Showing posts with label waldorf Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waldorf Education. Show all posts

Saturday, January 25, 2014

At Last!






At long last King Winter paid us a frosty visit and left us with a few inches of lovely snow. It's a rare treat here to have snow period, but as it stands (4 days later) we still have some! The temperatures here have been very frigid and windy- which is not something we are used to. However we've still made it outside everyday this week- go Waldorf and my stubbornness- even if only for a little while. On the first day it snowed, we were out for five hours total. Let's just say I am one tired Mama. 

On the school front we have been having fun with the snow and birds. We painted snowflakes and made lots of snow cream. We also made the birds some millet treats the day it snowed (because Deirdre was so worried about them). One book that we're really enjoying right now is Susan Jeffers' rendition of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". It is just a beautifully illustrated book period, not to mention Frost's poem is one of my personal favorites. I am using it to introduce the kids to poetry and how to experience stillness in nature and our lives. "Be Still" is one of our seasonal verses as well, so it fits in well. We even all painted our versions of 'stillness' together. I am loving our art times all together (not just them with me hovering). 








Last weekend on our Saturday hike we got to do some birdwatching and saw a male and female pileated woodpecker! The kids were thrilled. It was a lovely hike. So beautiful and peaceful. Halfway through the hike it randomly started to snow. We all just stood there in silence with big grins on our faces. It was truly magical. 



Male

Female

Other than that we have spent lots of time indoors. Since I set up our artelier, the kids have been making ample use of it. Many afternoons, while Jonas and Brynna are napping, all Deirdre will do is quietly make art for 2 1/2 hours. This is what she did just today! I am really impressed with the doll crown and paper cut outs she's been doing. 








So all in all we've been having fun. Thank you all again for the support and continued concern and love. Your emails and messages really brighten my day! Life is good and I feel like we're in a good place despite the many gray areas looming in our future or my life. Oddly enough for me (since I am very black & white as well as a super planner) I am OK with that. Incredibly, happily, peacefully OK with it in fact. I have felt this past week very much at peace, calm, and warm. Kinda like a week long surf session. My mind keeps trying to talk me out of feeling this way, but I have just been ignoring it (which is not easy to do). I guess I also feel a bit free and empowered to deal with some of the junk in my life, grow from it, and revisit what it is I am doing and want to do. It's led to some great realizations (things I sadly died to long ago) as well as fun rabbit holes. Plus it can't hurt to take a long hard look at all the ugly bits, right? :)

Until next time!
Love & Light,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snow Play...well sorta!




 


So after my last post I tailored my monthly plans a bit. If you're new, I have written a few posts about how we 'do' our Waldorf homeschooling (I think at this point we end up being more like Waldorf unschoolers though). This year I wrote my own curriculum of sorts. You can find more about it here. While I am sure that we'll get snow at some point (we keep just missing it but not the frigid temps), I am going to stick with it this month and combine it with February's theme, winter animals. Not only does it make my life easier but there are so many rabbits holes to go down. Arctic animals, migration, hibernation vs. turgor, survival, winter fairy tales, weather, what makes it cold, ect.

Our larger science theme for Winter is birds. All Autumn we focused on trees and I am happy to say that we can walk anywhere in our neighborhood and tell you all about every tree. It's neat now that when we drive places, even though the foliage is gone- the kids can point out different trees just by their shape. By far though my kids love willow and beech trees the best. Anywho, I'll share more about birds later on but we got 2 new feeders, a guide, and window feeder, and a bird log- so we're ready! I LOVE our window feeder. Our local cardinal couple love it too, so it's nice to sit with them and eat breakfast together. They don't seem to mind us bouncing around inside either :)

So in keeping with snow, we are making our own snow today with the kits above. I also made a little sensory bin for the kids to play with and some 'snow' dough. It was a big hit today. So much so, they dragged their new fairytale cottage down to make the ice palace from "The Story of the Snow Children". Two years ago I made peg people to go along with the book, you can how to do it here. It amazes me how well they've held up and how much the kids both still love to play with them.

Our nature table and house are now fully in January mode. I continue to struggle to do chalkboard drawings though, ha! I was never good at drawing, but thankfully my audience it forgiving. Hopefully Deirdre will surpass me soon and can take over, ha!

I also on a whim got to take some really lovely photos of the kids during lunch today. Their eyes are starting to turn from blue to green (Deirdre's are already green like mine and my brother). It was a sweet surprise. On the downside, my paperwhites are beginning to die. Alas, Christmas really is over!








Until Next Time,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Owl Learnings at Maymont Estate


Jonas identifying the Barred Owl in our field guide on Owls. 

He was sleeping but after we were there alone with him for about ten minutes he woke up and stared at DD after she hooted at him!
Some days are just idyllic. 
Our little trip to Maymont was one of those. 
It is days like that which make homeschooling so very worth it on a personal level. 
I know mentally that this is the right choice for us. 
I know that scientifically this type and way of learning is nonpareil for my children at this age. 
But sometimes we need proof and an anchor point for all that mental data. 
I can cite you article after article about why hands on and project based learning is amazing. 
Or why Waldorf really works. 
But then to see it in front of me, really hits home. 
I mean how many kids, after learning about Owls, get to go see them up close and study them?
I certainly won't forget this anytime soon and I doubt my kids will either. 
~
This trip was a great conclusion to our owl theme. I highly recommend a visit to Maymont if you're in Virginia. It is free, but they suggest a small donation. We spent about 3 hours there and only got through 1/4 of the estate. It took us a little under an hour to get there. They have tons of animals, a children's farm, a nature center, the estate itself, and just beautiful grounds. Stunning. I have lived in Virginia my whole life and I am just shocked that I had never been here before.

I will be back in this place a little later this week to share a new book with you as well as our pumpkin trip and some bat crafts. I just still can't get over how lovely of a day we had. I just love this time in our lives. 

PS: I am linking up with Linda at Natural Suburbia  Nicole S at Frontier Dreams, and Carrie at Crafty Moms Share. These are also some of my favorite blogs so hop over for a look! 

Recording her observations in her nature journal (which also happens to be her main lesson book this year)





 








Until next time-
Love and Light,