Saturday, September 29, 2007


God had made Heaven and the Earth and all the Angels and all the extra important Angels, called Archangels. One Archangel was called Gabriel. He was the one that God sent to tell Mary that she was to become the mother of Jesus. Another Archangel was called Michael. Michael was "the Angel of the Lord", who was sent to Moses and Jacob and Abraham and to other people throughout the history of the world. Another Archangel was Lucifer, who was so beautiful that the other Angels called him the Son of the Morning.

One day Lucifer said to himself: "Why should God be the most important person in Heaven? Why, shouldn't I be? I am just as Important as God, and I shan't do what He tells me ever again. I shall fight Him and have Heaven for mine!"
So, Lucifer went around Heaven, and he collected a lot of other Angels who also didn't want to be less Important than God, until he had a Great Army. Then they marched up to the Throne of God and said Proudly: "We are just as Important as You. Why should You be the King of Heaven any more than one of us? We are Strong and Proud and Beautiful, and we will fight You for the Kingdom of Heaven." God looked at them; then He said: "Lucifer, I created all things and I created you to be an angel." Lucifer said "I'd rather not be in Heaven at all than have You for my King, and so would all of us!" And behind him all the Rebel Angels shouted with a great shout: "We will follow Lucifer! Long live Lucifer! Let him reign over us in Heaven! WE DO NOT WANT GOD!" "Very well," said God, "if you don't want Me, you needn't have Me. But, if you want to fight for Heaven, you can if you think it will be any good." Then, God called Michael the Archangel, and made him gather together a Mighty Army of Angels who were on God's side.

Then there was a Great Battle in Heaven--Michael and his Angels fighting with Lucifer; and, Lucifer fought, and his Angels fought; but, they did NOT win. And Michael drove Lucifer right out of Heaven, and he fell down, and down, and down to hell; and, all his bad angels were driven down after him, and as the last one disappeared from sight forever and the Gate of Heaven clanged shut, a great shout of rejoicing went up from Michael's Army.
But, what happened to Lucifer and his Rebel Angels? Well, he was so furious and enraged at having lost his Battle with God that he has never gotten over it. You see, he is never allowed inside Heaven anymore forever and ever and ever; and, now that he can't go into Heaven anymore, he is angry about it. So, in Revenge, he does everything horrible to God that he can. His worst feeling is Jealousy; whom do you suppose he is jealous of? Us! Why? Because when Jesus was crucified, He opened the Kingdom of Heaven for us to go in! So Lucifer, whose other name is Satan, or the Devil, is furious because we Ordinary People are allowed into Heaven, and he, an Archangel, is not. So, he and his angels (or demons) try always and always to stop us going into Heaven by giving us bad Ideas, and making us do things that we know are wrong, so as to hurt God. So, whenever you want to do or say something horrid, think of the Great Battle in Heaven and remember that it is Lucifer trying to keep you on his side. If you don't do or say it, you have won and have stayed on God's side.

St. Michael's Special Day is September 29th; it is the Feast of St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, and of All Angels, because of all the Angels who helped him win the Battle with Lucifer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Woo hoo! This is the first sign of fall in our yard! Bean was so excited. We've been keeping quite busy with park days and Irish dancing class. We also have a new Waldorf families group starting up, which I'm very excited about and Bean will start German next week!

We're preparing for our Michaelmas Celebration on Saturday. We'll make Norwegian pancakes for breakfast, to go along with our "Hungry Dragon" story and we'll have a big dinner that will include stuffing with apples and dragon bread. Dragon bread is just a regular yeasted bread (I'm using a recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book) formed into the shape of a dragon.

I've also been doing quite a bit of reading. Currently, I'm working on Melisa Nielsen's "A Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling-Kindergarten. " I also seem to find myself pouring through Donna Simmons' "Kindergarten With Your Three to Six Year Old," The Wynstone's Series' Autumn book and Annette Frontz's Seasons of Joy Autumn Curriculum quite regularly.

I love fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Waldorf Radio!

Yes, you read that right. Melisa Nielsen, of A Little Garden Flower, has begun live web-radio shows every Saturday. She has some awesome topics planned. I think, for most Waldorf homeschoolers, a huge chunk of their community is virtual and I think this is such a great way to bring that community together. We can become the WWW- The World Wide Waldorf! LOL! Ok, that's my term. Please don't blame Melisa for my corny Waldorf jokes - I told you in my very first post that I am a Steiner geek, so don't look so surprised. ;) ;)

Anyway-check them out!

Also, Melisa has really great resources on her site. I have the Kindy and First Grade books and they're wonderful!

Journey North

Today was our very first Clover Buds meeting and Bean had a blast! They learned all about the Monarch butterfly and she coloured a monarch butterfly and our Clover Buds group will be sending them to students in Mexico. In the spring, those students will send them back to us. How cool is that??!! My little Bean was a Monarch butterfly fanatic by the time we left. When she came home and told her Daddy all about the Monarch migrating to Mexico. She told him they started out as caterpillars but them formed a chrysalis and put on their butterfly clothes and when he came out he was a butterfly. She told him how butterflies have long tongues, like straws and they curl them up when they fly. Then we went on line and registered with Journey North to report the scores of Monarch butterflies who have been dining at our butterfly bush over the last few days. We probably counted 10 of them at one time yesterday and, of course, there was nothing to do but run to the window and check as soon as we got home from Clover Buds. Sure enough - three beautiful orange and black visitors! Have I mentioned recently how much I love homeschooling -and not just because she gets to learn all this neat stuff, but because I get to experience it with her!
I think maybe tomorrow we'll do a main lesson book / nature journal of sorts. Bean can draw a picture of a monarch butterfly and then I'll write down all the wonderful things she remembers about them.
Oh - and for anyone who is interested, here is the link to Journey North:
Happy butterfly tracking!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love

you have to find the courage to live it.

This has been a week of soul searching, so to speak. Though we had a nice week of homeschooling, so much of it felt disengenuine. (Is that one of my made up, "trust-me-I-was-an-English-major" words? If so, forgive me and chalk it up to my path-forging creativity, please. =) =) ) I really had to stop and reevaluate what kind of homeschooler I was and what is important to me - and most importantly, what I wanted for my little Bean.

I found out about Waldorf two years before Bean was born and fell in love with it in a heartbeat. I just knew that this beautiful, gentle, magical educational philosophy was the environment I wanted for my children. Then, of course, you have children and it's time to "start school." Droves of my friends and relatives children are off to KINDERGARTEN. This is when you start to question - well, I was forced to question an educational philosophy that advocates no formal learning before age 7. That's two years away. Two years of relatives and friends discussing what their children are doing in conventional school, making my husband convinced that Bean is falling behind. I begin to either look remiss as a homeschooling parent or lazy. Or totally nuts. Why isn't she reading? doing math? Such and such is learning this. Shouldn't Bean be learning that by now?

The parade of future questions was a bit overwhelming. So I took time to examine what I thought to be important for my child, as far as her education is concerned. The conclusions I came up with were as follows:

1. She LOVES to learn.

2. She is allowed to learn at her own pace, free from the pressures of what "everyone else" is doing.

3. She is a creative, happy, KID, who loves to run and laugh and get dirty and tell stories and play.

I could go on, but that's really enough. This week, I remembered what made me fall in love with Waldorf in the first place. Childhood is a beautiful, magical, amazing time of wonder that flies by in a flash. It should be cherished. Childhood is where we get our inner strength from, our character, our outlook on life, our ability to hope and dream and become, and it is gone in a blink, no matter what we do to try and slow that down. So, what I realized is - what is the rush??!! Higher math at 5 years old, drilling writing, numbers, even geography and science. What are we rushing them towards? Adulthood will come, bringing with it bills and jobs and insurance payments and co-workers who drive you nuts and credit card debt and all that stress that comes with it. Why are we rushing children through childhood? So they can sit in traffic that much sooner. So we can educate the magic and wonder of childhood right out of them? You know what, adulthood is lurking just around the corner and it will be here far too quickly. In my opinion, an amazing childhood is one of the best gifts I can give my children and I just think higher math and reading can wait a bit longer while she plays with dolls and tells stories and gets dirty and climbs trees. That was my week.

A mother and friend from one of my online groups has this quote in her signature and when I saw it this week, it really seemed to encapsulate my week of introspection, so I thought I would fly it as my banner, my mantra and my battle cry.

If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

In the Beginning

What a productive homeschool day! =)=) Bean is so excited, every morning, to see what we will be doing. Today, among other things, we read the Creation Story and made beeswax animals. Bean made a turtle and he turned out super cute! We even conned Daddy into making a fish! Beeswax is great for little people just beginning to write because it strengthens their fingers.

We began a new book, "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World," and I am anxiously awaiting notice that several other apple - themed books I have requested from the library are ready for pick up. Bean is ready to make apple pie and apple cake and apple sauce. She is steadily eating her way through the apples we picked at the orchard, so we better get busy cooking something before they are all gone!

Friday, September 7, 2007

5 days all in a row - like chocolate chips!

Our first week of homeschool comes to a close! I have to say that I have really had a good time with my little Bean. Today we finished up the 5 senses, began to make our 5 senses book -- she drew a copy of my ear in it and I must say I'm impressed! We practiced her alphabet and numbers, read a story, did some chocolate chip math - YUM! for everyone involved. Then she coloured a bit. Just to reinforce the visual connection between writing and reading from left to right, she coloured some shapes I drew out, from left to right, in order. She discusses this with me as she colours, because we don't call her "Princess Constant Chatter" for nothing.

She began by colouring the edges of the shapes and as she filled them in, she noted the different shapes she was creating inside the original shapes and the colours she was using. "This is kind of a yellow green. That one is a yellow green too, but it is more green than yellow. This one looks like pickles in a jar." Then she composed a song, as she coloured, about pickles in a jar high up on a shelf. Finally, for the last shape, she said "I'm going to colour this one my favourite colour, periwinkle --which she found right away. As she coloured in the oval, she said "Huh. I made a trapezoid. A trapezoid in my periwinkle oval."

Funny little Bean. You see why I love homeschool?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Apple Pickin' Bean!

TONS of fun today!! We went apple picking with another homeschooling family. Bean picked a full half bushel BY HERSELF. If you ask her, she'll tell you its because she's in kindergarten now. I think we each ate at least three apples a piece in the orchard - they were that good. We're planning to make applesauce and the apple cake recipe from the book we're reading. Bean would like to can some and store them in the attic so we'll have apples all winter. I guess all our"Little House" reading has made quite an impression.

A little note for those gasping at the picture -- (Hi Mom. Hi Doodle) -- she's not nearly as high up as she looks. =) =)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Yesterday my little Bean formed all of her letters with these very cool wooden pieces from the program "Handwriting Without Tears." Can't speak about the actual program, since all we have done is play with the letters. She's having a blast. She's written the alphabet out each morning and I can already see improvement after only 3 days! September is a review month for us and letters and numbers are things she already knows a bit about. We won't start any new stuff until October.

We also read a beautiful story called "The Apple Cake" today and Bean and I both loved it. Apples is something we're focusing on in September. I'm currently making several felt trees, followed by a woodsman and a fairy, so I can begin telling her "The Story of the Honest Woodsman" ASAP - I love this story also, but I just learned about it two days ago, so my props department is behind. =) =)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

School Year's Resolutions

Kelly over at Pass the Torch: homeschooling bloggers to write out our school year's resolutions, so here goes:

1. To do my very best to make sure that, no matter what, my little Bean will stay as excited about homeschool as she is right now.

2. To remember learning is not a marathon or a sprint, its the most awesome road trip of all time. The ultimate "It's not about the destination, its about the journey."

3. To stick to my Waldorf beliefs and WHY I know Waldorf is the best choice for our family, regardless of what *insert random child's name* is doing in kindergarten, or beyond, for that matter.

4. To keep in mind there was no workbook or curriculum or "drills" to teach my sweet little one year old LoveBug how to walk, and yet, within two short months, she has gone from wobbling to RUNNING.

5. To cherish these girls' childhoods and the gift that they are to us all - even on days I am considering sending them to a military academy. =) =)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Bean's First Day of Kindergarten

Shoes not required.

We began kindergarten with a candle lighting and a verse, then a circle and a story. Next, a bit of letters and a bit of writing and finished off the day by building a log cabin for Mary and Laura (we are three books into the Little House Series) closed with a circle and Bean went downstairs to the playroom with a Trader Joe's bag full of silks. I've heard some wooden blocks noises and some singing, as her kindergarten journey is off and running!!

Ahead for September:

- apple picking, apple crafts, making butter, celebrating Michaelmas (The first of our fall festivals. Its a Waldorf thing - I wouldn't miss them for anything!), forming numbers out of beeswax, Bible stories, a bit more letters and writing and some chocolate chip math. =D =D

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

We had such a wonderful morning at the park, celebrating with one of our fellow homeschoolers as she crossed the rainbow bridge. Crossing the rainbow bridge is a beautiful Waldorf ceremony signifying a child's moving from Kindergarten to the lower grades. Many Waldorf schools call it a Rose Ceremony, where the 8th graders buddy up with a rising first grader and present them a rose. Four years later, when those 8th graders graduate, the first graders (now 4th graders) present them with roses during the commencement ceremony. I love Waldorf and all of its beautiful ceremonies and festivals!!!

So, we met at this beautiful park not far from our houses and decorated one of the wooden bridges with silks of every colour. Molly wore a wreath of fresh flowers in her hair and carried a beautiful cosmo flower from her garden. Before she crossed, I told her what an exciting time it was to be entering first grade, how it becomes her responsibility to pass on what she learns to children who are younger than she is (she has 2 little sisters) and how I hope she always loves to learn. Then as we sang, she crossed the bridge from me and the younger children on one side, to her Mama waiting for her on the other side.

"Red, orange, golden, yellow and green,

The prettiest sight you've ever seen.

Blue and violet, shades to behold,

Heavenly wisdom before us unfold"

Bean thought it was great and can hardly wait until it's her turn.