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Posts Tagged ‘waldorf homeschool’

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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August paid off with planning, and our rest, travel and play enriched us enough to focus daily on our tasks for the past month and a half. We began our new school year, as year rounders back in April. So when September hit, we were beginning the final stretch after a break. I make sure we are learning with in and out breaths, developing the best process for our heads, hearts and hands. That is how we came naturally to schooling this way. Intuition, meditation, prayer, focus, intent, manifestation.

Deepening our painting skills, we have learned a bit about Botany, with the Charles Kovac book. Geography skills have been expanded through music lessons, stories, and real life experience. I have learned more about the Old Testament stories by taking them in to my Soul and teaching, which has in turn helped me to become a more multi-dimensional teacher. It helps that I used one set of resources the first time I taught 3rd, and another set of resources this second time around. Waldorf Essentials has always been my lamp post though! 5th grade has taken us to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and into the lap of Buddha. Teaching 3rd and 5th at the same time has its teacher incentives, when subjects become intermingled. In other words, I have begun to deepen my own personal web of life. Everything is interrelated.

Our handwork rhythm has deepened and that makes me proud. Needle Point (with yarn) and Embroider (with thread/floss) has enriched our Souls using our Hands. Freehand Geometry is taking shape through a few Waldorf resources and I am having fun presenting the sacredness of the universe through Math, to my little learner. I intend to join the embroidering world and math in the next cycle of my teaching. I have a great recommendation for a book assisting with this, on my IG account. Also, please take a look at my personal embroider work project, which is stitch by stitch prayers for the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline #nodapl  –  It is a pattern by @cozyblue, called Full Circle. This can be found #WIP style on IG.

Another one of my little learners will play in his 5th Suzuki violin recital in a couple weeks, And he is blossoming in our Cooking Class. So many good things. My littlest learner is unfolding beautifully in our Waldorfy prek circle, at my home church. The Circle Time was taken on by our Children’s Minister, in which we are so grateful. Once a week for an hour and a half we get together with 5/6 other families to sing, sign, hear stories, do crafts, move, shake and laugh. We come as we are, 2 to 4 years of age, at the moment. So many good things are evolving for the Wolf Pack, and Eagle Tree Homeschool. Teaching 3 age levels at the same time is a challenge, but with self care, time management, organization and Love as the centerpiece, it can be done.

If you are interested in speaking with me about my experience with Waldorf Essentials, I am now a (TFW) Thinking, Feeling, Willing Leader. Please comment below or contact me healingoneself@gmail.com. TFW is a blessing and gives you access to organized, essential mama lessons. Not only will Melisa hold your hand, if you are willing to do the inner work, but I will be nearby local, in Kentucky. It helps to have community.

Follow me over on IG @nurturing_spirit  for daily Waldorfy goodness.

If I have already referred you to Melisa and WE and you would like to be added to my secret Facebook group, just message me. I will add you. I plan to post videos, links to songs I sing for Circle Time or the Seasons and personal wisdom on homeschooling, mothering, marriage, and being self-employed (see www.coydogstudios.com and on IG @coydog~studios).

I also have a secret Facebook group for Handwork, if you wish to message me, I will add you there as well.

I have also organized homeschooling resources and other lifestyle pursuits over on Pinterest.

We have been using Waldorf Essentials curriculum for a number of years. I have taught both Kindy through Third twice, as well as Fourth and Fifth once through. I have had the honor to hold space for the preschool years three times, with my three sons, ages 11, 9 and now 3. Join me, if you wish and I will do my best to guide you as I can. Life is a journey, and we can take it day by day together.

 

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If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening my ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln

We have made it to the weekend, Saturday morning. I have been working from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. most days. When I do my planning the flow and momentum hold us up, even when we have an event, or disruption, we are still able to mostly maintain a rhythm.  Yesterday, I asked a friend over who paints and actually makes a little money at it in the Waldorf world. After chatting a bunch and getting stuff off our hearts and minds, we settled down to paint a seasonal scene. I paint slow and really do not feel a need to finish quickly, so I got as far as my first subject in the scene, which was a fox. He still needs one more layer to be finished, then I can move on to his surroundings. I have been working to build my painting skills for several years now, by painting with the boys on Monday’s. At first we began drawing in our nature journal, but two years ago we switched to watercolor painting. There were some little hints that I was missing a dimension in my painting, which I knew. After beginning I realized it had to do with my layering. I am not talking about wet on wet painting, which I definitely need more practice at doing. I am talking about painting gentle nature scenes. I don’t necessarily want a lot of hard lines either. I am glad I took Friday to refresh and evolve my skills, and I appreciate my friend coming over.

This weekend I have quite a few loose ends to tie up, so we can begin. I need to do a chalk drawing for our pre k theme. Squirrels and Nuts. I’ve created a Pinterest board for September, and will continue to do so for each month, saving chalk and watercolor themes to draw from. I need to finish writing down the exact things we will be doing next week and many weeks after, so it is out of my head and on paper. I do not physically write out many weeks at a time for my older kids, because a day may not go as planned, then we have to continue our work the next day. I find that once a week I sit down and write it out and that works best for us. Even though I do not write out a physical page of each week, till the week arrives, I do have a notebook on each child and what we must cover along with the resources. That is how I am able to maintain writing out the schedule on a weekly basis. Now, I take a majority of my time pouring over the materials, and digesting them. Aside from that, tons of administrative work must be done. Printing, laminating, organizing, cleaning out of the old and making space for the new. I had to dig out my fall flag banners, re organize the toy area, meditate on the children and make space to develop better habits, or new habits that will benefit us.

While I am So busy doing all my teacher preparation work, I decided to make a list for the boys to pull activities from that would be more on the quiet scale, well, sort of. Music practice with ukulele and violin. Reading. Audio books. Card and board games, of which I joined in, when it was tea/coffee time. And a little bit of hand work. We are going to be starting a kids Cooking Class next week as well, so I wanted the big boys to familiarize themselves with a new list posted, table chores and a night time check list. Once a day, during our break, I had them read the lists and digest it all. We have always had the boys help with chores that we try to call Home Blessings, so it is not a new concept. But, I always try to find a way for it to go smoother. Conscious Kitchen is a new keynote phrase around here, especially with my decision to go vegetarian for heart health reasons. Heart disease runs in my family and after a considerable amount of time listening to my body to ditch meat, I have finally acted. I have been meat free for a month. A couple time this week I did taste some of the meat I cooked for kids, but that is it.

Well, it’s time to be off and engage  my will in doing. Front loading my day works best for me. I promise to stop, stretch, breathe and draw myself into peace as much as possible. Tomorrow when I wake, I will be 39.

 

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In the bear’s cave of winter bubbles start to rise and pop in the dream space. The abyss is close by. The bear is sleepy, yet awake.  The mind has dials set to meditate and welcomes symbols and messages that will give directional guidance. That bear is me, and the symbol that came was the Makara Mudra, as I set intention on India, and the spiritual practice of the body.  As a teacher and a parent I have married the seasons, nature, Creator, my Self and the subjects in right-relationship. Our children came through me, so being a hollow bone during this time for them, as well as working on how I get in my own way is paramount.  It’s contradictory, and the struggle is real.

I try to remain open to the messages that become my teachings. Mudra’s are hand gestures that can influence the energy of the body. The Makara Mudra is a blessing, as it activates a resevoir of energy.  Winter is a time when we may activate that reservoir of energy to pull through a time of low energy, depression or overburdened tasks.  Makara is the name of a crocodile in Indian mythology. Crocodiles are known for their strength, which can be mobilized very quickly. Sometimes, many times I need access quickly to a reservoir of strength or energy as a mama.  Don’t you?!

January and February, as well as a few months into the school year are times when I have spread myself thin, or perhaps have not received the proper rest it takes to teach and parent and own a business.  When I looked into the Mudra that I intuitively chose I knew immediately Creator wished for me to know the gesture. I am learning so much, and in doing so I am planning out the year for the boys.  We are starting to embrace yoga more daily and I am researching some dancing, so we may bring our teachings to the body.  The whole child.

Here is a link if you would like to look further into the Makara Mudra.

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After weeks of hard work and memorizing lines, we culminate tonight and tomorrow watching Robin Hood!  Little Eagle plays Will Scarlett, a very Merry Man.

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Our Little Bear bundled up and walked a big circuit today.  This is one of the first times he hasn’t had to be pulled, pushed or carried.  A new season of movement! A season of feeling his feet on the land and looking up at the sky, the trees, and the winged ones in new awareness.

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I solemnly swear to create, teach and heal.

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