Fourth Grade Handwork

 

I was going to post pictures of fifth grade handwork projects, and realized suddenly I had never posted the fourth grade projects!  Our homeschool group has been exceedingly lucky to have trained Waldorf handwork teacher working with us.  She really knows the Waldorf curriculum inside out, and has taught  many of the children for years, so can really  invent projects for them that are stunningly beautiful and fulfilling to the children.

 

So here are the fourth grade projects in all their glory:

The first project, which was actually done in between third and fourth grade,  was a bear that had a pattern of essentially knitting an entire row, then knitting half a row, purling a stitch and then completing the row.  He came out like this:

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Fourth grade is a time of cross stitching.  The designs for these projects were done by my fourth grader, including choosing the colors and such.  The pin cushion has leather backing so the pins will not stick through!

 

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The last project of fourth grade was a hedgehog that was knit but the face was done in the round.  This was a preparation for knitting in the round. 

 

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Blessings,

Carrie

Third Grade: Wool Pictures

 

 

 

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This time of year for me is not only for planning on paper for our fall homeschooling, but also time for de-cluttering, re-arranging the school room, and crafting some beautiful things to inspire us through the grades.  This fall, I will be teaching third and sixth grade with a cute little three year old in tow.

 

I wanted to make something to hang on the wall that represented Third Grade for our schoolroom and the picture of Moses and the burning bush was foremost in my mind.  There are images of this scene on the Internet and in iconography and I looked at many images before I decided upon an idea to use to paint with wool.

 

Making wool pictures is an easy project – all you need is plant-dyed wool felt for your background, plant-dyed wool roving, an iron and ironing board, and your imagination.  I order my plant dyed materials here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mamajudes#   I don’t believe synthetically dyed materials will work  for this project.

 

Start with a background felt of your color choice.  Take the wool roving and tease it apart with your fingers.   Start to layer it in very thin layers into the shape that you want by taking small amounts of the fiber,  holding one end in place and stretching the fiber apart.  Pat everything down.  I suggest ironing the background with long periods of holding the iron and then layering in more fibers and the details that are more in the foreground.  The wool roving will then stick to the wool felt and you will have a beautiful, dreamy picture.

 

Here is a picture of this process; layering the background first:

 

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I pressed this with the iron, and then added in the bush with its green leaves.  Then I layered in special red wool roving into fire on the tips of the leaves and pressed that.  The figure of Moses came last.

 

These pictures are easy to do and so full of possibilities!

 

Many blessings,

Carrie

Simplicity Monday: The Nitty Gritty

 

I think in  life sometimes we just need to get down to the nitty gritty of parenting and childhood development.  It makes life so much simpler to know the things that are most important to your family, because then you can see what makes sense to do within your days, weeks and months.  Does your use of time match up with what you really think is important?

 

For example, if simplicity is important to you, but you are running your children somewhere every day, does that reflect your priorities?

 

If you think religion is important, or spiritual inner development is important to you, but you don’t spend any time in activities that reflect that, then does that reflect your priorities?

 

Too often we start out the school year very strong, and things sort of peter out by the end of the school year.  What a perfect time of year this is to look and evaluate where your family is, and where you would like to be.

 

We enjoy having a Family Mission Statement.  This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it can be helpful in looking at priorities, and making sure everyone is on the same page.  Here is a link to a back post on this:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/08/creating-a-family-mission-statement/  Our Family Mission Statement involves kindness, integrity, positive attitude, patience, and adventure.  Yours will be different, but I think it is worthy project to undertake.

 

I would love to hear what you are revitalizing in your family life this time of year!

Much love,
Carrie

Summer Rhythm

 

Happy Summer to all!  It is summer here in the United States, although some parts of the U.S. are having colder than usual weather, to be sure!

 

One thing in summer is to enjoy the expansive space and time of the endless days of heat, warmth and sunlight and a time of rest from academic work and a rhythm better suited to colder days.  However, I also receive many letters from readers asking about a rhythm to the days, about what to do with sibling bickering, should they continue doing circle time with smaller children…what  to do, what to do.

 

I used to not plan for summer at all and was content to let the endless days of swimming here in the Deep South unfold.  However, the older my children have gotten, and the more children we have had, it was clear some bit of rhythm was being craved by all.  Having a simple framework for when at home in the summer can be a big help towards staving off any summer bickering and a relief to children to know they have long stretches of time to play, but also special things to do, even at home that makes special summer memories.

 

For my youngest little three year old, I am thinking of having a small circle time of songs and fingerplays and footplays three days a week, along with a story this month.  We have been doing the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for almost a month now, which is  still well-loved and enjoyed, so that will be the story I will continue.  My older children enjoy time for crafting, preparing for festivals, painting and baking, and all of us enjoy time to be with friends.  I look at what days we will be home and what days we will be out. I also look at what days we will swim, what days we will be with friends and are there any days of the week in which we may just be home (no swimming and no friends to play with but just a good ole’ family day).  I also use this summer time for things I mentioned a few posts back on a Simplicity Monday – decluttering, planning for fall homeschooling, and regular cleaning and cooking.

 

We have had an expansive time of summer so far with travel and horse camp, so this coming week will be a week to settle into summer and being home.   A sweet summer circle and story, crafting, Father’s Day preparations, and baking, along with lots of swimming and being with friends, should round out the week nicely.

 

If you are interested in ideas for summer, here are a few back posts that you may find enjoyable:

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/06/09/guest-post-creating-a-magical-summer/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/05/24/summer-stories-and-summer-nature-table/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/07/21/summertime-bickering/

And the famous July Doldrums!  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/07/31/down-and-out-the-july-doldrums/  and here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/07/05/the-july-doldrums-again/

 

Can’t wait to hear all of your wonderful ideas and plans for summer! 

Love,

Carrie

Fifth Grade Greek Mythology and Ancient History

 

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Greek mythology is a wonderful block.  These stories have lent so many expressions into Western Culture and much like expressions from the Bible, a student will be at a disadvantage to not know these stories, to be familiar with these expressions, and to later understand Greek civilization and how that has impacted our own history in the United States.

 

You can see the resources we used in my previous post regarding Ancient Mythology and Civilizations.  Our projects this block included a lot of drawing, including a large picture of Artemis as chosen by my daughter as her favorite to draw, modeling of columns and vases in clay (see the Christopherus Fifth Grade syllabus), drawing of columns, freehand map drawing, learning the Greek alphabet and writing a few simple phrases, and memory and recitation of poetry. 

 

We started in the land of mythology with the book of Greek Myths from D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and then leading into the wonderful stories of Perseus, Heracles, and Theseus.  Here is a scene my fifth grader drew from the story of Perseus:

 

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I used Dorothy Harrer’s “Chapters In Ancient History” as an aid in contrasting life in Sparta and Athens, talking about the landscape of Greece, the school boy in Athens, and many of the biographical sketches.

 

We finished with the history of Ancient Greece, and Charles Kovacs’ “Ancient Greece”, did an excellent job in terms of making Greek History and Alexander the Great accessible, understandable and memorable.  I cried at the end of telling the story of the Battle Of Marathon.

 

One note about Ancient Greek History: many Waldorf homeschoolers put this off until sixth grade. My fifth grader was eleven for the entire school year, and close to turning twelve by the end of the school year, so I chose to go ahead and include it, but if you have a younger fifth grader you might want to place this in sixth grade.

 

More next time,

Carrie

Guest Post: Hybrid Rasta Mama Weighs In! A Special Offer for Parenting Passageway Readers!

This is a letter from my friend Jennifer over at Hybrid Rasta Mama who has a special offer you won’t want to miss!  Thank you so much Jennifer for this offer, and for all your kind words.

 

Jennifer writes:

I have been a long time reader of The Parenting Passageway. I can actually remember the day that I stumbled on Carrie’s site.  I felt like I struck gold when I found her Random Thoughts About Newborns post! I was two months away from becoming a first time mother and I drank in every word Carrie wrote from that point on. She presented information that a new mother like me could wrap her brain around without getting completely overwhelmed (more so than I was from simply becoming a mama!)

 

Carrie is actually the sole reason that I started my blog. She didn’t know that until now but it was with her gentle encouragement that I took the plunge and started chronicling life as a conscious parent and natural health advocate. That was February 2011. Over 500 posts later and I have never looked back! (Carrie here:  I had no idea, and I am touched. Jennifer’s blog is great – head on over and take a look!)

 

One of the first series that I tackled on my blog was the Mindful Mothering Challenge. It was inspired by Carrie’s original 20 Days Towards More Mindful Mothering series. To this day, it is still extremely popular and I was thrilled to not only share Carrie’s wisdom with my audience but to work through the entire series for all my readers to garner inspiration and motivation from!

 

Fast forward to today and my series is now a 57 page bonus eBook that is part of the Mindful Parenting eBundle. (Don’t worry – I made sure that Carrie gave her blessing and of course I credit her upside down and sideways!) This eBook takes you, the mother, through 20 small steps which will awaken your mothering, push you beyond your comfort zone, and deepen your connection with your children. What I personally love about this eBook is that it is real talk…I give you me and all my flaws to learn from!

 

Carrie talks a lot about gentle parenting from an anthroposophic viewpoint on The Parenting Passageway (obviously!) As a former Waldorf preschool aide, this always resonated with me and it is how I approach my parenting. The more I wrote about conscious parenting on my blog, the more I realized that I needed to pull together a pool of gentle parenting resources that would resonate with parents from a wide variety of backgrounds and parenting philosophies.

 

I teamed up with two other wonderful mamas to bring The Mindful Parenting Bundle to fruition! There are 22 eProducts including eMagazines, eBooks, teleseminars, audio, and workshops. Topics include peaceful guidance, creativity and play, stress relief for parents, mindful motherhood, divorce, coming of age, children and food, and more! Attachment Parenting International even included their teleseminar on the 8 Principals of Attachment Parenting, something I wish I had access to long ago!

 

If you would like to learn more about the contents of this Bundle, please visit: http://www.hybridrastamama.com/mindful-nurturing-bundle. This bundle is only available until June 10th and is an incredible deal at only $24.95. You get close to $300 worth of products that will truly enhance your parenting no matter what season of motherhood you are currently in! I personally will be able to glean inspiration from many of these resources until my daughter is well into her teen years.

 

Thank you again to Carrie for being such a huge inspiration to me and for allowing me to share The Mindful Mothering Challenge as part of this bundle. You are a beacon of light for a lot of mothers and I honestly would not be the mother I am today if I had not stumbled on your blog.

 

Peace and Love,

Jennifer at HybridRastaMama.com

Fifth Grade Ancient Mythologies and Civilizations

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These blocks are the hallmark and mainstay of the fifth grade experience for Waldorf students.  They are fun blocks and there are many things you could do with these stories and with Greek history ( if you choose to include Greek history and not push it off until sixth grade).

These blocks go through the mythology of Ancient India, Ancient Persia, Ancient Babylon, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece and then possibly move into early Greek history.  The Christopherus curriculum has a wonderful block on Ancient China; Live Education includes this in eighth grade.

The resources we used included: Continue reading