aelfie: (tattoo)
I am sick of days that go well and end badly.

The afternoon with Ike went well, we had fun, everyone got was great!

And then after dinner, Ike melted down. Full blown, destructive, temper tantrum. I'm tired of this. This last year has been so rough for him and its tiring for all of us when he loses it. The good thing? He cleaned up his sisters room after trashing it. Gwen even came in and helped us tidy up without being asked.

Afterwards the four of us sat down at the kitchen table and I facilitated the, um. hrm. I don't know the name of the technique...whatever. I prompted them using "I" statements. I asked Ike what bothered you and he began to spew "You guys...yadda, yadda" and I went "okay Ike. Try this "I felt frustrated....yadda yadda" and prompted the girls in saying "I heard that you feel...blah, blah when I blah that right?" Eventually they kinda got the idea. I realized that they are now old enough to teach the proper way to fight....and I guess I'm going to be working on that a LOT this summer.


I'm dreading school stopping next week. I'm also looking forward to it. I'm dreading next fall...and can't help but wonder if it's for the best. I want my kids to grow up less broken than me...they may be broken differently, but hopefully less broken.

One thing to look forward to is a big road trip late summer. On Saturday Joe and I went to our Church's Auction and got a week at a cabin on Bitterroot Lake in Montana. We were looking at the fact that if we are homeschooling this fall, we should take advantage of it and travel. I've lived in the SF Bay Area my entire life except for a short stint at Davis. I've also never really traveled. There's a lot of things/places in the Western US I've never seen. So, when the cabin went up for $300 and no one bidding on it...we decided it was a good idea to jump on it. We are going to drive it...possibily (hopefully) coming back through Seattle (Go and see friends we haven't seen in a few years) and Portland (Powells!!!!) So we are looking at a minimum 2 week trip. 3-4 days up and back and a week in Montana. I'm looking forward to it...longest road trip I've ever taken is Disneyland. This trip is 4 times the distance.

Also pondering a trip to the Grand Canyon...that's less than 800 miles from here.
aelfie: (tattoo)
" The students receive comments instead of letter grades as their assessment. I point out the strengths of their work as well as the next steps that they should take. Over the course of the year, the goal is to have them do more and more of their own assessment. At the start and end of every lesson, we talk about the skills that they used, and they write a self-reflection, based on three questions. What did you do well in this assignment? What did you find challenging? What would you do differently if she had to do it again? After they have written their self-reflection, I review their work and reflections and write comments. I make sure to point out where they had growth or new success. I also help them identify the next steps."

from an article on not grading classes.
aelfie: (tattoo)
2013 is shaping up well. Took Ike to the ER tonight for evaluation after he and two of his classmates attempted to occupy the same space during a game of tag. In other words, Ike got his head bashed again and complained of headache, nausea, and sleepiness. Fun! And to add insult to injury? My co-pay doubled with the New Year. Yipee! And OMG that hurt. (I'm not looking forward to the co-pay for his surgery next month. OMG that's gonna SUCK. If I had known everything was going up...I'd of had his surgery done last year to get it done on the cheap!)

Oh...and he's ordered to stay home tomorrow to rest and we should expect a degradation in his behavior again.


Yesterday was capped off with a simultaneous crying jag by the girls on how they want friends. They are lonely and want to go to school. They like the school part of homeschooling...its the no friends part they don't. I'm feeling defeated, disappointed, and like I made a huge mistake for these girls. And I'm feeling swamped trying to teach and do all my homework. I'm behind.

I think I need more sun and more time outside. The being stuck inside and having no time to sit under my lamp-o-wonder isn't helping my mood.


Need sleep.
aelfie: (tattoo)
I won't graduate from school until 2014. The likelihood of my being employed by a school nearby until then? Not good. Maybe afterwards. But even then...not good. It occurred to me that Ike will HAVE to start at a new school Fall 2014. He'll be 12, Elli and Gwen will be 9, and Gray will be 5. Might be a good time to tour the US for an academic year.

We've had this idea of renting an RV and just leaving for a year. Joe would most likely need to stay home to keep working, but we could put everything into storage, rent the house, and not LOSE money.

Might work...needs to be looked into.
aelfie: (Default)

About a week ago, I thought I was being a Bad Homeschooling Mama.

I had no plan.

The last time I planned to teach First Grade I took an entire summer to figure out what in the heck I was going to do, and how I was going to do it. This time it's different. Elli and Gwen are not Ike. I also know a whole lot more than I did 3 years ago. Last month I ran back to homeschooling after pondering it for a week. The girls went to school on a Friday, the following Monday...they did not. I had a crutch so I could stall. I was given the first 10 days of Form Drawing and the first Math block. But after that...nothing planned. And even then, I did not want to start the first math block after that form drawing block. And Oh, I'm going to be gone for a week in the middle of October for my observation at Santa Cruz Waldorf. So what to do? Well, I fell back on advice from my Mentor Melisa. "Don't teach anything unless you are prepared to do so." Always good advice.

So this last Monday, I told the girls I wasn't ready to teach them the next block of studies. We played. I pondered. I read. We cuddled and read lots of fairy tales. We knit. I cleaned. We went to the park. I spent most of the week sick (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) and spent most of Thursday sleeping (I have such an amazing husband...let me tell you!). And on Friday afternoon I did actually do some planning. And then, AFTER all that...I got inspired. I found it. The container story and the approach I wanted to use to teach the alphabet, phonics, spelling, and the math. How I wanted to present the Fairy Tales. How to turn First Grade this time around from "Following Melisa's Plans" creating my own. Admittedly by stealing the best ideas from ALL of my teachers and fusing them together in a way to work for my Elli and Gwen. But, I finally found the Art. I've made it MINE.

Now, in this place, I finally feel...I'm a Waldorf Teacher.

I'm not a Mama playing at being a Teacher. I'm not a Student-Teacher in over her head, I am a Teacher.

aelfie: (Default)
LifeWays: Done!!! Although I do not have my certificate. It will come in the mail. After class yesterday (with Suzanne Down no less) we went out to dinner to celebrate. This has been an amazing soul-feeding experience for me. And in these last few months, I've felt it isn't nearly enough. I feel like I've been given an appetizer to Waldorf Education and there is a whole lot more out there for me to experience....

Which led me to the idea of...

Teacher Training: For the last few months, I've been considering taking Waldorf Teacher Training. Considering it to the point that I have the application forms filled out and ready to mail. Its a grueling 3 year program. Every Friday night and every Saturday morning in El Sobrante for the Academic Year. Plus a four week-five full day Summer intensive. I feel a great need to do this program. I can't not imagine not doing it. That being said. Wow. That's kinda intense and bat-shit insane when you have four kids 8 and under and live 70 miles and a probable 2 hour commute away. Oh, and lets not forget the cost. Comes in around $8K a year. Which, now that I think about it is cheaper than the kids tuition.

Speaking of kids tuition....

Homeschooling: Not going forward with it. To be brutally honest. Ain't nobody happy. Except maybe Gray...'cause he's such a happy and mellow kid. But I have to say it needed to happen. Ike really needed these last two years to settle down some and come more into his own. I think he's ready for a classroom. But there is no way in hell I'd ever put him in a public school classroom. So, we have officially enrolled the big three kids at Njeri's Morning Glory, a small waldorf school. We've gotten a tuition adjustment (thank goodness!) And I've gotten a soft job offer for a new program at the school....

which leads to....

More schooling for me. I'm currently enrolled at UCSC Extension taking Early Childhood Education classes. What a mickey mouse class. I can't stand it! And its not the information I can't handle, the information is good stuff, and its actually a well written text book. Its the bullshit, waste of time, really learn nothing except regurgitation assignments. Bleh!!! I'm back to playing a game that I got tired of in Junior High School. But I can play it (and play it well) for the 24 units I need (to create the program Njeri is envisioning) and the 35 for the certificate. (Figure what the hell? If I have to take 24 I might as well take a few more classes and get the damn certificate...may come in handy someday. It is tax deductible after all.). I just hope later classes are better and less worshipping at the Grand Altar of Bullshit. That is the one thing I really valued this LifeWays year...the assignments stretched me! So for now, I'll sit in the back row and knit my way through my classes.

But where does that put Teacher Training?

On the back burner for at least one academic year. I can't do both. And to be honest, it gives me another year to improve my health, let the kids get bigger (let the girls get off my etheric, so I only have one child using that connection instead of 3.) and hopefully settle into our new rhythm of almost everyone in school.

Whew! Been busy!
aelfie: (Default)
In the last year I read amongst the various Homeschooling Magazines that there was a family from Germany who came to the US and were seeking asylum because they were Homeschoolers and its illegal in Germany. This family homeschools based on religious beliefs, that the schools are too secular, teach immoral values, etc, etc. So they were essentially claiming religious prosecution if they returned.

I've been waiting to hear the outcome of the case, as have most other homeschoolers. I am VERY amused that I first read the result in Playboy...and yes the family have been granted asylum.

I love Playboy. Such an awesome magazine.
aelfie: (Default)
needs to camp out in our house.

First, it was the lizard...then a frog. Today? A baby snake in the garage.

What is up with the wildlife???

We came in through the garage after running an errand and I spotted this baby snake on the floor along the walkway. I got all the kids in, all the stuff in, grabbed my longest set of tongs and found a bucket. Now, I like snakes. I know how to pick them up. I plan on having another as a pet someday. But I didn't know if this was a constrictor or not and I was sure how it would behave. Better to be safe than sorry right? So I scooped up that little black snake with the tongs, tossed him in the bucket. Then announced "Hey! Guys! Come look at this snake I caught in the garage!" We "oooo'd" and we "ahhh'd". Ike got the camera and we took a picture. We then set him free in the rosebushes. Over the protestations of the children. They wanted to keep it. The fact that we don't have a tank I think is the only reason why I won that particular argument.

Then we went to the reference books to see what kind of snake it was. We were able to ID it as a California Racer Snake. It took an online search to determine if it was poisonous or not. Not. However it was noted that when threatened or handled they strike often and viciously. Glad I got the tongs.

Bonus? Ike spent the next 45 minutes pouring over the various field reference guides looking at pictures and asking me to read him information. Cool! Gotta love those informal lessons. Now that's a picture perfect homeschooling minute.
aelfie: (Default)
I thought I might do some writing/musing

Will Development/Weight Management
I am a sugar addict. Oh hell, I'm a food addict. But sugar is the biggest problem of all. I get on that roller coaster of highs and lows and its just awful. I have managed to stay away from sugar for almost three weeks. This is big for me. I want to be healthier, but most "diets" have you cutting everything out at once. And it doesn't work. So right now I'm focusing on sugar. Baby steps will win the race. I don't know if I've lost any weight or not, but my Mom says I'm not as puffy as the last time she saw me. And my scale in the bathroom doesn't automatically go "TILT" when I step on it. It actually has to think about it before it does it. So I see that as a vast improvement.

Oh my god do I need some. For the last four nights Gray has gotten up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. I finally figured out he's probably teething, so I've been giving him ibuprofen. Problem is that it wears off in the middle of the night. So my night is really broken. I'm crispy. Thank god I'm not eating sugar to make it worse!

Has actually been going well. We do better on the days we stay home all day, but overall school is going well. The other day Ike said to me "Mommy, I love doing school here. J (boy down the street) has to go to school all day, has homework when he gets home, and we're done by lunch! I get a lot more time to play" Smart boy. We are working on American Tall Tales right now and Melisa is right as usual, when you read a book the lesson goes flat. So I will be telling the next couple instead of reading the cool picture books I found. I'll save those for story time (which is something new I've managed to institute. I read to the kids for about an hour every afternoon). He's also found pencils are much easier for him to write with than using crayons. So we are making headway there.

I did a lot of thinking and meditating this summer on how to approach teaching this year. I gave myself permission to not beat myself up because I can't manage a Waldorf School experience at home. I'm Homeschooling! Not Schooling at Home. So I'm not going to kill myself trying to squeeze in everything. I'm working on stories, some writing, handwork, singing, penny whistle, verse memorization, and some painting. Which is still a lot. And I'm not even going to bother teaching Grammar this year. Ike doesn't read! It makes no sense at all to me to teach a non-reader grammar. I'm also not going gung-ho on teaching him to read. He's not frustrated enough yet. He's starting to get there, but he's not there yet. And when that frustration sets in, then I'll work on turning him into a reader.

I also got inspired by another Homeschooling Mama of 9(!) kids. So, in addition to focusing on less things, I'm leaning a bit toward child-led education. I'm giving the kids the option of a lesson (but they have to finish a lesson they start). And if someone expresses an interest in a subject, we'll look at it as appropriate

Steiner did say once that not having to go to school to age 12 would be a good I'm still schooling them (I'm not that brave to not do "anything" until age 12), but I'm backing off on forcing the issue. There's no rush. Everything will be covered in due time.

I had my first class on Saturday. Awesome, but long day topped off by a Stupid Tax courtesy of SFPD. (Not only was I blocking someone's driveway, I forgot to curb my wheels. Whoops! I'm glad they didn't tow it.) We started the day with singing, then Steiners Ages and Stages (going whole to parts, of course), lunch, sewing, and knitting. My kind of day!

The knitting component was starting on our year long knitting project...the knitted farm yard. I've gotten the first two squares done. I had to rip out what I did in class 'cause it was messy and uneven.  And I didn't like the needles we were given at all! Bamboo makes for really slick needles and it just drives me up a wall! I'm completely sold on my Knitpicks wood circular needles. They are perfect in my book.

So I'm finally doing some major reading on autism. When Ike was diagnosed a year ago, I just wasn't up for any reading. Now that I'm finally feeling like my head is out of the water since I got pregnant with Gray, I've got the energy to read. (yea, I know I read a lot. But this is a different type of reading. I just wasn't ready). Things I've figured out/found out. Kids with Autism have fewer mirroring neurons. Which is why a baby smiles back at you when you smile at them. The fewer the number the more pronounced the autism. Ike has problems with Executive Processing. Which is not only causal relations (i.e. if I hit my sister, she'll get hurt, then I'll get into trouble) but sequential thinking (i.e. first I pick up, then I dust, then I vacuum). It also impairs his ability to take verbal instructions. He just can't do it beyond a certain point.

I also found its quite common and expected for younger siblings to mimic elder siblings behave. In due time, as they mature, they outgrow it. (Thank goodness!)

Oy, am I knitting up a storm. I've been focusing on my shawl. I'm finding I have an urge to make something. I've been cleaning out my work basket. (Where things are put to be repaired) so far in the last week or so I've repaired 2 Heavy Babies and I've finally put together a Gingerbread Man I knitted up last year. Turned out really, really cute! Gray will enjoy it for Christmas!

I'm starting to look toward Christmas and decide what needs to be made by then. I want to make the kids their own Hobby Horses from Santa. I have 5/6 of the material I need (I need to find a co-ordinating fabric for Ike's Horse, which is red of course) I need to set up my sewing machine as I want to make the girls their Halloween costumes on top of everything else.

So that pretty much sums up everything going on with me. How's things with you?
aelfie: (Default)
Its that time of year again!

We start school on Monday and I thought I'd post our schedules for the month (rather than weekly. Updates should be a lot easier this year...everything is on my computer so I don't have to transcribe from a written record) Ike will be our big Second Grader and Elli & Gwen will be my Kindergarteners. Gray will just float through our days. I plan to do school once he's down for his nap and since Gray is so nice as to go down for a nap between 10 and 11, we should have our day done by lunch

First two weeks is an ease into school. We will be doing a bunch of form drawing, an intro to the penny whistle, and working on a math carpet. I'm swiping an idea from a teacher at Njeri's school. The teacher took a sheet of 11x14 paper, colored in the background and drew a very nice number starting from 1 to 36. And put them on the floor with clear contact paper. He used this for the kids to work math problems. I thought this was a cool idea. But I'm not doing that to my floor, so I got a 6'x9' piece of canvas. Ike and I will draw 12 inch squares on it, and fill each box with a number. I figure this project will take us a couple of days minimum.

Here's the plan for the rest of September )I've got more details in my daily printouts...but this gives everyone an idea of what we are working on!
aelfie: (Default)
and homeschooling...

Needless to say there's a lot of debate and discussion about what is or isn't "Waldorf". Well, more discussion than debate. One of the things that most Waldorf Homeschooling Mama's (and Papa's) tend to forget is that Steiner never meant the curriculum to be set in stone. Its supposed to be (somewhat) fluid and reflect local culture. Its also supposed to come from the teacher.

Now take the debate about recorders. And this is a debate, not a discussion. Some people insist that the instrument taught in the lower grades be a very expensive wooden recorder (less than $100.00). A pentatonic recorder would be even better. Proponents give the impression that it would be a more "purer" Waldorf. Heaven forbid you can't afford the expensive instrument and need to substitute a cheap plastic one. I'll admit the $80.00 pentatonic recorder does sound better than the $2.00 one you can find at Michaels. But I found a really nice plastic recorder for $7.00 and sounds just as nice as my $80.00 one. Either way, a family shouldn't have to decide between paying the electric bill for a month and a musical instrument. The whole point of a "blowing instrument" (not recorder, Steiner didn't specifically call for a recorder) is to strengthen the lungs, to teach the child to get some control over the breath, and teach them to play music by ear.

Recently, a Waldorf Homeschooling Mama released a music curriculum based on the American Penny Whistle and American Folk Music. Some people can't stand it. Its not "right", but the ongoing discussion on this music course brought up some interesting points. First of all, we live in America. Why shouldn't we be playing American made/traditional instruments? And using traditional American Folk Music? The recorder was probably chosen by the first school because it was what was played locally. Second, if we are homeschooling...why shouldn't we bring in more Americana into the curriculum.  For example, Second Grade is the year of Aesops Fables, Jataka Tales, and Native American Folklore. Okay, so the American element is in the Native American tales, but what about adding American Tall Tales? In Third Grade, how about a Pioneer block instead of a Farming Block,  and adding American colonalization and Revolution to Fifth Grade in addition to Greece.

It intrigues me to the point that I dropped one of my original blocks (Trickster Tales) and changed it to American Tall Tales. We will study George Washington and the Cherry tree, Molly Pitcher, John Henry, and (probably) Johnny Appleseed. One of the Mama's had a good point. We need to make the curriculum our own.
aelfie: (Default)
I took July off from school stuff. Okay, mostly. I read a few picture books for next year, looked at a few poetry books...but mostly I didn't read anything "heavy" for the month. I started that up again on Sunday. I've gotten 2 books on my "read before starting school" stack done. I've started a third and have a few Steiner lectures to read in the next couple of days. (The first two books were for Ike, the next few are for the girls.) Whew! Lots of reading...but duh, its what I do.

Simultaneously, I've been, for lack of a better word...nesting.

Ike, Elli and Gwen have been at camp this week. I've had a solid 1.5-2 hours during the day when my energy is greatest to "do stuff". I have scrubbed my house. My bathroom is spotless, the kids bathroom was spotless until this evening when someone left the bathroom open and let Gray in. I have thrown out, swept, vacuumed, mopped. I've even painted.

On Monday I scrubbed down the dining room wall with a car sponge and water and vinegar.  That wall takes a beating. The scrubbing took off about 90% of the crap, stains, marks, hand prints, and food dribbles all over it. Getting up all the built up chalk on the chalkboard took about 4 scrubbings with fresh water. Then I pulled out the paint for the main wall color on our blackboard wall and touched up some black scuff marks, pencil marks, dings, etc. Today while Gray was sleeping I pulled out the painters tape and taped off the chalkboard. This evening once all the kids were asleep I put another later of chalkboard paint on the chalkboard. Since its a smoother than normal wall surface, its still really the tops of the bumps had lost the paint and my board was covered with little cream colored spreckles. It shouldn't happen this year as I learned a trick from a Waldorf Teacher that those micro-fiber cleaning cloths remove about 99% of the colored chalk without having to wash the board. This makes me happy!

I've been ordering supplies, printing off calendars, searching for books, and basically lining up all my ducks.

I think we are going to have a great year.
aelfie: (Default)
A few months ago Elli comes up to me while I'm knitting and says

"Mommy! I wanna do that thing you do with the pointy thing"

I think about this.

"Do you mean you want to knit baby?"

"NO! The other thing. With the circle thing"

*lightbulb* I had been working on Gray's Christmas stocking a few weeks prior.

"You want to do some stitching?" " YES!" "Okay baby, I'll have something for you tomorrow"

I went to my stitching stash, pulled out this cheap evenweave I picked up years ago for doodle cloth, whack off a good size square, put it in a 5 in hoop. Grab some red #3 pearl cotton and use my water soluble marker to draw a small snowflake pattern.  The next day we sit down together in my rocking chair and "stitch" my hand over hers and talking her through the process. She lost interest about halfway through and I put it away.

She finally remembered it again about 2 weeks ago. We pulled it out and finished it. Yea Elli!

Ike and Gwen then decide they want to stitch. First, we make a trip to Michaels so everyone can pick out their own embroidery hoop (I only have 1) Everyone picks a different color, so there will be NO arguments about whose hoop is whose. A couple of nights ago I whack off some more fabric and load the hoops.

This afternoon, we sit down while Gray is napping and stitch! Ike is sitting on the kitchen table and working pretty independently. He understands the push from the bottom, pull from the top thing. He only needed the occasional "What do I do now Mommy?" instruction. His independence was actually really useful, as Gwen needed her needle re-threaded after every pull. He was kind enough to help her. This allowed me to divide my attention between the two girls. Elli didn't need me to guide her hands anymore, but she did need me to point out exactly where she needed to go. Gwen, touching a needle for the first time, needed my hands to guide her.  Helping all three through this process was actually pretty intense. But I have to admit, pretty cool.

And I have to admit, I was VERY happy to hear Gray wake up when he did. After an hour I was wiped!

Both Ike and Gwen finished their snowflakes, and Elli got a good start on her next ornament a Christmas tree in 3 colors using backstitch. Ike also started his tree too. He kept stitching for awhile in my room after Gray woke up.

I am really liking how much Ike is enjoying handwork. He gets very calm and centered and (YES!!!!) focused. The only downside I could possibly see is that someday some other friend might make some disparaging comments.

I also need to come up with some more projects for them to work on...must do research. =)

I survived

Jun. 4th, 2010 03:49 pm
aelfie: (partys over)
one of the activities I'd been dreading....

Taking all my children to the beach without another dedicated adult with me.

We had a good time, everyone got soaked, Ike is burned (wouldn't let me put sunscreen on him...he's hurtin' now!). We went with Ike's school to Natural Bridges State park. Really nice beach. Some of the water at high tide got trapped up on the beach creating this Ike's waist high deep pond perfect for the kids to swim and play in. Big bonus about the pond? It was considerably warmer than the ocean. The kids (even Gray, he wanted to go fully in, I needed my suit!) got in to play there rather than in the surf. I think I wanna go back next week with another Mama...and wear my suit...I think Gray would appreciate it.

Ahh Heck

May. 29th, 2010 08:28 am
aelfie: (Default)
I posted this news on the Homeschooling group I'm in on Yahoo groups...guess I should post it here too.

Part 1.

My son Ike has been lucky enough to attend the local Waldorf school one day a week for their Forest Friday program. He also went in for the Eurythmy class. He's learned a lot, made friends, and we have all enjoyed the community.

The school is discontinuing offering classes to the homeschool community. Darn.

I'm annoyed and disappointed. But I have to admit, there is part of me that is not too upset that our mornings two days a week will no longer suck. I think I am going to talk to the Eurythmy teacher and see if she is willing to come into our home one day a week. (She lives out of area and commutes here one day a week, another gig might make it more "worth" it for her) But I am going to miss the community very much. I really enjoyed the festivals and the class plays and all the other activities that made us feel like a part of the school.

I think this gives me the kick in the pants I need to search out other families in the area who are on this journey as well. There has GOT to be more people than just me where I live.

Part 2 follow up post, after someone making a comment about how its shame especially considering the economy
I think they went about it the wrong way.

First of all, I found them by accident, it wasn't like they were actively advertising to the Homeschooling community. And like I told Ike's teacher, the Bay Area is a huge center for Homeschooling and there's a lot of people doing it and a lot of them have a lot of money to spend on classes.

Second of all, they were opening their main lesson times to Homeschoolers. The teacher said that one of the reasons why they decided to close the school to part time students is the fact that the child would be signed up for one day a week, which wasn't often enough for the child to really get the rhythm of the room, AND attendance would be spotty. The families that signed up for days other than Forest Friday didn't seem to take it very seriously (I think I was the ONLY Waldorf Homeschooler, everyone else is ecletic.). So the kids ended up being a distraction because they didn't know what in the world was going on. They thought about leaving the outside main lesson classes open (i.e. art, handwork, spanish), but decided that the spotty attendance thing would get in the way.

She admitted that the Forest Friday worked out well for Homeschoolers, as it was a different atmosphere. However, due to pressure from full time student parents, the Forest Friday program is changing. A few parents were complaining about the loss of "real" classroom time for "real" work and felt that these outdoor excursions should be left up to the parents to provide. So it will become more academic and part of the environmental studies and will be day 2 in the rhythm and continuing work done in the classroom the day before.

But yea, its a shame, but they do have the entire summer to re-think the decision. They may change their mind, they may not. But I have enjoyed my year, so has Ike and I think it provided us a bridge year. We were in school full time last year, part time this year, and all on our own next. I think I need to change some of my plans a bit...this now gives us the opportunity to really enjoy the one co-op we went to a couple of times this year. We quit going because of icky weather and that I couldn't get Ike to do "school" work on that day. So we can change our weekly rhythm to make that our outdoor day.

My commentary at this point

One of the things I have noticed about the perceptions of homeschooling and after a year that I feel is completely justified is that Homeschoolers are flaky. They don't finish classes they've signed up for, they leave groups without notice, they make plans and then change their minds and don't follow through. Okay, not all Homeschoolers are flakes, but there is a sufficient number of them that the perception persists with just cause.

I think this is something we need to work on as a group.

And I must confess, I'm guilty of it as well. We started at a co-op in January. Now this one is a very casual one, no money is exchanged,its a parent led topic on a weekly basis at a local park. We quit going mostly due to crappy weather. Now that its summer (am I really sure about this?) we will start going again.
aelfie: (Default)
I wanted to post a picture of the proud knitting boy.

aelfie: (Default)
A New way (to me at least) to do complex multiplication

aelfie: (Default)
Here's my theme/block plan for the girls

September (Michaelmas)

1 week ease into school (Form Drawing, Painting, etc)

2 weeks Apple Orchard

1 week St Michael & St George


October (Halloween)

3  weeks Harvest

1 week Halloween


November (Thanksgiving, Martinmas)

2 weeks Gnomes

1 week Martinmas

1 week Thanksgiving

1 week Falling Leaves


December (St. Nicholas, St. Lucy, Christmas)

2 weeks  Advent

2 Weeks Break!


January  (3 kings)

2 weeks  Jack Frost

2 weeks  Winter Woods

February (Candlemas & St. Valentines)

2 weeks  Winter Light

2 weeks  Winter Tea Time

March (Ike Birthday, St. Patricks Day, Mom Birthday)

2 weeks  Winter Goodbye

2 weeks  Raindrops

April (Easter)

3 weeks  Flowers and Fairies

1 week Easter Break


May (Beltaine)

1 week Beltaine/May Day

2 weeks Animals All Around

2 weeks  Dig a little Earth


Now just to find stories to fit all those theme. I'll be using one story a week, and building activities around that.
aelfie: (Default)

September (Language Arts)

1 week ease into school (Form Drawing, Painting, etc)

2 weeks Trickster Tales

1 week St Michael & St George (Includes Prep for Michaelmas)

We will start basic grammar structure and word families this month and carry them on through all the Language Art Blocks. We will also do nearly daily short math drills both oral and written (but not necessarily both on the same day).

October (Nature Stories/LA)

1 week Plants

1 week Insects

1.5  week Animals

1/2 week Halloween prep


November (LA/Jataka Tales and Saint Stories)

2 weeks  Jataka tales

2 weeks Saints (Martin, Jerome, Isaac, Elizabeth of Hungary) (includes prep for Martinmas)

1 week Thanksgiving


December (LA/Saints and Advent)

1 week St Nicholas

1 week St Lucia

2 Weeks Break!


January (Math)

4 Weeks Math

February (LA/Saints & Heroes)

1 week Jewish Heroes

1 week American Indian and Islamic heroes

1/2 week St. Valentine

1 1/2 weeks St. Francis


March (Math)

4  weeks math

April (Math)

3 weeks  Natural Phenomena (1 week each Moon, Sun, and cloud & rain)

1 week Easter Break


May (LA/Catch up)

3 weeks Aesop

1 week open for catch up/other things I think of.

1 week St. Joan.

If I counted correctly this not only gives me 185 school days (I'm mandated to teach 180) it also gives us the ENTIRE summer of June, July and August off. Yea right. There will be some slippage I'm sure.


aelfie: (Default)

January 2016

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