Homeschool week 3

This has been an exciting and busy week!

We have been working as diligently as ants at our academics, and I am happy to report we are getting into a rhythm.

Caleb has been doing very well in his math and language arts, he even did two math lessons in one day this week… His idea!  Which if you were a fly on our wall last school year, you would know is just short of a miracle.  (Most of our math lessons ended with crying, pages torn out of books and frustration… mostly me, but once or twice Caleb *wink*).

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Elise has been flourishing, easily doing 2 or 3 math lessons a day, which is not surprising she loves a good worksheet.

I am finding that the content and activities are so engaging the kids are happy to do more on many days, but I am trying my hardest not to push.  However, I am not sure, but I have heard a rumour that the Good and the Beautiful will be doing their math as an online course from level 3.  I am hoping that is not true, because we avoid screens as much as possible, and we are really enjoying their math so far.

Belle is really enjoying her kindergarten material.  We play a lot of math games, sing math songs, practice our early reading skills and all that takes less than an hour a day.  We also do art most days and she is included in as many household activities as I can manage.  We have also been baking bread once a week, Owen and Isabelle love that!

This week we spent time reading two Grimm’s fairy tales, Cinderella and Mother Holle.  We also really enjoyed the root children and dog heaven. We also read a lot of books about apple season, and have many for next week. We have also been repeating a poem by Jack Prelutsky, “I often repeat myself” many many many times.  I don’t know if I will ever get it out of my head head head.

We also completed our Safety Unit for science.  The kids loved the activities, I found that it covered a lot of subjects I would have tried to cover myself, but less efficiently.  Some of it was a little too mature, for example the lesson on internet safety and pornography, I only worked through this one with my oldest.  But this unit is going in the “keepers” pile and I plan to redo this unit again, because the subject matter covered will have a different meaning to the kids as they mature, for example peer pressure, gun safety, body safety and much more.  Our next unit is on Space Science, the kids and I are very excited!

This week I also read two really great books, the first is Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer and You are your child’s first teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.  Both talk about how to implement rhythms into your daily life to add peace, stimulate creativity and playfulness in your children and improving indoor and outdoor playspaces using natural materials.  These are definitely wonderful reads for parents interested in Rudolph Steiner’s ideas on education, and how they can be applied in a home environment.  I have been trying to find all their recommended resources, and feel I am learning a lot!

We are taking most of the next two weeks off because of guests, but I will try to post if I can, because if you know me, you know I will be trying to sneak learning into everything possible…

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Art Study of Red

Today, after we completed math, language arts and science we decided to do some art.

We have been doing a lot of yellow wet on wet watercolour.  Today the kids wanted to work with tempera paints… honest reaction – boooring… however, they were inspired, so I went with it.

I gave them each a disposable coffee cup lid with red, black and white.  I told them a very short story about a red leaf on an autumn tree as I demonstrated focused slow paint strokes, washing and wiping our paint brushes and let them paint beside me.  I also encouraged them to mix in varying amounts of white or black to achieve shade or brightness.

It was really exciting to watch each child paint at their own level.  Owen painted a lot lines and circles.  The middle  girls experimented with shade and brightness and colour.  Caleb painted a red barn scene set at night, and spent about two hours improving on his night sky.

 

Waldorf tree ideas??

We were gifted about 8 giant oak tree logs/stumps.  They are very heavy to move, mostly sturdy, except for one stump that rocks, which my kids have dubbed “the boat”.

The kids have made up many games, such as escape from lava, pirates and boats, and of course a few shelters have already been built.  So I do want to keep them available for open ended play.

However, we don’t know where to put these long term, because the surface they are currently on, will soon turn into our ice rink.

I would love set up or play ideas!  Have any??

Homeschool Schedule – First week edition

Getting back to doing “school” after a summer filled with sun, heat, swimming, hiking, park days with friends, gardening, exploring, building, birding and deer watching can be challenging… or feel about as much fun as a toothache.

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However, this year, I took a different approach.  First, we broke up our first week.  We started on Monday, but had a park day with other homeschoolers Tuesday, and took the day off otherwise.  Thursday afternoon, some of my kids spent swimming with our homeschool group.  Friday, I set aside for reading aloud, crafting, and playing with friends outside.  In total, we did only 3 full days of “school”, although if you’re a homeschooler, you know that finding bugs at the park, birdwatching in the yard, and even dealing with disagreements among grade school kids always turns into a lesson.

As we are easing back into school, our first week of school’s schedule looks something like this:

7am – wake the kids with our classical music for violin

7:30 Breakfast

8am Language arts lesson (reading, phonics, spelling, fine arts) with my 5 year old.  Independently she does her handwriting and 5 minutes of quiet reading with her assigned book.

8:30am Language arts with my 6 year old, she then independently does handwriting and 10 minutes of reading in an assigned book.

9:30am Language arts with my 8 year old, (spelling, phonics, vocabulary, writing, reading, fine arts and geography), then he does 20 minutes of quiet reading in his assigned book and handwriting.

10:30am snacks for all; and math with my 6 year old, while 8 year old listens to Musical Multiplication.

11am Math with my 8 year old

11 45am Science or History (2 days a week on each) all together

1 – Read aloud to the kids while they eat lunch

1:30pm – 2:30 Kids read quietly or sleep in their rooms

2:30 Kids play outside

3pm Art projects

Bedtime I read a few chapters of our read alouds, once the toddler is in bed.

Next week will be a whole different beast as we add a few other subjects… but at least the first week, I wasn’t sweating by 9am!!