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Posts Tagged ‘homeschool’

It seems that I have three or four things tumbling around inside my head, but not enough to write about, and then when I start writing (after putting it off, because I don’t think I have enough to write about), a full post appears. Well, that’s where I am again today. I don’t think I have much to say about any one thing, but a little bit about a few things. But as I’ve learned, your writing really DOES take on a life of it’s own.

So. First- I discovered this great website: Beulah Enterprises

Take the time to read what they said on that page there about spiritual play. It’s got a waldorfy feel to it, and also a kick booty flannel board “curriculum”- I put that in quotes, because I don’t really use curriculums the way they’re meant to be used, but I take what I like out of them, and adapt them to what I’m already doing. And it reminded me of these books I wanted to get, called Godly Play, which are Montessori based- and have sets for each Bible story to go with them- but are super expensive. I bet I could just get the books, and put something like that together on my own, though. Combined with the stuff I like from OyToys.com, I imagine I can put together a great spiritual early education for Fairy Girl.

Looking at those websites brought back my own memories of my spiritual education- I attended a private Christian (not Catholic) school from first through seventh grade. It was so small, first and second, and third and fourth, and fifth and sixth graders were in one class- that is, 1-2 is one class, etc. Overall, I think that this played an essential role in my knowledge of the Bible, and I’m grateful for it. The key was that I was told Bible stories every day, and my teacher would hold up a picture depicting the story as she told it- beautiful artwork, not cartoony stuff. (I should explain another day why a Veggie Tales curriculum makes me shudder- as moral tales they’re fine, as entertainment goes, but as Biblical instruction? *shudder*) I remembered those stories, and they formed the foundation for my Biblical knowledge- along with singing songs and memorizing verses daily. I still remember those verses I learned when I was 6. This is the kind of spiritual education I want for Fairy Girl, not the kind you learn for an hour once a week in Sunday School- which has it’s place too, but isn’t lasting. The Bible says, “Talk about it when you sit at home, when you walk along the way, when you lie down, and when you get up”- spiritual truth should be integrated into your life- despite the fact that we don’t attend church (which I would like to change)- that’s what I”m working towards. An aside about church- I don’t think you have to attend church to be a “good Christian”- whatever that is- but I do think it provides a nice structure to the week, and being around likeminded people is so valuable. So. Church not vital, but very helpful.

I’ve recently read both of Ellen Sandbeck’s books: “Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles”, and “Eat More Dirt”. I enjoyed both, but Eat More Dirt had some great stuff for me in it. Unfortunately, I’ve already taken it back to the library! Arg! I hate it when that happens! I will try to remember what I took from it- this is why I have to own books, I’m constantly referring to them, I can’t keep giving them back to the library. 🙂

She talked about how everything is an ecosystem. She cited how the propensity of children for having asthma is directly proportionate to how much dust is in your home- the more dust, the less likely asthma is. Good news for me, as dusting is my hated chore, and I only do it twice a year. And how kids who live on a farm or have pets or go to daycare have stronger immune systems, because they’re exposed to dirt and germs more often. And how people suffering from serious digestive distress, like Crohn’s, got better after they ingested worm eggs. Apparently, just like beneficial bacteria, there is a whole ecosystem inside our bodies, yes, consisting of worms too, that live in symbiosis with one another- throw one off too much, and you throw the whole system out of whack. This is all stuff I’ve long suspected, but it was nice to have it confirmed. I love it when that happens. 🙂

And I’ve recently rediscovered a website from the depths of my bookmarks called School of the Seasons. I signed up for her emails, and begun to read her book, and I love it. She suggests slowing time down to almost a stop, or at least it seems that way to our rushed modern sensibilities. I especially recommend Chapter Two. Imagine- waking when the sun comes up, going to sleep when it’s dark, eating when you’re hungry… how many of us can even fathom not using a clock for even one whole day? I’m going to have to try this sometime soon! And she also introduced me to the word phenology. It means the study of the changing of the seasons. I may start a phenology journal, where I track some of the seasonal changes around me, like first robin sighting(last week), first bud, ripening of the berries, etc. Finding her website is part of a larger synchronicity in my life to live closer to the natural rhythms, closer to what my body was designed for and closer to health and happiness.

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I’ve been wanting to do a bit more organized stuff with Fairy Girl- so I recently started doing “Circle Time” with her.

Circle time consists of one or two circle games (Like Ring Around the Rosy), and a couple songs, fingerplays, and a story.

This week was our first full week doing one. We do the same ones all week, because at her age, she really needs the repetition to get it. (I do too, actually, since a lot of these I don’t have internalized or memorized.)

This weeks theme was bears- mostly out of convenience, but also it’s fairly timely as January is a great time to talk about hibernation.

So this past week, our circle time has looked like this:

Ring Around the Rosy (many many times of this, as Fairy Girl LOVES it)

Then the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, played out with three of her teddy bears and a doll (who is actually brunette)

and two rhymes

Bears Bears Everywhere

and Teddy Bear Teddy Bear

We usually end with a song that I just happen to like very much:

Happiness runs in a circular motion

Like a little boat sailing on the sea

Everybody is a part of everything anyway

You can be happy just let yourself be. 🙂

This coming week’s theme is owls. Fairy Girl just learned the ASL sign for owl, and she’s noticing owls now, so I thought it was good.

Circle time is loosely planned like this:

Game: We may continue with Ring Around the Rosy, or start Sally Go Round the Sun

Fingerplay: Open Shut Them (Hands- it doesn’t have anything to do with Owls, but that’s ok)

And this one, that I found tonight.

An owl sat alone on the branch of a tree,
(Use arm as branch; raise thumb for owl)
And she was as quiet as quiet could be.
‘Twas night and her eyes were wide open like this;
(Circle eyes with fingers and look around)
She looked all around; not a thing did she miss.
Some little birds perched on the branch of the tree,
(Fingers of other hand fly on tree)
And sat there as quiet as quiet could be.
The solemn old owl said “Whoo-whoo-whoo,”
And up jumped the birds and away they flew.
(Wave hand away, fluttering fingers behind back)
The story was REALLY hard for this theme. I tried to find a good fable, fairy tale, or myth related to owls- I found a few Aesop’s Fables, but nothing appropriate for a two year old. So, I’m going to get 5 books out from the library, and just read one a day (which goes against my repetition “rule”, but oh well).

Song: A Wise Old Owl (From Lavender’s Blue- Naturally You Can Sing)

I also found a cute owl craft to do, and I intend to knit/crochet an owl for her this week too. I can’t wait to share this with our Tuesday playdate!

It seems very involved, but Circle Time only takes up about 10 minutes of our day.

I think next week we’ll do wolves, because this months full moon is the Wolf Moon. And perhaps snow after that, but I really want it to be SNOWY out when I do the snow theme! Ahem- anytime, Mother Nature.

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I have been very lax on posting pictures- I wanted to post at least one with each post! But honestly, uploading pictures on a daily basis would be a pain in my rear- it’s already a large pain. But I do love to share pics, so doing it every so often isn’t so bad. 🙂

Here are some things I’ve been doing for my waldorfy/montessori approach to preschool:

Our nature basket. We don’t have space for a full table, so I took a small basket I had, added an old silk (my Gramma used to cover her head with this one), and took Fairy Girl on a nature walk. We came back with goodies, as you can see.

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My Gramma lived in Florida, and liked to collect shells- I have a small jar of them, so I took a few of the largest ones out and put them in a basket for Fairy Girl to explore.

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I’ve been wanting to do this sensory activity for a long time. I have fun memories of doing it when I was little- you take old film cannisters, and cotton balls, and put different scents onto them to sniff and identify- I tried to get a range of smells- there was lavender, peppermint, garlic, cinnamon, vanilla, orange, eucalyptus, and clove. Then I put it where she could find it.

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I have a small collection of thrifted tins, and I put all the various gluten free flours I have now in them. It’s so pretty. 🙂

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And I saved the best for last. Fairy Girl is on the right. *love*

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