Crafts are such a stretch for me, but so important to Brother. We made these Spring baskets by weaving construction paper through card stock. Last time Brother tried to weave he truly wasn't ready yet. This time he really enjoyed the project.
It's already Spring here in Seattle. My son's have already picked Dandelions while we were out walking. This Dandelion planted itself in a pot that I've had sitting outside. Brother noticed and said "Who planted that in there?" I just said, "I didn't, I wonder how it got there." That was met with silence. Then a few seconds later he said "A seed rode it's little parachute and planted itself there." That is directly from the Enki nature tale - science story - "Golden Round Faces". I had read it to him for the last two springs with no discussion, but it was sinking in! I read it to him again today after we saw the dandelion.
Because our main lesson is a Language Arts block, after quiet time we have "math practice work." The goal is mainly to start reviewing the math concepts we already know through life through activities.
This week Brother has chose to do Tan Grams. Here is a link to the set the we have had for years.
We started First grade on Monday. I love homeschooling - if Brother is ready to start first in the middle of the year instead of September, we can!
We started off with the Enki coming of age story Little Falcon. It really spoke to Brother. Although, Brother really feels like he still needs to hear the stories for three days and then recall on the fourth. This really slows down our curriculum. Which is fine, I am planning on doing first grade for one and a half years anyway.
Here is Brother's drawing of the Little Falcon. He felt really playful with his writing.
Here is my picture. Can you tell which letter we are working with?
The February Sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
William C. Bryant
To Brother's disappointment, we didn't celebrate groundhog's day last week and he found out about it from a friend. So, we celebrated this week. On Tuesday I drew a little groundhog and with his shadow sitting outside of the den. Baby swiped it with the cloth though before I could get a picture. We were all disappointed, so hopefully he doesn't do that again.
I also added a little groundhog song to the circle and made up motions. Brother loved it.
Brother's weekly fairy tale was called "Mud Pony". It is an older kindergartner story, which he totally loved. He actually helped recall the story when I told it to his friend on Thursday. Which is a major improvement.
Then on Wednesday Baby became sick with the flu. He had fevers for 5 days and threw up. Yippee! Fortunately, no one else got sick, but Baby being sick was enough to derail us. So, this week we have been making up for last week. Today we drew our picture for the story, and tomorrow we will draw the form. Meanwhile, we are on Mid-winter break because I babysit on Thursday and Friday morning this week.
These are our drawings for the story "The Gnomes and The Root Babies" from "A Little Garden Flower Before The Journey". Brother really wanted to draw Brigid's well, while it was dirty with garbage. For him, it is mainly an expression in color and feeling. He drew the gnome all in lines, unfortunately. But with a block crayon, he just turned it on it's side! And he also drew the path to the well.
I drew along side him. I wanted to include shovels to acknowledge that the gnomes are going to clean out the garbage.
Chalk Board Art! I thought that I would make a lovely picture for the boys. Unfortunately, I tried to draw it while they were around. Of course they wanted in on the action and rubbed mine out. I just erased it and then gave them the chalk to experiment with.
Brother's. Do not ask me why he is so drawn to black. I don't know what the deal is! For some reason he put it way in the upper corner. I'm not sure why. On the positive side - he did get the form, he did learn to start from the start point and follow the form through until the end. I'm not sure how smooth flowing the drawing started out and then became. I noticed for a minute that he was stopping and changing the crayon around in his hand, and then continuing. I'll start watching for that in the future.
To honor Brother's choleric temperament, I am allowing Brother to give me a form to do each week as well. I go through all of the steps with him until completion. This one is a barn and a silo.
We stuck to our regular rhythm. Since we have spent so much time outdoors for the past week and a half, the inside is starting to get a bit messy. Blah! It seems like I can either work outside or inside, but not both.
Meanwhile, to celebrate Imbolc, we are "preparing the field for March's planting." Or in our case, clearing a flower bed to put in a plum tree. This picture shows what it was like when we started. A lot of tall flowers to deadhead. I like to leave the seed stalks on while I think the birds still might eat them.
This is the space we are actually clearing. It has taken 2 days to get it this clear. Brother is really interested in removing the ivy from the fence. The ivy is also trying to take root along the ground and has be ripped out by hand. I think one more day of clearing, and then we will be ready to start preparing the soil.
Yesterday for story I thought we could read a story about Baba Yaga, which is listed as a medium aged Kindergarten story. I was wrong. He hates Baba Yaga. Oops. So today I read a story called "The Gnomes and The Root Babies" by Melissa at A Little Garden Flower. It is found in her book, "Before The Journey." Here is her web page. http://www.waldorfjourney.typepad.com/ This story really captures what I am trying to do with our celebration including Mother Nature and her sister Brigid. Brother really enjoyed the story. Baby just kind of ran off and played with trucks. Baby did have me read his Nursery Rhyme book and his "Mother Earth and Her Children" book. I really appreciated the "Mother Earth and Her Children" book. There are root babies in it and it tied in really nicely with the Gnome story for Brother. I hadn't put two and two together to plan that out myself.
To welcome Brigid and her light, we baked bread. This one is supposed to be shaped like the sun. I had poured the center. Yes, I did say poured. The gluten free bread recipe I have has the consistency of pancake batter. So, it was hard to shape. Brother wanted to put his fingers in it and smoosh it around. In the name of Process over Product, I let him, so it is a bit lumpy.
Brother designed this "mushroom" on his own. I'd like to find a less runny gluten free recipe. I figure that with time we will work it out. I do need to stretch myself more by baking more bread. It is just a bit intimidating to me.
Brother woke up this morning and started building right away. Brother designed and built this on his own. He has never built a building on the side like this before and is really proud of it and would like a picture posted. There is a door on the lower floor and one on the upper story.
This week is Imbolc! We are celebrating it in our own way, focusing on nature and what is going on in the world around us.
We are holding to our morning rhythm and incorporating the celebration into our day. For circle today I added the fingerplay element. So our circle looks like this now:
.5 mile walk form walk - curves and straight line Gathering Song Gnomes Dwarves Winter White Snowflakes - and a short grounding activity Fingerplay - A Little Bit Of Snow Closing Song Closing Spiral
The words to the fingerplay are:
A little bit of blowing, A little bit of snow, A little bit of growing, And Hellebore will show, On every twig that's lonely, A new green leaf will spring, On every patient treetop A Jenny wren will sing.
Brother loves it! We have a Hellebore in our yard that is blooming, the twigs are budding, and he loves Jenny Wren from our nature reading.
Next week my goal is to add beginning recorder walking.
We also made this lovely soup suggested by M. Johnson on this Yahoo! Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorfhomeeducators/
Mmm, it is so delicious. Looking in her files, we found a wonderful poem called "Wish For The Fields" that she wrote. I don't want to post it because I don't have permission. But, if anyone else is looking for a nature based Candlemas poem, the group files are very extensive.