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As I was cleaning the basement,  I realised that some material I made never was showed here as a final product.

Seguin Tables:

THis was a fun project that I really wanted to make for Pea as he is really into math.  He is not quite redy yet to work with it, he is still in the stage of the beads, but the time is almost there.

So here they are: The teen boards

I made the boards per se with the same technique as I did for the numeral cards

I finished them with a light coat of varnish, as I was not entirely happy with the mod podge finish (it is a little sticky).

Voilà 🙂

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We have been in a celebrating mode since the weekend.  First, my nephew’s christening, and today was DD’s bday 🙂

It was a beautiful day full of activities and new and old traditions.

The new ones

Her crown that I managed to finish last night while listening to a Waldorf expo workshop!

She loved the crown, and waking up to this table.  I loved how it unfolded the day, and for sure this will be carried on to the following years!

The old traditions…family times

She wanted to go pick strawberries!

And then some quiet snuggle time

And a time to remember that she is still so little

But yet growing up…

And what better way to celebrate then with chocolate cake…and freshly picked strawberries 🙂

as well as new slippers

We ended up the day with the story of the Princess and the pea.  She was so tired that she almost fell asleep while I was reading.

I love how this day was a celebration, and yet at the same time a family time, and a peaceful time.  I felt like this day was breathing in and out, following a pattern…moving, and slowing down.  Nothing like the big birthday parties with favors and gift giving and overwhelming activities…and you know, I didn’t miss it a second.  And frankly, I don’t think DD missed it either 😉

I have recently signed up for the Waldorf connection expo.  They are speakers that speaks about a part of the Waldorf education/philosophy.  I have hear some very interesting lectures on waldorf education, and I feel like I still, at this point,  have some things to get from Waldorf to incorporate in our lives.

One of the speaker was Tammy Takahashi, author of the blog Just enough and nothing more, and of the book Deschooling gently.  Her speach was not focus on Waldorf education, but rather on homeschooling.  Wow, was this lecture interesting, and really made me think about HOW to homeschool.  Many questions were arised, and answered, or at least direction were given to find your own answer.  But one point was brought up that I am still chewing on right now:

Homeschooling, is not the same as having school at home

I have been repeating this many times a day since having heard this.  Homeschooling is NOT the same as having school at home.

Tammy was saying how when she started to homeschool, she basically brought school at home.  She had it all, letter on the wall, blackboards, and even a bell for recess!  And one comment that arised from that was, “you might as well just let them go to school if you are to bring school at home”

And that has me thinking since.

We have the advantage of being in a house, and living in a home setting, why not use this to our advantage?  Why try to creat a school within the house?  I know Maria Montessori really described what are the actions that should be performed by a “teacher” and how to do, and react, and what the environement should be.  But then, this was described with a school setting in mind, and not for a home.  I wonder what she would have suggested for homeschooling parents.  I was writing a little while ago about anxiety, how I felt when I went back to our school room because I felt like I was not up to the standards that were set by Dr Montessori.  And this feeling of anxiety always passes upon me when I go to our school room, without me knowing exactly why I feel that way.

And then I got it with the rest of the presentation that Tammy gave.  She wrote a book on Descholing gently.  And at first, I was not sure how this would be relevent for me since my kids have not really been schooled, aside from the experience Pea has with Montessori.  And so I wasn’t sure how I could help with by “deschooling” him.  But honnestly, the deschooling program is more for me, for us, parents, that have been living in the standard schooling systems for too long.  We are used to seeing school and learning as being done in a setting, with a blackboard, chalk, bells, and everything that comes with it.  We have been brainwashed that way.  But looking at both my children, they have both learned to walk, talk, count, and do oh so many other things without the use of a blackboard, and a classroom. They did it on their own, with the influence of us, parents, in an environement that promoted that.  For everything else that needs to be learned, do I really need a school room?

Do I really want a school within my house, or a house where my child learn?

I stumbled on a great post by Meg at Sewliberated where she was presenting her house, and all the nooks and crannies that she created for her son.  What better environment to learn?  Learning then takes place everywhere, not only in a confined place, learning just become what it is supposed to be, integrated in one’s life, and not a special activity that needs a room and a blackboard.

After hearing this conference, I admitted to myself that I am still strongly influenced by my experience of being in a compulsory school environment.  And my mind is still not free from this brainwashing that I went though.  I still realize that eventhough I want to provide my kids with another type of education, I am still roaming in my thoughts within the boundary of my imagination as they were defined and set by the constrictive school system that states:  “School should be that way, and you have to learn that way’  I need to let go of all this, and just expend my imagination, broaden my horizons and see all the potential that learning in the home can allow.

I had a chance to go thrifting last week.  And although the thrifting fairies were definetly not with me that day, I still managed to find a few books for Pea and Peanut.  One of them was Rumplestiltskin, a fairy tale that *gasp* I didn’t even know about!

Once arriving from the thrift store, they both saw that small pile of book I had brought home, and Pea immidiatly asked me to read this particular story.  I even read it twice, he was really interested in this story.

A few days later, we were all sitting in the living room, and Pea got the interlocking blocks out.  He asked me to help him build a house, and he really looked like he had an idea of what he wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do it.   He asked me to do a circle with the block, but with only one row of blocks.  And then he proceeded to add some blocks in the middle.  I had no clue where he was going with that, until he told me, “I am done”  and he got up, went to the book shelve, got Rumplestiltskin out, and turned to the last page.

the image he had in his head and was trying to make real was the one that really had struck him the most in the story.  The fact that Rumplestiltskin had broken the floor by being mad, and falling in the hole he made for himself.

They always find a way to amaze me.  But never the way I would have thought!

Pea and Peanut felt like they wanted to do something for baby.  They have been seeing me working on many thing for her/him, and so they thought that they too should be involved in this process of creating something for our new arrival

So here it is, their first experience of felting balls.

they were both proud of themselves, and I know they cannot wait to give this present to their new sibling.

They still have a little while to go…thank  God 🙂

We haven,t had much time to spend in our classroom lately, but for the last 2 days, both DS and DD really wanted to go there.  How can I say no to that??  And so we did.  And somehow it made me felt so anxious.

DS is in a Montessori school, and has been for a year.  He knows how things work in a Montessori environement, and I can see it rather easily compared to my almost 3 yo DD who will be entering next year.  So I am expecting at this point to have to spend a lot of time with DD to help her learn how it work.  She has not been normalized yet…  But DS couldn’t do a thing without me representing the work, and being near him.  I had to interact with him more then I would have liked to.  And of course, everytime I answered and helped him out after being asked, I kinda felt bad knowing that this is not the way things should be.

I love the Montessori method, I really do, but gosh sometimes I find it hard to follow on a homeschooling basis.

Being 33weeks pregnant, I am asking if the fact that I am not able to do as many things with them during the day because I am tired…is not a bit of the culprit for that.  But then again, just imagine when baby will be here…

I try to remind myself that I will not screw my kid by answering, and not following M to a T, but then again, am I?

I have so many things that I wish I will be able to accomplish before s/he arrives!

I can check one thing off my list! : Longies

I don’t want to knit too many pair of those, since the arrival is planned around july 27th, thus not necessarly at a time where longies are the most useful item in a newborn’s wardrobe, but I also wanted to make at least one pair for the colder nights.  I used scraps of yarns that I had, it feels so good to be able to use things you already have on hand, and make something out of it.

Still loads of things on my list though…off to work on them 😉

We had to take care of the plants this weekend,and the kids happily followed us in the garden to help us out.  But their attention was caught not long after we started by this little fellow:

and so our precious help kinda became busy elsewhere…

And our gardening day soon became a day of exploration of nature, and zoology.

She was facinated with this little creature, and wanted to just follow it around all afternoon long.  She touched it, looked under it, moved it around to the best location she could find for it, and even gave it water (!).

What better lesson of zoology/ care of the insect could I give then this?