Saturday, February 2, 2008

A bit of an update

Well, I have been looking into curriculum. If anyone has any advice to offer - I would appreciate it.

Sonlight - I just wasn't thrilled about this one.

Abeka - Nope. I didn't like the idea of sending Bean's work in for them to grade or the fact that the Bible portion of this curriculum is delivered via dvd by Mrs Bear. Finally, my Grandmother - whose opinion in regards to everything that has to do with children I treat as if Moses brought it down from the mountian - doesn't like it. She is a pioneer in the field of early childhood education. She speaks all over the country. She is simply amazing. I could start a whole blog on this subject alone. She said that it is almost all workbooks and that's not what kids need at all.

I also attended a meeting for a curriculum called Classical Conversations. Classical Education with a Christian focus. I'm going to attend an open house to see this in action. I feel I need to explore every option.

At home this week, I drug out the math workbook. Bean was thrilled. I thoought we could do a page or two. We did six pages and she would have kept going except I suggested we take a break and make brownies. Brownies? Math what? Workbook who? That's my girl!

We "did homeschool" every day this week. We read a Bible lesson out of this amazing book:
Egermeier's Bible Story Book, A Complete Narration from Genesis to Revelation for Young and Old. (My Grandmother's suggestion and, of course, it's awesome.) We have the 1939 printing and it is a treasure. Anyway, we read a story and I have found awesome printables online to go with them. We read the Creation story, she coloured a picture for what God created on each of the 6 days and then one for resting on the 7th day. Gotta love free, online resources! The next day we read the story again and looked at her beautiful colouring pages. Then she made a title page for her series, writing "God Made the World." She was so proud. The last day she drew her own Creation picture. We worked on numbers and she picks things up SO quickly. We read lots of books and played. One morning she asked why there was water on the inside of the windows. (Love Bug has a cold and we use a vaporizer for her at night.) So we discussed the whole water to steam and back to water thing. She wanted to know more. So I did a quick online search and found (again, love those printables!) colouring pages for the water cycle. She was so eager to discuss them and colour them for me. She wrote out another title page "The Water Cycle." It really spoke to her heart.

Now, her behaviour for me during the day. It's been awesome. She is getting over a cold and gets tired and cranky in the afternoons - yet refuses to sleep when I send her to her room to rest - however, out mornings have been wonderful. As soon as I put Love Bug down for a nap, Bean wants to do homeschool. Her manners are so wonderful, she is more patient with her sister. She is a happier kid!

I am still convinced I can marry her need for more academics with my love of Waldorf. I think the "head, heart and hands," philosophy is crucial - now more than ever, so she doesn't get too much into her head. We'll keep water colour painting and beeswax modelling. She loves to fingerknit and draw and explore outside and bake. Carefully, I can see how this will work and be a beautiful thing and will still meet her where she is.

Thanks to everyone who commented. I very much appreciate the support! I'll keep you posted!


tamlovesran said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful week. How great it must be to have a grandmother to turn to for advice on homeschooling.


Patience said...

It sounds like you've struck upon what she really needs. Congratulations on such good Mummying!

May I make a suggestion? I hesitate to do this because I don't want to be rude or sound like Miss Know-It-All. But I was thinking about how to merge worksheets and Waldorf, and wondering - do you think you have time for her to draw her own pictures rather than have her colour in? If not, do you think she would like colouring the pages (rather than the pictures on the pages) with watercolour paint to express the feelings they bring to her?

Something I do when I have time is go through all the printed material I have and make worksheets for my dd. This means I take paper that has already been painted with watercolours (wet on wet) - I do stacks of them at a time - and I write the worksheet questions out in pretty writing. It seems to soften things somehow. But it is extra work for the teacher so not always possible. At the moment I write out lesson questions on little illustrated cards and have her write her answers in her books. (I do them in pencil so I can keep re-using them!)

I also had my dd do mini-projects after she had mastered her worksheets. For example, with the water cycle I might have her make a poster or do a mini-experiment in the kitchen. I try to find some way to bring hand-work into the lessons if I can.

Please excuse me saying all of this. Its just that I've also tried to marry my Waldorf sentiments with my child's need for academics, so I can sympathise with what you're doing.

Poppy & Mei said...

Excellent! I'm really enjoying reading about this...Xxx

Merriconeag - Place of Easy Passage said...

Thank you all!

Patience - We're definitely going to get into doing more than just having her colour the pictures. I think its a great resource for her right now because she LOVES to colour and it seems to work well as a stepping stone towards learning. However, I totally agree with what you said. In fact, I was already thinking ahead to a beautiful blue water colour painting and having her drawing Noah's ark in there - to bring home the idea of the vastness of the water and still merge my two homeschooling philosophies. Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful support and feedback!!