Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Little Waldorf Crafts Through the Year

I am in the thick of this upcoming year's home schooling planning. Last year we used Oak Meadow, but we won't be doing it again. I have learned so much from that process and about myself as a mother and teacher. While I think Oak Meadow is great for some, it was not the right fit for us. 

Primarily because as I was going through it I realized, I had already been doing what they were planning for us. None of it was new or innovative for me. I did not gain anything from it. Maybe that's because I am a trained teacher or that I have worked in pre-schools. However it wasn't worth the price, if I could just as easily do it myself. (As a side note, I do recommend Wee Folk Art's free curriculum guides for older preschoolers if you're new to doing school on your own at home. I also have used Little Acorn in the past- you do have to pay- and have liked it. Just don't try to do ALL of it. She packs a lot in there and you can get overwhelmed.)

My other issues was that it wasn't really Waldorf. Honestly I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to just re-read 'You Are Your Child's First Teacher' and saved my money! Now I can see myself when Deirdre is in the upper grades, and not a true Kindergartner, getting some help in the form of curriculum. But it won't be Oak Meadow. (Again this is not an attack on OM, I think they are a lovely company and school and great for some- just not us).

This year, armed with helpful guides, I will not be using a formal curriculum rather I will be making and using my own Waldorf one. I am very excited about it. It is very simple honestly because truly it will be just Jonas and Deirdre. Both of them would be in a Waldorf kindergarten class together (which has ages 3 1/2 to older 5s in them). Daily life is really all the learning they need at this age. We will be having fun, learning stories, rhymes, songs, and doing crafts. We'll be baking more and doing lessons less. For Deirdre as she shows interest we'll be working on reading and some math (Deirdre learned to read this year) but I won't be pushing either since in a true Waldorf school she would not be formally learning either for another year. 

It is more work in a way to make my own, but better in many many ways. Cost is one, confidence is another, as well as being able to really tailor it to what I think works well for us and trying to incorporate more rhythm into our days. We, myself included, could be more well rounded in our lives. In that way I end up wasting less time by re-tailoring it our needs like I was doing with OM. 

So I wanted to share with you some of what we ended up doing last year from January to May (when we gave up on Oak Meadow). These are mainly just kid crafts that I snapped a photo of in the middle of making them. They're not great photos but I was on the run! They also aren't overly Waldorf. We watercolor paint, model beeswax, finger knit weekly and do one big project once a month. The rest of the days we do little bitty fun crafts. Ones that I mostly find from pinterest. Here are a few:

January: Winter, Animals in the Winter (Epiphany)
February: Winter, Clouds (Candlemas/ St. Valentines)
March: Spring, Mushrooms (St. Patrick/ Lent)
April: Spring, Frogs (Lent/Easter)
May: Spring, Butterflies and Flowers (May Day)

What sorts of crafts do you do through the year? If you home school, what do you use and how do you plan it? I'd love to know!

Until next time-

Linking up this week with Frontier DreamsMagic OnionsNatural Suburbia, and Crafty Moms Share and a few others! Please check out my 'where I party' page! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rhythm of the Home is Live! (and our Lenten Garden is in it!)

***Update: 1/2015***

Rhythm of the Home magazine is intermittently not working. Here is the link on my blog to the full article I did for them on Lenten Gardens!


Hello friends!

I hope this finds you well. Here in Virginia our weather has been a mixed bag. I am happy o write that as I am typing here the sun is streaming through my window after many days of cold drizzly weather. We're working on our garden at the new house and things are coming along well. 

I thought I'd pop in and share with you the article I wrote for Rhythm of the Home's Spring edition on our Lenten Garden. I have come to look forward to writing a piece to share with ROTh readers every season or so. ROTH was one of the first resources I stumbled across on my Waldorf journey and it's sorta surreal to me now to think I have the privilege of writing for them.  

So enjoy the artier and all the other lovely pieces over there. I hope you all  get to have some Spring weather soon. I am all but too ready for it!


A gnome door- Deirdre is sure of it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March and Fleeting Time

March has entered our home with a bang and a blast of balmy spring weather. I found myself today actually wearing capri pants and sandals! I'd be lying however if I said that I was ready for March as well as Spring. 

Last night I found myself taking down the last remnants of our winter school room decor and adding what spring items I had to our nature table. I usually try to be prepared when it comes to school (by crafting ahead of time) but March really creeped up on me. Thankfully our lessons are pre-planned out for this whole month and most of next until baby comes. 

Now that we're in March, my mind has flown into panic mode a bit. Baby Kleemann #3 is due in April and this month signals my last full month before their arrival. Granted there is a possibility that this little one will take their time and come in May, which is totally fine by me, but I'd rather be ready considering my other two children came 2 and 3 weeks early (at a healthy 8 pounds give or take each). 

Really though I am 'ready' to meet this one when they decide to arrive. But the nesting part of my brain wants to have the baby's clothes sorted before then. I am guessing (note my sarcasm here) that with three children once the baby comes, I won't have loads of time to be sorting baby clothes then. :) 

So here I am blogging, excited about the baby and March, yet also wanting a bit more time to get things in order before then. Come six weeks from now, when I am really uncomfortably pregnant, remind me I wished for extra time!

Until then, 

PS: Enjoy the two little creations I managed to sneak in below. A rainbow spring bunting and felt bunny- both courtesy of pinterest! 

Monday, January 30, 2012


It seems that our poor daffodils and forsythia are confused. These are the two local flowers that have always heralded the coming Spring for me. They usually do not appear until late March, but as you can see they are happy to pop up and say hello in January! Sadly this means if we get another frost, and I am sure we will, that they will die. I must say the crazy weather we've had this Winter (if you can call that) has thrown me for a loop. I'd say the past four years we have always had at least one nice snow and normal cold temperatures. Plus in the last two years we got tons of snow and very cold temperatures. Not this year I suppose. 

Our poor co-op kids have been learning about snow and Winter animals. Even they really want snow. Oh well. Maybe one day I'll take them to Wintergreen- a local ski resort about three hours away- to see the snow before our real Spring begins. 

In other news, we are sick again over here! Will it end? I do not know. This time it is Deirdre. Hopefully this will be short lived. At least my children only seem to be ill once a year (always in January) and then generally they get a mild sniffle in Autumn. I am trying to stay positive since so far they have not needed any antibiotics or the like. I'd prefer it to stay that way too. 

However because of the on and off colds we've all had, I won't be able to finish my Rhythm of the Home article in time. I am pretty disappointed by it- but what can a Mamma do? I still plan on finishing it- so maybe it will go well for next year or maybe on their blog. In the end, there isn't much more I can do. Sick kids need loving- not a Mama furiously crafting and writing to make a deadline. Next time I will take 'colds' into consideration. With the Autumn and Winter editions, I had tons of time. On the up side though, I already began a Summer article and I won a "Woolly Rounds" giveaway today :) 

Before Deirdre got sick again, we had some fun coming up with new night time "tv-free" activities. Deirdre decided she wanted to wash dishes and give her playmobil a bath. Now it is an every other evening event. She loves it, I don't mind, and she washes her and Jonas enamelware (which should not go in the dishwasher). 
I'd say it is a win-win. 

I also had a stroke of genius when it came to pops. My kids, when they were sick, loved to have pops for their throats. But they were- bless them- making a huge stained mess of their clothes even with bibs. So I thought well let's try in the tub, and it worked! The mess was contained and I was not having to do extra laundry. In the Summer we just do it outside so a mess wasn't an issue but in Winter, I think the tub idea is great. 

At any rate, I hope you all are well! Thank you for your well wishes on my last post. It means the world to me. 

Always, Nicole 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Changing seasons and evolving homes!

Today and yesterday were glorious days! We are all very happy about Spring in my household. I love to be outdoors and so do my kids and husband. The only times I do not enjoy being outside is when there are droves of mosquitoes out or the sun is blistering (unless I am on the beach, then I can and will tolerate the heat-just give me a surfboard). Unfortunately for me during the summer around here, the heat and the pesky blood suckers coincide quite often. 

You see I am very pale, very sweet, and very Irish. I am convinced that there must not be any mosquitoes in Ireland because I am not evolutionarily cut out to survive around them. These three things combined make me a PRIME target for sunburn and thirsty mosquitoes. I also swear that it is not only hotter in Newport News but the mosquitoes are also worse here than in Virginia Beach (where primarily I grew up). But I digress, the point to this is not to bemoan things I cannot change. This blog is about change in truth. 

Since August of 2010 I have been back at CNU part-time finishing up my BA- which I am proud to say I will be done with this May. While being back I have had access to an awesome library with a free inter-library loan service. In turn I have been using this service, which I do pay for indirectly, to its fullest by checking out tons of books. Books about education, homemaking, knitting, and my kids which I otherwise could not get at my local library or afford to buy. 

Obviously there are some books I do not like and return right away, but I have checked out all the books on my Amazon wishlist (as of today) and I have gone to town. In particular I have learned how to knit better, make toys for my kids, the values of sustainable living, and most meaningful to our family yet- I have leaned more about Waldorf-Steiner education. 

While I am not going to seriously delve into how I am applying Waldorf to our daily lives in this blog tonight, I will say that it has finally given me a succinct mothering philosophy that resonates fully with me, my kids, and most importantly my love for God. 

So needless to say, as Spring swings into full force, more little changes and fine tuning will creep into our home for the better. From the extremely positive reactions I have seen with the changes I have made in the past four months, Waldorf seems to effortlessly mold into our home. 

Daily Verse: From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.- Acts 17: 26-27

Spring Visitors

Telling me that she saw sprouts (see below photo)

Deirdre's Sprouts

My blueberries are flowering!!!

Duffy and Fluffy

A St. Patrick's Day gift

Rocking his Teething Necklace, and yes it does works! 
No ibuprofen needed for a week and two more teeth coming in!

Strolling her gnome babies

A sharing and self control activity. Yes this one works too and is fun. 

His favorite toy!

Love, kisses, and running noses!

Sweet Child Moment: After naptime we all went outside to play. While laying in the grass and staring at the clouds (which happed to look like lions according to Deirdre) Deirdre snuggled up to me and verbatim told me that she loved me and that I was the best Mommy in the 'whole sky'. Then she kissed my cheek.