Friday, August 13, 2010

grade 2, block I, week 1 (herbs, 3 weeks)

this week we began our grade 2 homeschooling journey with aydin (7).

honestly, i would have waited a bit longer to start, but with our 10 year old attending public school this year i wanted to make sure that they had the same schedule.

we are on our same 4 day/week rhythm, leaving one day for errands/play dates/park days/co-ops, etc...

we are beginning with an herbs block, something that if you are not already "into" can seem amazingly daunting. of course, this can be made all the easier with the right book! we are using "a kid's herb book", but lesley tierra...and it is absolutely amazing!

it is a children's book & thus loaded with lots of songs, stories & a elementary explanations of tinctures, teas, capsules, poultices, etc...which is amazingly helpful for newbies such as myself. but what i absolutely love is that this book is also loaded with the recipes to make usable herbal concoctions...such as salves & tinctures. it is the perfect beginner herb books for anyone & everyone as far as i am concerned!

all stories are told & not read, as much as possible. this was one of the most intimidating things about waldorf education to me...i don't know why. looking back now, it just seems so silly. i read the story once/twice a day for one or two days before i present it, and once again that same morning. you are not trying to tell the story word for word, rather you are bringing the story to your child. he/she/they will not know if you leave out a part here or jumble a part there, they will be so focused...hanging on every word that comes out of your mouth. it really is amazing & now one of my favorite parts of waldorf.

another "bonus" of internalizing the various stories is that they seem to come out at more natural times during our days. you don't have to be sitting on the sofa with the book in your hands, as you are now the living story...

for example, this week's stories are about herbs...the first one i did tell while we were inside, but the second i told while we were working in the garden. we were amazed at how well the lemon balm was doing after our chickens had been using it for their "fort". and now, not even a month is back twice the size! it seemed the perfect time for our lemon balm story...

at any rate, i will be posting our circle time & our daily rhythms early next week, which will help give a better "big picture" of our days.

until then, here are this week's lessons.

*for form drawing, we are beginning with leaf-ish grade 2 forms from "form drawing, grade 1-4", by laura embry-stine.

monday, august 9th

(heart) walk w/circle time

(head) main lesson:

*reading aloud with mama, 15 min... little bear's friend

*plants as friends, p.17

*what is an herb?, p. 20-22

*form drawing, p. 13, fig. 22a

*story, "the magic garden", p. 31

(hands) handwork:

*giant bubbles (inspired by childhood magic)

tuesday, august 10th

(heart) garden day w/circle time
*one hour spent weeding, mulching, harvesting & exploring...

(head) main lesson:

*read alound with mama, 15 min... little bear's friend

*how people first learned about herbs, p. 24

*recall story, "the magic garden" & draw picture in main lesson book

we were supposed to make natural rootbeer (p. 27), but i could not seem to locate sarsaparilla ANYwhere! it worked out all right in the end though as our apples very much needed harvesting. ;)

(hands) baking

raspberry yogurt cheese, with gingersnaps

i made the yogurt cheese on monday & today we baked the gingersnaps to go with it. no photos though... neither lasted long enough for us to empty the camera card after our michigan trip. ;)

wednesday, august 11th
*play group @ the library

thursday, august 12th

(heart) walk w/circle time

(head) main lesson

*read aloud with mama, 15 min...little bear's friend

*become a plant, p. 26

*lemon balm, "the star's gift", p. 26

*make herbal bean bags, p. 55 we used a 'calming blend' of chamomile, lavender & fennelehren practiced his sewing right alongside us...;)

(hands) handwork

finish beans bags & more giant bubbles!

friday, august 13th

(heart) walk w/circle time

we found a dead snake on our walk...something had been eating at it a bit though so i couldn't get it to sit up right for the photos.

but i took photos, then we rummaged through our id books when we got home..turns out it is a COPPERHEAD!

(head) main lesson

*read aloud with mama, 15 min...little bear's friend

*plants have addresses, p. 28
*talk to a plant, p. 39

*recall story

*take cutting of lemon balm, draw picture in main lesson book, add plant profile (uses & parts used)

*make lemon balm tea to have with snack (mmm...:)

*BONUS: spontaneous work on alphabetization
the boys' came into a wealth of pokemon cards this week, so aydin & i spent some time alphabetizing & otherwise organizing & diving the lot up this morning.
(hands) painting day
"red jumps out at blue from behind a bush"
he usually takes off with his painting & drawing lesson, but today he followed my lead...
ehren painted right alongside us as well...he named his painting "chicken" (i LOVE it!)

bonus: a spontaneous mini painting project.
aydin found a mini etch-a-sketch-is thing in the basement & was making all sort of little pictures on it. he didn't want to put it down to paint, so we compromised. we did the above painting that i had planned & then did a few mini paintings on the side.
exhibit a...whale wearing snorkel...;)
it was really fun! we used a sharpie to doodle & then did a watercolor wash to match each scene's mood.


one of mama's...

* in this one i asked ehren to name his favorite things...gardens, flowers, crickets, butterflies, marshmallows, & fire (i used 'fire' for the wash)



  1. Looks like alot of herby fun!

  2. Greetings from New Zealand, Your Etsy shop is so cool, cheers Marie

  3. Fantastic! I'm going to link your blog to mine under the Grade 2 blogs :D This herb block sounds awesome!

  4. Thanks so much for letting us know about that neat book!

    I spent some time just a couple weeks ago exploring your 4th grade posts... I'm so excited for this year, we will be staring soon also. You do so many good things in your homeschool days. I hope you have a wonderful year!