The Unveiling

Unveiling my 2016-17 Kinder-Six Homeschool Room.

hs room 5

hs room 7

hs room 2

hs room

hs room 4

hs room 6

hs room 8

hs room 3

hs room 11

 

hs room 10

hs room 9

 

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Transitioning Rhythm

rhythm 2Sometimes it is hard to transition between the  musical improvisation of summer and the march of school year rhythm. The last couple of weeks of August become a jazz piece – with a steady beat but lots of improvisation thrown in.

I scramble to organize my calendar, school space, and household tasks. I make sure my school supplies and bookshelves are stocked, as well as checking the dresser drawers to see if they contain anything besides swimsuits and cover-ups.

When I was little – summer vacation ended and school began – changing everything about my day to day life in one swift swoop. It was exciting, but a little scary. Now, I slip from one rhythm to the next almost like embracing a new movement in the same symphony – a completely different tempo but carrying across the same motif.

Officially, we start our new rhythm the day after labor day – September 6th this year.

This is what I hope my new rhythm looks like:

Monday

8:00 – Wake, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed & Make Bed

8:15- 9:00 Mom coffee, Slow Cook Dinner, Sack lunches

9:00 Leave for Co-Op

10:30 – 11:30 Co-Op

11:30 – 12:30 Socialize & Lunch

12:30 – 5:00 Errands & Groceries (every other week)  Zoo (every other week)

5:30 – 6:30 Family Dinner

6:30 – 9:30 Church Home Group

9:30 Bible, Prayers & Lights Out

Tuesday – Thursday

8:00 – 9:00 Mom Coffee &  Bible Study

9:00 -9:30 Wake up, cuddle, Read-aloud in bed

9:30 – 9:45 Brush Teeth, Get Dressed & Make Bed

9:45 – 10:15 Breakfast & Dinner Prep

10:15 – 10:30 Trampoline

10:30 – 10:35 Candle Lighting & Memory Verse

10:35 – 10:50  Story Time

10:50 – 11:30 Circle Time

11:30 – 12:15 Art or Handwork

12:15  -12:45 Lunch

12:45 – 2:00 Household Chores

2:00 – 2:30 Snack

2:30 – 5:00 Health Club

5:00 – 6:00 Mom cook, Rose free-play

6:00  – 7:00 Family Dinner & Clean up

7:00 – 8:00 Free Time or Family Game TIme

8:00 – 8:15 Bedtime Snack,

8:15 – 8:40 Bath, Brush Teeth

8:40 – 9:00 Bible & Prayers

9:00 Lights Out – Bed

9:00 – 11:00 Mom – computer, reading, research and/or Mom & Dad time

Friday

8:00 – 9:00 Mom Coffee &  Bible Study

9:00 -9:30 Wake up, cuddle, Read-aloud in bed

9:30 – 9:45 Brush Teeth, Get Dressed & Make Bed

9:45 – 10:30 Breakfast, Sack lunch &  Dinner in Slow-Cooker

10:30 – 11:00 Household Chores

11:00 – 4:30 Forest Day

4:30 – 6:00 Free TIme

6:00 – 7:00 Dinner & Clean Up

7:00 – 8:00 Free Time or Family Game TIme

8:00 – 8:15 Bedtime Snack,

8:15 – 8:40 Bath, Brush Teeth

8:40 – 9:00 Bible & Prayers

9:00 Lights Out – Bed

9:00 – ? Mom & Dad time

Saturday

Sleep in as late as want

Extended Family Day

Family Field Trips

Free Time

Every other week – date night & babysitter

Sunday

9:00 Wake & Get ready for church, Mom

10:00 Breakfast & Lunch in Slow Cooker

10:30 – 12:30 Church

12:30 – 5:00 Extended Family

5:00 – 11:00 Mom’s much needed time alone, Dad’s turn with Rose

(Rabbit Trail: Notice I didn’t start early and we read aloud while cuddling in bed first. Being that neither Rose or I are morning people – I didn’t want to set us up for failure right off the bat. Also – I know that ART and HANDWORK should be separate events – but I also knew that if I pushed either back to after lunch – it wouldn’t get done. I also scheduled in flex time, driving time, and time away from Rose – for my own sanity.)

That’s my September march. My August jazz improv looks more like this:

rhythm 1Tuesday – Thursday

8:00 – 9:00 Mom Coffee &  Bible Study

9:00 -9:30 Wake up, cuddle, Read-aloud in bed

9:30 – 9:45 Brush Teeth, Get Dressed & Make Bed

9:45 – 10:15 Breakfast & Dinner Prep (That’s a crescendo from sleeping as long as possible every day)

10:15am – 8:00 pm Cut technology back to one hour a day for Rose: Free play; Run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to do all the organization that I should have been doing all summer: Swim – don’t forget there are still swim days left in the year – so trying to take advantage! 

8:00 – 8:15 Bedtime Snack (I have three weeks to re-establish the bedtime routine we threw out the window when the days were long and nights were warm)

8:15 – 8:40 Bath, Brush Teeth

8:40 – 9:00 Bible & Prayers

9:00 Lights Out – Bed

9:00 – 11:00 Mom – computer, reading, research and/or Mom & Dad time

Night Dance

So – I’m trying to start and end the day with the new rhythm – with total improve in the middle. As the days grow cooler and the march approaches – I can feel the excitement in my bones. My dance step is changing as I anticipate the andante days of summer turning into the allegro of a new school year.

What does you school year rhythm look like? What do you do to transition from summer?

 

Fairy Circle

 

Fairies R 10We are the sunshine fairies (Twirl clockwise)

And with our sparks of light (flick fingers as sparks – right hand flicks left side/left hand flicks right side)
We shimmer and glimmer in the air (Twirl counterclockwise)

Hugging flowers with colors so bright (hug self and rub hands up and down over folded arms)

 

 

 

 

 

fairy 2

Aquella hada* (flap arms like fairy)

Que va por el sol (Hands over head as sun)
En cada ramita (Arms out as tree twigs)
Que lleva una flor. (ballet arms above head, spin in circle)
(like presenting self at court)

Viva la gala (Right arm from left side body stretched out to right side of body)
Viva el amor (Left arm from right side of body stretched out to left side of body)
Viva la gala (both arms crossed to open up at sides of body)
De aquella hada (curtsy)

This fairy (flap arms like fairy)
That goes in the sun (Hands over head as sun)
On every twig (Arms out as tree twigs)
That bears a flower. (ballet arms above head, spin in circle)
(like presenting self at court)
Long live the elegance,
(Right arm from left side body stretched out to right side of body)
Long live the love (Left arm from right side of body stretched out to left side of body)
Long live the elegance (both arms crossed to open up at sides of body)
Of this fairy (curtsy)

* caracol/snail

(“Aquel Caracol” Rhymes from Mexico – http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3374)

Fairy Edmond 2

(From Big Voice to Tiny Voice)

I am the giant. (Stomp march – very big steps)

When I mumble and grumble,

The whole earth doth rumble.

I am the gnome. (Shovel like movement)

I dig in the ground

That gold may be found.

I am the witch, (Gallop – pretending to ride on a broom)

And I spit, and I spat

With my skinny black cat.

I am the King. (Stand with hands on hips)

I hold in my hand

The laws of the land.

I am the Knight. (Move like riding a horse)

I fight the King’s foe

With battle-axe and bow.

I am the Queen (Twirl/dance holding “gown”)

In my shining crown

And silvery gown.

I am the Lady. (Wave self with “fan” while step-ball-change from side to side)

I primp and I preen

And I follow the Queen.

I am the fairy. (Fly and flitter)

I fly in the air

And live everywhere.

I am the elf. (Hop, skip, leap)

I whisper and peep.

I hop, skip and leap.

(An English Manual for Elementary School by Dorothy Harrer)

Fairies R 7

Deep in the kingdom there spreads a great forest, (Stand like a tree)
Deep in the forest a mountain soars high; (Pointed arms above head – like mountain)
Deep in the mountain a high vaulted cavern, (Arms straight in front of body with hands above head)
Secret and solemn, where fools may not pry. (Arms made like X over body)

Deep in the cavern there stands a great granite, (Arms form circle in front of body)
Solid and silent and strong as the earth; (Stand strong with arms at sides)
Deep in the granite there glistens and gleams (Bend down and scoop up jewel)
A radiant jewel of wondrous worth.  (Hold jewel in cupped hands in front of body)

(Hidden by Paul King)

(From Standing to sitting – Use silky – as magic carpet & picnic blanket to sit on floor)

Fairies R 8
A little magic carpet came sailing through the air (Run around with silky waving)

With some little fairy folk a sitting on it there*

Each had an acorn basket with a picnic lunch inside (Skip –silk in one hand – “basket” in other)

They stopped and ate their goodies (Lay silky on floor as picnic blanket)

On a stone – I sat beside it

They had frosted, tiny cookies – as round as that (Sit on silky and pretend to eat)

Some sandwiches of bees meat

And they sat and sat and sat

Lo, when the fairies flew away

A crumb could not be found (Crawl on the ground looking for crumbs)

Then I looked and looked and hunted

Over ev’ry inch of ground

*With some little pixie people

(“The Magic Carpet” from Rhymes for Little Hands by Maud Burnham)

Fairies R 6

Once I thought I heard some fairies (Cup ears)

And I looked the garden through (Hand over eyes – looking)

I peeped in every flower cup (Bend fingers slightly, keep hands together)

And in the wee buds too (Curl fingers into palms – hands still together)

I looked beneath the toadstools (On had top of toadstool other stem)

And the tufts of stripped green grass (Fingers up like grass)

Then I just sat down quietly (fold hands in lap)

To let the fairies pass!

(“In the Garden” from Rhymes for Little Hands by Maud Burnham)

Fairies R 2

Way up in the sky the fairies* fly,(Connect hands to make a fairies fly upward)
Down, Down in the flowers the fairies rest (Fly your hands downward)

With a wing on the left, (Show only one hand open to the left)
and a wing on the right, (Show the right hand open to the right)
We’ll let the dear fairies dance through the night. (Fingers wiggle and “dance)

*Little birds

(Way up in the sky – Traditional children’s verse)
Fairy 3One, two, three, (Slowly rise to feet from sitting)
The garden is growing.
Four, five, six, (Hoeing movement)
Now it needs hoeing.
Seven, eight, nine, (Pick weeds)
Down go the weeds.
Ten, eleven, twelve, (Water Garden)
Water it needs.
Thirteen, fourteen, (Hands make rain  – full movement from ceiling to floor)
Here comes a shower.
Fifteen, sixteen, (Full movement – from floor to arms above head – flower grows)
A fairies very own flower!*

*Changed line from “A carrot and a flower!”

(http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems72.html)

Spring Rhythm

We’re walking to a slightly faster beat than we did last semester. Here’s our new weekly rhythm:

Weekly

Mom Time

Breakfast

Walk Dogs

Circle Time

Daily Chores

Snack

Art

Monday: Wet-on-Wet Painting

Tuesday: Clay/Modeling

Wednesday: Drawing

Thursday: Nature Craft

Friday: Seasonal or Holiday Craft

Fairy tale Story time

Lunch

Bible Study (Drawing pictures from Psalms)

Daily Focus

Monday: Farmers Market

Tuesday: Cooking

Wednesday: Handcrafts

Thursday: Outside

Friday: Gardening

Snack

Outside Free play

Dinner

Family time

Yoga

Snack

Bath

Read Aloud

Prayer

Bed

Mom and Dad Time

Mom daughter forest

Forest Day

*Every Thursday is Forest Day – We drive to a nearby forest after breakfast and spend the day. We do circle time, crafts, story time, lunch, and Bible study outside. We also have lots of free time to explore, collect, and play.

Night Dance

Circle Time (6 Week each)

January – Mid February: Dragons

Mid February – March: Fairies

April – Mid May: Mermaids

Daily Chores

Clean one room a day, as well as general pick up. Rose helps with the cleaning.

Fairy Tales (3 weeks each)

Dragon Theme: The Dragon of Ghent, The Reluctant Dragon

Fairy Theme: The Fairies, Sleeping Beauty

Mermaid Theme: The Little Mermaid, The Golden Mermaid

*Fairy tales are modified to be age appropriate, but as close to original as possible.

Justification 4

Read Aloud Books

Dragon Theme: Chapter Book –My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett,  Picture Books – The Land of Long Ago by Elsa Beskow, The Knight and the Dragon by  Tomie dePaola

Fairy Theme: Chapter Book – The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, Poetry/Picture Book – If You See a Fairy Ring: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Poems Illustrated by Susanna Lockheart

 Mermaid Theme: Chapter Book – Mermaid Magic by Gwyneth Rees, Picture Books: Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell, Can You Catch a mermaid? by Jane Ray
What does your Spring semester look like?

 

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Mid-Year Learning Evaluation

I’m learning along side Rose. Although I’ve been homeschooling for 24 years, this is my first year with Rose. My first year ever homeschooling an “only” child. Moving from teaching a senior in high school to kindergartener has been a challenge for me – both mentally and physically.  So, I knew I needed to evaluate our year and make changes where needed.

Observation book

This year I’ve discovered an awesome little downloadable book, which has helped me break down (with an amazingly detailed check list) where Rose is at, how she has developed over the last semester, and what we need to work and concentrate on this spring.

“Developing the Observing Eye, Teacher Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education” by Cynthia Murphy-Lang is a great read, and a handy little tool. http://www.waldorflibrary.org/books/3/view_bl/97/social-skills/190/developing-the-observing-eye-teacher-observation-and-assessment-in-early-childhood-education-ebook?tab=getmybooksTab&is_show_data=1

I actually downloaded the Common Core Check List for Kindergarten – and it reminded me why I have chosen Waldorf methodology. At this point in a child’s life, I feel developing the brain, the body, and the spirit is so more important than learning knowledge. I ditched the Common Core Check List.

What I’ve discovered:

The Good:

Observation 2

1) Increased Peacefulness

Decreasing the amount of time away from home, and decreasing the amount of people coming in and out of our home has increased the level of peacefulness.Creating, and for the most part, sticking with a weekly and daily rhythm has increased the peace.

Because of this, Rose is having less melt downs than she has in the past.

2) Increased ability to play by her self 

Rose has become more independent, and more able to entertain herself for long periods of time.

Observation 13) Increased ability to relate to peers Rose has always struggled with relationships with other kids. She has started enjoying time with others and can play for longer periods of time with them.

4) Increased physical abilities I’ve seen improvement in both her big motor and small motor skills. Rose started skipping – a great sign for brain development. She can also string small beads.

The Bad:

1) Can’t count to 10.

I count everything, but Rose just doesn’t seem to pick it up. She says numbers, she repeats when I count. She can’t seem to recite from 1 – 10 by herself – either when counting objects, or just recitation.

The Ugly:

Observation 3

1) Obsession with screen time

I’ve done a poor job of cutting screen time. We have tried to use screen time in moderation, but Rose is obsessed. Once she picks up a phone, ipad, or watches a show – she refuses to do anything else. She has more melt downs, is irritable, and unable to play by herself.

2) Challenges with transitions

Rose has a very hard time moving from one thing to the other if the first is not finished, or has not been cleaned and organized to her liking. She completely loses it. We have a visual schedule, but sometime I think it is a hindrance, because if for any reason we have to go off it – melt down. There is no flexibility. I try to give time between activities but it never seems to be enough – she gets stuck on one thing and doesn’t want to change to do something else – she even refuses to eat if she is into the activity before a meal.

Observation 43) Sensory Issues

I thought cooking our own catsup would be exciting. Rose thought otherwise. After having her peel the poached tomatoes, she was seriously traumatized by the texture and has been scared to cook with me since.

She also hates the woods. She hates the dirt and screams when she sees a bug. She cries and begs to go home.

 

 

4) Doesn’t sleep well

Rose has always had sleep issues. Lately, she just doesn’t go to sleep. She says she is scared to shut her eyes. Even though bedtime is 8:00 – she often does not fall asleep til well after midnight. I have responded by allowing her to sleep later in the morning, which throws off all our morning routine.

The Changes are coming:

1) Sleep

Be more consistent in sleep routine. Play outside at least two hours. No screen time. Wake her up in the mornings by 8:00. Check with doctor if the problem does not stop.

2) Eliminate Screen Time completely during the week.

Nothing else needs to be said.

3) Increase the amount of activities on our daily rhythm.

Add story time, circle time, and daily craft time to our daily schedule. This will help with the elimination of screen time.

4) Work on Transitions

Give more time for transition. Use songs to transition.

5) Be intentional with teaching counting

Have counting rhymes and songs in circle time. Count in

6) Modify Cooking Day

Cook things that Rose would enjoy cooking. Think about textures when planning what to cook.

7) Modify Forest Day

Have more planned activities in the forest. Think about what Rose does like – and use them to my advantage (collecting things, taking pictures).

I’ll let you know how it goes. What changes are you making in your spring semester?