Friday, 31 May 2013

Waldorf and Curricula

As Puddle's school starting date draws nearer, thou still a year and a bit away I have been thinking about how I'm actually going to DO homeschooling. (I know here [UK] its known as home educating and homeschooling implys "school at home" but I have read to many american forums and blogs and tend to refer to all learning other wise as homeschooling, ok, so bear with me.)

I have come to the conclusion that, although I LOVE the idea of unschooling and autonomous learning ( not actively teaching and following the child's lead)  That this is not the best was to start our journey as a family. The reasons being that:

left to his own devises Puddles will turn the laptop on and browse youtube for hours watching cartoons in variouse languages and watching toy reviews, usually toy cars. Now this is not a bad thing, I think his happyness to listen to variouse languages is great, but he will do this for hours and hours on end.

I suffer from Bipolar and M.E., The M.e. is a real tiring pain in the arse, but the Bipolar is the one that really effects my parenting and my ability to homeschool. If I have the evening before to plan rough lessons and activities it means that when I wake up things are there for me to do with Puddles, and then I am much less likley to let him sit infront of the computer while I curl up on the sofa. Planning ahead also means on my really bad days I can say to Yetti, "Look, this is what we should be doing, can you take over today I need to go and hide and curl up in a ball." So even better yet is having a rough curriculum to follow so when I am not even up to the planning, I can wake up glance through the guide and off we go!

I don't see that we will always have a curriculum to follow, as Puddles gets older I would like to move him on to a more self directed project based type learning. Its something I did as a child, I would read books then draw pictures and find out everything about a subject and espress my learning usually throu artistic mediums. Its something I remember loving and still do it as a method to learn new things now.

So I have been looking throu curricula. What I have been really drawn to is methods that utilise stories I really love the idea of a story being a jumping board for learning. Espheshally learning new concepts such as maths and also I love realising stories in our daily life, for example if the story was about a chicken that made bread then you would make bread with your child that day!

Because of the stories and the arts and crafts I have really loved Waldorf / Steiner method of education. Teaching through stories and realising stories throu arts and crafts. How ever I am reluctant to use the steiner spirituality so after looking at Enki, which for me has to much planning to do on the parents side, to much information to be sorted through. Christopherus seamed to be to spirituality heavy. Then I found Oak Meadow. (http://www.oakmeadow.com/) Now with all the reviews of Oak Meadow say its not "true" Waldorf, alot of them say that it doesn't follow the spirituality of Waldorf and its just Waldorf flavored on the arts, crafts and story side, and that's exactly what I wanted. So after finding out that in May Oak Meadow has a 20% of curricula and arts materials, yesterday I took the plunge and purchased Kindergarten and grade one as well as a few arts suplys that are cheaper to get through them.


Why buy two grades? Well, Kindergarden coveres numbers one to ten and learns the alphabet in capital form. Now Puddle already knows most of that and is starting to be ready for a bit more . But I didn't want him to miss out on the Kindergarten stories and crafts. He is to young for first grade which commands better control of writing implements and understanding. So the plan is to start him in Kindergarten in September in a very casual way. learning as and when he is interested as he shouldn't really be starting it for at least another year or two (or three depending who you ask!)  But I feel he is ready for something. Though are days will mostly be filled with imaginative play, cooking and playing with bowls of water in the sunshine.


So! Now I wait! I am very excited about all the materials coming in the post. I shall have to spend less time on face book in the next few months and devote my self to reading through everything and preparing my self for this next exciting adventure.

I already have  Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers and From Nature Stories to Natural Science by Christopherus so I shall finish those first.

Exciting!


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Buttons!

Just to let you know Puddles can do up his own pajama buttons now! My big beautiful boy!

Holidays and lots and lots of photos!

Hello! Last week Puddle Yettie, Yettie's mum, dad, brother, sister inlaw and their son all went to Majorca. It was Puddle's first time on an aeroplane and, and he was VERY excited about the whole thing. He clicked that we were going on holiday about 2 weeks before we went and the questions of "Are we going on holiday yet" were incessant  Unfortunately when in his seat belt for take off and landing he couldn't see much out of the window but was still very excited all the same.


I LOVE U.H.T milk tastes of holidays, And I loved the graphics on this carton :)




Puddle drew a smiley face on his face.

We stayed in a lovely villa with in door and out door (FREEEEEEZING) pools a games room and a resterant that did takeaways, and some pet gekos (welcome) and miggies (less welcome)



Puddles playing pool in the games room.




Yetti bought a boules set and Puddle had great fun throwing them in the pool, the big ones floated and the Jack sank!

 Yettie and  I went off for the day to Coves Del Drac. I have been a couple of times before but still loved them. I can imagin gnomes living in the underground formations. We had a pizza there and I had a cookie ice cream sandwich which were both yummy! The caves have a lake inside which we sat infront of and it all went dark and three boats lit with fairy lights came out and drifted across the water. There was a quartet in one of the boats but you couldn't see them. They played beautiful Classical music and I promptly fell asleep!

Whilst we were away The Inlaws took Puddle on a glass bottom boat. If I had known it was going to be glass bottomed I think I would have liked to go too, but we didn't know it was going to be at the time. My Father in laws (further more to be known as FIL.) made Puddle a map of all the coves and bays they would visit on the boat so he could look out for them. He was delighted and it kept him busy the whole trip. FIL,  BIL(Brother in law) and SIL(Sister in law.....you getting the hang of this?) Saw a family of 3 dolphins but Puddles and MIL( you guessed it.........mother in law) were on the wrong side of the boat and missed them. Puddles was quite upset by this, but was cheered up by the thought of the treasure marked on the map. Unfortunatly Puddle fell asleep befor the end of the boat trip, so FIL made another map, of the villa this time and hid the treaure. BIL and Puddle searched for it excitedly



X Markes the spot! It was (fools) Gold! Puddles was extatic, but he thought there would be 3 treasures when there were only two. One found in a palm tree one in an olive tree ("But there were three trees on the map grandad!")


Yettie and I tool Puddle to Palma Aquarium. It was brilliant. there was one HUGE tank that we sat by for ages just watching sharks and rays fly gracefully past.



We enjoyed cake and Ice cream




When I was pregnant I took a series of photos called "Travels of the bump" and you could always see my crocs peeking out from behind the bump. So now my old (4 years) Crocs have given up the ghost and I bought a new pair for holiday I desided they need their own set of photos. So here it is!




 For Puddle "Holiday" means "beach" So we spent to the beach twice. Once with all the family and once just Puddle. These photos are from our last day, hours before flew home. Puddle found a hole and decided to dig it deeper. I sat and read Phillip Pullmans Northern Lights. I had started to listen to it on audio book years ago and never got in to it. But I am liking it better this time.
 Puddle spooning the sea in to his bucket. The water was SO clear I even went for a paddle in it, up to my knees.



 My beautiful Brown eyed boy!


Puddle with his pirate bandana on with his papa on the last day.

 At the airport going home!





One of the days there was a BBQ and I wore my new spotty dress. This is a photo taken by Puddles!