Sunday, June 17, 2018

Saints Artwork

Photos of our artwork from the Saints stories we did this summer; here is the full list of Saints and art projects.

Saint Werburgh - a poured pulp handmade paper illustration of a Goose, inspired by Denise Fleming's illustration style, especially Barnyard Banter, and where the shape of the Goose makes a G as in L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z

Saint Joan d'Arc - colored pencil drawing of the beautiful sword from Archangel Michael (accented with gems from the costume jewelry bin and glitter glue)

Saint Kevin - wet felting over a raw egg (chicken, duck, peacock)

Saint Rose of Lima - watercolor painting of her bed and then adding salt (coarse sea salt, pink Himalayan rock salt, smoked sea salt from Mountain Rose Herbs) while the paint is still wet, so that it has the texture of the broken pottery and glass she slept on

Saint Jerome - block beeswax crayon drawing of a lion from Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach by Sieglinde de Francesca using only two primary colors:  yellow and red

Saint Francis - wool picture of "Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds" from Magic Wool: Creative Activities with Natural Sheep's Wool by Dagmar Schmidt & Freya Jaffke

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary - illustration with stamped celery heart roses using red paint (place the paper on a folded towel instead of a hard surface for best results when stamping)

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Picnic & Play: Peter in Blueberry Land

Just finished leading several workshops at the public library on the difference between Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia... also preparing for my Human Body summer camp to start next week... I need to get a little caught up on my Picnic & Play notes!

We are definitely going to do the "Springtime Garden Circle" by Laurie Clark next, because it's all about farmers and we've been all about visiting farms lately. And being outdoors. And just hanging out and playing. I'd like to get back into a more steady rhythm. Ideally, you find the perfect rhythm that makes you feel supported not restricted. And I did feel supported. I liked getting together with Zac every morning at 10 am to do something special.

Plus I'm tired of being intimidated by a real Waldorf Circle. The only way to know how it feels is to try one, the only way to get over being scared is to do one, and if Zac's too little, I'll know soon enough and then I'll wait a while before we try again. What's the big deal about that?

I'm not sure why I'm holding so much tension about this but it's time to face the beast.


June 13
Playdate, dragging a wagon all around the yard, sandbox play, going to Dayempur Farm to swing on the swings, reading I'm in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor and doing a watercolor painting of a rainbow, relaxing after dinner and eating ice cream sandwiches outside.

June 14
Playdate, tons of sensory fun, mucking about in the mud kitchen, reading Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow because we are planning to go blueberry picking, going hiking at Giant City State Park on the Nature Trail.

June 15
Reading Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, going to Greer's Lost Creek Blueberries, picking sun-warmed berries and eating them.

June 16
Going back to Shawnee Hills Lavender, cutting lavender and sitting in the shade and having a snack, going to a friend's house for a birthday party!

We've also been keeping track of all the places that have mulberry trees! Yes, the mulberries are ripe right now, but it's also nice to just know where the trees are in case we decide to raise silkworms in our Fibers & Clothing MLB this year. I've always wanted to do that! So far, we've found mulberries in Cannon Park where Tinkergarten meets, at Dayempur Farm right above the swingset, and in my neighbor's yard. So handy that neighbor with the persimmon tree lives right next to the neighbor with the mulberry bush.

A few pictures...
but first I want to say something about the activity of painting a rainbow.

This was interesting because I actually gave him an inexpensive Crayola paint box, with a variety of colors, and asked him to use all of them except the black. And I showed him to how paint a stripe which went from edge to edge. So this is more colors than is customary in Waldorf but I thought it would be interesting to see if he had the motor control to paint in stripes. He did. And then he covered most of the page in a green/blue, so I thought, oh, well, he's lost interest. But then when I went back to look at it and photograph it, that green/blue shade is the exact color of the sky in the story. So his painting looks astonishingly like the illustration in the book! He really did what I told him to do. See what you think... can you see it too?

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Summer Camp: The Human Body

I have a boatload of information on my website for this block, including essential books, lists of experiments, and more... plus I also have the series of detailed blog posts which I wrote during the course of this school year (below) so I won't repeat WHAT I'm going to do for camp here.

But I do need to rearrange things and decide WHEN I will do each system, to make it fit neatly into a two week summer camp.

Here are my thoughts for Camp:

Week One:

    Monday - The Great River and The Circulatory System

    Tuesday - Photosynthesis and The Respiratory System

    Wednesday - Farm Day

    Thursday - The Digestive System and The Urinary System, start yogurt

    Friday - The Teeth, field trip to SIU

Week Two:

    Monday - The Nervous System and The Eye

    Tuesday - The Vestibular System and The Ear

    Wednesday - Farm Day, The Endocrine System

    Thursday - The Skeletal System and The Muscular System

    Friday - The Integumentary System and The Immune System

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Capital Letters K and Q

K is for King
Q is for Queen

This is another great pairing. It's easy to find stories which feature both, and they make a similar sound so it's fun to feel them in your mouth. There are so many stories with Kings and Queens that you could really probably pick anything, but I'm fond of The Queen Who Couldn't Bake Gingerbread by Dorothy van Woerkom, illustrated by Paul Galdone.

We started today's tutoring session by adding F and G to the main lesson book. For F he just copied the word Feather, which I wrote for him (remember at this age that you're writing everything in capital letters because those are the shapes you've taught them so far). But for G he wrote his first-ever summary all on his own. It was "The goose had three eggs. I can't take my eyes off of them." Even though our story was not "The Goose Who Laid Golden Eggs," he saw them in the illustration from L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z and he wanted to put them in his piece of handmade paper. He also had a chick hatching out from the egg on the far right.

After adding his summaries, I showed him our two letters for today. K and Q. I have the set of laminated wall cards which correspond to the illustrations in L M N O P and I love them. I actually use them more often than the book. It's so nice to be able to display them side by side.

We read the poems for King and Queen from the backs of the cards and then we read the book The Queen Who Couldn't Bake Gingerbread. Then we headed to the Art Room to mix up a batch of Gingerbread Play Dough. We adapted a recipe I found online by adding more spices and making it even gingerbreadier. It's a really nice no-cook recipe and it only takes one bowl!

    The Gingerbreadiest Play Dough


  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Add

  • 4 tsp water
  • 4 T vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Add 4 T flour. Keep on adding flour, 1/2 tsp at a time, kneading after each addition, until your dough is no longer sticky. Makes 3 cups.

We ended the session with a Kingly board game, Enchanted Forest by Ravensburger (this is a great memory game; we have the original version).

Enchanted Forest

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