Friday, October 14, 2011

wrapping it up

well, these pictures didn't really post in the order that i wanted them to , and i don't know how to change it, and i'm too tired to reload them. so, i now present to you a jumbled-up version of our friday afternoon! ha! the boys were feeling a lot better today, not 100%, but i'd say they had at least 95% of their ENERGY back :-) dillon did quite a bit of schoolwork today, making up for lost time earlier in the week. here he is blowing off some steam when it was all done.

on monday we began our block on the ohlone indians and learned about what kind of food they ate. today we talked about their homes and some of their most important tools and weapons. our main resource for this block is a book called "the ohlone way" by malcolm margolin.

here's a cute shot of micah "after school". after circle time this morning, we briefly reviewed the letters a-f that we have learned so far. then we read (his choice) "peter in blueberry land". such a sweet story; i LOVE elsa beskow's books! afterward, he asked if he could draw a picture about it and it was so darn cute! later in the afternoon he and elijah were playing with puzzles and little chalkboards while dillon worked on his ohlone main lesson book page. micah was using his magnetic melissa and doug chalkboard that has alphabet and number magnets. when he called me over to the couch to show me what he was doing, i saw that he was arranging all the numbers and letters we have worked on in school as well as his name.
elijah played with this alphabet puzzle for a bit. he was really checking out the little pictures under each letter and looked so cute, i just kept on snapping pictures!

i mean, LOOK at those adorable chubby little arms! and the knuckle dimples!

and, of course, the tongue. sticking it out helps you concentrate, right?

{this moment}

joining soulemama

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the big boys haven't been feeling well this week, so today we took things pretty easy. here's micah's triangle collage he made as we went over #3. before this, we just had circle, talked about things that come in 3s (many nursery stories: 3 bears, 3 pigs, 3 billy goats... 3 brothers in our family, red, gold and green rasta colors...), and played with pattern blocks and big wooden beads.

elijah enjoyed the beads, too, especially the laces. it didn't take him too long to fashion a leash for his doggie!

dillon worked on his usual independent assignments and wrote a really sweet journal entry about our "friday group". for two years we were blessed to be a part of a group of waldorf homeschoolers that met on fridays. we miss it so much, but many of the families have moved on from homeschooling. the kids loved being free to hike around our friend's land and have all sorts of adventures together in the woods. they had even worked out some sort of elaborate "belt" system, kind of like in martial arts, although there were no actual belts and the highest were beyond colors, with name like tiger belt, or dragon belt. powerful stuff. such fond memories...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


this season is really moving right along! our days are full and focused. i thought i would try to keep somewhat updated here on what we are working on for school. the books above (wynstones autumn book, christopherus kindergarten with your 3-6 year old, and oak meadow's advanced recorder) are what we are using right now for music. dillon and i have been working our way through our recorder books reviewing and reinforcing what we've learned since first grade when we started with oak meadow's beginning recorder. last year we really didn't work on recorder much, so we needed some refreshing! the advanced book was from last year and we never got to it. so, right now, in preparation for martinmas, we are working on "saint martin", "i go with my little lantern", and "the sunlight fast is dwindling...". once we get more comfortable with the high e note, i'd like to include "glimmer, lantern, glimmer"--i love that one :-) dillon has really been into recorder and often picks it up and practices throughout the day. on michaelmas, he gave a little recital for the family out on the deck under the stars and played "a knight and a lady", and "bells of michaelmas", both of which we learned in second grade. he enjoyed the feeling of real mastery and understanding now that he can read music.

i posted our daily rhythm next to the table where we work (below our multiplication wheel from last year, which is being looked at less and less these days--yay!). it goes something like this:

  • breakfast & chores
  • micah's school time with mom
  • snack break (usually around 10:30)
  • dillon's school time with mom
  • play outside
  • lunch (noon)
  • quiet time
  • free play
  • snack (usually around 3:00)
  • afternoon activities
  • dinner & chores
  • bath/shower
  • snack, brush teeth, story
  • bedtime (7:30-8:00)

of course, now that activities with our homeschool program have started, it rarely looks like this because we have things happening away from home almost everyday. but it usually works out to jump in wherever we are once we return home. this week is particularly busy. micah has his class day on monday and then dillon has track in the late afternoon. tuesday is dillon's class day with a potluck in the evening. wednesday is track again. thursday they both have their spectra art class at school and david is leaving for a gig with soul majestic in santa barbara. finally, on friday we have a field trip to wilder ranch. phew! thankfully, not every week is this busy.

both boys are on lesson 7 this week. dillon will be learning about ohlone indians, planting some seeds he sprouted last week, learning about the size law of perspective drawing, and practicing his new songs on the recorder. we just started reading a book called "operation redwood" in preparation for a book club meeting we're going to check out this month at the hotel tree in henry cowell state park. dillon works on much of his language arts and math independently every day. in the morning, while i am working with micah, dillon writes in a journal, reads, practices his spelling words and does a page or two of math. this week he will be starting oak meadow's "indian legends", and continuing to review math concepts like roman numerals, greater and less than, multiplication and division with and without remainders. finally, for grammar we'll be working on common and proper nouns and learning to write a 3-sentence paragraph. wow! that sounds like a crazy amount of stuff! no wonder i'm so tired by the end of the day.

micah will be learning about the letter f this week with the help of mr. jeremy fisher (beatrix potter). we'll also do some more activities to reinforce the concept of the number 3 and hear a nature story about a duck named quark. we'll draw, paint, cut, paste, sing, stretch, play with playdough and beeswax, spend lots of time outside, and PLAY! i love kindergarten! micah's school time always begins with the lighting of a candle and singing songs, learning fingerplays and some yoga, jumping jacks, and movement games for circle time. elijah loves this part of the day, too. my favorite is when i hear him singing a song from circle time to himself later in the day. so cute! every week i use the same opening and closing verse and then choose 2-3 other songs or fingerplays that correspond to what we'll be learning that week, the season, or any holidays or festivals that are coming up. here's what our circle looks like for this week:

  • opening verse: morning has come
  • movement activities:
  • simon says- learning left and right
  • jumping jacks & stretches
  • song: clap with me 1, 2, 3- rhythm & reinforcing #3
  • fingerplay: five speckled frogs- letter f & jeremy fisher
  • soothing song: scarlet and yellow- mary thienes-shunemann
  • closing verse: i can be

before circle time, we all come together and talk about character qualities. i found a character lapbook resource on homeschool share that i am using as a springboard for our morning talks. at the end of last year we learned about the quality of cheerfulness. we began this school year learning about attentiveness and now we are working on obedience. at the end of the year, we will compile all of our mini books into our own character lapbook.

looking forward to another full, fun week of fall!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

school is in session

once again, there is much to catch up on since my last post! so much has happened. summer was wonderful, as always, and i savored every moment of it. we have celebrated three birthdays- dillon turned 10 in june, david's birthday was in august, and micah turned 6 in september. we spent lots of time at our creek and the beach; visited friends and family in santa barbara; enjoyed some live music from soul majestic; the boys were excited to enter a couple things in the county fair and collect their various ribbons; we made our annual trip to the boardwalk and even ventured to a big water park over the hill; and last, but certainly not least, we welcomed our newest and most favorite little neighbor into the world, miss aviva sophia. i'm sure i've left out many things. our school year is now in full swing and our days are feeling very full! dillon is in fourth grade and micah is in his second year of kindergarten. through their homeschool program they each have one full class day , an afternoon of art classes, and LOTS of fun field trips and family gatherings, including the fall camping trip a couple of weeks ago at henry cowell state park. so much fun!
this is our sixth year using the oak meadow curriculum. in fourth grade, dillon is learning about local geography. we began this block by choosing an area of our property to build a topographical model of. he, of course, chose his favorite spot at the creek. the picture above shows the creek with the beach, cave and hillside. now we are learning about local animals and this week will be making clay animals to add to the model. we are on lesson 6 and he has just completed his second assigned book, "the search for delicious". the first book was "stuart little". these are both pretty easy for him; he is a voracious reader. for free reading, he's recently become interested in the hardy boys series. over the summer he finished the harry potter series and many of the warriors books.

here is micah, proudly displaying his letter a bread from his first week of oak meadow kindergarten. he has really been enjoying all the stories we read "for school".
class picture 2011-2012

micah happily awaiting his slice of cake at his birthday gathering at sky park