spiral walk.
After this I spent the morning cleaning and then we had friends over to play. It was nice for the kids to play and great for us Moms to have some time together.
Oh My How the fall has blown away. Between hosting our first Thanksgiving, being sick and sick and sick, and pulling together Christmas I haven't been blogging.
What I have found is we are ready for a modified first grade. I am planning on first grade for a year and a half. Brother turns 6.5 on Feb 2nd, so January will be story, recall and led drawings. The second half of the month will include our beginning form drawings. Brother is so happy playing, but we need just a bit more structure, so it will still be very loose.
Meanwhile, I am still planning and meditating on our beginning story. And working on our crayon holders. I almost have them completed! It has been a pretty time consuming project.