A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

School Right Now

It's hard to believe we are in the 7th week of school already!  I've spent a great deal of time feeling like we hadn't found our "rhythm" with schooling yet, but recently it has dawned on me that we have a great rhythm!  It seemed to happen without me even trying  (pesky kids, they find it all by themselves).  Honestly I'm still looking for that Waldorf preschool Monday is painting day, Tuesday is baking day, Wednesday etc, etc.  While that is great for some it seems that it just doesn't work for us any more.  Part of it may be that my work schedule changes weekly (pesky babies come when they are ready) or that we as a whole enjoy a bit of spontaneity.
Our mornings most days are similar, get up, eat breakfast and start some school work.  We don't follow a single curriculum but do a bit of many different things.  Math again this year is Math Mammoth, I am thrilled with this curriculum, it's easy to understand for the kids (and mom)  and we have a good time working on problems together.  The price is very reasonable and everything is down loadable (no waiting for the mail) so I can pick and choose what to print and not waste paper or ink on things I don't find necessary.  We've got some grammar workbooks that are a good fallback but they have much more fun with Rip The Page or homemade comics.
There is a weekly spelling list I get the words from here if anyone is interested.   I write the words at the beginning of the week and have the kids copy them 3 times, at some point they write sentences with the words.  This has actually become quite funny as they both try to make long sentences using as many words as possible.  At the end of the week they quiz the words.  Everyone is happy with this even I may becoming a better speller:)

 We are just starting a small botany block, fall seems like the perfect time with all the changes in the plants and trees around us.
Handwork is a bit of everything, Molly is starting a felted slipper pattern I found.  Socks are the typical 5th grade Waldorf handwork.  Molly would get very impatient with the small needles and the time involved with socks, this pattern on size 10 needles with bulky yarn is perfect!
Corey, my sweet little man still struggling with the 9 year change is not a fan of knitting, he finds it frustrating, so I try and find other things to keep his hands busy.  This bowl of wood is actually a chess set that we started in the late summer, he's going to finish this up before doing some needle felted snow men in anticipation of winter.  
Greg has been giving all of us a weekly art history lesson which has been super fun.  The rest of our history has been a bit sporadic and varied based on things we are finding interesting at the time.  As the weather cools we will probably start a block that is more cohesive.  I was originally planning on a traditional Waldorf Ancient Civilizations block but have found it to be rather vague for these intriguing little minds here.  I may fall back on What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know for a starting point.  i enjoy these Core Knowledge books in that sense.  I have also found some useful lessons on their website.  

The most important thing in our little yellow schoolhouse is and will always be getting outside in nature.  I notice a shift in everyones personality if we haven't gotten outside enough. 

The kids are outside everyday playing (recess right)and then most days we go on some sort of nature walk or adventure.  I love how much these walks get turned into lessons and learning without even trying.  
School right now is great...
What's happening at your little schoolhouse?


  1. Hi there- saw your comment on soulemama and came for a visit. I love your little spot here! I too an a very parttime LDR nurse- and love crafting and h'schooling the fam. Enjoy your fall day!

  2. love reading about your days! This week I decided we'd take a break. My oldest is only 4 so I feel we can have as many breaks as we want :-) the weather also got cool so the kids are entertaining themselves all day out back!

  3. Wonderful post Angie! I loved reading about your days, your plans and your ideas!! E found knitting hard too, but he liked crochet! Has Corey tried that? Otherwise he loves hammering and building simple wood projects--though Dad handles that. Which by the way I loved hearing how Greg is doing weekly art history lessons!! When dads get involved, there is just a whole new wonderful dimension to learning at home, not to mention they listen better--hmph.

  4. Lovely! I'm always inspired by how much you guys get out! We need to be getting out and enjoying lots of autumn before winter settles in.
    Our schoolhouse is settling in. I know you what you mean about rhythm. I love the idea of each day for its own thing but we never find schedules work too well for us. There is too much going on! We are none the less finding our own, somewhat irregular, rhythm. :)

  5. Fun stuff. Great job Mama!

    My boys are doing "The Story of US" and "Story of the World" (which comes with a fantastic activity book/workbook/reading list) for history.

  6. It's so wonderful you are sharing the wonder of nature with your children so much. We live in our world outside for a good part of the day. Exploring, listening, noticing. I see your wonderful flower chart. I shared one on our space, a watercolor I created as a printable that you are welcome to if it will compliment your botany studies. http://www.wordplayhouse.com/2011/04/parts-of-a-flower-chart-free-printable.html
    You are sharing valuable nature studies and memories with your children

  7. I'm trying to let go (still!) of that wish for the perfect Waldorf homeschool schedule too. We do lots of handwork, we always bake, the girls are obsessed with beeswax modeling, I just can't commit to exact certain times and days of the week. Gosh though, we really don't paint enough anymore...
    We just finished a 5th grade botany block and a 1st grade language arts blocks. Now on to quality of numbers math and North American geography. Ancient Civilizations after that. Chloe's spelling is finally improving, thank goodness. And even math is coming along fairly well (we use a bit of math mammoth for extra practice but for the most part it has not worked well for us, just left my poor child more confused and frustrated than ever. But great that it works well for all of you!) Outside everyday, story time everyday, lots of playing and making everyday!


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear comments and try to answer any questions so feel free to tell me what's on your mind!