After a somewhat leisure morning of breakfast, reading, and chores we light a candle and start circle time. Circle time is made up of songs both familiar and old, verses, games, and usually something spontaneous! Often Ada and Arlene suggest games they learned over the years from dance class- cute and fun. Circle time has been a part of our lives since before the girls were two! I smile thinking back on the years we’ve shared this time and all the ways it has grown. We use to tie long scarves around our wastes and sing and dance around the house while holding onto these makeshift “tails.” We haven’t done that in awhile and I’m thinking we might should!
Morning lesson follows circle time, a rotating block study. In Waldorf schools the first grade focuses on blocks: form drawing, language arts, and mathematics. In addition to blocks there are additional “subjects” which are woven into the day such as: knitting, baking/cooking, painting, Spanish, singing, etc. I begin our main lesson with a story, some playful movement and work with their head and hands, depending on the block. We just finished form drawing which is composed of more “hand-drawing work”that prepares the 6 year old for letter writing. Although the girls know and write all the letters of the alphabet, there are occasional reversals and inconsistencies. Form drawing helps to establish the fact that there is a way to “drawing” or writing the form, while strengthening their hand muscles. All packaged into an interactive, creative delivery! Oh and it is fun to draw these forms as they relate to actions and plot within the story. Morning lesson on Monday segues into painting followed by reading time before lunch.
We’ve been reading a lot of books on Native Americans and early frontiersmen to Colorado and Utah. A clash of worlds to say the least and lots of questions ensue from these reading selections. Another popular read is Girls Who Looked Under Rocks which takes us through the lives of six women whose curiosity and passion for the natural world led them to lives in science, often against the current.
I really love our lunch time together. Relaxed and satisfying, it is wonderful time of sharing and eating!
After lunch we’ve been heading outdoors! We bring along our jump ropes, balls and hula hoops for a little fun. This play has been interesting; we start with traditional games of tossing the ball, maybe through the hula hoops, jumping when we catch it, etc. and very soon it evolves into their own creations. I LOVE witnessing these developments. The possibilities are infinite and it is one of those many moments where the girls teach ME that there are SO many possibilities in the day. They remind ME that there’s a great BIG horizon ahead, not just a schedule to adhere to!
We take Happy out for a walk after our playtime, sometimes riding bikes, other times just walking. It has been so hot lately and especially around this time that the walks are not entirely enjoyable. They take their own “dogs” on these walks and tell fantastic stories about them as we go. I like to call Arlene’s “Bling, Bling” although her name is Ruby. Ada’s is Lily. They tell me all about the training they do with them, how old they are and where they were rescued from.
Then it is time for relaxing quietly together or apart. We gather together, each with a pile of books or drawing pads (often Ada draws) and relax for about an hour. We pacify Happy with a bone during this time so it is important to get right down to business as his clock runs tight!
We’re trying to ride our bikes around town more often–both for fun and to get from A to B. Last week we rode to Lucky’s for some essential baking ingredients and another day we rode up to Foothills Playground, another day to the library! One day we brought along Beatrix Potter. After playing we found a sweet spot under a tree to watch clouds and to read several chapters from our book. It was so beautiful. This is why we sacrifice my not working. This is why we homeschool.