Great Bookshop and Possible Solution!

I couldn’t turn my mind off last night.  I kept thinking about all this school planning for the old testament and other random needs of our family and just couldn’t get back to sleep at 3 am.  So I got up and turned on the computer while I ate a snack – I might as well do something while my mind is racing.  I looked at the the books again, the free online book, the books that I gathered at the library yesterday, and the other books recommended.  After a couple of hours, I felt drowsy again, said a quick prayer and fell asleep on the couch.

The kids were all up before 8, which meant I was up too regardless of how little sleep I got.  I took care of everyones’ needs and the it occurred to me that I should ask for help.  It’s hard for me to ask for help and takes me a long time to come to the realization that I might even need it, I’m trying to learn though.  I e-mailed the “contact us” link at Bob & Nancy’s Bookshop about the books in question, asking all those various questions that I posted about the other day.

Not more than 2 hours later, I received a response from Nancy answering all my questions!  Each Jacob Streit book about the Old Testament contains 15 or more stories, is around 125 pages and meant for the teacher to read and then re-tell it to the student.  Perfect!  That means at least 45 stories to spread out over the same time frame, allowing for a three-day main lesson plan with more wiggle room for baby, festivals, holidays, and other topics of interests that I’m hoping to cover.  I immediately felt a sense of peace.  I decided to take a leap of faith and order all three books in that moment.  I rationalized that if they didn’t work out for us, then I could sell them fairly easily on one of my yahoo groups and lose only $10 or so on the whole deal.  My sanity is worth that!

Not more than 2 hours after I placed the order, I got shipping confirmation!  They mailed out my books already!  I can’t recommend Bob & Nancy’s Bookshop enough for their great customer service and quick shipping!  Wow!  So if you find yourself needing any books on Waldorf education, resources for homeschooling, books by Steiner, please check them out!

Oh, and a couple of good introductory Waldorf books, available at Bob & Nancy’s, are:

Seven Times the Sun by Shea Darian

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven by Barbara J. Patterson

Advertisements

Week In Review

Meals

  • Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, cornbread (thank you Boston Market)
  • Rosemary-roasted chicken and potatoes with green beans, tomato-basil-mozzarella salad
  • Pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, left-over veggies and salad
  • Unstuffed peppers (Italian chicken sausage with diced red peppers, onions, and garlic with chopped tomatoes (from the garden,) rice, and a sprinkling of monterey jack cheese on top – a personal favorite!
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, salad
  • Pizza and movie night

Around the House

I got some long needed cleaning done around the house.  The kitchen got a good scrubbing, as did the bathroom.  I cleared out some boxes meant for Goodwill so I can now see and use my sewing machine!  Now I need to go through some of the other boxes that were temporarily moved into the garage and get them out of the house for good!

I went through the kids’ clothes and made a list of needed items for the upcoming fall and winter season.

Bills were paid and plates were renewed!

We went TV-free and are enjoying the many benefits.  Even with the scattered rain all week, we didn’t miss the TV.  We’re still doing pizza and movie night on Friday by either popping a DVD into the Mac or renting one on i-Tunes.  There is a benefit to having the computer set up in the main living space!

Eye Towards Rhythm

We again succeeded in doing circle time three times this week, though one of those times it was done in the car on the way to the library.  The kids certainly didn’t seem to mind and loved having the extra free time at the library to pick out books and play.  Alex didn’t stop reading all day!

The kids played with their homemade playdough again this week and spilled an entire pitcher of water when trying to mold the dough around it.  Um, mental note to self, clear off the ENTIRE table for kids’ activities!

Blueberry muffins were made for baking day, though my little helpers weren’t all that interested.

No requests for painting yet this week, but there’s always today!

Handcrafts

I made some headway in this department this week!  First the sewing area was re-discovered hiding behind all those cardboard boxes and piles of stuff.  I had acquired a stack of items in need of mending, so I attacked it on Thursday!  Buttons were bought and sewn on where old ones had fallen off.  Pants were patched.  Skirt seems were re-sewn where fabric wore out.  And two more pairs of pants will be hemmed by the end of today (I had to buy matching thread last night before I went completely crazy and started using contrasting thread just to get the job done – I don’t think my husband would like that too much for his work pants.)

I made another four coasters for all those sweating glasses of sweet tea and ice water.

coasters

I finished knitting up a cute little pumpkin for an autumn nature table swap that I’m participating in.  Now I need to figure out what else to include in the package.  Jackson loved the finished pumpkin, especially when it came time to stuff it.  He wants one of his own in addition to a knit egg?  His birthday is next month, so maybe I can squeeze in a couple more little projects just for him?

pumpkin

Speaking of Jackson, he insisted that I buy some flannel at the fabric store last night to make him some jammies.  He can be very persuasive!  He wanted to sleep with the fabric since I wouldn’t stay up late last night to whip up his pajamas on the spot.  As much as I was hoping to make it into a birthday gift for him, I don’t think he’ll wait that long.

Also in clearing out part of the sewing space, I found the little box that I bought to organize embroidery floss.  As it was, I had it scattered throughout my sewing box, on the sewing desk, in random fabric boxes, and a vintage collection in a cigar box.  Now, I’m in the process of untangling it and winding it up onto little cards that fit just so in that one box.  Jackson has been helping and doing a mighty fine job at winding it up!

For the Weekend

James is in his busy back-to-school mode for work, having to attend many orientations in the evenings and weekends, tonight and tomorrow being no exception.  We’ll probably lay low around the house.  Maybe we’ll make a run to Goodwill in my search for wool (found 2 cashmere sweaters last week) for re-crafting and Target for random needed items?

Having Doubts

I’ve spent weeks planning.  I’ve taken frequent breaks in order to pray and meditate.  I’ve made list after list.  I’ve ordered some bare minimum supplies (still waiting on those to arrive) and have a wishlist for books that would make the year run smoother.  I have a library list of other books to use and several internet links to free resources.

And yet, I sit here doubting myself.  The backbone of our Old Testament block is Story of the Bible by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, available for free on mainlesson.com.  I honestly don’t know much about the OT and I’m really looking forward to learning along side Alex for this block, but I think I’ve over done it.  In my current plans, I split the OT part of the book into 4 stories per week, one for each day I plan to actively present lessons.  This means that our OT block will be taking up all of fall and most of winter to get through all 109 stories presented in the book.

Now that we’ve jumped into full fledge circle time and activities with the little ones and we’ll be adding in a full day of homeschooling co-op, I realize that 4 stories per week is too much.  Three would work out much better with our schedule, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  But then that stretches the OT over the entire year if we read all of the stories and doesn’t leave time for our other block studies.  That doesn’t work.

I also feel like I scheduled too many weeks and didn’t leave us enough time to prepare and celebrate festivals and holidays, not to mention wiggle room for when baby is born.

So do I cut out certain stories?  Which ones?  Like I said, I’m not all that familiar with the OT, so I don’t know this story from that. Do I switch to a different book?

I’m thinking of turning to one of the two resources that ALGF recommends for the third-grade curriculum. The first is a series of three books (And There Was Light, Journey To the Promised Land, and We Will Build a Temple) from Jacob Streit, $47 before shipping.  I have no idea what these books contain though.  How many stories are covered?  Are they told in a way that Alex can relate to?  I already ruled out the other resource based on the description of only having 12 stories.  I don’t think that will be deep enough for Alex, but I could be wrong here too.

And then I keep getting directed in one way or another to other people’s plans and the Live Ed website and positively drooling over the examples of the lessons and contents of each and every book in the third grade curriculum.  It goes into detail about doing the wet-on-wet painting for the creation part of the story, adding a bit more to it for each of the six days of creation.  How cool does that sound!?  I want to be able to present it like this, but I’m clueless on how to do it without very explicit directions.

Why does Live Ed have to cost so freakin much!?  Why can’t I have $1300 (the poorest district budget according to a priest that spoke at our church last week, $3000 something was the average public school budget) to spend per child per year on schooling?

I still need to buy more books and supplies, but I’m trying to prioritize and figure out what I can put off to better accommodate our budget.  It’s not a fun process!

And all this is over one part of the entire year.  I haven’t planned our math blocks in great detail, just “penciled in.”  I don’t have any of our projects or paintings planned in detail.  I haven’t even touched religious studies that pertain to our faith.  Sigh.

So I guess what it comes down to is that I need to spend more time in prayer and rework my current plans.  That is why I worked the plans in a spreadsheet format so I could easily adjust it, so I guess that’s been the plan all along.

It seems like many of us homeschooling moms go through this period of doubt and maybe that’s part of the process too?  I’m betting that even if I had a bigger budget to buy all the supplies and books that I wanted for the school year and/or bought the Live Ed curriculum, there would still be doubts and things that I felt were missing or not quite the right fit for our family.  So maybe the doubt is a good thing and keeps us striving to do better?

Circle Time

I thought I would share what circle time looks like for us:

The kids and I gather together on the living room floor.  Nova, the dog, usually cuddles up next to Alex.  Jackson is usually a wiggle-worm and is up and down many times.

We start off with the Good Morning song that Alex learned back in North Carolina:

Good morning, good morning

How are you today?

Good morning, good morning!

It’s a happy day.

It’s time to sing: la, la, la!

It’s time to clap:  clap, clap, clap!

It’s time to dance: cha-cha-cha!

Time to make music: la, la, la, la, la!

Good morning, good morning!

How are you today?

Good morning, good morning!

It’s a happy day!

We discuss the day and the date, sometimes with a song, sometimes with a poem or two.

We talk about the weather and the season, again sometimes with a song or poem.

We review the chalkboard drawing for the weekly theme.  It’s almost always festival or nature related.

We do various fingerplays.  The itsy-bitsy spider, 5-little monkeys jumping on the bed, and where is thumbkin are favorites.

We jump up and sing the ABC song while jumping, skipping, hopping, or just being goofy.  We do jumping jacks while counting.  This will also turn into bean-bag tossing time for Alex to practice math.

We cuddle back up together on the floor for a story.  The little ones have been loving the nursery rhyme book and beg for it, so we haven’t branched out much yet.  It will evolve into a weekly story that I’ll read or tell aimed at the little ones.  Sometimes the kids will act out the story as I tell it or get out various silks and animals out for them to act it out.  Other times, they sit still enthralled with the story.

We say a prayer before closing circle time with ring-around-the-rosie.

Afterwards, we either go into our daily activity (baking, painting, playdough, drawing, or crafts) or the kids go outside and play for bit.

And in all honesty, circle time doesn’t usually happen until 10 am or so.  Time beforehand is spent with everyone waking up in their own time, eating breakfast, getting dressed and taking care of daily duties.  Circle time usually lasts 20-50 minutes, depending on the length of the story and how much the kids want to include.

State Fair

After doing a wee bit of research, I discovered that veterans and their families got into the fair for free on Sunday, so we decided to take advantage of James being a veteran!  I looked into taking the train, but at almost $40 for the family to ride it, I decided that we’d take our chances with parking.  The one thing I failed to check on was the weather forecast, so when I got up on Sunday morning and clicked on the weather icon to discover a forecasted high of 92, i decided the earlier we got to the fair, the better I would fair! Cow We arrived around 10 am after mama filled the family with vanilla-pear oatmeal.  Thank you Autumn for mentioning the free parking because we did indeed get to partake in that wee advantage too!  We went through some of the halls and the Pioneer Village, which we especially enjoyed, before the fair was even remotely crowded.  I found an awesome hand-made wooden broom and mop for the kids for less than $9 for the kids (um, I intended for Christmas, but that’s not going to work.)  James discovered a rain-collection system for the budget-minded family.  And the kids discovered all the cool tractors. Jackson on a tractor Tractor Wheel We took many breaks under shady trees to giggle, rest, and enjoy the day, not to mention some fair treats. Snow ConeWe saw cows and pigs, horses and sheep, chickens and rabbits!  We saw corn and tomatoes and lots of beautifully crafted quilts and other crafts.

sheepAnd then the kids each enjoyed a ride or two.

Jack and Iz driving!It was a good day and boy, was it HOT when we left!  We were all glad to reach the car for some rest, air-conditioning, and some fresh cold water.

I have my copy of Handmade Home!!!!

When my darling husband called me on Tuesday to see if there was a book he could buy for me, I jumped out of my seat trying to relate to him just how badly I wanted Amanda Soule’s newest book, Handmade Home, that just so happened to be released on that very day.  Unfortunately, the bookstore that he was at was behind a bit and the book was still in transit, so I had to wait.

The bookstore called on Thursday morning, so before lunch (nothing like good motivation for this preggo mama to get herself and three kids dressed and out of the house before lunch unplanned,) we ventured out and picked up my treasure!

Oh, it’s beautiful!  The pictures, the writing, the patterns, even the actual pages of the book are all so beautiful and inspiring.  So many projects that I want to create that I’m not sure where to begin.

The cover of the book has been staring at me for months, inviting me to make buntings for the kids.  I’d like to make one for each of the kids with their name to hang over their bed in the same way her “dream” bunting is hanging over her slumbering baby.  After seeing my dear friend complete this project for her daughter’s birthday and falling in love with her fabric choices, it’s even more on the front burner now.

What next?  A playful dog bag pictured in the book to show off the “Arts and Hooks Rack.”  I’m in love with it and can easily imagine Jackson and/or Izzy swooning over something similar to tote their treasures and books.

So many projects to inspire!  Ironically, many of the projects I have in mind aren’t even from the book, but the book sure does get my creative juices flowing and serves as great motivation for me to get me sewing and knitting, and crafting and playing!

Oh, and if anyone comes across wool blankets at the thrift store, please let me know!