Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Michaelmas was different for us this year, since we are home rather than in a classroom setting. On Monday I told the story of St. George and the Dragon. Baby boy knows the story by heart, as one would after a few celebrations. We started St. George's salve and made beeswax models for our nature table. On Tuesday we made Dragon Bread. He was so pleased with how it turned out! Wednesday was our last day for the week and he painted a beautiful scene from the story. We changed over our nature table to a fall theme, brought out some candles, and made a hearty winter meal for our dinner.

Our recipe for St. George's salve:
1 cup marigolds,  2 cups olive oil. Place in a jar and set in the sunshine for 4 weeks. Strain marigolds, warm oil on stove. Add 1 oz beeswax. Stir. Let cool. If it is too runny, you can add more beeswax. We haven't gotten to that part yet. Ours is still in jars in the sunshine!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Baby boy woke up so excited to start school today. Ran in my room with a shout of "It's my first day of school. Let's go!" Unfortunately, I didn't get going as early as I wanted to. Not surprising, that's me. After a leisurely breakfast and a break to care for the goats and cats, we started 4th grade.  Our first assignment was to check the weather. He declared it "Perfect. Then asked, is that a weather condition?"  He is right. 79 degrees and beautifully sunny.

We started our work by lighting a candle and reciting our morning verse. Typically in a Waldorf school there would be a circle time. But with just the two of us, it feels a bit contrived. I'll need to figure out some type of movement exercises we can add to the morning. He's not a very flexible kid, but I've warned him many times that we'll have to change some things around til we get what works for us. We then moved into our Main Lesson, starting with a new verse that we'll be using for local geography/history. We made our practice book and geography ML book. Then we packed up for our first field trip!

We stopped to pick up a compass, then headed to High Point, a York County park that overlooks the Susquehanna River. On the way I asked him to notice the shape of the land. Imagine what it would look like without roads, buildings and the other things people have created. He rode silently the rest of the way and just watched out of the window.

As we enjoyed our picnic lunch, we sat quietly and watched the horses on a neighboring farm. We then climbed to the top of High Point and stood still to breathe it all in. At the top there's a compass rose set in stone so, we pulled out our compass and talked about the ordinate points and compared our compass to the compass rose. (One of them is two degrees off!) We each sketched part of the view, which was a painful experience for both of us. For me, I'm a beginner sketcher and not very confident about my work. He has a difficult time doing anything new. After a few tears and bouts of frustration (him) we both settled into our work and by the time we were finished he seemed very happy with the process. I faked my way through it, keeping a cheerful face, even when another hiker looked over my shoulder and said nothing but "hmmmmm." We took some photos, filled our water bottles, then took the Mason Dixon Trail back down the hill and headed for the river itself.  Oh, the river felt wonderful on our hot, dusty feet!

At Highpoint Park

The river visit was short, surprisingly. Usually I can't get him away from the water. But today he was happy to clamber back in the car and head to the library. One of his favorite places! As I write this, he is sitting in the back yard reading one of the books he selected. It is now "quiet time," the peaceful rest time before the busy-ness of getting dinner together begins.  Looking forward to tomorrow's adventure!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More organizing

Yesterday I met with another mom to look over her curriculum choice (Bearth Institute) I've been debating over several choices including Earth Schooling, Christopherus, and Live Ed. Or, do I just do it myself. 

When I schooled my two oldest, I took the eclectic approach. I found what worked for each child and put together my own curriculum of sorts. I'm thinking that with a few resources, the library, and co-ops, I can probably do it this way again. Packaged curriculum is great, especially for folks who are new to homeschooling. But, I am stubborn and would end up doing it my way anyway. (Stubborn or controlling?)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In the Beginning...

A few weeks ago we made the final decision to homeschool this coming year. It's been a struggle. We love our son's  Waldorf school (Susquehanna Waldorf) but have been debating this move for about a year. 

Upon telling Jonah of our decision, he commented "Great! Now I can take piano instead of a stringed instrument." I know he will miss his classmates and the wonderful faculty, especially his classroom teacher. But, we are looking forward to this adventure. And he, especially for a choleric, has displayed a wonderfully positive attitude.

The adventure has begun with my struggling through scads of information about Waldorf homeschooling. I need to remember this is not school at home. It is to be done differently than what I've seen in the school classroom. I am so thankful for my hours spent volunteering, though. It's given me a basis for how to proceed.