Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back after a LOOOONG hiatus

I've been offline for a very long time - since last Spring.  Soon after the last post, we had friends come to stay with us for the summer so I got off my rhythm and just lost my interest in the blog...

Since then, I had a new baby girl :)  She was born Nov 17 - a wonderful natural (breech!) water birth.

11/18/12 - Shira

We're doing great.  She's beautiful and sweet and super easy- she sleeps through the night (with me) and happily lives in a wrap - what more could I ask for?  :)

The reason I'm attempting to resurrect my blog is that we're starting again with our homeschooling after a failed attempt in the fall.  Keeping a blog of our work helps to keep me motivated and organized, so I'll see if I can manage...

So, we're behind, but starting second grade now with Yoav, who is now 8.  I'm using Live Ed as my primary resource this year (I bought it knowing I'd be having a baby and would need all the support I could get.  I'm happy with the purchase but haven't decided if I'll buy again for next year.)

This month we're doing a LARTs Phonics block.  We didn't do any phonics last year so are doing very basic now - we'll do a month of the various sounds - short vowels, long A, etc.  For each day, we'll come up with words with that particular sound, I'll write the words on the blackboard and Yoav will copy them into his MLB and draw a picture related to one or more of the words.  We will also do one Jakata tale per week as our weekly story to work with.

My basic weekly schedule is as follows:
Sunday:  Family Day & Gardening
Monday:  Nature Day (Yoav is taking a 3 hour nature class every other week) / Social Day (on the other weeks, we'll do a Play Date with another Waldorf family)
Tuesday:  Flute and Form Drawing following Circle; Morning Activity - Modeling wax; Afternoon Activity - Craft
Wednesday:  Morning Activity - Drawing; Afternoon Activity - Handwork
Thursday:  Flute following Circle; Morning Activity - Painting; Afternoon Activity - Soup

The daily schedule will be the same as I had last year.
Wake Up
Dress and Tidy bedroom (make bed)
Morning Walk
Circle (movement and finger plays)
Main Lesson
Creative Play (and Mama craft/clean time)
Morning Activity
Afternoon Activity
Creative Play (in or out depending on weather, sometimes visiting with friends)
Settling In - Book
Bath and Brush Teeth
Lights out and Stories

For today, our morning walk failed.  Elie refused to go and rather than get frustrated, we just skipped it. Circle was good - both kids participated to some extent and we did some mental math (multiplication up to 12x12 and "math facts" up to 20).  

Form Drawing was from Live Ed:
Form drawing in the board

We next did all the short vowel letters - came up with words and wrote into the MLB.



Story was a Jakata tale from Live Ed called "Sanjaya and the Elusive Wind Antelope".

Modeling wax went really well!  We put the wax into warm water to get it warmed up.  It's a pretty good method (recommended by Stockmar) except that the wetness of the wax makes it hard to work with, so you have to get it warmed up and then dry it off with a towel a little before using I think.  We made flowers for our nature table (it's the rainy season here now when the wild flowers are blooming).
Modeling wax flowers - L to R - Elie's, mine, Yoav's
Modeling wax flowers - Elie's on the left; Mine center; Yoav's on right

Then for our afternoon craft, we made these adorable pocket dolls.  The tutorial is here.  For the hat, Yoav followed the directions exactly and it worked fine.  For mine, with our 1" heads, I had to make three hats to get one to fit.  My final hat is with Purewool worsted wool yarn on #8 DPNs - I did:
Cast on 12 sts 
Rounds 1-4: Knit
Round 5: K2tog, K4, K2tog, K4
Round 6 and remaining even rounds: Knit
Round 7: K2tog, K3, K2tog, K3
Round 9: K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2
Round 11: K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1
Round 13: K2tog, K2tog
Round 15: K2tog, cut yarn, pull through hole and bring to inside hat
Handmade pocket dolls - mine on the right; Yoav's on the left - tutorial here: http://annabranford.com/making-things/how-to-make-a-steiner-inspired-pocket-doll-a-very-open-ended-tutorial
Pocket dolls - Yoav's on the left; Mine on the right
They are SOOO adorable and the kids love them.  It was a great first craft to get Yoav excited about starting again.  Both kids brought their dolls into bed at night.


  1. Your little girl is as beautiful as a dream, Emily! And I am thrilled to bits to see the perfect pocket dolls made by you and Yoav. Thank you so much for the link back. I really appreciate it. I'm trying in earnest to teach myself to knit (a sort of new year's resolution) and have recently discovered the wonders of double pointed needles. It's a whole new world :). Thank again x

  2. Thanks so much, Anna. You've reminded me of another reason I enjoy/ed blogging - I love the warm feeling of these connections. Enjoy your knitting. The double pointeds are such a pleasure - great for perfectionists who are bothered by imperfect seams AND you get to make beautiful stockinette without any purling :) I just ordered one of your books for my 7yo niece who also loves Ramona. All the best to you! xo

  3. Emily, I'm so glad to hear you're getting back into a rhythm. I've missed your updates! The baby is beautiful. Thinking of you!

  4. Emily, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter. I was very conscious that you had not blogged for quite a while and hoped you were all ok. It is nice to "hear your voice" again.
    I hope your homeschooling goes well this year. I found grade one very hard because my son wasn't really interested, but it has definitely gotten easier as he has matured. Still, motivating him to do the things he finds particularly hard can be a challenge and, like you, I have to take time to choose carefully the activities and stories I believe will have appeal for him. So picking up a curriculum package and just doing it "as is" would be impossible for us. Sometimes I just have to let go of some of my Waldorf ideals, iykwim, and try not to get too attached to my plans.
    Blessings to you all,

  5. Thank you Cathy. I really appreciate your kind words and that you were thinking of us. I initially planned to explain my bloggy break, but then as time went on, I thought it might turn into a permanent break, and then I just didn't know what/if to post... I tried to teach the lowercase letters in the Fall with Vimala letters and it was an utter failure. Yoav had no patience for it even though with form drawing, he is usually fairly patient and a willing student... So I gave up on the block midway and was feeling quite down and frustrated. Finally I had the duh moment when I realized that one of the reasons for homeschooling is to be able to teach in a way that resonates with my kids, not to be dogmatic about how I'm teaching! Still hoping I can keep to most of my Waldorf ideals, though :) Blessings to you as well! xo

  6. Welcome back! And, congratulations! Your daughter is beautiful :-)

  7. Mazel Tov! I am so excited to hear you were able to have a natural, breech birth.

  8. Your new addition is beautiful adn I'm glad she is an easy baby. But is sounds like you know the tricks of keeping her close will soothe all. Your homeschool day sounds rich and productive. I'm excited to begin following your blog. I'll have to check out your cirrculum. It is new to me. I'm using the Little Acorn cirriculum when the girls are not at Montessori (yes, complete opposite theories, but using both is perfect to me.) Your triumphs and trials will be motivating to me as I share them everyday too. Isn't being a mother wonderful?!

  9. What a lovely new "duckie". I'm pleased to see your blog is going again as you are a true inspiration!