Saturday, February 16, 2013

Window Transparencies

We made window transparencies from a pattern in the book "Mit farbigen Transparenten durch das Jahr" by Michaela Kronshage.

I love how they came out!

Yoav's was fun to make but mine had too many tiny things (like the fish and birds) that were really hard to cut.  You need a very thin, sharp scissors.  I used a pair of embroidery scissors, which worked pretty well.  The one thing I learned that will make future transparencies much easier is NOT to try to follow the pattern exactly on the tiny things.  I think it might say that here (a tutorial, based on the book), but I'm not sure from the Google translate :)  If you try to trace with a pen or pencil, you then have to cut inside of those lines, or the pen/pencil shows on the tissue paper.  Much better to cut freehand.  Larger things like the boat and sun can easily be traced and then cut just inside of the tracing lines.

Yoav's Window Transparency
Yoav's Window Transparency

Finally finished *my* Window Transparency - can't really say I enjoyed making it - WAY too much fine motor and patience required for me!
My Window Transparency

I'd love to have one of these per season! 

BTW, you can see many many beautiful examples of these on pinterest by searching for "Waldorf Transparencies".  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Our Classroom

I also want to share a few pics of our "classroom".  We have changed our space so many times over the past two years.  I wrote previously about our musical rooms and, at that time, I had my sewing stuff back in the room that originally was a sewing room but then was a classroom.  Now, my sewing stuff is in the hallway in the basement (which isn't a room, so we essentially gained a room by doing this!) and the schoolroom is back in the room that was the schoolroom, then the sewing room, then the schoolroom, then the sewing room and now is the schoolroom again :)

Our schoolroom

Our schoolroom

Our schoolroom

I'm pretty happy with it for now.  We are using an IKEA bench as a table.  It's a little lower than the kid's IKEA desk we were using previously, so I think Yoav's arm is better positioned (per the detailed explanation of arm position in Audrey McAllen's "Teaching Children Handwriting").

LARTs Block Finished

First, thanks everyone for the warm comments.  Each one was very much appreciated.

Last year, I managed to have a much more blog-worthy homeschooling experience.  This year, the dynamics of the boys has been very difficult.  They love eachother and play well together (sometimes), but Elie (5yo) is not always a willing participant in our school days.  He wants me to play with him rather than do Main Lesson with Yoav.  I have toys set up in our schoolroom which is working fairly well, but certainly far from 100%.  Looking ahead, I can't get my head around what it will be like to actually do two separate Main Lessons!

I do want to try to maintain this blog, though.  It forces me to take photos and document more than I otherwise would.  

So on to some pics from this block, which we just finished (math block coming up next)...  We did the whole block in the same format that I wrote about earlier here.

To help Yoav's reading, I got the Davidow readers (it was actually a gift from a wonderful friend!) and I made a page of capital letters with their corresponding lowercase letters (format from Audrey McAllen's "Teaching Children Handwriting".  Yoav started playing chess this summer and now is very motivated to learn to read so he can read his chess books ;)  

Here are a few photos from this block:

Example of the chalkboard after we've come up with words for three word families:


Yoav writing out words - we focused on the short vowel sounds for this block and did three word families per day.  We started out using stick crayons, but I bought a 3B pencil (per McAllen's suggestion) after a particularly frustrating experience for Yoav: he wrote a word wrong in the third set and wanted to erase it :(  He cried a bit, threw the paper, rewrote it all and then I bought him a pencil and eraser :)

Yoav practicing a form for Form Drawing (form from Live Ed):

Watercolor Painting - from an amazing new book that I highly recommend called "Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools".

Making Window Stars from this tutorial:
Yoav making Waldorf Window Star

Elie making Waldorf Window Star

Waldorf Window Star

And my favorite craft from the block - these little "Oakies" - pattern here:
Knitted Oakies (pattern at - mine on the left; Yoav's on the right