Grade 6, Round 1

We are starting to think about wrapping up our school year.  Although we got pretty far behind many times this year I can feel that we have just about had enough of this school thing.  Some things will just have to wait until next year and some things (like hands on science) are going to become part of our summer plans.

Wrapping up my first go at Grade 6, I am going to spend the next few weeks posting about what we have done.  Since Grade 4, lessons with my eldest can seem incredibly scattered as I try to pull resources and ideas together as we go.  It seems that no matter what amount of planning I have done in advance I am always scrambling.

To start I am going to share our Main Lesson Blocks and resources.  I like to plan my blocks monthly, spending on average four weeks per block.  Obviously there are lessons that spill over and then those that don’t end up taking the full four weeks.  In addition to the resources listed below I have used as reference the Christopherus Rough Guide for Grade 6, A Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling Grade 6 and Bearth Schooling.  Anyways, here goes…

September: Geometry – String, Straightedge and Shadow by Julia E. Diggins, Making Math Meaningful Middle Grades by Jamie York and Geometry Lessons in the Waldorf School Vol. 2 by Ernst Schuberth

October: Roman History/Language Arts – Ancient Rome by Charles Kovacs

November: Physics – Path of Discovery by Eric Fairman

December: Ancient Rome/Language Arts – Ancient Rome by Charles Kovacs

January: Math, review and revisit and Ancient China – Tales from the Silk Road Barefoot Books

February: Roman History/Language Arts – Ancient Rome by Charles Kovacs

March: Astronomy – Geology and Astronomy by Charles Kovacs

April: Business Math – Mathematics Lessons for the Sixth Grade by Ernst Schuberth

May: Physics – Path of Discovery bye Eric Fairman and Teaching Physics and Chemistry by Roy Wilkinson

June: Arthurian Legend, Medieval England and Geography through Biomes

All good plans… In reality Rome really dragged on due to too much time off to play throughout the year and Business Math and the second Physics block haven’t really happened.  Mr. D is working on a business project with friends which is turning into his Business Math with the help of another homeschooling mama (thank-you!) and physics and geography will continue in August.

I’ve already posted our Astronomy block in more detail and will continue on with the other blocks in the weeks to come.

Dancing!

Dancing through my weekends is coming to an end and it has totally snuck up on me! Our year over at Pegasus Studios where I teach pre-school and early childhood movement officially ended last Sunday with a whack load of recitals.
My Saturday classes were bitter sweet as I am ready for a bit of break, however I am really going to miss the little ones. And some of us had a rough start… My 2.5 year old classes cried a lot over the first few weeks and both my 4 year old classes pushed back against the class structure after they had all been in full day kindergarten for the week.
Both situations had me questioning what I was doing and what was developmentally appropriate for the children. I did a lot of soul searching and read Jane Healy’s Your Child’s Growing Mind.
Nine months changes a lot with littles though and all of my classes reached stages of fun and ease. There is nothing like a room full of dancing three year olds to bring you out of a funk. I guess I’m going to have to find something else to pick me up through the next little while!

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Photo taken by one of the parents of my class.

Check out my guest post over at senseofstory.com today!

Astronomy

For the past month Mr. D and I have been studying Astronomy.  Our main resources have been Charles Kovac’s Geology and Astronomy and the Astronomy block from Bearthschooling.  I divided our block into three weeks.  The first week was focused on the sky and the sun.  I told Mr. D some myths about the sky from different civilizations and then he wrote his own myth.  We then discussed the path the sun takes at the Equator and the North Pole.

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Mr. D then made a sundial and spent a day charting the path of the sun in our backyard.

Week 2 was all about the stars and the moon.

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These are some of the books we used.

We did some reading about different constellations and Mr. D drew his favorites in his main lesson book.

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We drew images of the star paths and the cycles of the moon.

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Week three’s focus was the planets in the solar system and ancient astronomers. Mr. D was also given the task of assembling and figuring out how to use our telescope, a gift from one of our cousins a few years ago. Unfortunately with all the rain the last couple of weeks we haven’t really got a chance to use it.

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I told Mr. D some of the stories of astronomers Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler and Galileo. We then plotted them on a timeline and will add them to his larger timeline that includes all of the ancient civilizations.

We had a lot of fun with this lesson block and I think Mr. D’s interest has been peaked. To round everything off we are reading George’s Secret Key To The Universe by Lucy Hawking and the two follow up books.

Me Made May Days 2 & 3

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Days 2 and 3 for Me Made May are my favorite socks. I have a pair in purple as well and I just love them.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted to knit my own socks. A daunting task, I decided to take a class at the wonderful Purple Purl http://thepurplepurl.com with Kate Atherley. She not only taught us the basics of sock knitting but also gave us the details on how to create our own custom sock size. Kate has a lot of great patterns http://kateatherley.com
I have since added the Magic Loop to my sock knitting repertoire and plan on knitting two socks at once next time.

Me Made May

This is my first official Me Made May. The challenge is to wear something self made each day for the month of May. I already have a handful of pieces that I have made over the past year and I hope to make at minimum one new piece a week to round out my homemade wardrobe.

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This is the Tessuti Favorite Top. It is not my favorite and I’m not sure if it is the pattern or the fabric. The fabric, which felt quite heavy on the bolt, is really light once seen up. It has also puckered on the seams. I don’t think stretch knit is my sewing preference.

Solstice Vigil

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Years ago, when my boys were little and I was soaking up anything and everything I could find about Waldorf and homeschooling, I followed a beautiful blog called Today in Faerie School.  The blog is no longer up, but one of my favorite posts was about the Winter Solstice and how the blogger, Faerie Rebecca, stayed up the night of the Solstice in vigil with Mother Earth, waiting for the newborn Sun and baking cinnamon rolls for her family.  Although I had a lot of energy for implementing many things into our families lives, staying up all night, or even late for that matter, was not one of them.  With my busy toddler, preschooler and kindergartener, I was more often than not found fast asleep next to them at 8:00.

My boys are older now, and I was just fretting over our busy days away from home, filled with more complex lesson work that all my energy is poured into.  I miss the simpler, albeit exhausting days, of littles occupied with play dough, cookie baking and the natural rhythms of the week, month and year.

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That being said, I find myself this year staying up, keeping the vigil I wanted to for so long, turning my thoughts inwards to where we are at this moment in time.  It is so easy to think back with rose coloured glasses and lament over days gone by.  I may not be exactly where I wanted to be, and yes Gram, things have not gotten any easier, but we are together every day, growing and learning… and I am starting to find new ways of filling up my well, so that I may fill the well’s of my not so little boys.  This vigil and more introspection over the coming weeks are one of those ways.

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Cinnamon Buns rising to be baked and served with Gingerbread boys and baked apples for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Yarn Along

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I have cast on the second sock to the magic loop.  It took me almost two months to knit the first sock and I am determined to knit this one up faster.  I have only used a custom pattern that I learned at a sock knitting class with Kate Atherley at the Purple Purl http://kateatherley.com  The next pair I attempt is going to be the two at a time on the magic loop and then I think it’s about time I tried some patterned socks.  Suggestions?

I am currently reading The Lost Hero because the eleven year old loves to talk about the books he reads and I hate spoilers!

Knitting along with Ginny from Small Things http://www.gsheller.com

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Yarn Along

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Some well known facts about myself are that I love babies and everything that goes along with them, including birth stories.  I have been reading Birth: The Surprising Story of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy and it is a fascinating read.  Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am really enjoying it.

I am working away at my first magic loop sock.  It has been many weeks of on and off knitting, but I am oh, so close to the toe!

Yarning Along with Ginny from Small Things  http://www.gsheller.com

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Seeking Solace

I love quiet. I find it hard to think of a moment when I thought it was too quiet. When I am in need of comfort I immediately wish that I was in a quiet corner by myself. In the quiet moments I can think, read, write, create.

Last week there was no quiet. There was noise and more noise and more noise. I felt as though I were going crazy, truly losing my mind. And that is why, after a week of seeking, I cherish these quiet moments when they happen.

imageWriting with http://www.writealm.com

 

Life is Fragile

I am a La Leche League Leader.  Once a month I am lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with some wonderful mamas and their beautiful babies.  Often we are supporting the new moms through some difficulty with breastfeeding or related topic.  Last nights meeting was rare with many of the moms having two or three kids.

After sharing many thoughts and ideas about the Art of Breastfeeding talk turned to how fleeting those early days are.  There were two new moms with a perfect 5 week old and a gorgeous 6 week old.  The favorite saying of the night was “The days are long, but the years are short.”

And so comes to how fragile life is.  You are handed a precious bundle, perfect in every way and you are now responsible for someone else’s life.  You can’t imagine making it through the first week, let alone keeping this little thing alive for years.  And then you blink and there is a tall, handsome young man standing in front of you.

Life is fragile.  It comes and goes so fast.  And in the meantime we forget to cherish the little moments.  I’m guilty of that today.  Constantly asking, demanding, screaming for a little quiet… and then they will be gone and it will be too quiet.

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Writing along with http://writealm.com/