Saturday, October 16, 2021

Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling keeps coming up in my parent book club (current book: Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff), so I finally thought I'd look into it.

I basically spend ALL my time working -- and it drives my kids crazy! -- whether it's lesson planning for multiple main lesson blocks at a time, documenting all of my lessons taught, doing consulting phone or Zoom calls with homeschooling families, writing new pages for the website, creating new Ruzuku courses for different grade levels, or actually teaching children (which I do from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday through Thursday).

I do NOT do much self care. And I am NOT good at following through with personal goals such as exercising, sleeping enough, eating healthy food, spending relaxing time outdoors, and reading for fun. Or even showering every day! Adding something into my day like meditating feels completely out of the question. I'm exhausted all the time and I am ready for a change. I excel professionally. I struggle personally.

So, what is bullet journaling all about and can it help me?

Planner vs Bullet Journal: Which One Is the Right Choice for You?
blog post that clarified for me what bullet journaling is and what it is not

straight from the horse's mouth!
this introductory video is from Ryder Carroll, creation of the Bullet Journal

my first bullet journal, arrived yesterday

"My Ultimate Bullet Journal and How It Changed My Life"
by Stuart Carter
NOT classic bullet journaling but a lot of inspirational ideas for collections, and I especially love his goal tracker system (19:39)

    Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019 (5:00)

    Goals: Work, Rest, Play (6:46)

    Level 10 Life (8:20)
    1 - Family and Friends
    2 - Personal Development
    3 - Spirituality
    4 - Finances
    5 - Career
    6 - Marriage / Relationships
    7 - Fun in Life
    8 - Giving / Contribution
    9 - Surroudings
    10 - Health and Fitness

    I Am Grateful (9:41)

    Take a Moment: Affirmations, Quotes, Dream, Memories (10:05)

    Daily Routines: Good Morning, Good Night (10:53)

    10 New Activities Bucket List (11:45)

    The Books of 2019 (12:15)

    The Movies of 2019 (12:43)

    The Music of 2019 (13:00)

    Workouts (13:18)

    The Principles of Optimum Life Health (14:32)
    State - the core essence of who you are without fear (17:17)
    Trust / Faith

    My Year: 2019, A Year I Won't Forget (26:08)

    To Do List (30:06)

    Before You Start This... Have You Done This? (30:15)

    Travel Packing (30:26)
    Long Trips

    PayPal Bottle (30:40)

Can Bullet Journaling Save You?
The New Yorker - Sep 7, 2019
for one more little burst of inspiration!

I'd love to hear from anyone who is already bullet journaling! What resources helped you when you were setting it up? And how is it going? Just having a book that is for me and about me -- and isn't my teacher planbook -- feels incredibly liberating and powerful. I'm excited!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Favorite Resources for Creative Writing

In Waldorf, seventh graders do a block on Creative Writing which is called "Wonder, Wish, and Surprise." The very BEST book for this block is Dorit Winter's and it happens to be available FREE online as a PDF at the Online Waldorf Library.

The Art and Science of Teaching Composition

by Dorit Winter

Note: In making that link I found another writing book by her -- Fire the Imagination, Write On! -- which is also available at OWL for free. Can't wait to download it and read it!

Fire the Imagination, Write On!

by Dorit Winter

I have some other books I really like for Creative Writing as well. They are:

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

by Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, and Lane Smith

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly

by Gail Carson Levine

How to Make a Zero Backwards: An Activity Book for the Imagination

by Richard Kehl

My webpage for this block contains the notes from the first time I taught it (in October 2017). Now it is October 2021 and I'm teaching it for the second time. I'll keep my notes here instead. I think it's hard when there are two sets of notes on one page. Also, last time I combined Creative Writing with the Imaginary Island Project but I'm taking a different tack this year. We ended up spending so much time creating our imaginary islands that we never did much creative writing about the events that took place on them.

Wednesday, Oct 13

    pass out new creative writing journals (inexpensive 100 page spiral bound notebooks with lined paper and yellow covers)

    decorate front cover of creative writing journals in a unique way

    read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, look at Dr. Seuss's handwritten brainstorm notes, talk about the writing process

    read chapter 1 of Writing Magic and do the writing exercise

Monday, Oct 18

Tuesday, Oct 19

Wednesday, Oct 20

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Building and Buildings

COVID has lots of ripple effects in unexpected parts of your life.

One of them, I think, is that I'm much more open to doing a topic based on a child's request than I ever was before. It is a bit hard to say to a child, you don't get any control over your own life at all. There have been so many restrictions placed on childhood these past few years, from a lack of playdates and family vacations, to masking and weekly testing. And I know they are carrying a lot of worries around with them. I always felt like the loving adult chooses the topics in response to a child's inner needs. Maybe one of the child's inner needs right now is to have something go their way for once!

So in addition to topics like Horses!, Amazing Animal Facts, Jokes for Reluctant Readers, Dragons & Grammar, and Foods of the World, I am making up a list for "Building and Buildings." I have a student who really wants to learn about famous buildings from all around the world. Meanwhile, I think she should be doing a block on Math. So, we can take our Linear Measurement activities in that direction!

Note: this is deliberately buildings that are not houses, since Wonderful Houses Around the World is its own topic in the Waldorf 3rd grade year.

I always begin my brainstorm for any topic with a list of the books I already have on my shelf that I think might work. It is NOT meant to come across as a to-buy list for anyone else! It's just part of my process, and you should feel free to look around your home or your library to see what would be interesting. If you find a great title, let me know and I'll add it to the list!

After my initial brainstorm I'll go back and put these structures in chronological order. Note to self: find a story for the Trojan Horse!

Pharaoh's Boat

by David Weitzman
2581 BCE - Ancient Egypt
Oct 14 & 15

String, Straightedge & Shadow: The Story of Geometry

by Julia Diggins
Ancient Egypt
chpater 5 "The Rope-Stretchers"

Oct 15
make a rope with 12 evenly spaced knots
read pp.36-41

Oct 18
make a model of an Ancient Egyptian level
(sheets of paper, tape, scissors, string, binder clip for the weight)
read pp.42-43

Oct 19
read pp.44-46


by David Macaulay
2470 BCE - Ancient Egypt
Oct 19

The Great Pyramid: The story of the farmers, the god-king and the most astounding structure ever built

by Elizabeth Mann
Ancient Egypt


by Albert Lorenz
Trojan Horse
1250 BCE - Siege of Troy

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction

by David Macaulay

Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be

by Charlotte Foltz Jones
Leaning Tower of Pisa
begun 1173 and completed 1372

Queen of the Falls

by Chris Van Allsburg
Niagara Falls

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

by Kathryn Gibbs Davis
Chicago World's Fair

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
by Barb Rosenstock

Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty

by Linda Glaser

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

by Hildegarde Swift

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

by Rachel Dougherty

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

by April Jones Prince

The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid

Jeanette Winter


by David Macaulay

Built to Last: Castle, Cathedral, Mosque

by David Macaulay


by David Macaulay

The Secret Subway

by Shana Corey

Going Up! Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top

by Monica Kulling

Rain School

by James Rumford

Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects

by Donna Latham

Architecture for Kids: Skill-Building Activities for Future Architects

by Mark & Siena Moreno

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!