Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rembering Dreams

My girls are just getting to the age where they can actually recall their dreams. Years before, I would tell them my quite bizarre dreams and they would look at me with wide eyes. They seemed in awe of how I could have this amazing nightlife of "movies", which is how vivid my dreams sometimes are.   I knew at the time, they would make up a dream, while they looked around the room for something to add to the "dream".

Now, they are telling me details of the funky, misshapen stories, finally sticking in their consciousness.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Music Practice

My girls play cello & violin. We have a very loose Suzuki teacher who understands Waldorf methods and she is really fantastic. I have never wanted to be one of those mom's insisting my kids practice every night and possibly ruin their love for music. But, we started having issues where they would not take out their instruments for days.

I tried to nudge a bit with, "Why don't you play a song for me?"  or "Daddy has not heard your new song." Not much luck.
By accident one week, the girls left their instruments in the Living Room, out of the cases and ready to play. I was amazed how many time they just walked over and played a few notes! Usually, they were kept packed up in the school room. Out of sight, out of mind!
The music teacher said it was a great idea and not to worry about leaving them out (ok this time of year now that it is warm to keep them in tune)
I had each girl pick a safe new home for their instruments and they have played 2 or 3 times a day ever since!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you so much to my amazing friend, Jen of Ancient Hearth blog for passing this award to me!

I must now pass it to 15 blog I enjoy AND share 7 things about myself..Hmmm...
1) I am an organic Master Gardener and used to be a garden designer.
2) I love to read and have been found secretly "sneaking" a chapter or 2!
3) I cannot cook (and don't like to!) but I really enjoy baking
4) I actually enjoy diddling on my computer and I am discovering I might be a computer geek.
5) Being outdoors is my way of getting centered. All is well when it is sunny and birds are singing in the garden.
6) I am writing a children's spiritual book.
7) I am very happy being me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Math Block- The 4 Processes

I have been secretly waiting for this fun math block since the fall!  I LOVE the stories of the gnomes and how they embody the temperaments and help explain the processes with the cute stories.

We have had a few gnomes around and my girls haven't really played with them much, so I wasn't sure how the gnome thing would go over.No worries! They are playing with them and the jewels right now. I finally made the 4 process gnomes (during my drive to Fla and back last week!) and they came out so cute (and easy) Here is a link to Ancient Hearth with instructions

I have several math books I am using to combine info and stories. Barbara Dewey's 1-3 grade math guide, Oak Meadow 1st grade syllabus, and Melisa Nielsen's (A Little Garden Flower) Math Book.
Here are the gnomes drawn on the blackboard with their sign above and how many "jewels" they brought to the king.

We drew in our main lesson books the four gnomes and added some manipulative jewels.
Tomorrow, more stories about each individual gnome and how they go about their jewel collecting!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Trees are Letters

Something happened yesterday that made me jump for joy, as a homeschooling mom!  You know that thing that let's you say-This method works!  Here is mine.

My little artist L, was in the school room for about 30 minutes drawing intensely. She came and asked for a stapler to put her pages together. She, then, presented me with a booklet of her "Letrs" (letters)

The first page had a tree drawn and a big "L" beside it. Then she wrote out the word "chreey" (I found out later that was her phonic spelling of  "tree"- try it!)  The next page had a tree with 2 branches extending up, like antennae and a "Y" beside it, this continued on for "V" (all with Chreey beside it)  Then some pages with our cat, Olive drawn. One had her tail curved around in a "u" and "U" written beside it, "C" followed..
The last was Olive climbing steps with her hands out-stretched into a "K" and she wrote "Steps"

I smiled from ear to ear when I knew that she really internalized the letters..She told me she looked outside in the yard and these were the tree forms she saw (she showed me the V tree, 2 trees hooked at the bottom shaped in a V!)
I took a deep breath and let this success reach my soul.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Aromatherapy Bedtime

I noticed it was taking longer, and longer to get my girls calmed down and "ready" for bed. Especially, L. Though they were in jammies and teeth brushed, they were still in that rowdy mode that seems to happen after dinner. My hubby suggested we move the bedtime up later. I pondered, they are 7 1/2 now, but I felt 8pm was plenty late enough already. (we start the undressing, etc.. around 7:30)

I decided to try another route first and so far it is working like a charm!

I announced one night if they were all ready and quietly lying in bed, they would get a lavender back rub and 2 books read to them. They scrambled quickly!

I dimmed the lights, lit a beeswax candle and rubbed some lavender back-rub oil onto their backs. While I rubbed, I started talking about the day and asking them to visualize what they enjoyed and what they were grateful for.

They were so quiet when I read I couldn't believe it! I kissed them good night, closed the door and they were sailing sweetly off to dreamland.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homeschool Perspective

One morning this week while taking our nature walk, I started thinking about homeschooling and the freedoms it brings.

This is an odd subject because most people see the opposite. My friends who send their children to school say the usual, "I don't know how you do it. You don't have anytime to do anything." Usually, I say, "Oh, I don't mind. I enjoy being with the girls, etc.."

This day, however, I looked at it from a new perspective. As we walked down our street, it was a picture perfect spring morning. Birds singing, squirrels chattering around, daffodils and cherry blossoms blooming. I thought how lovely it is to take our time and not be rushed in the mornings with a "hurry up out the door" schedule. We can take an hour walk if we want. We can go to the local Botanical Gardens for a "field trip". There are so many options and opportunities as homeschoolers!

Spring is such a wondrous time to explore life! I used to stare out the window of my classroom, wishing I could be out there instead of behind a hard desk or worksheets.. The school bus for elementary schooled children comes to our corner at 6:50am.. hmmm.. I am still snuggling in the covers dreaming of beautiful spring mornings at that time...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Celebrations

After hopping down the bunny trail and finding the hidden baskets, we were awakened by girls clamored into our bed to announce the muddy bunny paw prints they found in the kitchen! And a few pieces of lettuce from our garden!

The rest of morning was spent together baking Hot Cross Buns, a yearly favorite and perusing the goodies in the Easter Baskets.
Later, my parents came over for dinner and we took some lovely photos of the girls in their new Easter dresses in the garden.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My HUGE Birthday Surprise!

Well, for once I am speechless. My family actually was able to surprise me with quite a gift last night. I rarely do not know what is going on in my house. If you knew me and my personality, you would see what a job this is.
After a nice dinner out, my parents and a few friends came by for cake. Then an envelope from my hubby revealed a CRUISE to the Bahamas!
And- it is for next Sunday!  He is sending me and my mom for a much needed R&R trip, while he stays to take care of and school the girls. Could I be anymore lucky?  *Smile*

Now, I am desperately trying to get those winter pounds off in 9 days!