Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wool Working Day

On Sunday, we participated in a woolworking class with a friend and her kids.  We learned to prepare, card, spin and ply the wool.

Wool class with Yifat

Wool class with Yifat - Yoav cleaning/fluffing wool

Wool class with Yifat - Yoav carding wool

Wool class with Yifat - Toav preparing wool to spin

Yoav spinning wool

Elie carding with drum carder

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hooky and Knitting

We played hooky today - a friend called last night to see if we wanted to go on a hike/picnic today.  I thought we'd be back early in the afternoon and could do our ML then, but the kids had so much fun (and so did I), that we stayed until nearly dinner time (sadly I didn't get any photos because my phone wasn't charged)!

Yoav was so concerned about our school work - when he saw it getting dark, he said, "What are we going to do?  We didn't do school today!  We'll have to do two tomorrow."  I'm SO glad he's enjoying (home)school again!

Yoav's knitting project this week was to make a little drawstring pouch.  We got the idea here.

Yoav loved knitting it and finished today as we were about to go to sleep (he brought it up to bed to finish as I was reading our nighttime story.)

Yoav's treasure pouch

I made a similar one for Elie so he wouldn't be left out.  I thought it was so cute - pattern (and photos of her prettier pouch) here.

Treasure Pouch - Three Irish Girls yarn

He put his little pocket doll in the pouch when he went to sleep.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Star Lantern!

I just made a Waldorf Star Lantern - it's so pretty!

I spent a good hour folding and trying to figure out how to pop it into shape until I found the video which made it much easier!

I used these two blog posts (here and here) and this video for directions.

Mine is somewhat wonky - I used a bowl to make the circle, but it would have been much better to use a compass (which I don't have).

Star Lantern
Waldorf Star Lantern

The kids will be very excited to see this in the morning!

Another Good Day

Two good days in a row - for me, with homeschooling, that's a lot, and since it included several, "I love school!" comments, I'm going to let out a small sigh of relief.  I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to continue long enough to establish a rhythm and get a bit of learning in!

We did words with the short A vowel sound today.  We did three families - so I wrote the first word and then Yoav came up with the rest.  He then wrote them into his MLB and came up with a sentence using a few of the words and drew a picture to go with the sentence.  In the first picture below, Yoav is reading the words to Elie.




Our morning activity was drawing.  For today, we started practicing the "archetypal forms".  It's actually ridiculously hard to do.  You'd think it was easy to draw a circle, but even that is hard for me.  The idea is to hold the crayon very lightly and start drawing from the center - that way you have control over how big the circle ends up and the darkness.  If you just draw the circle outline, if it's too big, you're stuck.  The idea of practicing these is that you can use these shapes to make animals and everything really.  For instance, a bird can be drawn as an egg-shaped body and egg-shaped head.  You can see the forms here and example animals using the forms.

Our afternoon activity was knitting.  I wanted to make a flute case (like this one) but he didn't want to and one of the downsides of our homeschooling is that I have a hard time getting Yoav to do much that he doesn't want to do.  So I have to try to come up with ways of teaching that he *does* like, but I have no idea how to get him to make a flute case if he doesn't want one :(  So, instead, he was excited with the idea of making a treasure pouch, like this one here.  He's using orange wool yarn he got as a gift with size 7 needles.  He cast on 18 stitches and has knit about six rows so far.  He'll just knit until he's happy with the size, sew up two edges and then we'll thread a finger knit line as a drawstring.  Meanwhile, I'm making this one for Elie - Yoav thought it would be fun if we were to each make pouches ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back after a LOOOONG hiatus

I've been offline for a very long time - since last Spring.  Soon after the last post, we had friends come to stay with us for the summer so I got off my rhythm and just lost my interest in the blog...

Since then, I had a new baby girl :)  She was born Nov 17 - a wonderful natural (breech!) water birth.

11/18/12 - Shira

We're doing great.  She's beautiful and sweet and super easy- she sleeps through the night (with me) and happily lives in a wrap - what more could I ask for?  :)

The reason I'm attempting to resurrect my blog is that we're starting again with our homeschooling after a failed attempt in the fall.  Keeping a blog of our work helps to keep me motivated and organized, so I'll see if I can manage...

So, we're behind, but starting second grade now with Yoav, who is now 8.  I'm using Live Ed as my primary resource this year (I bought it knowing I'd be having a baby and would need all the support I could get.  I'm happy with the purchase but haven't decided if I'll buy again for next year.)

This month we're doing a LARTs Phonics block.  We didn't do any phonics last year so are doing very basic now - we'll do a month of the various sounds - short vowels, long A, etc.  For each day, we'll come up with words with that particular sound, I'll write the words on the blackboard and Yoav will copy them into his MLB and draw a picture related to one or more of the words.  We will also do one Jakata tale per week as our weekly story to work with.

My basic weekly schedule is as follows:
Sunday:  Family Day & Gardening
Monday:  Nature Day (Yoav is taking a 3 hour nature class every other week) / Social Day (on the other weeks, we'll do a Play Date with another Waldorf family)
Tuesday:  Flute and Form Drawing following Circle; Morning Activity - Modeling wax; Afternoon Activity - Craft
Wednesday:  Morning Activity - Drawing; Afternoon Activity - Handwork
Thursday:  Flute following Circle; Morning Activity - Painting; Afternoon Activity - Soup

The daily schedule will be the same as I had last year.
Wake Up
Dress and Tidy bedroom (make bed)
Morning Walk
Circle (movement and finger plays)
Main Lesson
Creative Play (and Mama craft/clean time)
Morning Activity
Afternoon Activity
Creative Play (in or out depending on weather, sometimes visiting with friends)
Settling In - Book
Bath and Brush Teeth
Lights out and Stories

For today, our morning walk failed.  Elie refused to go and rather than get frustrated, we just skipped it. Circle was good - both kids participated to some extent and we did some mental math (multiplication up to 12x12 and "math facts" up to 20).  

Form Drawing was from Live Ed:
Form drawing in the board

We next did all the short vowel letters - came up with words and wrote into the MLB.



Story was a Jakata tale from Live Ed called "Sanjaya and the Elusive Wind Antelope".

Modeling wax went really well!  We put the wax into warm water to get it warmed up.  It's a pretty good method (recommended by Stockmar) except that the wetness of the wax makes it hard to work with, so you have to get it warmed up and then dry it off with a towel a little before using I think.  We made flowers for our nature table (it's the rainy season here now when the wild flowers are blooming).
Modeling wax flowers - L to R - Elie's, mine, Yoav's
Modeling wax flowers - Elie's on the left; Mine center; Yoav's on right

Then for our afternoon craft, we made these adorable pocket dolls.  The tutorial is here.  For the hat, Yoav followed the directions exactly and it worked fine.  For mine, with our 1" heads, I had to make three hats to get one to fit.  My final hat is with Purewool worsted wool yarn on #8 DPNs - I did:
Cast on 12 sts 
Rounds 1-4: Knit
Round 5: K2tog, K4, K2tog, K4
Round 6 and remaining even rounds: Knit
Round 7: K2tog, K3, K2tog, K3
Round 9: K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2
Round 11: K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1
Round 13: K2tog, K2tog
Round 15: K2tog, cut yarn, pull through hole and bring to inside hat
Handmade pocket dolls - mine on the right; Yoav's on the left - tutorial here: http://annabranford.com/making-things/how-to-make-a-steiner-inspired-pocket-doll-a-very-open-ended-tutorial
Pocket dolls - Yoav's on the left; Mine on the right
They are SOOO adorable and the kids love them.  It was a great first craft to get Yoav excited about starting again.  Both kids brought their dolls into bed at night.