Saturday, August 29, 2009

planting a butterfly garden...

we are members of "roots & shoots", a local, environmental service oriented 4-h club. orin is actually president this year.

earlier this year, in february, our family led a bluebird house building project for one of our meetings. we installed them at the end of february...just in the nick of time in fact, as the bluebirds were arriving in our area that very same weekend!

at the end of august, we went back and planted some blueberry & butterfly bushes to that same garden. even little ehren got to help, he was the official water boy. the kids all had plenty of energy to run around afterwards, and our boys (of course) ended up soaked!

it was a perfect day for planting, and the rains came later that weekend, so it all worked out perfectly.

experimental friday...

while the boys & i were re-arranging their room and we 'rediscovered' their books filled with science experiments, and so we spent out friday experimentint.

(of course, as this was entirely spontaneous, we had to limited the experiemtns to ones that we had all the materials for.)

orin grew crystals, which i apparently forgot to take pictures of (oops!).

he found two variations that we had the supplies for, one using alum & one using borax. the borax crystals grew beautifully. however, the boys kept checking on the alum crystals every 2 min or so for a good half hour or so. and by "checking on", i mean picking up and shaking & swishing around. so, that could be why those didn't respond as well. :)

and aydin made edible glass...

Friday, August 28, 2009

grade 1, block I: form drawing (week 1)

form drawing, 2 week block

august 24/september 3rd

main lessons: Form Drawing for Grades 1-4, Ernst Schuberth & Laura Embry-Stine

(i used some of the basic grade one forms and created a 'container story' for this first block)

monday, august 24th:

main lesson:
tell story part 1, explore form Crenelated Running Form

*for grade one the forms are simple & used to help the child get ready for writing.

our basement is concrete & so perfect for drawing the forms large in sidewalk chalk. we also draw them smaller & trace them with both hands & both feet & we trace them on each other's backs. sometimes we make lacing cards & sew the forms on using yarn. in the past we've also done prints with potatoes, painted the forms, used sticks to mark them out...drawing them in sand on a baking sheet is a good one as well.

form drawing story, part #1:

once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a king and a queen. the king & queen lived in a grand castle with servants to care for their every need, and noblemen to see to their every hearts desire. and yet, they were not happy, something was missing...a child.

then one day the queen was blessed, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. this child would one day grow up to be queen. the king & queen were so excited about the princess's birth that they decided to throw a magnificent ball to celebrate. they invited the entire kingdom. when everything was ready for the celebration, the king climbed up to the steep steps, to the very tallest tower and looked out between the parapets. he leaned against those great stone walls, watching as the guests arrived in their finest clothes.

lesson b:
nature study challenge #1Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock &

tuesday, august 25th

main lesson:
recall story, part #1
tell story part #2, explore form Straight Line Symmetry

form drawing story, part #2:

on the outskirts of the kingdom, in the dark forest, there lived an evil witch who was not at all pleased with the princess's birth. she wanted to be queen! and so, she disguised herself as on of the queen's servants and attended the grand ball. when the queen went to lay her daughter down for bed that night, the witch followed her. she was careful to hide in the shadows so that no one would see her. and once the queen had gone back to join the celebration-- the evil witch snuck into the princess's nursery & stole her away. she took the princess to a cave far, far away from the kingdom-- a cave guarded be a dragon...a cave where no one would ever find her.

the king & queen, and everyone else in the kingdom were greatly saddened by this princess's disappearance. they vowed never to stop looking until she was found. the king sent for his three best knights, three brothers. if anyone could find the princess, it would be them.

lesson b:
handwork, exploring where wool comes from (as as introduction to knitting)
read One Little Lamb by Elaine Greenstein

*with waldorf everything is taught from the whole to its parts. so, normally you would begin with visiting sheep on a farm or at least at a petting zoo, and then follow it up with washing a fleece. but as i work with loads of wool, the boys have been exposed to this since they were little. i have no raw fleece on hand, and we have neighbors with sheep, so we see them on (almost) daily basis.

aydin has been asking to try his hand at needle felting & so we needle felted sheep & a little patch of field for them to graze.

wednesday, august, 26th

main lesson:
recall story, part #2
tell story part #3, explore form (will add photo later)
form drawing story, part #3:
the three knights were eager to be of service, to find the princess and to bring her home safely. they searched for clues all over the castle and soon realized how things had come to pass. they knew that the evil witch had kidnapped the princess out of jealousy. the king & queen gave the brave knights everything they needed for their quest. it would be a very long and treacherous journey, but the knights were courageous and honorable. they promised to rescue the princess. and with that, their journey began. they headed first towards the black sea. there were caves there guarded by creatures of the deep.

lesson b:
baking, clover leaf rolls (or joy of cooking, p. 610)

thursday, august 27th

main lesson:
recall story part #3.
tell story part #4, explore form (will add photo later)

form drawing story, part #4:
but there was no sign of the prince or the dark witch. so they rode on, towards the steep cliffs, and the misty mountains. they climbed up to the tallest peaks, searching everywhere along the way. they nearly perished a good many times, losing their footing on the crumbly mountainside. the mountain sides were quite steep and had no paths for the knights to follow aside form those made by the sheep & goats that grazed there.

once they were sure that no nook or cranny had been overlooked, they headed towards the valleys in the east.

we have been having a lot of rain this week. so after practicing our forms in the basement, we opted for watercolors rainbows to add a splash of colors to our day in lieu of a painting as our final form.

lesson b:
handwork, more exploration with wool
read Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow
card fleece with carding combs, try hand at spinning the carded wool into yarn via a drop spindle

grade 4, block 1: norse myths (week 1)

norse myths I (5 week lang arts block), with 1 week 'off' for michaelmas

main lessons:D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths by Ingri D'Aulaire

independent reading: Thorkill of Iceland: Viking Hero Tales by Isabel Wyatt

form drawing: Form Drawing for Grades 1-4, Ernst Schuberth & Laura Embry-Stine

copy work: verse from "Poetic Edda"

read aloud: (finish) Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie,
(begin) The story Bible, by Pearl S. Buck

monday, august 24th:

(read on own, thorkill, 45 min)

main lesson:

(tell first gods & goddesses story, D'Aulaire's, p. 12-20)

*copy work:

"Out of the Ice-waves issued venom-drops,
Waxing until a giant was;
Thence are our kindred come all together,
--So it is they are savage forever."

*math practice*

nature study challenge #1
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock &

lesson b:

form drawing, p. 20, fig 32 a. (trillium knot)

tuesday, august 25th:

(read on own, thorkill, 45 min)

main lesson:

*math practice*

tell “creation story”, D'Aulaire's, p. 21-25

chalkboard drawing (cb): D'Aulaire's, p. 22

*project; make a ‘creation’ mosaic (p. 22)

(orin really wanted to paint, so, we painted!)

lesson b:

handwork, begin work on runes cut to size & sand, if time begin to copy runic alphabet in pencil

aydin and i spent our handwork time needle felting some sheep & making them a little grazing area by covering a piece of scrap wood with a large price of felted sweater & then added a few bushes & some grass.

orin really wanted to join in, so i helped him make some needle felted some horses...

but as we were to begin our runes, i cheated a bit to keep us on track...;)

we had some partially dried cherry limbs in the basement, so i cut those with the circular saw & we baked them to finish the drying process...

(spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet & bake at 200 degrees for 20 min or so, depending on thickness, kind of wood, etc)

wednesday, august 26th:

(read on own, thorkill, 45 min)

main lesson:

*math practice

(recall creation)

*write together 2-3 paragraph summary; copy into main lesson book

lesson b:

baking, "finnish blueberry pie"

thursday, august 27th

(read on own, thorkill, 45 min)

main lesson:

*math practice

(cb): D’Aulaire’s, inner cover

*read aloud summary; copy into main lesson book

**painting of 9 norse worlds; add titles of worlds when dry

(as we had already painted this week, we opted to break in some recently purchased chalk pastels. they worked beautifully for this project)

lesson b:

handwork, continue work on runes, draw runes on in pencil & begin wood burning

(orin finished drawing the runes on in pencil rather quickly as he had been writing 'secret' messages & things in runes ever since he saw me print them our back in july :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

a cyber cleanse...

as of monday, august 24th, we will be fasting, cyber-wise for a month.

see you at the end of september with an update on our first month of school & a reflection on how life is treating us (post-cleanse)!

many blessings...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

the big cookout...

anthony honeycutt, lance's best friend since high school, popped in town for a few days this week. he lives in the virgin islands, working construction & we haven't seen him in a good 1 1/2 years...

his mom & dad threw together a gi-normous cookout & invited EVERYone! it was a good time had by all, and a reminder of what really matters in life...:)

wishing anthony much love & many blessings as he heads back home...we love you!