Monday, April 25, 2011

EARTH Week in review ...

Whew.  I should probably try posting at another time because I am spent.  Spending all day outside in the Florida sun with lots of children and games can really wear a Momma out (today was Field Day at our homeschool co-op)!  But, we've got family-time plans all weekend, so if I don't do it now, I probably won't do it at all.  So, please forgive me if any of this doesn't make sense or this isn't my best work!  My brain is a bit fried.  :-)

All in all we had a pretty fantastic week.  This week was all about Mother Earth (in honor of Earth Day today).  It was a pretty relaxed week and felt (for the most part) centered and calm.  I'm really learning that steady progress is better than none at all and that peace is much better than attempts at perfection.  I make plans, but only so that I have some ideas up my sleeve and we have some form of direction.  But, those plans must always be flexible!  And, I must always be able to bend and throw the plans out the window if need be.  My mantra in homeschool is "Peace not perfection".  It's taken me almost two years to learn it, but I'm finally becoming very relaxed and natural and not so hard on myself!  And, it feels awesome!


Fast forward to today ... Monday ... I told you I shouldn't have been trying to blog on Friday!  Hahaha ... 

Well, let me try to start this again.  

LAST Week's Week In Review:


Earth Week ~ Earth Day, Mother Earth

What got put aside for later:

Math ~ I may have mentioned in a previous post that I was attempting to teach math together for my 6 and 8 year old.  Then, I had second thoughts on that because I didn't want to rush my youngest or bore my oldest.  Well, I didn't quite get it all ironed out in my mind before the start of the week, so I set it aside.  I decided to go back to one of the things I do like about the Waldorf method (as my "Our Homeschool" page will tell you, I don't subscribe 100% to any one philosophy ~ I like to take what I like from each and blend them into my own) ~ Blocks.  I'm not totally sure how it will all pan out yet, but I did decide to break it back into blocks.  I'm going to focus on a Language and Nature block first (for about three weeks), then a good four week Math block.  I will probably combine my Singapore Math lessons with the Arithmetic Village during that block, using both methods to really nail down the addition and subtraction facts (for the Hippie ... still not sure how I want to proceed with the Princess ... more to come).  Then, we can hit another Language block and go back to another four week math block to really start working on the multiplication/division facts ... I'll let you know how that all works out.

What we DID do this week:

Some of the things we did this week in honor of Earth Day were to:

Pick up trash in our neighborhood on our daily walks

Watercolor paintings of the Earth

Made a vegan Earth Day Pie which was simply divine!

Made Earth Day bookmarks
The Hippie made a girl out of a recycled paper bag

The Hippie made a "Trash Monster" (to carry on the walks & put her picked up garbage in)

the TRASH MONSTER that she made

The girl she made out of a paper bag ... check the RECYCLE shirt she's wearing!

Earth Day Pie ... Kiwi continents & Blueberry oceans

Book Marks for Earth Day ... Princess says "One Love" with her finger :-)

This week's story:

Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson

This was such a beautiful tale.  We used this as our main story for the week, and sort of followed a Waldorf three-day rhythm with it.  We read it on Monday and the girls narrated it back to me (ala Charlotte Mason).  On Tuesday, we recalled the story and the Hippie and I illustrated our 'cover pages' for the story into our Main Lesson Books (MLB).  The Hippie also wrote a short summary of what the story meant to her.  At the request of the Princess, we read the story again.  On Wednesday, we recalled the story again and all three of us drew pictures that would remind us of the story.  The Hippie also chose to copy a quote about the earth in her MLB next to her illustration.  Overall, I think the story had a great impact on the girls.  They told Daddy all about it, and we discussed many times how God created everything in perfect balance and that we need not change a thing.  Here's a peek at some of the MLB pages ...
Momma's Cover Page

Momma's Illustration

The Hippie's Cover Page

The Hippie's Illustration

The Hippie's Summary

Quote the Hippie copied

The Princess's Illustration

 What happened besides the story:

The ladies watched more TV than usual this week, but all could be considered part of school!  They watched Electric Company on Monday, two Magic School Bus episodes on Tuesday (one about Ants, the other about Bees), a School House Rock Grammar video on Wednesday and a couple of Wild Kratts episodes on Thursday (have I mentioned how much they LOVE Wild Kratts?)  The Hippie copied another quote about the earth into her journal, wrote a thank you letter to her grandmother (complete with addressing the envelope, placing the stamp and putting it in the mailbox), did a couple more Mad Libs and an Earth Day Words Search.  Both girls did Mindbenders and perused the book basket throughout the week.  The Hippie continued work on a teddy bear she's making, read Absolutely Not to the Princess, read Earth Day by Linda Lowery during one of the "quiet times" and made some toys for the animals.  I don't believe the Hippie made any more progress in Caddie Woodlawn ... I'm not sure if she doesn't care for the story or if we're back to reading being a chore, but it is certainly on my radar!  We'll have to work on that. We also finished The Seven Year Old Wonder book ... now, to decide on our next read aloud ... hmmm.

Thoughts on what's to come:

I have a couple of things on my mind for what's coming up next.  The Hippie and I will be spending the next three weeks on St. Francis.  I think this will mesh nicely with some bird watching and nature study on birds.  I'm planning for us to make a bird feeder (you know, the simple one where you spread peanut butter in a pine cone and roll it in bird seed), make a St. Francis out of wood and felt, make a wolf (for the St. Francis and the Wolf story) and some birds (for the stories that have to do with St. Francis and birds) out of sculpy, act out some of the stories with these handmade objects, copy two St. Francis poems/prayers into her MLB, etc. We'll be doing the Bird nature study together as a family and I think they will both enjoy that.  
The Princess has requested that we go back to making these cards I was doing last semester where I would write a letter on it, she'd trace the letter with glue and then stick tiny pink beads on it ...
She also wants to model the letters with clay again ... So, I'll be breaking that stuff back out.  
I'll leave you with some pictures from our FIELD DAY at our homeschool co-op last Friday.  The girls had so much fun, as did I.  I was so proud of them!  It was hot, sunny and so many kids got grumpy and didn't want to participate.  But, my girls made me proud.  They did each and every game, no complaints.  And, enjoyed it!  Here you go ...

 See you next week ....


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