Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Schedule (Preschool)

While preschool at our house is mostly just living, learning, and doing what we do, and there certainly aren't the pressures of benchmarks and things, in an effort to be as organized with Miles as I am with Avery (perhaps with the goal of easing up on my firstborn-shh!) here's my weekly plan for Miles:

math lab (puzzles, counting games, cuisenaire rods, etc.)
nature story, walk, nature journal/project
form drawing (tracing, mazes, crayon rubbing, etc.)
PE Skills

story of the week

story of the week-retell, act out, play
human body/health & safety
character study

story of the week-project
Language Lab (making up stories, reading, cut and paste)

art appreciation
Mom and me music class?
letter writing

Weekly Schedule (Fourth Grade)

In the spirit of trying (trying REALLY REALLY hard) not to over schedule our school times- instead of our usual broken-into-15-minute-periods school schedule, this weekly plan, knowing it will change a bit depending on what is actually happening on the ground at any given time:

walk, circle
cursive practice- character verse
reading aloud
reading silently w/narration- history
writing strands 3
Math Lab- hands on work period, new concepts introduced
Math puzzler- logic problem, diagramming, patterning, etc.
Oral Math
Nature story, nature walk, nature journal
US History reading, timeline, project
Form Drawing
guitar practice
PE Skills

walk, circle
main lesson block*
cursive practice
reading aloud
reading silently w/narration
writing strands 3
math puzzler
math practice work
oral math
US History reading, timeline, project
guitar practice
homeschool gymnastics
watercolor painting

walk, circle
main lesson block*
cursive practice
reading aloud
reading silently w/narration
writing strands 3
math puzzler
math practice
oral math
The Human Body- health
US History reading, timeline, project
Geography- from history studies
Character Study

walk, circle
main lesson block*
cursive practice
reading aloud
reading silently w/narration
writing strands 3
math puzzler
math practice
oral math
US History reading, timeline, project
Guitar lesson
PE Skills

walk, circle
copywork Character Verse & illustration
reading aloud
reading silently w/narration
penpal letter/journal writing
math puzzler
math practice
oral math
Lab Science
US History reading, timeline, project
Art Appreciation and Technique
homeschool swimming?

*The main lesson blocks, lasting a month each (approximately) will be: poetry, 4 zoology, one "Man and Animal", 1 Nordic Myths, 1 Vikings, 1 Beowulf

also, I'm considering adding in a formal spelling lesson, but I am unsure still about that....

edited: We ARE doing spelling, are NOT doing spanish, NOT doing homeschool PE.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Handwork Schedule (Preschool)

Schedule? Not so much....
Ideas, anyway:

Stringing beads
Weaving- make little bird nests to weave things into, like this, those
Adorable bird feeders, too, for that matter!
Wet felting- "beads", balls, bars of soap, little pieces of artwork (hot pads, coasters?)
cookie cutter ornaments
Stringing felt beads
Nature weaving
Papier mache
Fabric painting (maybe t-shirts for presents?)
Hammer and nail pounding
Modeling clay
Simple sewing (felt coasters?)

Handwork Schedule (Fourth Grade)

Braid strings to attach to bunk beds for hanging name banners on

Learn simple embroidery stitches-
running stitch, whipped running stitch, cross stitch, french knot, and chain stitch
Transfer drawing to embroidery and create wall art or pillow
Sew and embroider toy for Ansel for Christmas

Build treasure chest, decorated with wood burning, for Miles for Christmas
Knit mouse toy (square, with bell inside) for Ansel's birthday
Knit (hat) or felt play mat for Miles' birthday
Create a project of choice

Learn simple crochet-chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet(?)
Crochet a potholder
Crochet granny squares to make a chair cushion
Build a spice rack for the kitchen or work bench for the garage

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flash Cards

Avery decided he really does want to learn the math tables after all, and that he would rather do it with flash cards than games and things like I've been trying to entice him with. Sometimes broccoli is best just plain, huh? I made some real quick, some that he can practice with himself.
Each number is circled at the top, telling us which table we're working on, and the numbers 1-12 below are reminders to practice adding, subtracting, and multiplying those numbers.

Here's the back of one of the cards, for practicing those pesky division problems. These cards aren't meant to be tricky, but rather easy for Avery to self check and just sort of zip through he tables. We're going to carve out a few minutes each day to work on this, and hopefully it won't take too long to memorize it all, now that he's interested.
His math understanding is great, and he really hasn't had a problem with plodding through complex problems, counting it all out to find the answers, but he does get frustrated sometimes when he can't answer problems without a pencil and paper. I've been letting that frustration build, occasionally reminding him that memorizing would make it a lot easier to work through these problems, but not forcing the issue. Finally he's stepped forward, ready to tackle all those long lists of numbers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Character Study

Home Life Ministries Character Journal

Golden Rules by Wayne Dosick
The Children's Story Hour
Character Education Links
Wing Clips
Brainy Quotes

Each lesson: evening before- tell lesson story before bed, draw the picture for the next day's lesson. Have child narrate story told the evening before. Retell the story with details. Talk about the verse/quote, what the trait means and think of ideas about how to enact it. Have child draw the picture (either to illustrate the story or the verse), and copy the moral/verse/quote, or just do the project for that week.
I WILL- ideas to draw out about each trait. Possibly used for discipline (copy appropriate I will with trait in response to bad acts)
ACTIVITIES- ideas to help bring the trait to life.

Weeks 1&2 Respect
to regard as worthy of special attention, to honor, to give special attention to, to hold in esteem
~Honor thy Father and they Mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12
~Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:32

"If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem." Abraham Lincoln
"Humans are ambitious and rational and proud. And we don't fall in line with people who don't respect us and who we don't believe have our best interests at heart. We are willing to follow leaders, but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst." Rachel Maddow

"As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others." Robert Schuller
Golden Rules p 23-25 The Rice Field
First Peoples Respect story

I Will-Listen and make eye contact when you're talking with people.
-Speak to others kindly.
-Value people's privacy.
-Treat things (mine and others) nicely
-Ask before borrowing, and put things away so they don't get ruined.
-Ask before helping.
-Use people's names when I'm speaking with them.
-Remember that others are just as worthy as I am.
-Offer my seat to elders
-Hold the door and help people when ever I can.
-Wait my turn to speak, to play, etc..
Activities- 1)Think of some of the people you respect the most, and make a list of all of the reasons you respect them. Next think about yourself, and traits you carry that allow people to respect you. 2)Respect the Flag- make a poster about how to treat the US flag.

Weeks 3&4 Honesty
truthfulness, being straightforward, having sincerity and integrity

~Psalm 15:1-2 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteously, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
~Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thine heart.
~Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
~And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32

"How many legs does a dog have if we call his tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg." Abraham Lincoln
"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." Galileo
"The only way to tell the truth is to speak with kindness. Only the words of a loving man can be heard." Henry David Thoreau
"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." Mark Twain
Aesop's Fables "The Mouse and the Frog" "The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf"
Parables from Nature "The Light of Truth"
"The Blind Men and the Elephant"
Golden Rules p41-42 The Collector
I will-clear my conscience to God and my parents
-never try to hide my actions from God or my parents
-not keep secrets from my parents
-have my parents permission about the people I spend time with
-ask my parents for help when I am having a hard time being as good as I can be
-be punctual and follow through when I make commitments
-always keep my promises
-not exxagerate
-not cheat
-admit when I make a mistake or am wrong
-tell the truth
Activities-1) Play truth or dare with your children. 2)Play Red Light/Green Light, with red light meaning untrue or pretend, green light meaning true, and the leader shouting out scenarios demonstrating one or the other (or have the kids come up with answers and you tell them red light or green light).

Weeks 5&6 Humility
humbleness, realizing one's imperfection, freedom from pride and arrogance
~Proverbs 16:20 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly than divide the spoil with the proud.
~Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low, but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. ~Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall.

"Do you wish people to speak well of you? Then don't speak well of yourself." Blaise Pascal
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." Mohandas K. Gandhi
Aesop's Fables "The Oak Tree and the Reed" "The War horse and the Mule"
Parables from Nature "The Light of Life"

Activity- 1) Talk about humility, and how to properly accept a compliment, deflecting the praise back to God and whomever also deserves the praise. 2) Choose something you're good at, and trace back to figure out who has helped you with that skill, etc. Who deserves the praise? Make thank you cards for those people.
I will-praise my parents, teachers, friends, and team mates
-remember those who helped me when I receive praise
-try my best, even if I'm unsure of how I'll do

Weeks 7&8 Gratitude
thankfulness, a feeling of warmth and kindness after receiving a favor
~In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you. 1Thessalonians 5:18
~I give thanks unto thee, O lord, and sing praises unto thy name. Psalms 18:49
~Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned whatever state I am in, to be content. Philippians 4:11

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'Thank you" that would suffice." Meister Eckhart
"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." Margaret Cousins
"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we did get sick, at least we didn't die, so let us all be thankful." Buddha

Golden Rules p112-115 "Seeking Good Fortune" p112-115
Parables of Nature "Daily Bread"

I Will-Try to find the goodness in every person and situation
-Recognize the effort that others put into my benefit
-Voice my thankfulness for what I have
-Be thankful for the wonders of creation, and the Creator
-Voice my gratitude for all my blessings
-Thank god even when I don't understand the blessing
-work to take care of the world
-not complain about things not being good enough, new enough, or cool enough
Activities-1)Create a "Gratitude Garden"or "Thankfulness Tree" with lots of blank flowers/leaves for everyone to write their blessings on each day. 2) Make a thank you card and send it to someone who has helped you in the past, or whom you are thankful to have as a friend or teacher

Weeks 9&10 Compassion
pity, to commiserate, to feel sorrow when others are in distress, to suffer on an other's behalf
~And of some, have compassion, making a difference. Jude 1:22
~Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Romans 12:15

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama
"A religious man is one who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair." Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Good Samaritan Luke 10:30-37
Golden Rules p94-97 The Warm Fuzzies
I Will-Realize that sometimes when people are being irritating it is because they need some positive attention.
-Notice when people seem to feel overwhelmed, and try to lighten their load rather than adding to it.
-Not use rude words that are hurtful
-Say hi to those who seem lonely or timid.
-Listen with my whole self when others are talking.
-pay close attention to my own tone of voice, so that others can hear the words I say as I intend.
-Put myself in others' shoes
-Pay attention to others' facial expressions and tone of voice.
-Use my hands to reach out to and help others
Activities-1)Think of someone who is having a hard time and do something special- make cookies, send a card, etc. 2) Figure out the "Touchpoints of Love" for each family member. Scroll down to the activity.

Weeks 11&12 Patience
calmly or contentedly waiting for something, uncomplaining endurance, suffering with endurance, forbearance
~And to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness. 2Peter1:6
~For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal;A time to break down, and a time to build up;A time to weep, and a time to laugh;A time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to seek, and a time to lose;A time to keep, and a time to throw away;A time to tear, and a time to sew;A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;A time for love, and a time to hate;A time for peace, and a time for war. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
~But the spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. Galatians 5:22

"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world." Helen Keller
"He that can have patience can have what he will." Benjamin Franklin

Parables From Nature "Waiting"
"The Boy and the Gem Master"
I Will-Continue doing what is right even of I don't get recognition for it
-Choose the right actions even if they are slower and I think no one will know.
-Put the good I can do ahead of my own plans
-Be happy to assist rather than being the leader
-Not talk about other's shortcomings, and remember that I have many shortcomings too, and God is always patient with me.
-Accept the things I can't change.
-Keep trying if I don't succeed at first.
-Not complain if I don't get my own way.
-Not interrupt when others are talking.
-Wait for my turn
-Allow others to enjoy their turns without feeling rushed
Activities-1)Make a "talking stick" and practice using it during a family meeting. One person speaks at a time. 2) Decorate a big jar to collect change in, and designate it for something special for the whole family- a trip, a particular board game, something fun and "worth waiting for". 3)play a board game or a card game, and discuss taking turns and being patient

Weeks 13&14 Faith
belief in a higher power, belief that there is a bigger picture than what we can see from where we are, trust in God
~We walk by faith, not by sight." 1Corinthians 13:13
~If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believeth. Mark 9:23
~Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
"Without faith nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible."Mary Mcleod Bethune
"Have faith in God; God has faith in you." Edwin Louis Cole
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Martin Luther King Jr.
"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime, therefore we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history, therefore we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can ever be accomplished alone, therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own, therefore we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness." Reinhold Niebhur
"My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have, to try to make a difference." Jimmy Carter
Parables of Nature "A Lesson of Faith"
Children's Story Garden "The White Feather"
I Will-See the opportunities instead of becoming stuck worrying about the problems
-trust God and my parents to take care of me
-know that even if I'm having a hard time right now things will improve
-know that God is good
-know that God is everywhere
-know that God is leading us to be like Him, and to live a sacred life
Activities-1)Have your child walk in a straight line outside, across the yard or to a distant tree. Next do it blindfolded. How quickly before they get off track? How far off track did they get? God is always there, showing us the way, if we will only keep our blinders off, and if we should get off track, he is still there, waiting!2) Go for a short bike ride, stopping occasionally to get off the bike, walk around it, and look at it, then get back on and ride. How do you know you'll be able to ride it when you get back on? What about tomorrow? What about if you fall? Will you still be able to ride your bike? Yes- just like God is always there, even if we can't see him, even if we make mistakes, supporting us. 3)watch The Lilies of the Field with Sidney Poitier

Weeks 15&16 Courage
boldness, valor, resolution, doing what is right even if you are scared, the will
~He hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." So that we may say boldly, the Lord is my helper, and I will fear not what Man shall do to me. Hebrews 13:6 Matthew 10:28
~Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage, be strong. Corinthians 16:13
"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right." Henry Ford
"Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him follow his conscience." James Freeman Clarke
"Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit." Baltasar Gracian
"Moral excellence comes about by habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts." Aristotle
"It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees." Dolores Ibarruri

Aesop's Fables "The Mice in Council"
The Children's Story Hour "The Courageous Visitor"
I will-Stand up for what is right, even if no one else is
-Say hi to children you don't know
-Look people in the eye when I talk to them
-Say no to doing things that aren't right, even if everyone else is doing it
-Do the right thing even if it isn't the easiest
-Try new things even if I might not do very well
-Express myself even if I'm embarrassed
-Admit when I am wrong
Activities-1) Play "The Face of Courage" Take pictures of your children, cover them with card stock cut in pieces, place before each child. Think up a bunch of scenarios when one could choose to be courageous (talking to a new kid, standing up to a bully, telling the truth even if you'll have punishment, etc.) and let kids choose how they'd handle the situation. Every time they choose the courageous action they can take away another piece of the puzzle, every time they choose the cowardly action they must take a piece back, until their own "face of courage" is completely free and shining up at them. 2)Research a courageous person and create an art project about that person, using key words

Weeks 17&18 Perseverance
persistence, follow-through, determination to accomplish what one sets out to do
~What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:11
~Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. Psalms 37:24
"By perseverance the snail reached the ark." Charles Spurgeon
"Making your mark on the owrld is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden and shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." Barack Obama
"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But they, while their companions slept
Were toiling upward in the night." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world." Jane Addams
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." Edward Everett Hale
Aesop's Fables "The Crow and the Pitcher" "The Hare and the Tortoise"
Noah and the Ark
I will- set goals and work til they are accomplished
-ignore distractions that keep me from my goals
-not let others discourage me from my goals
-keep my focus on what is good for me and my family, not what others choose
-work to complete tasks as efficiently as I can
-not allow difficulties and problems keep me from following my purpose
Activities-1)Research people who have persevered- Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, etc. How many tries is enough? How many difficulties are too many? 2)Watch "The Astronaut Farmer" or "Fly Away Home" 3)super-ball/raw egg activity 4)What do I want to do when I'm a grown-up? What does it take to be what I want to be?

Weeks 19&20 Friendship

affection arising from mutual goodwill, affinity, mutual esteem

~An honest answer is the sign of true friendship. Proverbs 24:26

~Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes

~Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6

"The only way to ahve a friend is to be one" Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The bird a nest, the spider a web, the human friendship." William Blake

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist." Indira Ghandi

"The Horse and his Rider" "The Bear and the Two Travelers"
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Golden Rules p 135-137 "Two Friends"
I Will-honor my friends by holding their confidences
-share my hopes and dreams with my friends, and hold theirs as well
-be truthful and kind to my friends
-make sure everyone gets a turn
-not exclude others and make them feel bad
-help my friends when they are in need
-stand by my friends even when they are being opposed by others
Activities-1)Think of three of your friends, and then think of character traits that you particularly appreciate about each person. Make a Venn diagram illustrating their good traits 2)Make heart shaped cookies and decorate them with the trait you most admire, and give one to each friend

Weeks 21&22 Justice

righteousness, equity, being fair

~The path of the just is as a shining light, that shine more and more until the perfect day

~It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer

~Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy Proverbs 31:9

"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free." Clarence Darrow

"True peace is not merely the abscence of tension: it is the presence of justice."Martin Luther King Jr.

"Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Aesop's Fables "The Woodman and the Trees"
Parables from Nature "The General Thaw"
Golden Rules p 60-61 "In Your Hands"
I Will-do what is fair and just
-be a champion for justice and fairness
-remember that all people are equal in God's eye
-not judge people by appearances
-look for the good in everyone
-share equally
-stand up for those who are being embarrassed or put down
-judge each situation and person individually rather than before hand
Activities- 1)Fair does not mean equal. Make outlines of different sizes of people- a baby, a small child, an older child, a grownup, each with a porportionately sized pail, on cardstock, with little stands of cardstock. Think of different tasks, resposibilities, rewards, and print them four times on slips of paper. Divide them all equally, first, so that it is clear that the grown up has lots of empty space and the smaller figures are overfilled. Have the characters make "trips" to deliver all of their tasks and rewards. Rearrange so that everyone has what they can handle in one trip. That is fair, but certainly not equal. 2)Think of an unfair situation in your community and some possible solutions. Write a letter to the editor about it.

Weeks 23&24 Service
labor performed for the benefit of another
~There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded to your brothers and to the poor and needy in the land. Deuteronomy 15:11
~He raises the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap Psalm 113:7
~I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes and you gave me something to wear. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. Then the good people will answer "Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and take care of you?" Then the King will answer "I tell you the truth, Anything you did for the least of my people you also did for me." Matthew 24:35-45

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank
"If I can stop one heart from breaking/I shall not live in vain./If I can ease one life from aching/Or cool one pain/Or help one fainting robin/unto his nest again/I shall not live in vain." Emily Dickinson
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

Aesop's Fables "The Blind Man and the Lame Man"
Parables of Nature "The Circle Blessing"
I Will-Work to help others whenever I can
-Offer my talents to make the world a better place
-Share my wealth with the needy
-offer my abilities to be of assistance to those around me
Activities-1) Find a crafthope activity, one through another organization, or create your own, to make something to fill a need- dolls for orphans, hats for the homeless, etc. 2) volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank, take a dog from the Humane Society out for a walk, figure out what sort of service calls to you, and do it!

Weeks 25&26 Kindness

being kind, a kind or helpful act, goodness, consideration

~Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

~An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

~ Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

"Three things in life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind." Henry James

"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver." Barbara de Angelis

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." James M. Barrie

"The Old Man Who Made Trees Blossom"
Aesop's Fables "The Lion and the Mouse"

I Will- look for opportunities to give people sincere compliments
-say please, thank you, no thank you, excuse me
-help people in simple ways, like holding the door, or picking up dropped items
-not talk badly about people
-offer to help whenever I can
-listen attentively when others are talking to me

Activities-1)learn and sing The Golden Rule song. 2)Plant seeds of kindness- cut out seed shapes from paper, decorate a bulletin board or large piece of paper green, with a strip of brown at the bottom. As each child does a kindness, write it on a "seed", and have them plant it on the paper with glue. Secretly glue on a flower, so that you quickly grow a garden of beauty from all those seeds of kindness. Maybe a different color flower for each child, or have them decorate the flowers ahead of time?

Weeks 27&28 Responsibility

being accountable, knowing and doing what is expected (by God)
~For God shall bring every work into judgement, every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14
~But if any not provide for his own, and specifically for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1Timothy5:8
~Do all things without murmerings and disputing. Philippians 2:14

"Few things help a person more than to place responsibilty upon him, and to let him know that you trust him." Booker T. Washington
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." Voltaire
St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I Will-do my chores without complaining
-take care of my things and my space
-follow through on my promises
-prove my apologies with action
-not make excuses
-understand and do what I am supposed to do

Activities-1)Character Ed Net interactive lesson 2)Choose a hero and list the reasons why they are a hero, and think of as many of their character traits as you can. Is your hero responsible? 3)Watch the movie The Little Prince

Weeks 29&33 Forgiveness
to stop feeling anger or resentment towards someone, excusing, pardoning
~For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
~The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a trangession. Proverbs 19:11
"It is easier to forgive an enemy than it is to forgive a friend." William Blake
"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Mohandas K. Gandhi
Parable of "The Prodigal Son" Christian and Buddhist versions
Parables of the "Unmerciful Servant"
"No Future Without Forgiveness" by Desmond Tutu
I Will-forgive those who mistreat me
-know that others are trying their best, too
-know that even if I don't like someone I can still forgive them
-forgive myself for my mistakes
-forgive myself when I don't do as well as I think I could have
-know that God knows we are not perfect, and forgives us, but expects us to keep trying to be better
Activities-1)forgiveness lesson/pencils 2)How many times must I forgive? Take a piece of construction paper, folded in half, and on the top side write"I forgive you for that" and glue 7 seeds. Have the child count out 70 seeds, and measure an approximate amount 6 more times. Glue all of those seeds inside. 3)set up a bean bag challenge, letting the children work out how many tries they get before it is someone else's turn. After awhile ask what they decided, then ask how many chances God gives us to get it right. How many times can we keep trying before we give up trying to do the right thing?

Weeks 31&32 Hopefulness

to feel that something desired may happen, to have confidence, to trust, to expect

~Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
~But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalms 39:7

"The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Allan K. Chalmers
"Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, it comes into existence." Lin Yutang
"Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope." Kalidasa

Parables From Nature "A Lesson of Hope" "Red Snow" "Purring When You're Pleased"
I Will-believe in myself
-believe in the goodness of others
-be flexible and know that everything will work out
-always look for the silver lining, the good in every situation
-not be stubborn, grumpy, and rude
-not give up on myself or others
-not try to take hope away from others
Activities-1) Make a "Tree of Hope" draw a tree, with roots. Label the roots with the names of the people and ideas, places, that teach and sustain you. Label the branches with your hopes, dreams, aspirations. Here is a guide to sketching trees. 2)
Make a family list- things we each hope for ourselves, for each other, for our family unit, for our town, our world

Weeks 33&34 Obedience
submission to authority, respect, obeying
~Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing unto the Lord. Colossians 3:20
~If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19
~Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3

"Force does not constitute right, obedience is due only to legitimate powers." Jean Jacques Rousseau
"A great work is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty."Nadia Boulanger
"Justice is the insurance which we have on our lives and property. Obedience is the premium we pay for it." William Penn
Parables From Nature "The Law of Authority and Obedience"
The Children's Story Garden "The Water Barrel"
The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack
I Will-accept "No" as the final answer
-do what my parents tell me when they tell me
-be cheerful as I fulfill my duties
-not give excuses to get out of my duties
-perform my tasks completely and whole-heartedly
-obey the rules of God first (I won't do something I know to be wrong just because I was told to.)

Activities-1) Who is in charge of me? Identify people who have authority over you, and when they have authority. 2)Hide a little present or treat somewhere, and give the children very explicit directions, breaking the clues and the path into segments. When they finally get the prize let them enjoy the reward of their obedience.

The Human Body

Anatomy, Health, and Safety

Week 1- Cells

NOVA movie- Lab Meat

Biology4Kids- Cells Cell Parts and Functions Movie

Science Online Game

Cells Are Us online book

Virtual Cell

The Human Body (THB) Hormones, Growth, and Development p 49-51

The Way We Work (TWWW) p 50-55

Wonders of Science The Human Body (WOSTHB) Unit 1-What Are Bodies Made Of?

Week 2- DNA

NOVA Create DNA Fingerprint & Solve a Crime

DNA to Protein Interactive Zoom in to DNA

Bones & Skeleton Game Book (B&S) p 81

THB p 47-48

TWWW p 32-35

Week 3- Genes

NOVA Epigenetics Movie

Discovery Education Life Cycles Movie

American Museum of Natural History genetics activities Gene Games

Only Human (OH) p29-37
THB Hormones, Growth, and Development p 47-48
B&S p 78-79

Weeks 4 & 5- Skeleton & Bones
Bones Movie
Bones & Broken Bones Movie
Label the Bones Print
Bone Games
Dragonfly TV Bone Regrowth
Muscles & Bones Lessons
WOSTHB p 12-21, 66-69
THB p 31-35
TWWW p 254-259, 267-289
B&S p 10-16
The House We Live In pdf book (THWLI) p 7-17/58, 23-28/58

Weeks 6 & 7- Muscles
Newton's Apple Knuckle Crack Video
Muscles & Bones Lessons
Kids Health Muscles
THB p 35-36
TWWW p 261-265
B&S p 18-22
WOSTHB p 32-39, 74
THWLI p 29-32/58

Weeks 8-9- First Aid

A Sigh of Relief first aid book

Grossology p 12, 42

WOSTHB p 114-124

Weeks 10 &11- Brain & Nervous System

Brain & Nervous Sytem Movie

Newton's Apple Brain Movie

Label the brain -Ectomy printable brain parts game
NOVA Sleep video
Make NS Models
Reflex Experiments
THB Nervous System p 3-9, 12-14
TWWW p 150-165, 188-207
B&S p 56-58
WOSTHB p 40-43, 75, 82
THWLI p17-20/58, 51-58/58

Week 12- Sight
The Miracle Worker/ Helen Keller
Louis Braille
Vision Experiments
Vision packet
Vision Experiment
Depth Perception
Optical Illusions
Braille Translator
THB p 10
TWWW p 174-187
B&S p 46-50, 86
WOSTHB p 88-89
THWLI p 20-21/58

Week 13- Hearing
Newton's Apple Hearing
PBS Movie- Through Deaf Eyes
Hearing Experiments
Mr. Holland's Opus
Ear Drum Experiment
Sound and Fury DVD
Grossology p 32
B&S p 42-44
THB p 10
TWWW p 166-173
WOSTHB p 86-87
THWLI p 21-22/58

Week 14- Touch/Skin
Newton's Apple Wrinkling Skin Video
Touch Lesson Plan
Touch Experiments
Grossology p 10, 34, 38, 46
THB Nervous System p 11
TWWW 219-224, 246-247
B&S p 36-37, p 40
WOSTHB p 90-91
THWLI p 33-36/58

Week 15- Smell
Newton's Apple Taste & Smell
UW Smell Lesson Plans
Kids Health
THB Nervous System p 9
TWWW p 102-103
B&S p 51-53

Week 16- Taste Taste Experiments
Kids Health
B&S p 54
THB Nervous System p 11
TWWW p 104-105
WOSTHB p 84-85
THWLI p 22-23/58

Week 17-18- Digestive System
Digestive System Movie
Newton's Apple The Liver
Urinary System Movie
Grossology p 8, 14, 16, 22, 24, 26, 30, 36, 40
THB Digestive System p 23-30
TWWW p 111-147
B&S p 62-64, 68-69
WOSTHB p 50-59, 76-81
THWLI p 45-50/58

Week 19- Teeth and Oral Health
Magic School Bus Teeth
Oral Health Lesson Plan
Tooth Care
Kids Health
Grossology p 44, 50
THB Musculoskeletal p 34
TWWW p 106-107
B&S p 65-67

Weeks 20 & 21- Nutrition
Nutrition Tracker
Monster Nutrition Game
My Pyramid Blast Off Game
Fueled For Fun Game
Nutrition Café Games
Food & Fitness Lesson Plans
WOSTHB p 98-101

Weeks 22-25- Immune System
NOVA Pandemic Flu Video
NOVA 1918 Flu Video
Immune System Movie
Newton's Apple Antibiotics
Types of immune Cells
Grossology p 20
THB Immune System p 37-44
TWWW p 224-2553
B&S p 82-83
WOSTHB p 102-105

Week 26- Respiratory System

Kids Health Asthma movie
Newton's Apple Asthma
Grossology p 48
THB Respiratory system 21-22
TWWW p57-69, 92-94
WOSTHB p 44-49, 72-73, 92-97
THWLI p 4/58, 41-45/58

Week 27- Circulatory System
Newton's Apple Heart Attack Video
Heart & Circulatory System Video
THB Circulatory System p 15-19
TWWW p 76-91
WOSTHB p 22-31, 70-71
THWLI p 4-6/58, 36-41/58

Week 28- Blood
Newton's Apple Blood Typing Video
Bloody Bits
Blood Drop Games
Kids Health
Grossology p 18
THB p 19-20
TWWW p 69-75

Week 29- Hormones, Growth, Development Endocrine System Movie Newton's Apple Diabetes Video
Hair Hygrometer Experiment
B&S p 38-39, 84-85
THB Hormones, Growth, and Development p 45-46
TWWW p 207-217

Week 30- Reproduction
THB Hormones, Growth, and Reproduction p 52-54
TWWW p 290-318
WOSTHB p 60-65

Week 31- Safety- Drugs
Newton's Nicotine
Just Think Twice (for older kids, parents)
Grade Level pdf books (g5)
Discovery Ed video
WOSTHB p 106-113

Week 32- Safety- Fire
Fire Prevention
USFA games
Plan trip to fire station

Week 33- Safety- Touch/Strangers
McGruff Safety Info
Plan visit/trip to police station

Week 34- Safety-Internet
Internet Safety
Internet Safety g4

Week 35- Survival
Survival Preparedness Natural Disasters

Week 36- Wilderness Survival
Newton's Apple Arctic Survival
Wilderness Survival Lesson Plan
15 survival videos

Special thanks for the wonderful resources at Guest Hollow. They have a great 4-day a week Elementary Anatomy lesson plan, with book pages, games, worksheets, movies, everything all laid out. I pretty much copied their curriculum plan, then substituted the books we already had, added in some different online resources, and tweaked the schedule and subjects just a bit. I will be working on curriculum as we go, of course- adding in library books and resources as they fit, and deciding on exactly which games, etc. we'll use.

But this is our plan- not Waldorfy, not taught in blocks, Health/Anatomy will be a one day a week extra lesson this coming year.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nature Study 1B Wasps

Following up on our first Handbook of Nature Study lesson, we learned a little bit about wasps this week. Wasps are related to bees, but are not hairy like bees are. Wasps are solitary or social- those are the ones that build those paper pulp nests, like the one we saw on the slide the other day. Only the females have stingers. Some live on nectar, but others are omnivores, and eat carrion along with their sweets. Some wasps are parasitic, and they lay their eggs inside caterpillars, then when the eggs hatch, they eat the caterpillar from the inside out. Totally awesome, apparently. We did all agree that using parasitic wasps for pest control was way cooler than using toxic pesticides. Though I guess we don't want close encounters with either form of insect control!

Nature Study 1A Cottonwood

Cottonwood Seeds. Photo from Land Arts in an Electronic Age.

We learned a little bit about Cottonwood Trees this week, after seeing a little farm COVERED in the fluffy cottony spiderwebby seeds, and seeing them at the Ahtanum Mission. Avery was interested to find out that Cottonwoods have light, flexible wood, often used to make those round cheese boxes, matches, paper, cheap plywood, snowboard cores, and perhaps most excitingly, the "bones" of Buster, the crash test dummy on the TV show Mythbusters! Apparently cottonwood breaks under the same pressure as human bones. Good to know, good to know. Another interesting thing about cottonwoods is that they can sprout roots from buried limbs and trunk (and vice versa) making them good at holding sand dunes, and one of the few trees able to survive a sand dune existence.
Also, cottonwoods are Poplar type trees, and like to grow in wet areas. Around here they are found down in the little valleys and canyons along stream banks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nature Study 1

We started our new Nature Study program today. We're using Anna Botsford Comstock's The Handbook of Nature Study, and the guidance and some of the ideas from The One Hour Challenges at this website, plus our regular nature science stories, like these, and these, as well as made up ones and Native American stories.
Avery's drawing of a Clover flower. It doesn't show up well in the picture, but in his book it is sweet. Diminutive, but isn't clover, really?

We had a picnic under this tree. What a great way to start a nature study outing!

One of the original old apple trees still growing and producing on the Mission grounds.

I think this is the seedpod of an American Sycamore tree. There are several at the Mission, providing beauty and shade to the park grounds.

Wasp nest under the slide ramp. The boys watched closely for some time.

Miles' nature book drawing. He finished pretty quickly then spent some time moving piles of dirt around and poking them with his apple wood stick.

My page. We were sitting directly under one of those ancient apple trees, so it seemed natural to draw that. Ummm... not that I'm a fabulous artist or anything, but it's fun to all sit and draw together. And we were using these cool Lyra Aquacolor crayons, which draw nicely like rich, soft crayons, then magically turn into a watercolor painting when you brush with water!
Our two topics for further study are wasps and cottonwoods. We'll spend a bit of time this week finding out about those things.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Waldorf 4th Grade: Man and Animals

I am in the midst of preparing for the upcoming school year- we'll have a Fourth Grader and a Preschooler, plus the baby, so I want to be as organized and prepared as possible. This summer I'm reading the Norse Myths, researching curriculum choices for the workbook type things we'll use, and trying to get my head around the 4th grade lesson blocks usually called "Man and Animals" or something similar. Sometimes it's called zoology, which is what I've been calling it.

Teaching science has always been my biggest worry point- Avery LOVES doing experiments and lab work, I don't, so much. I love going outside and watching bugs and flowers, but don't really care what they're called or why, he can barely watch for a moment without the desire to KNOW burning him up and into a book. And here we are. Fourth grade. The start of real science, not just nature stories, for Waldorf kids. The unfolding of the child's sense of inner and outer selves, of objectivity, and the BIGNESS of the world. I don't want to mess that up! And I am completely at a loss. What to do?
The Waldorf curriculum tells us that animals are specialized, one-sided. Really perfectly adapted to their task, but only made for that one thing. Animals fall into one of three categories, or embody one of the threefold human traits- they are either thinking, feeling, or willing. Humans, in contrast, are imperfect, but embody all of these traits, plus one other: we are created upright, with hands and arms that are not needed to move us, like animals, but free to turn to service for God and humanity. It doesn't sound too bad (or maybe it does, depending on your perspective) but I am having a problem taking it all in. I just don't really GET it, I guess, and I'm worried that in my attempt to teach something I don't deeply understand and believe that I will not do justice to the task, or my child. I can see a glimmer of how it might be beautiful and true taught by a real Waldorf teacher, someone trained in and understanding of this material. Unfortunately I keep getting stuck with it all feeling forced, like poor science, mixing of holy and earthly things I have no business messing with.
I feel comfortable teaching the animals in tidy groups: you know, mammals, reptiles, mollusks, birds.... I feel comfortable with the idea that humans are upright and special, able to think and feel and do, and that we have a responsibility to care for the world we've been given (or given to, maybe?). I feel comfortable saying animals embody the willing aspect of humans, but the feeling and thinking? I guess dolphins are thinkers, but aren't they still more will-full? Does the octopus, with that huge head, really think more that follow instinct? Surely the jellyfish is more instinctual, yet it is sometimes taught with the "thinkers".... I don't know, and I'm having a hard time getting comfortable with this lesson, I guess because of exactly what I don't know.

The Octopus: a classic Waldorf embodiment of the "thinking" characteristic of the human.

The Eagle: who soars like our thoughts, who attacks prey as we "attack" an idea.

The Lion: embodies "feeling" with strong use of all the senses and that powerful heart.

The Snake: no limbs, all digestive and torso- another "feeling" animal.

The Sea Star: looks like our hand, a clear manifestation of "will".

A Steer: like oxen or a bull, strong and made for work, exercising one's will.