Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waldorf 5th Grade - Botany (and...)


Here are just a few more of Chloe's lesson book pictures from our first Botany block...

~ Title page of main lesson book

~ Parts of the flower

~ Mushrooms and Fungi

And cute little elves in the ferns!

We are now finishing up our first geography block (I will obviously be behind on pictures, but am impressed that I am managing to get any of them posted at all...) and next week we will begin our first Ancient Mythologies block with India. That is probably as far as we will get before we take a break in mid December for the winter holidays.

We just had 3 days with no internet connection, which was mostly really nice (really really really nice!) but also a little inconvenient (but only because of Little Sprouts closing and having orders to ship, fairly unfortunate timing...)
Really though, no computer, pretty nice!
I knit lots. Lots lots lots!
And now I am going to go knit some more...

Well wishes and happiness to all...


Monday, November 7, 2011

Waldorf 1st Grade - First Lesson Blocks


First of all, I really must say, Chessa is such an adorable 1st grader. The sweet little voice with which she answers a question or recites a verse, she just melts my heart!

She is also a rather shy 1st grader. She is allowing me to post some of her lesson book pictures, but there are others that she has asked me not too, and so I will of course respect her wishes.

We started her 1st grade year with a two week block of Form Drawing, same as I did when Chloe was in 1st grade. After that we began her first Language Arts lesson block, introducing the letters of the alphabet. Chessa already knew all the letters, not because I ever taught her them, but how could she not pick this up herself with an older sister. However, there is still much work to be done. For example, she often writes the letters backwards, and really has not much awareness of the sounds that accompany the letters.

I had grand thoughts of creating an entire new lesson block for Chessa, different than the one I did with Chloe when she was in 1st grade, but in the end I was forced to be practical, with planning out the homeschool year for two children now, I am mostly following what I did before. Which is mostly based on Donna Simmon's Christopherus First Grade Curriculum.

~ My own drawing of a swan for the letter "S" to go along with the Grimm's fairy tale The Six Swans

First grade was the only year which I had a complete curriculum purchased for. It gave me a great foundation that allowed me to continue in the following years more on my own. Unfortunately I don't own the curriculum any longer (and I really do wish I did, Donna writes with such wisdom, I would love to go back through the whole thing) but since I completed entire lesson books alongside Chloe that year I am still able to go back and fairly accurately recreate the lesson for Chessa. In my own lesson book I had written the container story to accompany my drawings, I preferred to read from my own book and writing rather than the typed curriculum pages. (Nope, I didn't tell the story from memory!)

My first drawings were done on individual sheets of paper which where then hung on the wall. Then Chloe and I, and now Chessa and I, would do a drawing together. As you can see, my drawings are very simple, and I am certainly no great artist!

~ My own drawing of the King, Queen, Prince, and Wise Woman

The container story tells of a kingdom where the Prince must go on a journey with the Wise Woman, so that he can learn how to become a good king.

~ Chessa's lesson book drawing of the Jester, who tells the Prince the story of The Golden Goose

~ Each picture has letters written on the opposite page.

~ Chessa's lesson book drawing of a door in the mountain ~ a door which the Prince was convinced must lead to a Deep, Dark, Dangerous Dungeon (though it did not...)

You can imagine my delight when while drawing the letter "D" Chessa said, "A straight line and a curved line!" Yes! Form Drawing success! She pointed this out often while drawing her letters.

~ Chessa's lesson book of the prince calling to Rapunzel

We worked our way through much of the alphabet (not in order) and will continue with the rest in early December.

Now we have moved on to our first math block on the Quality of Numbers. Again, Chessa already knows the numbers fairly well, she actually seems to have quite a good sense of them. She will sometimes amaze us with little mathematical figurings she does in her head.

~ Chessa's lesson book drawings for the numbers One and Two

For this block we are memorizing a verse by Eugene Schwartz... "One is the sun that shines so bright, One is the moon so high. One is the day, One is the night, One is the sheltering sky. One is a head, so still and tame, upon one body whole with health. And "I" is the one and special name that only I can call myself." And then the verses continue with the next numbers.

Although we mentioned the sun and moon for One, they also symbolize the duality of day and night, the opposite qualities of light and dark, and so we used those images for the number Two.

~ Three makes a family

~ The Four Seasons

~ My own lesson book drawings for the numbers Three and Four

And our journey continues...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yarn Along and a Handmade (Handknit!) Holiday


It has been a while since I have been able to do a Yarn Along post, very happy to be joining Ginny today! And this can even count as my first official Handmade Holiday post for the season.

It seems most of my gift ideas for the girls this year are knitted gifts. I want them to have new winter hats and I found this really cute bonnet-like pattern. Here you see Chloe's, in dark red to match her cardigan. It is not blocked yet and I still need to knit the ties. I had a lot of fun knitting this bonnet, and learned quite a bit too, like how to do a neat attached i-cord binding. Chessa's hat will be green to match her cardigan...

Another gift will be a set of felted nesting bowls for each of them. They seem to be always in need of containers, baskets, boxes, bowls...

(I will try to include Ravelry links next time...)

Oh oh books! Wonderful wonderful books! Have any of you ever read the All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sidney Taylor? I had heard of them a few years ago but we only recently checked one out from the library. And we all fell in love with them! Our library has only two out of five from the series, and then I discovered that most of them are out of print. Tragic! Being as book obsessed as I am I of course had to hunt down some used copies. Even used they can be quite expensive, but fortunately I was able to find the first four books for us. These will be saved as Christmas gifts for the girls as well. They know that the books are out of print and they will be so excited and truly appreciate how lucky we are to have them. My book loving girls!

So I know I never even posted pictures of Chloe's finished cardigan, and here I am showing you Chessa's. Or part of Chessa's. I wasn't up for spending too much time on photos...
Chessa of course wanted a green cardigan. I wanted her to choose light green. She really wanted the dark green. I kind of had her talked into doing the lighter, but then I felt bad since I knew she really wanted the other, so I went ahead and knit it with the dark. We both liked the idea of adding the light green trim. Still waiting for buttons for the sweaters, so they really aren't 100% finished yet....

When I first went outside this morning this big boy deer (yes, I know really he is called a buck) was standing right by our fence. Later I looked out the window and saw that he had decided to stay and make himself comfortable. Always nice to have visits from our deer friends!

Oh, and happy November to you all!