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Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category

Moving to a new state has our school cycle Shifting. For 7 years we started a new school year in the spring, but this past year it all shifted to fall. Little Eagle began 7th grade, Little Fox began 5th and Little Bear began Kindy for the 4/5 year old.

Our older boys began Waldorfish Geometry for their respective grades. Fall 2017, and all of 2018 was the first year we began using online teaching resources. First, with Waldorfish Weekly Art. Next, I purchased Waldorfish Geometry, Festival Art and First Grade Watercolors. It has been a blessing with (almost) two middle schoolers. Having that time, while they are in class to work with my littlest guy has really helped me as a teacher to give balanced time to each of them. I will have these resources for life, so Little Bear will benefit when the time comes. When you combine Art, Handwork and main teaching subjects like Math it creates a multi-dimensional learning opportunity. Little Fox is embroidering a geometric bear to build his will with handwork, and bring more dimension to his Freehand Geometry. I’ll post more on handwork later.

Both older boys do daily math, journaling prompts and we have developed their Planners to accommodate us as a whole. I spend several hours each weekend writing in their school work for the week, some prayer ideas, meditations and encouragement. This process has helped us flow through the week, and it is helping the boys become self-starters. Check out my Stories on IG weekly to see glimpses into this new routine. I may do a blog post on this topic. Several moms have asked about my process.

Little Eagle began his apprenticeship in the wood shop this year! He goes Monday and Friday mornings. He helps with Coydog Studio projects and also helped build his own bed. It’s almost done! I’ll do a post on it when it’s finished.

Homeschool Gym and Strength Training began in September. The older boys love it. We have a family membership at the Y. Little Bear and I get in the pool, where I aquacise and he plays with friends. I hit up the hot tub and a few minutes in the dry heat sauna, which brings me weekly peace. I began this routine last fall/winter to keep up my mental health in our new northern climate. It has been a blessing.

Little Bear has been listening to weekly stories of Sam the gnome, which is a two year container story by Waldorf Essentials. We have Circle Time beforehand, which includes singing, call and response, movement opportunity like jump rope, Simon Says and similar ideas, which I glean from Joyful Movement by Christopherus. I also have a Pinterest board called Movement, Games and Sensory, which is very helpful as well. Occasionally we join a local nature group connected to Little River Wetlands Project once a month.

I am very excited to attend a local event in February, with my little guy. Anna from Kid Lit Crafts develops modestly priced activities for little ones, themed around books. Her tag line is “Where Beautiful Children’s Books Inspire Family Creativity.” February will be our first event. I’ll report back on IG about our time, and perhaps here.

For those interested in our move from Kentucky to Indiana, we are finally moving on with renovating the house. The shop is not fully done, but that will take time. We will get new windows in the entire house sometime this winter, and eventually all new siding. My husband has pulled out the entire mechanical closet and cleaned it, and traced all the plumbing. He will be replacing parts here and there, and we will add a few new plumbing lines as we demo and shift the laundry room to the other side of the house, creating a mud room combo. This past summer we planted lilac bushes, peonies, pink naked ladies, irises and such from my mothers home in Kentucky.

Thanks for reading along.

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Hi friends. We took a nice break, back when we were feeling a little burned out. Then we picked our work back up and completed 6th and 4th grade, plus drew our preschooler more and more into our rhythmic space. Everyone has really grown. My heart is full seeing my handsome boys shine before my eyes.

We are still doing a couple hours of school a few days a week. I call it Summer School Lite. The oldest, Little Eagle, goes to the wood shop three mornings a week, and practices living math, communications, and working wood, beginning with the most humble tasks. He is also doing the Geology/Mineralogy/Astronomy block. We are just getting started there, using the Charles Kovacs book, and the Waldorf Rocks and Mineral guide, by Meredith Floyd Preston.

My middle guy, Little Fox, is finishing up the Human and Animal block. He just completed the bear, a trunk animal. We decided to write a poem, instead of a summary, for this assignment. He also did a little bit of Freehand Geometry, by drawing a geometric bear with angles. I love how we create our own Main Lesson books. Little Fox finished off his poem with bear prints.

Math is always happening. I’m that mom:teacher. I love maths. Not until I began to study math the waldorf way, did I understand that math is sacred and beautiful. So we will have some daily practice in what the boys learned, in 4th and 6th, over the summer. Measurement, fractions, the four processes, Geometry, and decimals.

This week we are preparing to send one child to church camp, back in KY, and another to grandma camp, also in KY. I am staying home, in Indiana, with our 4 year old, and really giving him some special attention.

My hopes for the summer are to camp on our country property as often as possible, hit up the pool a couple times a week, and alternate going to the zoo, botanical gardens, art museum, and science center. We have cousins coming in July for a couple weeks. They have normally lived abroad, but moved back to the states at Christmas, so we will see them a little more.

I am looking forward to beginning 1st grade wet-on-wet watercolor painting, with Waldorfish. There are 12 lessons that promise to demystify the colors, set-up and verses. I have experience with wet-on-wet over the years, but I hope to deepen my study this summer, so I can prepare to teach 1st grade again, when Little Bear turns 7.

I also purchased Painting through the Festivals by Waldorfish, and I am so excited to again deepen our experience during our favorite holy days.

Years ago, back on my childhood Kentucky Farm, my relationship with the plant and animal kingdom began. In my 20’s and 30’s I deepened my knowledge of herbs, learning to formulate medicine from plants, create soaps, salves, tinctures, hair rinses and pretty much anything our family needed. As time went on, we studied the plants through art, like watercolor painting and drawing. I began our boys with nature journaling, around age 5, so we have been slow and steadily building our wisdom of plant identification. We studied animals and the human in 4th, plants in 5th, and played games, like Wildcraft. Handwork, like embroidery and needle felting nature has really created dimension within our studies.

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Since moving, I have reinvigorated my desire for learning about the plant kingdom. I have begun foraging locally, throughout the seasons, and recently have become obsessed with cut and foraged flowers. I have always put together rustic bouquets, but I may be ready now for growing my garden, and expanding my skills with creating those lovely bouquets. We’ve always had a small children’s garden, with culinary herbs and medicinal perineals, but I believe it’s time to expand and learn in my 40’s.  I have visions of a small cut garden, and dreams of dinner parties, styling out the table and eating and drinking with our new community.

What will you be up to this summer?

Slide on over to Instagram and check out my posts and Stories @nurturing_spirit

Also, if you are planning this summer, I’ve curated preschool and most of the grades over on Pinterest. Feel free to scroll around when the day is too hot, with a cold glass of lemonade at your side.

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As I find myself coming to the end of one cycle with Happy Hedgehog Post as a Brand Rep, new adventures are arising for our family. Sometimes adventures happen very quickly, and the next thing you know, you are putting one foot in front of the other. For my family, we are finding that after almost 11 years (in May 2017), we are picking up roots and replanting ourselves. We have been blooming and growing in Kentucky. We married in North Carolina and had our first son, Little Eagle. Then, we moved to Kentucky and immediately got pregnant with Little Fox. About 7 years later I got pregnant with Little Bear. So most of our children’s Early Childhood, walking the Waldorf inspired path, has been in one place. Now it is time to go on a new adventure together. We are moving to Amish Country, in Northern Indiana. Life will be different. We have lived on almost 4 acres in the country for the past 11 years, but we are moving into a rental (temporarily) in town. It is a quaint town, where I can walk to yoga and the farmer’s market within 5 minutes. There is a 26 acre park right in town as well. And, grandma lives a few streets over. At some point we will move back out to the country, once we find the right place. UPDATED to add : We have found a place to live and a workshop for our family business!

Meanwhile, I have been asked by Amber at Hearth Magic to review her lovely two-part PDF download that she has listed on Etsy. Tonight I downloaded and previewed the learning guide. It is very thorough. Our journey will include reading The Hobbit one chapter at a time and doing crafts, activities and pairing that with food! I am not sure who is more excited, the kids or me!

So! Over the next couple months, as we move and settle in, I hope to post some of our adventures. Our journey. Until then, head over to Etsy and check out Amber’s listing. If anything Favorite her listing, as you stay tuned to see more of my review.

The Hobbit Family Learning Adventure Guide

 

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Here’s a peak at what we got into the first couple weeks of February. Making candles came first right at Candlemas. Candlemas is the time of year where we make as many candles as possible and bless them for the year. There is something special about this ritual that is like no other. We have alway Loved to use beeswax candles, lighting them for school and during meals. It never gets old. This year we made little votive candles with xoxo’s, hearts, cupid hearts with arrows, and even one with a bunny. Red, pink and white. It really was the first time that I have cut out shapes and letters from pressed beeswax to decorate the outside of the candles. So, even after years of homeschooling and living within the realm of Waldorf — I still found something new to do.

Next up I began embroidering the little heart pouch pictured above. I have found one of my favorite types of handwork is indeed embroidery. My grandmother taught me around the ages of 7-9 years old. I would sit and embroider little birds and flowers on hankerchiefs and pillow cases, while we watched Little House on the Prairie. I will always hold those memories dear.

Lastly, we made our little gnome couple. It was the first time I had made a peg person with hair, so again each year and each season I am spiraling forward and creating dimension in the handwork I do. There’s something comforting about that. Knowing each day, and each season that what I do not accomplish or get done, I can always work towards the next year.

Well, my time as Happy Hedgehog Brand Rep has come to an end. The three months went by pretty quickly, and it I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. Thank you for following along on my posts here and on IG.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. I love celebrating love and gratitude. It doesn’t matter if society dedicates one day, as the commercial holiday. Love is definitely meant to be celebrated.

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Good day folks! Join me over on Instagram for a GIVEAWAY of this lovely piece, called Full Circle, pattern by Cozy Blue. I want to share LIGHT and KINDNESS with this GIVEAWAY, so LIKE and TAG a friend in the COMMENTS. GIVEAWAY closes, Monday, December 26th, at 4p.m. My children will choose a winner!

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We really enjoyed the December envelope from Happy Hedgehog Post. I was pleased to finish the Snowflake baby just as the January envelope ships out to us. Have a look at a few of the pictures we took during our embroidering journey. We also made a cookie recipe similar to the one in the Post. We made so many cookies, there were plenty for the family and a whole group of Suzuki violin players.

Thanks for visiting!

 

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Monday we decided to create our wool Christmas angel, from Happy Hedgehog Post. The angel is our first project with the December envelope. The plan is to do the next project the following Monday as to keep a rhythm this month, but allowing for flexibility during the holidays.  If you have felt intimidated to create a roving fairy or angel, release it. I felt the same, but ordered a May envelope a year ago and willed it forth. We made a spring fairy, then an autumn fairy, now a Christmas angel. I chose these colors and theme, because we already have seasonal wintery decor of whites, blues, purples and silver. Some traditional red and green are nice.

What handcrafts are you up to this month?

I am still embroidering the piece called Full Circle, by Cozy Blue, although I made a lot of progress yesterday. Only a few details left, then I need to put energy into what I will do with it. Sometimes projects happen like that, out of the need to create regardless of the purpose. I also have a blanket I have been working on for two years, too long. It is what it is though, as a mother of three sons, and self-employed. I create so much with our children, because it is where I am in my life, and it is where they are in their life. Experimenting with crafts and handwork, materials and tools. We try to encourage building skill sets.

What skill sets have you learned? What more would you like to learn?

Friends, it is time for me to begin the next small task of the day, so I must go. A snack, a Christmas craft – some bead work. I hope your week is blessed, as we pray for Gatlinburg and Standing Rock. Fire and water. Breath and grounding.

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