Waldorf Education (continued)

A couple weeks ago I started a series on Waldorf Education. As someone experimenting with some changes in my families homeschool I read quite a bit about Waldorf and talked a bit about it. I shared several negative thoughts about the method in that post.

I wanted to continue by sharing some Waldorf ideas that I like. The main thing that drew me to Waldorf was the idea of the main lesson block. The idea of this is to focus on one subject, yes ONE, for an extended period of time, usually 2-4 weeks. To the more organized and rigid homeschoolers this may sound a bit nuts, but I encourage anyone to read up on the idea and I have come to be quite fond of it. For example you may spend two weeks on science, followed by four weeks on math, then two weeks on grammar. All of these subjects are approached in a much more hands on, involved method than traditional schooling.

The second thing I like is the heavy focus on art, there is a lot of drawing, and painting used in the Waldorf method in ALL subjects. My children love art and they probably would love doing this.

Another thing I like is the focus on nature. I am a big advocate for being in nature, and really just being outside in general. I make an effort each day to get my kids outside, just exploring around and and also for physical activity. However, I still think they are indoors way too much, as is most of the general population.

Lastly, I like the idea of using fairy tales and fables to teach moral values. I know this is common in other methods as well. As a christian, the bible is the ultimate source for this, however it is nice to have other sources to reinforce biblical values.

Thanks for reading,

J.

Weekly Wrap-up Week 9

20141022_103532Let’s see…..

Sunday, church as usual. We went to my parents, and the kids helped in the garden, dug up bulbs, raked some leaves. I happily stayed inside with a blanket and some coffee!

Monday, another big cleaning day for me. It was a lot of work but kind of nice to have the house stay pretty clean all week. I did a super clean on Monday, and then basically wrote up some chores for myself during the week. It worked out well I think. The kids pretty much just hung out and played.

Tuesday, we did lots of academics. I made a very long list of things to be done, and we trudged through them all. In the afternoon, we took our bikes to a park with a trail, where the kids rode and played for awhile.

Wednesday, we attended Keepers of the Faith in the morning. The firemen came and we got to see inside the truck, and that was all pretty fun. After lunch, we watched some movies, I read our bible devotions, a chapter from S.O.T.W., a chapter from a book we are reading about Bats, and then we went to the indoor park (it’s been a very rainy day). I insisted on a page of handwriting from each of the kids. We dropped off library books, and then went to church for practice.

Thursday, we did reading and math. Then we did a science experiment about air/matter. We watched some videos about force and work on youtube. Then we did an art project, about different types of lines. The kids spent a lot of time this week designing lego minifigures.

Friday, let’s see math, reading and piano for the boy. Math, reading, and phonics for the girl. We attempted to have lunch outside, but there was bees. So we ate in, and then went out to play in the sandbox, then down to the park for awhile. When we came in, they requested to watch x-men. I worked on dinner. We all got ready and went to church for a special children’s service. All the kids did great! After, we went to get milkshakes.

And now, it’s Saturday at noon. I haven’t done much yet besides drink coffee! Ha. The kids want to go play outside, and I plan on us getting our activity sheets done from SOTW. Hope you all had a great week!

God Bless!

J.

Weekly Wrap-up Oct 12th-18th

20141016_12090420141018_12072020141016_09482620141012_143904Sunday, we went to church in the morning, and then afterwards we stopped at the fire station for their open house. We rode on the fire truck, got to squirt the hoses, play on the moonbounce, and some other fun things. Afterwards, we stopped by to visit my parents, and then back to church for service.

Monday was a lazy day for me, I did accomplish some laundry and grocery shopping though. The boy helped his Dad outside with yardwork, and we all played some Wii.

Tuesday was back to school. We started a new schedule I am still not happy with. We read a book about a fire house, watched a short fire-safety video on you-tube, colored some pictures from Smokey the Bear, stopped; dropped; and rolled,  and  crawled under(fake) smoke. Fire safety homeschool requirement complete! Yay. In the afternoon, we spent some time at the park, the girl went to pick up her cousin from preschool, and the boy and I went to sign – language class. It was so fun, I think he really liked it. Later, we rode bikes until dark and then played 2 rounds of Memory game, and Trouble.

Wednesday morning we ventured out to our first meeting for Keepers of the Faith. The kids had a great time. Little man has already created and illustrated a story for next week’s show and tell. I read Pinocchio over lunch, we did some math and language things, and watched a Water Cycle video. I’ll have to come up with how we will be scheduling Wednesdays now. Outside it was seriously pouring, so we headed to our favorite indoor park, and took a trip to the dollar store.

Thursday morning we dawned rainboots and coats and took a short walk down to the creek. We found cool leaves, three slugs, a worm, and a caterpillar, and we decided to keep them for a few days. We read about Christopher Columbus, and the girl and I tried our hand at pillow math today. Later, we headed out to chess club at the library, and then had bible study at church.

Friday, we had a rough start with some bad attitudes to boot. I decided to “let it go”……we took a break and I made a pot of soup, the kids watched a Peep Finds video. Little man got a haircut, and we covered some math and language arts in the afternoon, then a piano lesson for him as well. The girl and I did reading and math. Later we went to the park, and then church.

Saturday, we woke up late! We had our pancake breakfast, read our devotion, did chores, and piano practice for the boy, reading for the girl. Then we headed down to the last Farmer’s Market this year. The kids did some fun crafts, and we stopped at the park on the way back.

That’s all folks. Hope your week was grand.

J.

Some thoughts on Waldorf Education

Recently,  I have been having a bit of an issue with  one; coming up with a rhythm that works for us, and two; finding a more engaging way of doing things. I realized that some things we are doing just aren’t working, not so much the curriculum I have chosen but more of the method and order we have been using.

So, once again I find myself praying for God’s guidance in what we should be doing, what resources we should be using and methods of teaching. As, I browsed through the blogosphere I came across Waldorf Education. Now, Waldorf is not new to me, I had come across it several times over the past few years.

Waldorf is a beautiful method of education, very artsy, creative, hands on, and slow on introduction to academics. However, there is one major problem with Waldorf. I am a christian! Waldorf is far from the Christian education I wish to pass on to my children. There are many elements of Waldorf I just can not accept. Rudolf Steiner, the creator of Waldorf, believed in reincarnation, and contact with the “spirit world” among other things. If you take a look at many of the songs/verses used across Waldorf Curriculums, they are practically praising nature, the sun, the moon, and “mother” earth. They also celebrate many pagan holidays, right along with Christian ones. All of these things were what had turned me away from Waldorf before. But for some reason, I kept on reading.

Looking past the spirituality of it, the method has many tactics that are very creative, and useful. There are several things that I may consider incorporating into my homeschool. If you have an artsy, creative, hands-on type child, parts of this method may be something to consider.

If you are currently using the Waldorf method, I encourage you to really look at what you are doing/saying in your curriculum. Remember that God is a jealous God! Weed out what isj bad and keep what is good.

As you have read, Waldorf is certainly not christian. However, as I mentioned earlier there are good elements. In my next post, I will go over these elements and talk about how we can use these methods to glorify God in our homes and children.

God Bless!

J

Weekly Wrap-Up BREAK WEEK

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Okay, I’m getting serious now about this weekly wrap-up stuff now!

This is a recap of the past week, which was actually a break week, but we still did a lot of stuff.

Here we go….

Sunday: We went to Sunday School in the morning, and the kids had a rehearsal for an upcoming occasion. After church, I picked up some things from the store, and then the kids played outside with the neighbors, and rode their bikes, we grilled burgers and watched football, and then went back to church for the evening service.

Monday: I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning the house and doing laundry. I took darling daughter to the park before heading off to a dentist appointment, and the much anticipated escalator rides. Yup, they just love that escalator….

october 6 028october 6 035october 6 036   On Tuesday, we spent most of the morning playing in the backyard. The kids made mud pies and rock huts and I finished reading my book. We also did some fall leaf prints. After lunch, we drove over to visit my grandparents. The kids had a fun time picking up acorns for a whopping 1 cent each.

On Wednesday, we spent the morning indoors. I did some school planning on the computer, they worked on their Lego stop motion, and made videos on the LeapPad. In the afternoon, we headed to a different park then usual where the kids mostly collected leaves and jumped in them. In the evening we went to the library to return/check out books and attended the story hour.

Thursday and Friday were both kind of slow days. We pretty much stayed home, the kids played outside, rode bikes, the boy had a piano lesson, and we went to the park again. We watched too many movies….the Lego movie, Frozen, the Lorax- and X-men. Friday night the kids sang at church.

On Saturday, the much anticipated Fall Fest got rained out. So, we found out about a Star Wars Reads Day at the library, the kids played games, and attacked each other with lightsabers. Later that afternvoon we visited the grandparents, and that’s a wrap.

Simple Chili

20141008_13380120141008_124103Awaking to brisk fall air this morning…..I immediately felt the urge to whip up a big pot of chili! I like to make a simple pot of chili with very little spice so my kids just might eat it, it’s simple to make and ready in about 30 minutes.

Step 1. Turn a pot on to medium heat, add a small amount of olive or coconut oil.

Step 2. Chop up a large onion and a large bell pepper, and throw it in the pot with a pound of ground meat (turkey, beef, pork, venison, whatever you got). Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat, if necessary.

Step 3. Add in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and two cans of beans (kidney, pinto, black, canellini, garbanzo, any kind is fine). Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 4. Stir in salt, pepper and desired spice. I use a small amount of chili powder. You can add cayenne, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, it really depends who you are cooking for. Stir it up, and dish it out, and enjoy!

God Bless!

J.

Weekly Wrap-Up Sept 22nd-October 3rd

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Well the first week feautured in this post the kids were sick, so I really don’t have much. However school continued through. Books were read, and we made sugar cube pyramids for our unit in Egypt, and my daughters room finally got oranized! I had to take a picture because this may not last…..but so far so good! We had to miss a birthday party, and wedding anniversary because the kids were under the weather….so on to week two.

On Sunday, we celebrated my Moms birthday….we had fun with family and the boy got to play chess, so he was happy.

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After spending lots of time indoors last week, we spent extra time outside this week. Yes, I agree my photography skills need some work…….

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We took an impromptu trip to pet store to see some animals……

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On Wednesday, we attended a class at the library, where the kids made homemade glow in the dark slime and decorated cupcakes. We had an awesome time sticking magnetic letters into it at night and then reading the words in the glowing slime.

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We had several things at church over the weekend, and we went mini-golfing on Saturday with friends, however I have no pictures because I left my phone in the car. Anyway, we are officially done Term 1 of homeschooling for the year! So this upcoming week will be break week!

God Bless!

J.