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Posts Tagged ‘handwork’

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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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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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Hi friends!

I am excited to announce over the next three months you are welcome to Follow me over on IG @Nurturing_Spirit to witness handwork creations in progress! Samantha of Happy Hedgehog Post creates a monthly envelope of seasonal crafts for Waldorf inspired families. They are perfect handwork kits for beginners and busy families, and I will be one of the new reps! There are months where I do not have as much time to gather the supplies I need to continue doing handwork in front of my children, so this kit has been motivating!

Growing up my grandmother was an amazing person who created so much with her hands. She crocheted, created dolls, and sewed up a storm. She sewed a lot by hand, but I also remember the hum of her sewing machine most days that I visited. In the process, I observed and participated in my own projects. This was a starting point for my handwork growth. As an adult I strive to practice daily handwork projects in front of my three boys, usually with soft goods. My husband, the artist and operator behind Coydog Studios usually handles the hard goods handwork for our children, on wood shop days.

Subscribe today and get 10% off your first order, when you sign up for HHP news. I would love to have you creating and crafting alongside me.

 

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I solemnly swear to create, teach and heal.

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Winter.  Rounding out the year.  I have a moment to sit, still myself, and breathe the deepest breath of the year.  We can even loosen up a little bit.  The time I have had since Christmas has been busy, like most, but I am also taking the time to reorganize, dust, purge, and slowly open my eyes up to a new time for us next year.  But first I want to re-cap the past couple months as we finished entering our stories and teachings into our Main Lesson Books for Fourth and Second.

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We did a lot of nature scavenging, and I had dirty floors constantly.  Such is life, and the season in which I am in.

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Here’s our collection of nature to send to our Nature Pal in California.  We dipped some nature in beeswax, painted a wood apple, made beeswax tea lights, and sent a little mouse finger puppet along.  We also had a bird seed gift wrapped as a pumpkin to give too.

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The light of day began to dim, and so we made our lanterns and walked with friends.

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Music filled our ears, as Little Fox, Second Grade, practiced and accomplished his semester recital.

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We warmed our hands with handwork.  Little Eagle, 4th grade, sewed mama a little needle book. This was a craft from September Happy Hedgehog.  I try to pace our handwork, so it stays enjoyable.

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Little Fox begged to make outfits for our Lantern Carriers.

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There was nothing more enjoyable than getting out into the woods with my family for a weekend. We visited Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge, Geological Area.  My buzzword for the year was Connect, and there is no better place than nature.

We are currently alternating rest with work.  I have begun to tackle that urge to clear and clean, organize, and dream.  We are having an unusual late fall and early winter, with lots of rain and warm days.  I can’t help but appreciate how mild the season has been, which can be a help to us this year.  No snow yet.

Here comes 2016!!

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Wow, the boys are really growing up and have shown on the outside all the inner growth of the last 7 years!  Little Fox, now 8, really has gauged this for me, since we now have two older boys walking their path.  He has truly set forth on his earth path, and come into his body.  I mentioned the 12 senses on the last post and how important all of them are in raising children.  He has taught me most about how highly sensitive I truly am.  The term Highly Sensitive Person is a post in itself for another time.  Either way as a parent I came to learn more about myself through watching my children grow and mirroring, as well as reflection upon my childhood.

Before we review the year I want to mention First Grade Readiness.  This is something you can measure by a few standards.  For one, has the child lost their first milk tooth?  How are gross and fine motor skills, as well as core body strength? As a rule of thumb has the child experienced seven Easters yet? Below are a couple of links expressing this thought deeper and why we waited 7 years to start academics.  Most people outside of our family sphere did/do not quite understand why our children did not match up with mainstream, but I took this very big notion to prayer and specifically felt waiting for each child to be ripe was necessary.

Each child is so different and Waldorf allowed me to bring a balance to each child and their differences.  At first it does not appear as though our children are learning or at pace with their peers, and truly they are not.  We want a whole child.  A child who is developing evenly.  We want their body, mind and spirit to be in sync.  To mamas out there who are questioning yourselves because others are questioning you and this practice, hold steady, like an anchor on a ship in the high seas.  You know what is best, somehow this seed was planted in your heart!

http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/first-grade-readiness

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/07/12/guest-post-on-first-grade-readiness-a-comprehensive-look-through-high-school/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/26/readiness-for-waldorf-homeschool-first-grade/

Namely our Little Fox is a cautious fellow.  He likes to watch and observe before making his move.  But once he moves he is graceful and confident.  We waited a little past his 7th birthday to begin formal academics, and my oh my, he paced through with smiles.  I love this because school should be fun, and we had some work to do the first seven years to get him ready.  Auditory, visual and vestibular centers had to be assisted and balanced.  Movement, sensory and games had to be encouraged.  Here is my Pinterest board to give you a sense of what I look at, regardless if a child has sensory issues, in fact all children are special needs in these times when recess and art are not valued. They sure are valued here at home though!

Temperament plays a role in educating and I believe Little Fox to be much like me, melancholic and phlegmatic, but when balanced, quite all four temperaments, much like the Medicine Wheel, and Carl Jung’s Wheel, when finding our Center.  It is important though to observe your child the first seven years and meditate on their temperament and your temperament and right-relationship.  Meditating on how to bring the teachings and how to relate can make a huge difference in how your days go.

We began the year with Form Drawing.  Not only did Form Drawing give us structure with using Main Lesson Books, it gave Little Fox time to practice using crayons and pencils for writing.  Not only do I believe in the soul development aspect of Form Drawing, but also the quality it has to draw us into focus on Monday mornings!  Monday’s are difficult for all to refocus, so doing an exercise first thing really helps us all realign where we are and what we are doing.

Language Arts had us visiting Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and let me tell you they work on the soul differently as a child than they do when we are adults.  As adults we bring our baggage to the stories, unless we let the stories take their time to work on our soul too.  Some people even believe they are gruesome, and perhaps they are a bit, but the things on television for children that have no soul are far more violent.  I can understand how a highly senstive mama might think twice while reading the stories beforehand, but if you approach the stories archetypally, then they are very insightful and assist growth subconsciously in the first year grade, also known as the 7 year change.  In the first grade letters are introduced to the children through a re-creation of the evolutionary pattern of language development.  The letters are drawn out in practice books and Main Lesson Books to make a picture in itself.  Like the letter M in the story Simeli Mountain is actually a part of the Mountain, and there is room left for a short summary of the story, which is beginning writing.

Math.  Arabic Numbers one through 10 are introduced along with Roman Numerals and a story.  The Four Processes are then introduced using a storyline and manipulatives. With our first son we actually used a Star Wars theme, but with Little Fox we used gnomes in a kingdom.  It was just easier to use the traditional approach with our curriculum, the story was already set up. Our curriculum teaches Whole to Parts.  For example, 10 equals 5+5, 9+1, 1+9, 10+0, 0+10, 7+3, 3+7, 5×2, 2×5, 10×1, 1×10, 11-1, 20-10, 15-5, 20/2, 40/4 and so on. During the winter we do daily math practice to keep up with what we have learned and to make it easier for entering into the next year.  Winter and reviewing is where we are right now, as well as planning and dreaming for a new start.

Daily math practice is suggested in Circle Time, which takes place when we say our opening and seasonal verses and play our games.  This is when I might encourage my older child to jump on the trampoline and say his multiplication table.  Or if we are taking a walk we may try to find straight lines and curves in nature to compliment beginning form drawing.  We still do Circle Time our with First and Third Graders together filling the time with Brain Gym activities, movement like stretching and yoga, reading, and music practice.

Waldorf Education has a curriculum for its students that reflects a pattern of evolution that is apparent in both the evolution of humanity and in the development of the human being. For the sake of the developmentally appropriate introduction of information to the young child many traditional forms of academic instruction are held back for an older age. The three stages of development in childhood are birth to seven years of age, seven to fourteen years of age, and finally fourteen to twenty-one years of age. Waldorf Education for the birth to seven stage concentrates on learning through activity (Hands), seven to fourteen through the feelings (Heart), and fourteen to twenty-one through thinking (Head).

The Head aspect we are covering with Language Arts and Math, however we introduce the Heart aspect through painting and music or song.  We have a three day rhythm where I introduce a story and the student draws the story in a practice book.  The second day the student paints the story and retells it. The third day we model the story and enter it into our Main Lesson book.  With this rhythm Little Fox came to digest the story and the teachings and make it a part of himself.  I could not believe how well he came to know the information and in a way that was filled with art and music.  Music and song entered in mostly through the festival life, like Candlemas.  We did not paint or model every single story, but occasionally we reenacted the story with peg people or action figures or even ourselves.

Handwork is introduced this year with beginning knitting.  The student is taught to cast onto needles they make themselves by sharpening then sanding the ends of a dow rod, then adorning one end if they so choose.  For Little Foxes first project we slowly and surely knitted an organic cotton wash cloth.  I paired his cloth with a bar of my soap and we gifted it to the Church Bazaar, which is a fundraiser.

Music has always been a part of our lives in some way or another but this year Little Fox stepped up his involvment by attending Children’s Choir at church. Before he had attended Music Together classes when he was little and then again with Little Bear.  Last week Little Fox began his journey with violin.  For three bars of my homemade soap we rent a violin, bow and case. We have a teacher for private and group violin lessons and it turns out she was home educated.

Another activity that was very much enjoyed this past year and begins again in March is Archery with our local 4H club.  Little Fox was in the Clover Bud section of the Archery team, which means he cannot compete till he is 9, but we are all okay with that.

I was happy to see my middle guy really blossom this year.  He is sweet and giving. The year really culminated last night when he finally lost his two front upper teeth.  He had been hanging onto those teeth for an extra amount of time which in my meditation meant he was unwilling to let go.  Birth to seven years old was comfortable and special, and he didn’t care to leave the wonder days behind.  It is all bitter sweet.  We want them to grow straight and strong into the future, but letting go is more than hard.

Thanks for reading Nurturing Spirit.  I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps gleaned some wisdom from our year end review.  I know reflection is just as important as having lived.

 

 

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