Thursday, February 18, 2010

grade 4, block IV norse myths (lang arts)

monday, january 11

(read on own, 45 minutes, "thor's wedding day")

*workbooks (spelling, math & general ed)

main lesson:


"the elfin-beam
shall bear a daughter
ere fenris drags her forth;
that maid shall go,
when the great gods die,
to ride her mother's road"

*nature study/outdoor hour...
the weather was amazingly warm today (for january), so we worked in the garden. we did a bit of weeding, and gathered compost from our bins...i can't wait for spring!

lesson b:
form drawing, p. 21, fig f

tuesday, january 12th

(read on own, 45 min, "thor's wedding day")

*workbooks (spelling, math, and general ed)

main lesson:
*tell story, "loki's punishment" (d'aulaire's, p. 137-139)

*project, textile art of loki's attempt to escape

this was a fun one...the net brought back memories of doing string art when i was younger, and i love the mixed medial feel of our work

lesson b:
handwork, continue work on colored pencil roll/holder

wednesday, january 13th

(45 minutes 'free reading', as orin finished "thor's wedding day" (much!) sooner than expected)

*workbooks (spelling, math & general ed)

main lesson:

*write summary of story, on own, rough draft...

lesson b: baking
orin has been helping me make meals lately, as he has become quite the cook (thanks to our years of both homeschooling & waldorf :) today we made chicken & dumplings, his favorite.

thursday, january 14th

(45 minutes 'free reading')

*workbooks (spelling, math & general ed)

main lesson:

*edit summary, copy into main lesson book
orin has always taken a long time with his writing, is it his least favorite subject for sure. but today we noticed that part of the problem is that he doesn't say in his head "...the boy ran..." he says "the...t..h..e..", "boy, b..o..y..". once lance pointed this out, i took a different approach. orin does really well with spelling, probably because of how much reading he does.

so, i dictated his summary to him, reading off a few words at a time, unless it was a really big one, then i would do that one on its own...if he asked me to repeat myself, i said to trust what was in his head, if he asked me to spell a work out, i said the same thing. the verdict: very helpful. normally he would have taken a good 1 - 1 1/2 hours copying his summary, and we were done in a 30 min easy. not too shabby, eh??

aside from the time factor, dictation too is an important life skill, no??

lesson b:
handwork, continue work on colored pencil roll

WIP wednesday...

i know, i is actually thursday. let's just pretend that i actually posted this yesterday...;)

i finished evyn's helmet on friday.

perfect timing no less as we had even more snow on saturday, so she was able to sport the new cap when we went grocery shopping. we had several compliments too..."i wish i had a hat like that", said a mama as we entered the store.

i love knitting! (i know i say that a lot, but i do)...i love crafting & art in general, but i love knitting because the things that i make are useful & serve a much needed purpose aside from being gorgeous.

for me, it is a mindful meditation...even if i am listening to npr or a book on cd, each stitch brings to mind (whether consciously/subconsciously) the person i am knitting for, each stitch is filled with my love for that same person.

it's a smidge bit fluffy on the top because the pattern is actually for 18 months- 3 years, and evyn is only 10 months.

first thing saturday morning i got to work on ehren's gnome hat...i couldn't wait to use that gorgeous kaleidoscope yarn!
i do my best to support handmade, as i myself am a crafter & can appreciate the time, energy, expertise, & love that goes into one's craft. and though i hope to someday have our own sheep, and spin & dye my own beautiful yarns we are not quite there yet. until then, there's etsy...:)

i knit every chance i got on saturday, and on sunday lance took the boys to see a movie. this just happen to coincide perfectly with evyn's naptime, so i got to knit for almost 2 hours...uninterrupted. wow! it was amazing...i was totally 'in the zone', you know?? i finished sewing up ehren's hat first thing monday morning. when i had him try it on, two things happened...
1) "mommy, it's itchy"...three small words, but oh...the implications...

2) i noticed that the hat didn't lay flat under his ears. :( i expect that this is to accommodate for the sizing (fits 1 year olds up to 6 year olds)...however, we have windy winters, & i know how painful cold air blowing into one's ears can be.
so, it's back to the drawing board, or in this case, back to (an amazing source for both knitting & crochet patterns, many *free*)
i found a pattern for a wee balaclava, and am now going to make each of the boys ones.
once orin & aydin laid eyes on the photos, they announced that they to each want one...orin has apparently been wanting one 'for forever!' what's a mama to do, right??
i looked through the photos on ravelry & saw this same cap on various ages. apparently it, too, is pretty adaptable. since orin & aydin are our number one outdoor gurus, i am making theirs first. starting with orin...all will be knit using superwash merino (amazingly soft, 100% wool, but washable...oooooh :) he chose the color marine is lovely. it is a deep teal, but with hints of royal blue & something else in there too.

these pictures don't do it justice...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

grade 1, block IV: four processes (week 2)

monday, january 11th

main lesson:

*introduce gnome add with story

*have little sacks or baskets filled (randomly) with nuts/gems...see who are in the various number families.

ex. 10= 1 + 3 + 6; 2 +5 +3; 8 + 1 +1

*for snack we shared a bowl of popcorn with orin & ehren. we got out four little tubs & counted handfuls as we filled each.

*write #11-20 on chalkboard
aydin is funny...i asked him to write number 11-20, but he insisted on starting at 1. when it comes to school he almost always insists on doing more than i have asked.

*read aloud with mama, 15 min, "frog & toad are friends"

*nature study... family outside time

lesson b:
form drawing: p. 6, figure 12
tuesday, january 12

main lesson:
(recall story)

*draw picture in main lesson book of gnome add
*back to work with counting...count to at least 20/50

*bring out gnome share (divide) & work with base 10 (10, 20, 30, etc)
divide can divide the jewels/nuts into piles of 10, gnome add can add up the piles (counting by both 1's & 10's)
*read aloud with mama, 15 min, "frog & toad are friends"

lessons b:
handwork, make our gnome friends...(those we have met & those we have yet to meet)
wednesday, january 12th

main lesson:
(recall work)

*introduce '+' sign, and add to drawing of gnome add in main lesson book

*draw in rice, make with jewels, etc...draw in main lesson book

*more exploration of counting & addition

lesson b:
baking, homemade granola
thursday, january 13th
main lesson:
(recall week's work)

*continue working with +; create little number adventures with friends
ex. we got out five friends and a pile of 45 jewels, aydin & i took turns giving them each random amounts of nuts & then we would count each pile...then we would gather all the nuts back into one big pile & 'see' if we still had our same 45 nuts.
*pick favorite to draw in main lesson book
*copy verse into main lesson book
"one two three
look at me
add is my name
i count all the same!"
we also made a batch of brownies & shared them with a friend who just had her 5th baby. :) we got out two tubs & counted out even amounts for each of our families...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a wee bit of news...

so...i actually have two things to share.

1) i ordered our chickens yesterday! (hooray!)

we ordered 6 speckled sussex hens

a baby picture of the little peeps...

and full grown...

and we also ordered 6 ameraucana hens

their baby picture... and full grown...

and their amazingly gorgeous eggs!

they will arrive april 19th...(68 days!)

all we have to do now is get the brooder set up, get a feeder & waterer, a brooder thermometer, etc & of course, build our two chicken tractors...:)

we are all so very excited...
now, if it would only stop snowing...i am sooo ready for spring!

2) the big news...lance & i will be having our wedding next september! we are so very excited, though i more so than him. it is going to be simple & beautiful...

we got married when our eldest was 8 months old. i did not want to get married just because i was pregnant and as he was, even then, very much a part of our lives, we wanted him to be a part of the ceremony. little did we know then that we would one days have four amazing children to include in the celebration. :)

this all came about because of an episode of my wife & kids that i saw about 7/8 years ago.

they, too, had gotten married at the courthouse maybe because she was pregnant as well, i don't remember that bit. on their tenth wedding anniversary, they had a wedding & renewed their vows. when i saw that, i knew that it was the perfect idea for our family as well.

i am so excited! it is funny, really, as i have never really considered myself a "girly girl", but this is amazingly important to me. it is a rite of passage, a outward celebration of the love that lance & share for each other & four our family, & of the life long commitment within. i think that it might be even more meaningful at this point in our marriage as we have "held the test of time"...10 years is quite a milestone these days & honestly we have been through a lot in those 10 years!

i know it's a long way off, what a year & 7 months, but hey...i have waited almost 10 years for this moment & besides a bit of early planning never hurt anyone. ;)

what we know so far...

we will be having a small & simple ceremony on the beach of a small island in florida (we 'tourists' have a silent agreement to never mention the name of the island so that it stays the quiet piece of paradise that it is :) the wedding will be held during the second week of september, or perhaps the third. we are only inviting our immediate family (aka parents & siblings, and of course, their families.

lance will be wearing a white shirt & khakis, and the boys will be dressed in something similar. we'll find a sweet white cotton sundress for evyn. i will wear a wedding gown, but nothing fancy. i plan to buy our rings off etsy as handmade is so much more meaningful. i would also like a cake, but again nothing fancy...

it will be perfect!

(can you tell that i am smiling from ear to ear??)

WIP wednesday...

WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday...

there is always so much going on here, but i did want to take a minute & share a few projects i have been working on lately...

for a "toy kitchen swap" that i am hosting on bits of goodness...

carved wooden spoons...2 down, 3 to go...( is apparently m.i.a)

a "toddler helmet" (aka balaclava) for evyn, this yarn is so soft & the dark colors are going to be absolutely gorgeous on her...the pattern is from

ehren is patiently waiting for his...(well, as patiently as a 3 year old can wait. :)

every time he sees me knitting he say, "are you working on my hat mommy??"

i have the yarn picked out already though...i saw it on epicurus on etsy & totally splurged...:) he loves it...he'll carry it around the house with him. and he'll ask, "where's my rainbow, mommy??"... too cute!

(photo from epicurus... )

honestly i love it though, it makes me feel so loved. orin & aydin are right behind him, but they are in line for scarves...

i am about 2/3rds done with evyn's hat, but i have had some custom orders in the shop lately for bunnies & knit rainbow balls so am working on those as well.

i love knitting!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

grade 4, block IV norse myths (lang arts)

this month we revisit the aesir gods/goddesses, beginning with the death of balder & moving through ragnorok (the end of the aesir world)

monday, january 4th

(read on own, seal morning, 45 min)

*workbooks (spelling, math & general ed)

main lesson:


"broken were oaths then
bond and swearing,
pledges all sacred
which passed between them;

thor alone smote there
swollen with anger"

*nature study/outdoor hour...
i have stopped formal nature study lessons for the time being, opting for family time together outside. we aim for about an hour, give or take depending on the weather...

lesson b:

form drawing, p. 21, figure 32 d

tuesday, january 5th
(read on own, 45 min, seal morning)
*workbooks (spelling, math & general ed)

main lesson:

*tell story, "the dearth of balder" (d'aulaire's p. 128-136)
(chalkboard, p. 133)

*project, make a dioramma

orin chose to make ours the scene near the end of the story, when hermod goes to hel's realm to beg her for balder's return

lesson b:

handwork, begin work on colored pencil case

(i am sure there are loads of patterns & probably tutorials as well online for colored/pencil rolls. we are using a pattern from amanda blakee soule's book, the creative family)

wedensday, january 6th

(read on own, 45 min, seal morning)

*workbooks (spelling, math, & general ed)

main lesson:

(recall story)

*write 2-3 paragraph summary, on own

(since we just came back from winter break, i helped him by jotting down notes on the board)

*draw picture in main lesson book from story

lesson b:

baking, tuna melts

as much as i love having helpers for baking brad, granola & other snacks/desserts, what i really want is to have someone who can make lunch most, if not all week. so, i am training orin to be my replacement. he can already make a mean pb & j, and of course things like turkey sandwiches, but i am trying to expand his repoitouire a bit :)

thursday, january 7th

(read on own, 45 min, seal morning)

*workbooks (spelling, math, & general ed)

main lesson:

*edit summary (check for spelling, punctuation, complete sentences, etc)

*copy final work into main lesson book

*painting day, 'balder's voyage', p.133

(we didn't actually get to the painting. orin loves, loves, loves math, but absolutely HATES writing! we keep trying to explain to him that writing is oneo those things that you will use each & every day of your life, no matter what you career/lifepath you choose,! he is stubborn & will seriously procrastinate a...l....l........d....a...y...!)

lesson b:

handwork, continue working on colored pencil roll...

grade 1, block IV: four processes (week 1)

i am again taking advantage of mrs. marsha johnson's *free* online resources. she is amazing & her guides/files/guidance are such a blessing to us waldorfing mamas (& papas!)

her yahoo group is waldorf home educators & it is awesome! if you are in any way involved with waldorf education you should join...really!

the following lessons are based on her 'math gnomes' lessons (under age specific curriculum, grade one)

monday, january 4th

main lesson:

*introduce gnome share (divide) with short story...

*make a green salad

*write numbers 1-10 in main lesson book

*read aloud w/ mama (15 min) Frog and Toad are Friends
beginning this week aydin will be spending 15 minute/day with me practicing his reading. he made his way through the bob books last summer, and is now ready for something a bit more. so, we'll be working our way through the frog & toad series, and the little bear series as well.

lesson b:
form drawing...
tuesday, january 5th
main lesson:
(recall story & gnome share)
*draw a portrait of gnome share in main lesson book
*explore sharing with baskets of gems/jewels/nuts & friends
focus on 'sharing' not so much the 'dividing up equally' that will come later...though every time i tried to get aydin to just 'share' he wanted to count out even amounts for each friend. :)
*work with path of 2's, to see '2-4-6-8...' through play
aydin actually did this bit on his own, without any prompting by me...isn't it amazing how much they pick up on from older siblings?? i suppose in a home school setting they only pick up that much more, but these little 'lessons' continue to surprise me...
*read aloud w/mama, 15 min (frog & toad)
lesson b:
handwork; begin knitting potholder
basically a rectangle to be folded in half & sewn into a square...we are winging it, casting on 24 stitches (about 6") and knitting until we have 12".
wednesday, january 6th
(recall story, gnome share & yesterday's work)
main lesson:
*introduce division sign with 'living picture'...
i had a knitting needle sitting on the table longways, between aydin and i (as we were sitting across from each other at the table). then, i got out a small, 6" loaf of french bread & asked aydin if he would like some. he, of course, said yes (we are a bread loving family!), and i split it in half. i placed my half on one side of the knitting needles & his half on the other (so that we had made a division sign. the bread halves being the two dots & the knitting needle being the line).
*draw 'living picture' of division sign in main lesson book, draw standard division sign on right
*add division sign to gnome share's portrait (we put it on his tum)
*continue to explore sharing with friends...
*read aloud w/mama, 15 min (frog & toad)
lesson b:
baking, homemade good!
thursday, january 7th
(recall gnome share & this week's work)
main lesson:
*more with new numbers
*share between 2 friends (8 * 6, 7 * 7, 10 * 4...) separate by gold cord/knitting needle...
*pick favorites & add to main lesson book
*write gnome share's poem in main lesson book
*read aloud w/mama, 15 min (frog & toad)
lesson b:
handwork, continue knitting potholder

a few sweet finds...

did a bit of thrifting for the first time in about 2 months...i think this is the longest stretch ever. my theory is that if i don't actually go to all the shops, then i can't bring home all of the amazing deals. :)

that is actually part of it, really...and i think we have saved a bit of money because of it. we, the boys & i, have been spending a bit of time (once again) going through our books, toys, crafting supplies, closets, etc...(is this a seemingly constant part of anyone else's life as well??) and we are making an effort to really par down what we have in our house & our lives for that matter.

we get better at this over time, i think. i have talked to my mom about this as well...somethings that we weren't 'ready' to part with 6 months ago, we are able to part with now. i know that i can be very emotionally attached to my things...but i am learning to let go. with four children & limited space, it becomes almost a necessity...:)

anyway, we have a friend who recently had surgery & can't really wear regular pants/pajamas as they would irritate the incision site. his wife asked me to visit the thrift stores & try to find him some overalls & long underwear...i didn't find either, but i did find a few sweet deals...

a gorgeous wooden cup/plate set for the boys play kitchen...$2.50 for the lot!

keen's for ehren, these are like new, and cost me all of $0.25! he doesn't even notice the pink liner, he is just excited to have shoes that he can put on by himself... (he is soooo 3 years old!)

ok, this didn't come from a thrift store, but it was still a steal of a deal...

i bought this necklace from jlynn creations (on etsy), and she engraved the names on it for free. awesome, right??

something got a bit jumbled in the mail & she ended up sending me a gift certificate. BONUS! as i know that everything is totally crazy during the holidays, and was totally fine with everything. (i think everyone know this). but as a gift certificate is still a gift certificate, i put it towards a necklace of my own.

i absolutely love it! it is so lightweight; it feels like i am wearing nothing...aside from the occasional jingle. and the chain is strong, evyn pulls on it constantly!

hmmm...well, um...that's life, right??

it is so funny that i set out writing this blog to keep a record of our life & all that we do, for both our family & friends, as well as for ourselves.

as you might imagine, being the mother to four little ones keeps life moving at a much faster pace that i might otherwise choose...and the boys are ALWAYS going as well. they don't realize how much we all accomplish throughout our days as well. why?? well, they have INSANE amounts of energy for one thing! :) but as we are a homeschooling family everything is integrated with everything else...we do have 'school days' but it is all different from the life of a public school/working family. we don't have set hours that we need to scurry around & get out the door, you know?? or set times that we are once again a family, at home...our days all meld together.

most days this is a blessing...

i love that i know already that the boys are all going to be amazing papas. they all help out with the younger simblings, aydin is especially taken with little ones (as i have mentioned before). orin is more of the disciplinarian, aydin more of the mothering type & ehren i think has a good mix of both.

but i digress...i have been slacking on my correspondence duties...and am sorry.

from this day forward i vow to be more addament about my posting...:)

but until then here are a few random shots of, well, life...cheers!
poor kitty... :(
actually, he loves it all...caspian is the most amazingly chill cat ever, & oooohhh so fluffy...

sweet baby...getting another tooth (this makes #5 :)
part of a playmobil village the boys built...
the stable...
ehren loves to be in on brothers' lessons...

orin has been devouring books left & right...i love it!


there's been a lot of this lately...little peepers! :)

getting pretty darn good @ knitting in the round...

yup...pretty darn good! :)

part of the ten pairs of mitts i knit for friends & family...

doll baby??

braving the elements...