Some Lessons

From our Fourth Grade Studies:

We began our story with Joseph and Katie pulling up camp and meeting Roak, the bear.  Katie learns she can talk to the bear and anyone can if the bears want to be heard.  Roak travels with them as they head toward the sea.  On the way, they meet a Bison.  A Bison is similar to the Cow in its behavior and body, so we take a closer look into “The Cow”.  We learned how it eats with molar teeth and it’s four stomachs, to create milk.  We learn a little about it’s personality and how it walks on it’s tippy toe nails.  We drew a cow in the field and wrote a small paragraph about the cow. T.’s first paragraph!  We then read and tried to memorize some of a lovely Poem titled The Cow.

While this study has been commencing, we I have brought T. back to the very beginning of learning to count and use all the four processes. We have taken each number, so far only 4,5,6,7, and 8 and found all the fact families for addition and division, but using subtraction and division principles to discover them.  Using gems we see if they can be split evenly, whether they are an odd number or even.  Then we discover the many ways these gems can be split up to create the total.  T. has enjoyed this process and I think it has  helped him immensely to see, feel, know each number in this way.  He seems to be holding onto the math facts much longer than he has in the past.

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Seventh Grade Happenings

We finally finished the IOWA testing.  Now, I sit here and wait for the results to show up at my door.    We have been concentrating so much on Mathematics lately, that most everything else has been put aside.  Decimal, Algebra, Geometry, and Fractions have mostly been what we have been working on.  B. has continued to attend rehearsals for the Homeschool groups production of  “A Midsummer’s Dream”.  He is Bottom.  It fits his personality to a tee!!!  He has his lines down, but needs to work on cues.  They will be performing this play twice. Once for a friends and family show and then we are invited to perform at the  http://www.nyfairiefest.com/index.php Faerie Festival.  Our dear friend Bill Thorpe is the spear head of this festival.

B. is also beginning to attend Creative Writing Classes held at the Bundy Museum, taught by our friend LC.  He is going to enjoy this class I think.  If he can let go of spitting out facts and actually try to write fiction that doesn’t involve dungeons and dragons. LOL

We have continued on our Middle Ages studies.  We are beginning to enter into the Era of the Renaissance.    We are still trying to understand how to make Main Lesson Book pages of Beauty rather than boy mess. Sigh.

Third Grade Happenings

We have been working on our Main Lesson Book for Third Grade Studies.    We finished up our Old Testament Main Lesson.  T. actually enjoyed many of the stories.  I would have liked to have gotten in many more stories, but I think we got as far as we needed to.  Oma, the Jewish Grandmother was returning to her home.  She had been gone far too long from her own home, but loved sharing her stories with the children.

After we finished, filling in our Main Lesson book with drawings from each of the stories we had read through, T. received a letter from “Grandmother”.  A Native American grandmother from our container story through, A Journey Through Waldorf’s Third Grade Material by Melisa Nielson at http://www.alittlegardenflower.com.  The letter told him he was to expect her to arrive shortly and enjoy new stories from her ancestry.

We are only focusing on the New York tribes.  The  League of Five Nations, Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, and Oneonta.  Please excuse me if I misspelled these tribes or got them incorrectly, since I don’t have my notes in front of me and am guessing a little from memory.  We opened our study with a weaving project.  We have heard a couple creation stories from, “The Keepers of the Earth” book.  We read a book all about Mohawk Indians.

I will also be incorporating a Shelter Unit with in the N.A. study by using the various types of shelter used by them.  We began that part today.  We started with the plains Indians, tepee’s.  It was fun.  We have much more lined up for this unit.  I hope to  have all sorts of projects completed from this study.  If I am lucky I will find a reservation that we could tour and possibly have a presentation of their “ways”.

It’s been a while

Well, if I have any pictures of anything I might have been doing for the past week and a half, they are still on my camera, so aren’t getting put in this post anyway.  Sorry.  Just been lazy about the picture thing.  Even when I have wanted to take pictures for some event, I would forget until afterward, duh!  Slap me in the head, I know!

I haven’t been all that busy anyway, really.  I have been mostly trying to focus on getting my homeschooling groove back and helping each of the boys get what they need outta of the rest of this years school work.    Next month I am purchasing Teaching Textbook Mathematics Grade 4 for T.’s math next year and B. will be enrolled in Keystone National High or Middle School program for 8/9th grade.  T. and I have been waking to our morning circle time, which has been greatly modified thanks to the sharing from mudmama at http://brilliantstarblog.blogspot.com/ .  She brought to light some great circle time work that would really benefit T. greatly in many aspects.  I am going to purchase a couple books soon, The Extra Lesson and Take Time.  Both seem to be packed with really helpful movement exercises that address several difficulties T. presents.  After our circle time, we have managed to get quite a lot of written school work done with the work books.  Today, I actually got him to agree to fill in some of his Main Lesson Book with Titles and drawings of previously worked with Old Testament stories.  Today, he received the letter from Grandmother saying that she will be arriving in two weeks, so let the Native American Studies Commence!  I hope it is fun for him.  B., we are going crazy getting him out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.  I just really needed to go over the last few major points in the late Middles Ages and have him get it down in his Main Lesson Book, before moving on.  I am not sure what I am going to cover quite yet, but I feel we won’t be for wanting for great topics during this time period.   We are also kicking butt in our mathematics.  He really needed a kick in the butt to find the relevance and need of his studies with math.  He finally figured it out and has cranked out his fractions work and picked up Geometry, Algebra and Decimals all at once.  I hope he doesn’t burn out, cause he is really having a good time with it all.  He is loving his construction work with Geometry.  Now, I am also pushing him to create beauty in his Main  Lesson Books, which he has not understood or seen in the past.  So, I ran through lots of websites, including my favorite and local waldorf blog http://harmonyvalley.blogspot.com/  to show him other work in Main Lesson Books.  I hope it frees his mind up to being more creative with his pages.  It would be really nice to see.  B. has been appointed, Bottom, in the MidSummer Nights Dream homeschool play that will perform this summer in a few locations including!! http://www.nyfairiefest.com/.  I think this is really cool!!  A local friend of the boys, Bill Thorpe and many other folk worked together to create this ren type festival.  We are looking forward to it!!

The boys have been participating in a Gym class located in PA, every Thurs.  It will end soon for the summer, but we are definitely participating next year as well.  They get so much out of this structured fun.  B. is supposed to be obtaining his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do soon, but I am thinking of holding it off until I see more maturity in him.  I don’t think he is ready, even though he may perform the katas correctly and such, I have more value in his discipline than the belt.  So, I must speak with his Master.  I am not fond of talking to folks in general, so instructors of any kind make me even more put off.  It should be interesting to see how long I can procrastinate this discussion.

Bigger News!  T. turned 10 years old on the 21st.  He spent the morning after school work playing at our local Discovery Center.  This weekend we celebrate his birthday with a party!  The theme is knights.  We are having a joust and creating shields.  Slaying a dragon and searching for the Dragons eggs.  Hunting for the hidden treasure.  All will be fun and Gluten Free Casein Free!  It should be fun!!

And!  My dear friend Sander is visiting us from Montreal, Canada for the week!  This makes me very happy.

Must hit the sack now, so I can keep up the pace of school work around here.  Thanks to Gnome Home Radio found at http://www.alittlegardenflower.com to  help motivate me to get my shite together.