Here is a little peek into our homeschool activities in November and December. I hope I can remember what we did! We took a few days off for Thanksgiving and half of December, so I’m lumping these two months together.
Toddler Circle Time: November
Tall as a tree. (Stretch up like a tree.)
Wide as a house. (Stretch arms and legs to the sides as much as possible.)
Thin as a pin. (Put arms to sides and keep very thin and straight.)
Small as a mouse. (Crouch into a tiny ball near the ground.)
Toddler Circle Time: December
During this block we worked on the times tables. We chanted them, clapped them, tossed bean-bags as we said them, bounced balls as we said them. This is my second time teaching the multiplication tables and one of my favorite projects is drawing them on a huge number line outside and jumping from number to number as we say the tables. It’s neat to see the relationships between the tables on a number line, too.
Two neighbor kindergartners came to check out our work.
- Oliver Twist from Second Grade Mathematics
Saints and Heroes
The first time I taught this block I admit to being worried about teaching my daughter about Catholic or Orthodox saints. They aren’t part of my culture, and I needed to find out where they fit in with my beliefs. This time around, I had lost all the baggage, and really enjoyed telling stories about all of these good people who did good things. We followed Donna Simmons’ suggestions in Saints and Heroes for the most part. I absolutely love Donna’s version of Saint Martin. It explains how the lanterns may have become part of the Martinmas tradition. It’s a beautiful story. For Saint Nicholas, I really like the version in Melisa Nielsen’s Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling. During this Saints and Heroes block, we attended a Martinmas Lantern Walk and visited a little recreation of a German Christmas market with our local homeschool group. (You can see a picture of the kids with the reindeer here.) My second grader had a big project with this block. After telling Saint Basil’s story he built a paper replica of Saint Basil’s Cathedral! He worked long and hard on that project. It was very challenging to build and we ended up changing our building strategy three times: from tape, to glue dots, to the hot glue gun!
- Canticle to the Sun by Saint Francis of Assisi from The Waldorf Book of Poetry
Ancient Mythology: Egypt
(For the first part of this block, please see this post.)
We finished our Ancient Mythology block with ancient Egypt. I really liked the resources that came in the Christopherus Ancient Mythology Bundle. The poems and drawings in Voices of Ancient Egypt were great and we enjoyed the stories in Tales of Ancient Egypt that we read. Tales of Ancient Egypt is quite long, so we didn’t finish it during our block, but I may have my fifth grader read it independently later in the year. I intended to use The Golden Goblet as a literature discussion, but it ended up being an independent read for my daughter. (I still intend to finish it and discuss it with her in the next little while.) We didn’t buy a papyrus making kit, but we did use a regular paper making kit to make a few sheets of paper. We also watched a papyrus making video on YouTube. A few years ago (when I freaked out about my homeschool choices and tried the classical model) we studied Egypt and made paper-mache Pharaoh masks and cartouches, so I didn’t feel the need to repeat any of that. It was nice just getting into the stories of that culture.
North American Geography
- North American Geography from Marsha Johnson’s Yahoo Group (waldorfhomeeducators)
- Fifty States That Rhyme – a cheesy song that really helps memorize the states.
- Let’s Drive – a board game that highlights cities in the USA. It was OK. The information about the cities was mostly trite – stuff like where the biggest yarn ball is.
- Paddle-to-the-Sea – an independent read for my fifth grader. (author’s note: I originally thought the book was Minn of the Mississippi, but it was Paddle-to-the-Sea and my daughter enjoyed reading it! I also have Minn of the Mississippi and Pagoo, but we haven’t read them, yet.)
- Swift Rivers – another independent reading book. I think both of these books were mentioned on the Parenting Passageway.
We spent two weeks on this block. It was quick and informational. I am still planning to have Teal make a lap quilt out of the United States map fabric I won from Sheila. We just bought the batting and backing yesterday. The other big project is creating a hand drawn map of North America. We chose an image and worked on making it larger scale. Teal is still working on it… Note to self: Must finish map…
- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
We spent one week on conifers. Perfect timing with a Christmas tree in the house.
Thanks for reading today!
Shared as part of Waldorf Wednesday.