Elements of Waldorf: Block Learning

 

block-3

  1. Read Shakespeare poem
  2. Review science chapter for test
  3. Do daily math exercises
  4. Begin writing assignment
  5. Read chapter in history book

 

 

 

 

 

I left my 10 year old at home with a list of school work, as I ran to do some errands. I told grandma not to worry, he was responsible enough to get it all done. Three hours later, when I arrive home, my son runs up to me excitedly, “Mom, Mom, can I read the Shakespeare poem to you?” Before I had a chance to breath he expressively begins “performing” the Shakespeare poem. He feels the words and expresses (and pronounces) each correctly. I listened in awe. When he finishes, he obsessively babbles about the poem – the meaning, the new vocabulary words it contains, the historical context and references made in the poem, and how he had listened to it read on youtube over and over again so he could read it with correct enunciation, pronunciation, and expression. “Isn’t it just beautiful, Mom?”  – At that moment, I realized he had spent the last three hours delving into Shakespeare and checking the other items off his list had not even occurred to him.

Before I had ever heard of Waldorf or “block learning” my ten year old taught me. He was simply not capable of switching the channel in his brain to a new subject before the story line in the subject he was studying was “complete.” It wasn’t that he loved Shakespeare – although he does – because if I left him the next day with Science being on the top of the list, science is all that would be done. Thus, when I started studying Waldorf’s concept of “block learning” – it made sense to me.

What is block learning?

block-4

Block learning is the pedagogy that one subject is taught and studied for a block of time usually lasting three to six weeks. Then another topic is taught for another block of time. This contrasts dramatically with the current practice of a student studying new material in multiple subjects each school day.

In Waldorf schools, block learning begins in first grade – it is not geared for preschool or kindergarten – and runs through high school.

Math facts, mental math, spelling, and memorization exercises are practiced during circle time or extra lessons, usually on a daily basis. But, new concepts are learned during the block learning called “main lessons.”

Block learning is not student directed learning. The teacher chooses the block to be studied in accordance with the child’s natural development.

Block learning is not unit studies. One subject is studied in depth, although sometimes other subjects are incorporated in the process of teaching that main subject.

Waldorf is often associated with “delayed learning” philosophy – not introducing symbolic letters and numbers until the age of seven. What may not be known is that because of “block learning” students go much more in-depth on topics and their base of knowledge and understanding passes their peers in public school – usually by 4th grade. This is because of the concept of spiral learning.

Spiral learning is the progression of a subject from block to block within a grade level and then throughout the grades. Different methods of teaching are employed throughout different grade levels, which take into account child development. For example, math is taught through manipulatives in first grade, fourth grade math holds more emphasis on art and beauty, and eighth on logic and reason. Thus, students are not only learning at increasing complexity, but able to retain the information because it is taught in a way that resonates with their souls.

Why use block learning?

block-1

Block learning has proven successful. Students are fully immersed in a subject which is intensely and economically taught in an age appropriate manner. A Canadian study found that average intelligent students who studied in a Waldorf school showed the same characteristics of creative behavior, problem solving, and subject integration as gifted students who studied under mainstream methodology. Block learning and the spiral curriculum is beneficial to students ability to understand, think, reason, remember and cross-apply information.

 

 

How does block learning work?

block-6

Often when we think of learning for a two hour time frame, our mind goes to sitting in a desk, listening to a professor, twirling our pencil as we try to stay awake. Main lessons look nothing like this. They integrate mental, physical, and artwork to balance the learning approach. Listening, active learning, singing, storytelling, recalling information, and quiet seat work are beautifully balanced. Waldorf main lesson pedagogy used a multiple intelligence approach, before multiple intelligence was a thing.

 

 

 

 

What blocks do you teach?

Three to five subjects are covered per school year.  A typical year may include 3 or 4 Language Arts blocks, 3 or 4 Arithmetic Blocks, 1 or 2 blocks of Science, Humanities, or Form Drawing, and often the last block of the year is saved for a school play.

block-5

Block learning may be the most distinctive element of a Waldorf education, and for good reason. It is highly beneficial in developing children into lifelong learners. Thank you, Andres, for making me a believer.

 

Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Unless it Reveals Your Flaws

 

Cheerleaders

My dad only wished my skirt was this long!

I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen my dad cry. The night I made the high school cheerleading squad was one. He knew how much I’d dreamed of it, how obsessed my practice had been and how I’d babbled for years about being a cheerleader. My sophomore year, my cheerleading coach told me I had to quit debate so I could devote more time to cheer. I cried. Then I quit cheer. It was one of those decisions in life that defines you as a person. Somehow my fifteen year old self knew that my soul would be more satisfied in research and rhetoric than physical excellence and social notoriety.

Thirty (and change) years later, I would still rather feed my mind than my body. I much prefer researching educational philosophies to planting rose bushes. I’d rather read a book than bake bread. Words are my favorite art medium.

Thus the challenge. Rose would rather play on the phone or the computer than do handwork or play outside. It dawned on me that she wants to be like me. She has at least ten good years left before she decides if she wants to be a nerd like me.

All dressed up

Like mother like daughter

Her life and learning revolves around imitation. Joop van Dam in his article Understanding Imitation through a Deeper Look at Human Development wrote, “Imitation lives and moves in the child with these two legs or wings: that which opens to the world inwardly from the body and that which opens to the world in trust…Whenever children have the chance, they will eagerly watch a craftsman at work. They see the blacksmith, for instance, and drink in his gestures, and, later, they will play them out. These work gestures build the body. When a child has the opportunity to do many kinds of work in the first seven years, then she is able to build up her body in differentiated ways. Her body becomes an instrument with all kinds of tones and colors. This is a body the individuality can enter and live in for a lifetime.”

Imitation, according to Waldorf education, is the second law of childhood. It is also Biblical. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”

So, I need to be and do what I want Rose to be and do. I need to remake myself.

climbing tree 2

Maybe we’ll wear more appropriate clothes

I need to get in touch with the me I was before the Debate vs. Cheerleading decision. The me that built Barbie Dream houses on the branches of trees I had climbed. The me that was excited to eat Swanson Chicken Pot Pies because I had a new tin for creating mud pies. The me that ran races with the boys – and won. The me that created swimming holes from beaver dams. The me that spent hours searching river banks for the most beautiful rocks for my collection. I need to play more.

I also need to be a me I’ve never been. I really don’t like “meaningful work.” In fact, I don’t like anything that has the word “work” attached to it. I need to work more.

To work more, I need to:

Repent. God commands us to work, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. “(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

Change my mindset. Work is not a bad word – in fact God told Adam to work before sin entered the world – which means God saw work as good. We were created to work. Work glories God. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

mother daughter

Mind-blowing: Rose wants to be like me!

I must be ever mindful that what I do is being seen and imitated by a growing young mind and body. “’Imitation’ is the magic word in the child’s education until the age of nine or ten, when it is gradually replaced by other forms of learning. The child’s habit of imitating us—filled with great trust and equally great expectations—exhorts us to be worthy of that imitation. Not lectures, but meaningful actions meld a ‘brain’ which is capable of thinking meaningful thoughts. Inconsistency has the opposite effect.” (Dr. Helmut von Kügelgen, The Laws of Childhood)

Now that I have been convicted, repented, and am changing my mindset on who I need to be and what I need to do, I must do it. Here’s my game plan for this year:

  1. Have a house cleaning routine. I set this up last fall, but haven’t really worked it. I’m going to be more consistent.
  2. I’ve already began loving to cook. I love the smell of chopping fresh herbs, and garlic and onions sautéing in a skillet. I truly feel happy and fulfilled when I serve a wholesome delicious meal.
  3. This spring, I’m learning to garden. This is a huge leap of faith, as I kill even indoor plants, and gardening is a lot of work (Ugh)
  4. Do more handwork. I am currently hand-making two quilts for my new grandbabies. I actually like this job. There is something so relaxing about feeling the texture of cashmere in your lap, and the melodic rhythm of hand stitching.
  5. This summer, I am going to teach myself to knit – so I can teach Rose next school year.

I’m a little scared – scared of falling back into comfortable patterns, and scared of failure, and mostly scared of not being worthy of Rose’s imitation. But I’m also excited about this new adventure and the changes God is making in me. Don’t think I’ll give up the old, book-loving, research-obsessed, want-to-be-writer, me – I will just save the nerdy me for after Rose goes to bed.

Feel free to ask me how it is going – I need the accountability.

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?

 

Creating Beauty: Wet-on-wet Painting

“A hunger for beauty is at its heart a hunger for God.” Michael Card

Once upon a time, in a beautiful garden, lived a flower fairy. One morning she woke up ready to play. She climbed out of her rose petal bed, and washed her feet in the dew that had collected in the leaves.
paint 2

Then she dried them on the clean dry ground under the leaves.

paint 8

She thought, “I wonder who wants to play with me today” She asked a bumble bee to play, but he was busy making honey. She asked an ant to play, but he was collecting food for his family. She asked a cricket to play, but he was busy making music. Then she looked up and saw the bright yellow sun smiling down on her.” I’d love to play with you,” said Mr. Sun, who had overheard her conversation with the bee, the ant, and the cricket.

paint 5

So the little fairy danced in the suns rays. They twirled and hopped and ran and walked together. Her new friend, Mr. Sun, made her feel warm and cheerful. Everywhere they went together others could see the joy of the dance between the two friends – the flower fairy and Mr. Sun.


Wet-on-wet Painting Tips

Tip 1: Splurge some. Skimp some.

Worth the splurge:

  • Stockmar Paint

Stockmar Watercolor Paint: Carmine Red, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue – 20 ml – Bella Luna Toys (only place I could find that sold the three primary colors as a set – that’s all you need for quite a while) $23.85

Primary Paint

  • Paintbrush

Waldorf Watercolor Paint Brush – Flat bristles, wooden handle 1 inch wide ( Buy 2 – one for you and one for your child)

$16.50 from Bella Luna Toys

Paint Brush

  • Watercolor Paper

9″ x 12″ Strathmore 400-Series Watercolor Paper Pad

6.50 Hobby Lobby (with 40% online coupon)

Cutting and rounding the corners psychologically makes the experience softer and more relaxing

Skimp:

Baby food glass paint jars – $.50/jar

Paint board – I used a marble cutting board I already have

Tinfoil Turkey pan – to wet the paper

Dollar Store washcloths – to get bubbles out of paper & to wipe the paintbrush between colors

Tip 2; Make other’s stories your own

My story was a combination of Sarah Baldwin’s (of Bella Luna Toys) Tippy Brush and a story about the sun dancing with a child – which I can’t remember where it came from.

Wet-on-wet paint tutorial

Tip 3: Do it yourself.

Paint, and she will paint, too. Don’t lecture. Rose watched me dip the paper. She dipped hers. She watched as I used the washcloth to remove the air bubbles. She did the same. I told the story as I dipped my brush in the water, dried it on the washcloth, dipped it in paint and began painting. She did exactly what I did. I never once had to instruct her to wet and clean her brush between rounds of paint – she did because I did. It’s that easy. Besides, why would I want to be doing dishes when I could be watching beautiful color swirl around my paper like and ice skater?

Tip 4: Talk about the quality of color

Yellow is bright, cheerful and warm. I incorporated those qualities into the story. Start by painting only one color.

Tip 5: Value the process, not the finished product.

Wet on wet painting is peaceful. The brush bearing color glides smoothly over the paper’s wet surface. There are no lines to color in so there is freedom of movement and expression. Let the child experience the blending of colors naturally. Rose chose to stop each color at the next color’s edge – so still doesn’t realize that yellow and blue make green, or purple is created when blue meets red. I’m allowing her to discover this in her own time frame.

paint 7

I do have to admit that she was pretty darn excited about the finished process as well.

Finally Found Our Forest!

“Little soft clouds played happily in a blue sky, skipping from time to time in front of the sun as if they had come to put it out, and then sliding away suddenly so that the next might have his turn. ” Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne

Dallas/Fort Worth is not known for its forests, and nature … botanical gardens and Cowtown don’t count.  My search for the perfect “Forest Day” spot seemed fruitless, my criteria larger than my resources.

Here’s my check list:

  • Within an hour drive (preferably 30 minutes)
  • Can walk away from anything manmade in less than a half mile
  • Can access all year round
  • Permit-able to go off trail
  • Permit-able to dig, pick, collect, climb trees and touch anything
  • Has body of water

First I researched on-line. Then we visited some sites. One was a single trail with no water, one picnic tables by a lake, one grasslands with no trees.  A nearby state park seemed the most logical, until it was closed for an undetermined amount of time due to recent flooding damage.

Drum roll please … today we found it!

Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, in Denton, TX.

ClearCreekNaturalHeritageCenter01

I have to admit – the name scared me – it has the word “Center” in it, making me think it was man built.

Rose and I were the only ones there today. We visited with a Center staff person who told us all about the property. Its very purpose is education, and students can dig, collect, climb, and stick their toes in the creek.  The policy is “leave the trails at your own risk.” It is a system of trails which leads through varies ecosystems:  grassland prairie, creek, river, wetland, and FOREST (yes a forest does exist in North Texas for all you skeptics out there).  To walk the trail through all the ecosystems is only just over a three mile hike. It does have a small center, with touchable items like an armadillo shell, snake skins, coyote tail, rocks, fossils, and live turtles, all of which have been found on the property. It also has a small organic garden that the kids can help weed and pick and eat produce. Did I mention that it is only 40 minutes from our home? Check, check, check, check. Icing on the cake, on Thursday afternoons (that’s our Forest Day) a Master Naturalist runs a homeschool program for a couple of hours.

Today, we had a picnic by the center. Rose explored the Center’s collection of touchables.

Forest day 6

Rose oohed and ahhed as she examined squash and melons hanging from the vine.

She chased, but screamed when she actually touched, a cricket.

We hiked the Quarry Path trail (don’t be too impressed – it is a very short trail)

We read the first chapter of “Winnie-the-Pooh” under a canopy of trees.

forest day 7Forest day 1

Let’s not forget Rose’s collection of treasures: nuts, acorn, leaves, and a stick.

Pretty good first day. Can’t wait to go back next week.


Library Larry’s Big Day – Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center

Take it from Herb: Have Patience

My older kids HATE the Herbert the Snail song which I would sing to them when they were impatient – “Have Patience. Have Patience. Don’t be in such a hurry …” Now I’m singing it to myself.

After reading and watching Helle Heckmann’s work, “Chidhood’s Garden” I was convicted to slow down my life, I just didn’t realize how frustrating it would be.

We go through our morning routine – personal devotions (thank God I didn’t forget this one today!) , breakfast, dishes, chores …

“Time to play outside Rose. Would you like to go to the park today?”

“Yeah!”

“What do you need to do before we can leave?”

“Put my puzzle away. Get dressed.”

Patience 1I’m thinking ten, fifteen minutes max – think again.

Three out of five of my children would throw the block puzzle pieces into the toy box – never to be found again. If I was lucky, one of my five would have put the blocks back in the original case haphazardly and put the case away. Then there’s Rose …

She has to put the puzzle together inside the case.

5 minutes later, she’s done. Or not …

She has done the puzzle – cow picture up – on the window of the case, so when she shuts the case and looks through the window the tractor picture and not the cow picture is showing through the window.

Therefore, she must redo the puzzle.

She dumps it out.

She thinks it through and realizes she must put together the puzzle on the opposite side of the case – away from the window.

10 minutes later (between the thinking and redoing the puzzle) .. she’s done.

Or not … When she closes the case, holds it by it’s handle, and looks through the window.

Sure enough, the cow picture is showing … but it is upside-down!

Patience 5

She opens the case and dumps it.

She sits and stares at it.

10 minutes later, she asks how to do it – No kidding she stared at it for almost 10 minutes without saying a word!

I take a deep breath and tell her – when really I wanted to throw the puzzle pieces into the toy box abyss.

She proudly completes the puzzle so that the cow picture is correctly seen through the case window.

Patience 3

Patience 6

Now time to get dressed.

She picks her clothes and lays them out to look at them (is this normal?).

She decides she wants two pig-tails, so grabs the pack of rubber bands.

Patience 2

Unfortunately there are five colors left on the scrunci pack.

She methodically takes two rubber yellow rubber bands off the pack and lays it on top of her shirt and stands back and looks a while.

She places the yellow bands back on the cardboard holder, and takes two orange off, lays them on her shirt, stands back, contemplates.

Returns the orange and slides the pink off – does the same.

Exchanges pink for red – same old, same old. Puts red back and tries out purple. She finally decides on one yellow and one purple.

This whole process took 20 minutes of my life! I have to admit I sat and watched and was somehow mesmerized by the entire process.

If you’ve been figuring … that’s 45 minutes to put one puzzle away and get dressed before we can head to the park.

I’ve been learning:

  • to sit on my hands – instead of jumping in and doing it myself
  • to bite my tongue – instead of scolding, rushing, or nagging
  • to observe – not instruct
  • to appreciate how God made her – much more meticulous than myself
  • to have patience – we really didn’t need to get to the park at a given time

I also realize that the process she took to get ready taught her valuable lessons …

  • critical thinking and problem solving as she figured out how to put the puzzle in the way she wanted it to go
  • Creativity and self expression in choosing clothes – and Scruncis
  • Self -confidence in being able to do it herself at her own speed

Maybe it was 45 minutes well spent. Maybe I will someday learn to enjoy this slower pace , for now I have Herb in my head singing,  “Have Patience. Have Patience. Don’t be in such a hurry …”

Media Addiction Withdrawls

TVI admit it. I use the screen time as a babysitter.  Having only a teenager and  a preschooler left at home, it was so easy to turn on the tube when I wanted to discuss Plato’s Republic. Call it lazy parenting, it was convenient to hand my daughter the iPad when I wanted  time alone. It simply took too much thought and effort to create activities to keep her busy. I know, I know, if I had raised her without media, she’d probably be able to entertain herself for more than fifteen minutes.  I take full responsibility, I created a monster – or in reality an addict.

I recently read a report in which college students were asked to “unplug.” The results were the same around the world.

“Students’ ‘addiction’ to media may not be clinically diagnosed, but it sure seems real: Students from around the world spoke about their ‘addiction’ and ‘dependence’ on media – and backed up that rhetoric by citing related feelings. So students based in China mentioned that they felt ‘lonely,’ ‘anxious,’ ‘fretful,’ ‘extremely upset,’ and even ‘crazy.’  Students in Slovakia spoke about being ‘nervous,’ and noted their feelings of ‘emptiness.’ Students based in the UK said they were ‘fidgety,’ ‘restless,’ and that they had to fight down their ‘urges to connect‘ and their ‘panic.’  Students in USA universities noted that they felt ‘stressed‘ and ‘paranoid,’ and had even adopted such physical twitches as ‘twiddling‘ their thumbs. Students from Mexico reported that they felt ‘sad‘ and ‘desperate.’ Again and again, students compared their media ‘dependency’ to other more documented addictions. A student based in Slovakia observed, for example, “Until this day I thought I am addicted to only three things: money, sex and chewing of chewing gums, but after my today’s experience I found out that there’s another addiction: an addiction to media.” And three students based in the UK compared their media use to a smoking habit, to abuse of alcohol, and to an eating disorder.” https://theworldunplugged.wordpress.com/addictions/#anchor2

Computor

Last week we “unplugged.” – Or shall I say tried to “unplug.” My five year old showed many of the same symptoms of the college students.  The first day, she had a serious “melt down.” She cried and screamed for thirty minutes when I first said, “no.” She was anxious and clingy most of the day. I caved around dinner time – for my own sanity.

Day two was a little better. Day three, I failed completely and Netflix was turned on with breakfast and was off and on throughout the day, I just didn’t have time to deal with this. Then I realized – I have to make time in my life to deal with the addiction I created. As they say in Addiction Support Groups – when you relapse, get back up, NO SHAME.

So here I am again. Day One. The second Day One is going much better than the first Day One. When I said, “No TV,” She said, “Awww Mom,” then went off to play. Maybe there is hope – for both of us.


“Mike Teavee…”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by the wise man Roald Dahl)

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set–
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all the shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink–
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK–HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY…USED…TO…READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic takes
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy–Winkle and–
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole–
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks–
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start–oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hears. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
P.S. Regarding Mike Teavee,
We very much regret that we
Shall simply have to wait and see
If we can get him back his height.
But if we can’t–it serves him right.


And for your screen time pleasure

Kinder Rhythm & Verse

Daily Rhythm

2015

Mom – Inner Work: Bible Study

Breakfast & Bible Memory

Storytelling While Cleaning

Outdoor Work & Play

Lunch & Bible Memory

Daily Focus

Family time

Yoga

Bath

Bible Story, Prayer & Rose Bed

Morning Song

This is the Day by Pace by Joseph W. Ii.

This is the day, this is the day.
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice,
And be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day
That the Lord has made

Memory Verse 

 Said at all meal times before prayer – until memorized

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babies and infants,

you have established strength because of your foes,

to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Chores

Daily Cleaning

Clean up, Clean up

Everybody, everywhere

Clean up, Clean up

Everybody do your share

When we clean up

We have some space

For prancing and playing all day

http://themysticalkingdom.blogspot.com/2009/04/tidying-up-verses.html

Story telling while Cleaning:

September:

Black Sambo

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=lmr&book=k1rainbow&story=sambo

October:

Little Red Hen

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/18735/18735-h/1

November:

Little Red Riding Hood

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2591/2591-h/2591-h.htm#link2H_4_0023

December:

Gingerbread Man

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25877/25877-h/25877-h.htm

January:

Stone Soup

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type1548.html#hunter

February:

The Fairy

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/29021/29021-h/29021-h.htm#The_Fairy

March:

Elves and the shoemaker

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2591/2591-h/2591-h.htm#link2H_4_0041

April:

Princess and the Pea

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27200/27200-h/27200-h.htm#princess

May:

The Musicians of Bremen/ The Bremen Town Musicians https://www.gutenberg.org/files/19734/19734-h/19734

laundry

Daily Laundry

Corner to corner
Meet and greet
Fold our cloth so nice and neat!

http://blog.bellalunatoys.com/2014/waldorf-verses-songs-for-children.html

Outdoor Purposeful Work

Outdoor play

Seasonal Verses:

Summer:

We are the sunshine fairies
And with our sparks of light
We shimmer and glimmer in the air
Hugging flowers with colors so bright

http://themysticalkingdom.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-verses-and-circle.html

Fall:

Like a leaf or a feather
In the windy Autumn weather
We twirl a-round and twirl a-round
And all float down to-gether.

https://oranaplaygroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/seasonal-songs-windy/

Winter:

Furry bear

If I were a bear,

And a big bear too,

I shouldn’t much care

If it froze or snew:

I shouldn’t much mind

If it snowed or friz-

I’d be all fur-lined

With a coat like his!

A.A. Milne

 

Spring:

Spring is coming, spring is coming,
birdies build your nests.
Weave together straw and feather,
doing each your best.

Spring is coming spring is coming,
flowers are waking too.
Daisies, lilies, daffodillies,
all are coming through.

Spring is coming, Spring is coming,
all around is fair.
Shiver, quiver, on the river
joy is everywhere!

http://waldorfmama.typepad.com/waldorf_mama/2009/04/spring-is-coming.html

                                                       Daily BathBath

Bible and PrayerDaily Bible, Prayer & Bed

Read: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name –

by Sally Lloyd-Jones

http://www.amazon.com/The-Jesus-Storybook-Bible-Whispers/dp/0310708257


White Day (Sunday) Church & Rest Day

Rest Day


Red Day (Monday) – Day Out

Day Out


Orange Day (Tuesday) – Cooking Day

cooking Day

Bless the food that I now take,
Bless my hands that I may make
Something good to cook or bake.

from A Child’s Seasonal Treasury, page 30 http://themysticalkingdom.blogspot.com/

First we add the flour
then we add the yeast
next we add some warm water
and mix it up like this

Now let’s make a nice round ball
squish and squash like that
knead and knead again

http://themysticalkingdom.blogspot.com/2009/04/special-verses-for-kneading-dough.html


Yellow  Day (Wednesday)  – Painting Day

Painting Day

Story from Simple Homeschooling: 

“One morning, Tippy Brush woke up and looked outside his bedroom window. It was a crisp autumn morning. As he looked outside his window, he saw bright red leaves falling from the maple tree and blowing in the wind, filling the sky with their color. ‘Oh, I want to play with red today!’ he thought.

So Tippy jumped out of bed, but before he went outside, he had a nice foot bath…

[Here I would demonstrate rinsing the bristles clean in the jar of water]

…and dried his feet clean with his towel [the rag]. Then Tippy ran outside and cried, “Good morning, Red! I’ve come to play with you!”

[At this point Tippy (my brush) dips his “toes” (the bristles) in the red paint.]

The red leaves were happy to have a playmate, and Tippy joyfully danced among the falling red leaves, until there were piles of bright red leaves all around.”

http://simplehomeschool.net/painting-wet-on-wet-waldorf-watercolors-for-children/#sthash.c7S7ACrH.dpuf


Green Day– (Thursday) – Forest Day

forest day

Read: Winnie the Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner

Verse: 1 Chronicles 16:33 “Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD”

Song (different stanzas different weeks):

 All things bright and beautiful 

Refrain:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flow’r that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Cecil F. Alexander


Blue Day (Friday) – Handwork Day

handwork

May our fingers be nimble,
And our hearts be glad,
In every task we do.

http://themysticalkingdom.blogspot.com/2009/04/great-collection-of-waldorf-verses-part_7834.html


Purple Day (Saturday)  – Extended Family Day

Extended Family