Monday, April 22, 2013

What is our background?

Our older two children were educated at home in a pretty classical style: lots of grammar, history, logic, latin.  We threw in a lot of nature study, journaling & 'telling back' Charlotte Mason-style, and experimented with various math & science curriculum.  History was the core of what we did for literature, writing, art, bible study, etc, and the books they made as they first narrated to me & later wrote & drew their thoughts are a treasure - much like the main lesson books used in Waldorf (I think?  I'm still learning what it all looks like)!  I love that we were doing some Waldorfy things even without ever having known of it - something so natural must be right ;0)

Fast forward a bit - we moved to the boonies when they were 10 & 12 - perfect!  We all love it & they were able to soak up even more time outside.  A couple more years & BAM!  Here comes baby #3 (musta been all that fresh air)!  Stopped us dead in our classical education tracks.  Older ones were 12 & 14 and we had our first experiment in unschooling.  Our 14 yodd has always been into all kinds of art, so she focused on that along w/ designing clothing & learning to sew (she is now an accomplished seamstress - see  I still did a lot of read alouds, 12 yods had more structured lessons than his sister, but it was like having our first baby all over again so I didn't think I could keep up w/ the rigors of classical through high school.  We did Veritas Press's Omnibus their 5th & 7th grade years - wow - then Tapestry of Grace the next year - then chilled a great deal. Dd read Jane Austen novels & did some Ace Paces & lots of other stuff I can't remember; Ds continued w/ Apologia Science, Math U See, Lang. Lessons for High School Students & other stuff I can't remember while I nursed the baby & then had another one when the big ones were 14 & 16!  Yes, I keep great records & we covered all the bases, but you can maybe see why I was a bit preoccupied during the high school years.  And, oh, I can't help but brag a children ARE AMAZING!  Dd took 2 college art classes last semester (one art history for college jrs & srs w/ LOTS of writing) & she aced both w/ extra credit & has THREE pieces in the honors art show (one w/ the Presidents Award and a Merit Award).  Ds has had the lead in 2 drama productions through high school with our homeschool co-op & is apprenticing with an awesome chef so he can learn to cook lots of yummy REAL food :0)  He is an amazing, complex young man who has become a picture of Christ - so giving to others, genuine, contemplative, loving.  Not once did I consider sending them away for high school.  No way would I have missed out on getting to know these awesome people!  Oh, did I mention our oldest dd was a huge fan of fairies til she was in her mid-teens??

Now we're trying to decide what we'll be doing w/ our littles.   They are almost 3 & just turned 5...I started reading Montessori stuff when baby #4 was born so we did a lot of that the last couple of years.  Funny how one thing leads to another & here I am no longer trying to create Montessori-ish stuff I see & am overwhelmed by in blogland.  Whew!  I do still love a lot of what it teaches, but not as much as my love for so many things Waldorf - and I know I can combine all aspects of what I love from various philosophies which is a great freedom.  I am not a purist in any sense - but I DO need to read a lot more on what & how things are taught in the grades using Waldorf so I know where we could be headed & how that may mesh (or not) with my other loves.  Now I'm moving to the next topic so we'll start another post (plus this is so long!).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In the beginning....

was the environment....yeah, we had a lot to clear out.  We were actually going down this road awhile before I had a name to put with it but now it's like simplification of everything times 10!  Clothes, toys, food, kitchen items - you name it (thank you, Mr. Becoming Minimalist).  So, the free swaps w/ our homeschooling group have been a blessing, as well as a handy thrift store where I can drop off plastic junk at the back door & pick up nice wooden baskets & containers for pennies from the front door.  It's still a work in progress, but we've come a long way to making our home a calm, relaxing place to live, learn, and entertain.

I guess I should also add in an explanation for my subtitle....I'm still reading up on anthroposophy so I'm definitely not an expert....but I don't agree with a lot of Steiner's views on the world, religion, or child development.  I may write an essay someday outlining my views & how they differ, but for now we'll settle on that & see just how consistent I will be with this blog ;0)  Thanks, HB for getting this up & going!!  Intros to come later, as well as pics when I figure out how.

I've since figured out a few's one of our main playspaces.  We have 2 indoors, really, one upstairs in the dining room (the play kitchen is up there along w/ the train set) & this downstairs.  I added some sheers to two of the bookshelves, and they really help to block out the clutter.  There is also a long table in this room for painting, etc.

Sorry for the silence here - but we've moved!

A lot has happened in the past 6 are a few highlights! I became a puppy grandma - meet Finn!  Abbie & James are very...