Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Beginnings

It has been over a year since my last post here...

Part of why I stopped with the blog is that I was spending more and more time taking Neufeld parenting courses.  I love the Neufeld paradigm so much - it meshes well with the Waldorf pedagogy and certainly has had a significant positive influence on our family.

I'm currently in the Facilitator Training program and have started teaching courses.  I'm teaching "Making Sense of Aggression" and soon will begin with the "Power to Parent" series.

Registration information for Making Sense of Aggression is here :)  Details about the other courses are on the website.

Meanwhile, I will leave my blog up for reference.

Happy Parenting!
Emily

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lost Tooth

Yoav lost a tooth today.  It's the top left lateral incisor (second tooth on the top left).

Between the last tooth and this one, a friend told him about the Tooth Fairy, so he wanted to leave his tooth under his pillow to see what he'd get.

I love how strongly the kids believe!  Yoav told me that next time he would polish the tooth all day before leaving it for the Tooth Fairy so she'll like it better.  And, as we were falling asleep, Elie said to me: "It's not going to work, do you know why?" (I thought maybe he was going to say because there's no Tooth Fairy!) "Because Aba (Daddy's) still awake so she won't come."  :)

I found this sweet poem floating around the Waldorf World, so I made it my own LOL and left it alongside a little late-night handmade tooth pouch (into which I put a 5 shekel coin and a small "gem").  The poem was written by Eugene Schwartz.


THIS NIGHT IT IS A SPECIAL NIGHT
AS FAIRIES DANCE UPON THE ROOF.
ALL THE FAIRIES MUST ALIGHT,
FOR YOAV JUST LOST A TOOTH!

THE FAIRY QUEEN GIVES HER COMMANDS-
TWELVE BRIGHT FAIRIES MUST JOIN HANDS
THEN TOGETHER IN A CIRCLE STANDS
TO GUARD YOAV WHILE HE SLEEPS.

THE TOOTH FAIRY INTO THE CIRCLE LEAPS
THE HIDDEN TOOTH SHE TAKES
AH, BUT HAS FAR TO GO
BEFORE YOAVAWAKES.

THREE TIMES AROUND THE WORLD SHE FLIES
OVER VALLEYS DEEP AND MOUNTAINS HIGH;
SKIRTS THE STORM CLOUDS THICK WITH THUNDER,
WINGS OVER WAVES ALL WILD WITH WONDER.

DEEP WITHIN THEIR EARTHLY HOMES
FINALLY SHE FINDS THE GNOMES,
WHO UPON THE TOOTH MUST WORK
NEVER ONCE THEIR DUTY SHIRK.

SOME ARE HAMMERING, HAMMERING, HAMMERING,
SOME THE BELLOWS BLOW
OTHERS SWEAT AT THE SWELTERING FORGE
AND THEN CRY OUT, “HEIGH HO!” 

THE TOOTH’S BEEN TURNED TO A SHINING STONE,
A GLIMMERING, GLOWING GEM
THE TOOTH FAIRY TAKES THE GNOMES’ GOOD GIFT,
AND CURTSIES TO ALL OF THEM.
BEFORE THE SUN’S FIRST RAYS ARE SHOWN,
SHE RETURNS TO YOAV'S BED,
AND THEN - - - AWAY SHE’S FLOWN!

Tooth Fairy pouch and poem

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Handmade Birthday

Today is my husband's birthday.  The kids and I each made something. The boys loved waking up this morning with the three gifts wrapped on the table.  They were so proud of their gifts!

Yoav was very organized and made his about two weeks ago.  He kept reminding me that DH's birthday was coming and that I should get started.  He was right, of course - but instead of following his advice, I waited until the last minute and was up sewing until 2am last night!

Yoav made a felt (100% wool) iPhone bag.  He measured and cut the felt (with my help), blanket stitched the sides and added a button (which he made out of leather) and a finger-crocheted strap.

iPhone case made by Yoav for Jeremy's birthday

Elie made a bookmark in the same style as this one we made years ago with Yoav.  It is a Soulemama idea and I LOVE them.  They are so sweet - such a wonderful way to save our little one's drawings.  Elie said it's a picture of him, so that when DH travels, he'll have a picture of Elie with him!

Since the directions are no longer available online, I'll do a set of quickie instructions:  First we cut a piece of linen 3"x7".  I drew a 1/2" border all around and Elie drew a picture inside with a water-soluble marker (first photo below).  Then I embroidered the picture.  Next I cut out another piece of cotton fabric for the back, a piece of fusible lightweight interfacing and a piece of felt for thickness (all 3"x7").  I ironed the interfacing to the back of the embroidered piece.  Then I made a sandwich:  embroidered piece, face up; backing fabric; felt.  I then sewed together with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2" hole to turn the work. Then I turned the work rightside out, poked out corners with a knitting needle, ironed and sewed up the hole with slip stitch. Yoav's had a little ribbon on top which I like, but at 1am, I cut corners (LOL - literally and figuratively!)...

Elie's bookmark

Bookmark for Jeremy's birthday

My gift was an ipad mini case.  I used this tutorial from One Shabby Chick, but for the mini, I cut the pieces 7.5" x 10" (per this blog).  I didn't quilt the cover, just cut all the pieces 7.5x10.  I tapered the lining pieces - the top was 7.5" wide, but the bottom tapered to 6.5" to reduce bulk from the batting.  The flap was cut to 3.5"x4" (I first tried 3x4, but it seemed too small so I redid it).  I added a pocket for the ear buds (pocket was made with two pieces of 7.5"X4" cotton with lightweight fusible interfacing between the two).  Choosing fabric for DH was so not fun.  I usually love choosing fabric for sewing projects, but here, my goal was to find something as plain as possible without being completely solid...

iPad case made by me for Jeremy's birthday

DH was thrilled with all the gifts!  And now I want a bookmark too.  It's the cutest thing peeking out of a book:  

Bookmark peeking out

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Window Transparencies

We made window transparencies from a pattern in the book "Mit farbigen Transparenten durch das Jahr" by Michaela Kronshage.

I love how they came out!

Yoav's was fun to make but mine had too many tiny things (like the fish and birds) that were really hard to cut.  You need a very thin, sharp scissors.  I used a pair of embroidery scissors, which worked pretty well.  The one thing I learned that will make future transparencies much easier is NOT to try to follow the pattern exactly on the tiny things.  I think it might say that here (a tutorial, based on the book), but I'm not sure from the Google translate :)  If you try to trace with a pen or pencil, you then have to cut inside of those lines, or the pen/pencil shows on the tissue paper.  Much better to cut freehand.  Larger things like the boat and sun can easily be traced and then cut just inside of the tracing lines.


Yoav's Window Transparency
Yoav's Window Transparency

Finally finished *my* Window Transparency - can't really say I enjoyed making it - WAY too much fine motor and patience required for me!
My Window Transparency


I'd love to have one of these per season! 

BTW, you can see many many beautiful examples of these on pinterest by searching for "Waldorf Transparencies".  Enjoy!



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Our Classroom

I also want to share a few pics of our "classroom".  We have changed our space so many times over the past two years.  I wrote previously about our musical rooms and, at that time, I had my sewing stuff back in the room that originally was a sewing room but then was a classroom.  Now, my sewing stuff is in the hallway in the basement (which isn't a room, so we essentially gained a room by doing this!) and the schoolroom is back in the room that was the schoolroom, then the sewing room, then the schoolroom, then the sewing room and now is the schoolroom again :)

Our schoolroom

Our schoolroom

Our schoolroom

I'm pretty happy with it for now.  We are using an IKEA bench as a table.  It's a little lower than the kid's IKEA desk we were using previously, so I think Yoav's arm is better positioned (per the detailed explanation of arm position in Audrey McAllen's "Teaching Children Handwriting").

LARTs Block Finished

First, thanks everyone for the warm comments.  Each one was very much appreciated.

Last year, I managed to have a much more blog-worthy homeschooling experience.  This year, the dynamics of the boys has been very difficult.  They love eachother and play well together (sometimes), but Elie (5yo) is not always a willing participant in our school days.  He wants me to play with him rather than do Main Lesson with Yoav.  I have toys set up in our schoolroom which is working fairly well, but certainly far from 100%.  Looking ahead, I can't get my head around what it will be like to actually do two separate Main Lessons!

I do want to try to maintain this blog, though.  It forces me to take photos and document more than I otherwise would.  

So on to some pics from this block, which we just finished (math block coming up next)...  We did the whole block in the same format that I wrote about earlier here.

To help Yoav's reading, I got the Davidow readers (it was actually a gift from a wonderful friend!) and I made a page of capital letters with their corresponding lowercase letters (format from Audrey McAllen's "Teaching Children Handwriting".  Yoav started playing chess this summer and now is very motivated to learn to read so he can read his chess books ;)  

Here are a few photos from this block:


Example of the chalkboard after we've come up with words for three word families:

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Yoav writing out words - we focused on the short vowel sounds for this block and did three word families per day.  We started out using stick crayons, but I bought a 3B pencil (per McAllen's suggestion) after a particularly frustrating experience for Yoav: he wrote a word wrong in the third set and wanted to erase it :(  He cried a bit, threw the paper, rewrote it all and then I bought him a pencil and eraser :)
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Yoav practicing a form for Form Drawing (form from Live Ed):
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Watercolor Painting - from an amazing new book that I highly recommend called "Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools".
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Making Window Stars from this tutorial:
Yoav making Waldorf Window Star

Elie making Waldorf Window Star

Waldorf Window Star



And my favorite craft from the block - these little "Oakies" - pattern here:
Knitted Oakies (pattern at ourholisticlife.blogspot.com) - mine on the left; Yoav's on the right

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wool Working Day

On Sunday, we participated in a woolworking class with a friend and her kids.  We learned to prepare, card, spin and ply the wool.

Wool class with Yifat

Wool class with Yifat - Yoav cleaning/fluffing wool

Wool class with Yifat - Yoav carding wool

Wool class with Yifat - Toav preparing wool to spin

Yoav spinning wool

Elie carding with drum carder