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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

It has been five full moons since we started 5th and 3rd grades. There is so much to recapture.

In fifth grade we began with stories from Africa, then Egypt. Little Eagle read the book Maia of Thebes, his largest book ever. Then, we covered the main gods and goddess’ in Greek Myths and the boys listened to some audio stories, which speak a lot about the demi gods and other characters. We have spent this whole time reviewing 4th grade math on a daily basis, with a few problems to keep our minds sharp. During what used to be Circle time when Little Eagle was younger, we now replace with math review, form drawing, music and daily reading. We are also pushing through with fractions.

My resources for 5th include Waldorf Essentials as our mainstay, D’Aulaires Greek Myths book, Key to Fractions and a cheap 4th grade math book, from which I pull daily review.  Monday’s we try to paint nature, and I usually allow the boys to choose their subject. Whatever inspires them. I am working on a Master List of resources, but it will take some time to organize. I hope to make separate posts covering the different aspects of the grades and subjects as well as time goes on.

Soon, we will start our block on Botany and the teachings will be more specific in the study of plant wisdom, but this has always been important to us. We have covered some, but not all of the Herb Fairy stories. Also, Little Eagle began ukulele in the spring, as he was gifted his own concert size uke and lessons at the local folk school. As part of movement for 5th grade, I set up a corner dedicated to yoga and provided a reader on meditation 101, which satisfies the Movement portion of 5th grade, as well as exploring the spiritual practice of the body. Last week, both big boys began and are alternating a yoga/hoop/dance/chant class. They will have wood shop most of the day, then end by going to the movement class.

We are on break at the moment, after Lammas, cleaning and organizing the house, and going to visit with family in from Germany. And now every mama I know has her calendar out planning away till the end of the year, if not beyond. We are also back at church, and getting the kids settled in to some great little circles. Little Bear is starting a circle time called Little Acorns, that my lovely friend Mrs. Elle will be leading. It is based on the Little Acorn Learning curriculum, and will be housed at our church. We are so excited all our friends 2-5 years old will be in the group. Little Bear also started the pre-k class at church on Sunday’s, which is Montessori based worship. They have a lovely rhythm with story that includes wood figures and felt, then an activity and feast. It is very similar to Circle Time in the Waldorf tradition.

When 5th grade starts back we still have so much to cover through the end of November. Hinduism and the creation story, Buddhism and the four noble truths and eight fold path. Then, we will cover Ancient Persia and Zarathustra, which is modern-day Iran. Within this scope of time we will also cover freehand geometry, which will be a jumping off point for using tools like the compass and protractor.

3rd grade feels easier compared to 5th, which makes sense. Most people looking outside of the Waldorf tradition believe that the curriculum is bogus, because one does not start the child with letters and numbers formally till age 7, in first grade. The curriculum and more importantly lifestyle does look different for each family, since we are all unique, but at the same time we are all working with the whole child. Movement-the body, the brain, and the emotions are all intertwined. They are forms of intelligence that grow at varying rates and all need attention and meditation on the parent/teachers part. The child may be stronger in the brain/mental aspect, so drawing the child into their body is a good way to balance out. During the first 7 years of life, the physical body is the focus. Ages 7-14 focus on the emotional life. 14-21 draw the child into their mental/thinking life. This curriculum is intensive. It’s a work of art. Inner work on my part is vital on a daily basis.

So, 3rd grade we have been using Jakob Streit’s book, And Then There Was Light for the Old Testament. A couple of years ago we used Pearl S. Buck’s, Story Bible. I really like it, but thought this year we could use the other resources I already owned. We are using Jewish Festivals, A Family Treasury, to cover Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Hanukkah this fall and winter, as well as book suggestions from the Jewish Library and Chabad dot org.

We are also looking more at multiplication and divide, plus multiple digit addition and subtraction with carrying and borrowing. I do use an inexpensive workbook to pull from our daily review for math. Circular calendars continue to be used to measure time and I just gifted Little Fox a new watch to work on measuring time. It is a basic black Timex watch with velcro strap. Little Fox is continuing with Suzuki violin. We switched to fiddle/Suzuki and a different teacher during the summer, but after giving it a shot, we found Little Fox flowed better with his original teacher. Little Fox is about to get his turn at Movement class this week. They are borrowing my hula hoop at the moment, which is too big, but I am going to allow them to make their own hoop soon with cool duct tape to wrap it.

We start back to school September 6th, after my 14 year wedding anniversary and 39th birthday. September is my favorite month, and fall is my favorite season. To end the month, we will have a Michaelmas celebration with our private co-op group at my house. We have decided on the Waldorf Essentials story of Super Sam and the dragon, with an obstacle course for the kids. We have asked everyone to make a loaf of bread, that will become a large dragons body, with roving as fire coming from the dragons mouth. I have a large stash of fabric and notions gifted to me, so I plan to share the bounty that day as well. Instead of buying more plastic drawers and cramming stuff in, it is easier to share with friends the abundance, and have nice easier to open drawers with everything organized.

My prayers are with you and your harvest as autumn approaches. The sun has given us Light, our bodies have stretched and grown, and the time for learning and introspection nears.

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It has been a while since I have written a blog post, as it happens.  I wondered if I would ever write again!  With a new baby, well he’s almost 2, and with two big boys in all kinds of activities, the time just flies by.  Not long after I wrote my last post I also took a Facebook break till just a few days ago.  So all summer things were a bit quieter, focused, hot, full of movement and stillness all at the same time, and full of listening, deep spiritual listening.

The spiritual mundane had us waking, getting our chores done and schooling. Norse Myths for 4th grade, and Saints/Fables for 2nd.  We did tons of math review from last year in Circle time, helping the boys get a more solid foundation before we set forth diving deeper into the four processes for 2nd, and fractions and long division in 4th.  Grammar has strengthened as we summarize our stories, so I am pretty happy about that as a mama-teacher. Currently, we are on a two week break. I need to recalibrate.  Process.  Digest.  Breathe.  Plan.

Most of the summer we went to the pool at least once a week and also had swim lessons, where my middle child, very cautious, has made a leap forward finally. He’s always been cautious and it was important for me to gain his trust and not just toss him in the pool.  That technique works for some people, but not for us. Little Wolf has also been improving his swimming skills with side stroke, and backstroke and is quickly becoming Big Wolf, but he teeters between a young kid and a teen.  So we try to support his growth while he’s in-between.  Even though he is showing his autonomy, he still needs us to stay strong for him, to hold boundaries and to give him lots of hugs.  Swimming has been wonderful medicine. Water allows our bodies to relax and stretch.  Papa meets us there after work and shows us how much of an otter he Really is, which is good bonding with the boys. We will continue to go to the pool once a week through the rest of our school cycle, which is around 52 weeks, ending and beginning around Vernal Equinox and Easter.  We school year round with proper breaks.

Little Fox, my middle guy started violin in February and has had two recitals already.  So not only is he growing himself in the pool, but he is also learning a stringed instrument, which delights me.  And he has been learning to read fluently, so mama is quite proud.  We’ve all really grown this year.

Little Baby Bear has been running and playing with his big brothers and we have started him on a daily rhythm.  He wakes and has his breakfast, plays and then Little Fox walks him to feed the rabbit.  I love how he carries the basket with hay and sunflower seeds and any leftover food from the house that is appropriate to gift our French Angora rabbit.  After all that, we have snacks and Little Bear plays or nurses while I teach the big boys.  Then, we all have lunch and take an afternoon break.  Little Bear has usually worn himself out and begs to nap, which is when I try to rest as well.  He has his four canine teeth coming in right now, so he has been worn out by 10 or 11am for the last week or two.  Little Bear has his amber necklace and we’ve used the homepathic teething gel a few times to help him out. I like to give him foods like apples to eat on, which probably helps massage his erupting gums.

Our family business has been busy and we have basically kept our heads down, so to speak to work-work-work.  It was not an easy move to the new location last fall, but we made it happen.  Since then we have been catching up and getting even. Now we are building forth on a strong foundation.  Papa Bear is going to have a piece in a show in October, so we are spending extra nights each week preparing for that to happen.  Currently, he is trying to be open for the 4th Friday Art Hop series.

We went to Anna Maria Island in May with my dad and had such a great time. The boys went to a music camp for a few days this summer as well , so Little Bear and I got to go on some field trips alone.  Also, we went up north to visit Papa Bear’s mama, and his sister flew in from Germany, so all the cousins had a blast playing in the water and mud.  Mighty fine it was and very precious memories I will have of this summer.

I will leave you with a few pictures and will hopefully get in the swing of writing again.  I miss it.

 

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