Well, we are off to a good start! None of us were sure exactly how this “new” system would work but there was consensus over bowls of homemade chicken soup last night that it was a success. Of course, this could be the honeymoon phase; it’s really too soon to tell. But I’m encouraged. So, what did we do?
Math: Every morning the Peeps worked independently on their math lessons for an hour. Peep #1 completed Saxon lessons 1-3; Peep #2 completed lesson one from Oak Meadow Math 5 on the first day! (It was supposed to take the week). I’ve checked out the first few lessons and they do seem to be pretty light. I’m hoping they ramp it up a bit or we may be switching back to Saxon. Anywhoo, for the rest of the week we worked on activities from her Real World Math book, which she loved! She created a secret code, learned about and experimented with Mayan math, and reviewed Roman numerals.
Language Arts/Writing: We warmed up every day by doing some Mad Libs and reading/discussing poetry selections. This week we also discussed the difference between literal and figurative writing, metaphors, similes, and imagery. The Peeps did a couple of exercises from Unjournaling. Surprisingly, they did very well with this. We have not done much creative writing AT ALL. I gave them the direction (“Write a paragraph about a girl named Dot, but don’t use any letters that have dots,”) and went to hang the laundry. I expected to hear, “Well what do you mean exactly? What about capitol “I”? How long does it have to be?” etc., etc., but no, when I came back, they both had completely aced it! Some other things they enjoyed writing about this week: the gunky stuff in the sink drainer and a description of three things they find “silly.” They really had fun with those! Also, Peep #1 started reading Word Circus. We all had a good laugh over this one: The only difference between a “champ” and “chump” is u.
Geography: Once a week we’re doing geography. This week we did a unit on Canada from The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, which included learning the ten Canadian provinces, about natural resources and industry, climate, and mapwork. In addition to the map we illustrated a Canadian flag for our lesson books.
Science: on Thursday the Peeps spent the afternoon at our nature center for their monthly homeschool class on ecosystems. As usual, this was a big hit! We also did our regular nature walks/observations. Peep #2 learned about volcanos as part of her study of “The Beginning of Time.”
History: Peep #1 started his Ancient Egypt study by breaking the topic down into areas of study, which will be: science, art, pyramids, gods and goddesses, and daily life. He wants to focus on Pyramids first, so we spent some time at the library getting out a couple of books on the subject. I also okay-ed him including The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan into his study of Egyptian gods and goddesses. Honestly, all the time we spent putting into learning about the Greek gods and goddesses, it was Percy Jackson that solidified it for both Peeps. Whatcha gonna do?? 😉 He also illustrated an Egyptian mask for his lesson book, and constructed a pyramid from Legos. In an effort to help him self-moderate deadlines, I assigned him the SOTW Activity on building a model of the Nile River, due next Friday. He entered it in his student agenda, and will get no further reminders from me. I’m available to help him with materials or whatnot, but HE has to take charge of making sure it gets done!
Peep #2 started her study of “The Beginning of Time.” She read about the Earth’s formation in a couple of different science encyclopedias we have, and then summarized the content in her own words. She also added several illustrations, including a diagram of a volcano. We also did a chalkboard drawing of the same.
Art/Music: Ah, Friday! The day I’d been waiting for all week. A chance to really get our Waldorf feet wet, and BOY did we ever! After morning chores and a tennis lesson, we came home and had lunch. Afterward, we did some basic watercolor painting using only the primary colors. After playing around with that for a while, I introduced them to the beeswax block crayons I purchased last week. Focusing on basic techniques from Coloring With Block Crayons by Sieglinde De Francesca– clouds, bars, and ribbons, I let them play with the strokes and mess around with blending a bit. We listened to their choice of classical music (Peep #1-Bach, Peep#2-Mozart) while we worked, and danced for a bit in between. 🙂 I was the most surprised at how much Peep #1 loved the block crayons. He lacks both desire and, I hate to say, skill when it comes to art (honestly, he probably would have more skill if he practiced!) But he had a blast with the block crayons, and even asked if he could continue after we were done. Of course I said, as matter-of-factly as possible, “Sure,” while doing a mental mambo inside. After a break of outside free time, we resumed with clay and knitting. Peep #2 is working on knitting a set of wash cloths for my brother’s new baby due in February. I did a bit of finger knitting with Peep #1, but it’s so not his thing. I looked through some books I have on simple woodworking projects and helped him decide on something to do with that instead (he chose stilts). This was definitely the best part of all our week. I look forward to more Fridays!
Peep #1: The Red Pyramid, Inside an Egyptian Pyramid, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Word Circus
Peep #2: The Alchemist, The Sky’s the Limit-Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls, Cherry the Cake Fairy