Second Grade Wrap Up

We had our last main lesson for second grade on Friday. It feels good to know we completed the year.

This year was full of stories about Saints, animals (trickster tales and Burgess animal stories), and fables. My son started memorizing his times tables and continued to practice the four processes. He learned about time (reading the clock and the months and days of the week) and money.

He continued his knitting, learning the purl stitch. He knit a lovely scarf, a hat and a chicken. His modeling, painting and block crayon drawing skills expanded.

He learned to identify nouns and verbs in his writing and his handwriting improved. His reading really took off early in the school year and now I’ll find him hiding away, reading a book when he’s supposed to be doing something else. Ha!

His fiddle playing has improved and in March, he won 2nd place in his division at the state contest.

We are in the thick of the 9 year change and therein lies my biggest struggles with him. I know he is going through big changes and adjustments internally. I’m working on supporting him and holding the space while also being the steady calm authority figure that he needs in his life right now.

Here are some photos of a sampling of his main lesson work from the year.

Our day in pictures

(This isn’t our cat but we saw him on our walk, and he is blind. I had to take a picture of him enjoying the sun.)

Of course, there was much much more to our day. Lots of meals and talking and fighting and crying and dishes and playing and laughing. Life is never dull.

Self care and fridges

Pictures from our day.

I feel like we entered a new level of homemaking today since we purchased a second refrigerator. I got it used for $50 and it’ll live in the garage next to our chest freezer. My teen thinks it’s hilarious and slightly embarrassing to have two fridges, but I assured him that it’s quite common. We will finally have space for all the veggies that we juice and lots of extra fruit! I’m a little too excited about it.

The sleepless baby saga continues as we wait for that tooth. It isn’t too bad, but it does mean I’m much too tired to wake early, before my kids, to do much self-care. Waking up at the same time as my kids, feet hitting the ground when I wake, isn’t my ideal. In fact, my favorite time to wake up is 4:30am. But with a baby now, that isn’t happening and probably won’t for a good year more. So i settle for 5:30 most mornings, and the first child (usually the baby) usually at 6. For me, self-care can be anything that fills my cup. Meditation. Long showers. Cup of tea and a good audio book. A book I enjoy. Journaling. Making things. Just sitting and enjoying the silence.

But I have a lot of patience these days, this being my fourth baby. I look forward to the days when I have more time to myself, but I am also deeply savoring these days of child rearing that slip by so quickly. I know all too well that in a few years, my days of babies will be over. So for now, I’m quite content to just be here, now, and enjoy where I’m at, squishy baby snuggles and little time to myself. It’s all perfect.

Art and needle felting

We painted today. When we paint for lessons, we use just the three primary colors and enjoy learning how variations of mixing them create many other colors.

Below is my 2nd grader’s painting and above is my example painting. I also paint it a second time at the same time as him during the lesson.

My kindergartener painted as well.

My 8th grader did a chalk drawing on black construction paper for his artwork this week. I attempted to make it smudge-proof by spritzing some hair spray on it, but it left some wet spots. I guess that only works with aerosol hair spray?

Last night, I got my box of roving out to make a little doll for our kindergarten homeschool stories.

I followed the directions in the back of this lovely book.

I’m still not pleased with his face, and am going to fiddle with it a bit. But, he’s already well-loved. His name is Super Sam, the main character in the kindergarten stories I tell each week.

Homeschool photos

Monday morning we clean our school/playroom. Here is before and after.

Some 2nd grade work from the last two days.

Some 8th grade work. We started a short block on Russia geography and culture (brief history as well).

It wasn’t our baking day, but we were out of bread, so bread baking happened. It got a bit dark on top but still wonderful.

I managed to get a strength training workout in and couldn’t help snapping a picture of our bunny when i finished.

I plan on doing a whole post on this, but I’m working my way though my Planning for Peace journal. I’m charting my actual rhythm this week. (Something I’ve done multiple times over the years and I highly recommend!)

Busy days

Usually Tuesdays are an at-home day for us, but we spent the morning at the park meeting other moms interested in joining our newly forming Waldorf homeschool co-op. And once we returned home, I decided it’d be a relaxed rest of the day.

Wednesday, today, we had lots of lesson time. My 2nd grader did some multiplication practice (using his multiplication clocks that he made), practiced his form drawing for the week, and then wrote his summary of the fable from yesterday.

The 8th grader spent the morning reading. He usually reads for 45 minutes a fiction book that I’ve chosen for him to read (he reads plenty of fiction of his own choosing during non-lesson time), and then 30-60 minutes of nonfiction reading relevant to whatever main lesson block we are working through. We are currently doing a 2 week geography block on Asia. Asia is a HUGE continent and 2 weeks is really not adequate to do an in-depth study of the area. But we are, at this point, just doing an overview of the geography, flora and fauna, climate, and many cultures that compromise Asia. This is the book he was finishing up today.

He labeled and colored a blank map of Asia today. We also decided to visit the local Asian market and explore there. We brought home lots of goodies. He will cook some Asian dishes this weekend as well.

Normally I do about an hour of math each day with him but this week we are skipping math to make time for a paper he is writing for a class he is taking. So, he spent about an hour researching and writing that today. We are ahead of schedule with his math work so taking a week off isn’t really a big deal. He normally knits each day as well (making socks), but we had to zip off to music lessons early today. He had a mandolin lesson and his brother, a fiddle lesson.

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I got some exciting mail today that I thought I’d share. I’m on a Waldorf curriculum and supplies Facebook buy-sell-trade group that I occasionally find amazing deals on. It is one of the reasons I stick around on Facebook. I got these two books, brand new, for half off retail. They are both ones I’ve been wanting for sometime so i was very excited to find them!

The song book above is another in a series of songbooks that I love. I have three others that I’ve acquired over the last few years. They are fantastic for learning new songs and bringing singing into our everyday.

I think the best deal, though, were the main lesson books. I bought 30 newmain lesson books for $40! I still can’t believe the price. Such a steal! They normally sell for $3-5 each.

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Here is a random picture of our sweet hens sunning today. It’s been very rainy and i think they were quite happy to soak up the sun today.

A little painting

On Mondays, i just have my younger three children at home. So, after breakfast, chores and a short walk, we got busy with our day. It’s usually 8:30-9am at this point.

We always start a school day with circle time. This involves my 8 year old, 5 year old and baby. We sing songs and say verses, and sometimes read a story. We’ve been learning Spanish songs as well, and are working on our third one at the moment. I also use circle time to practice skip counting with my 2nd grader. Because little sister can feel left out of that activity, I’ve been teaching her some jump rope rhymes while we do hand clapping together. She thinks this is brilliant and loves it! I’ll likely do a whole blog post on circle time, as i could say much about it.

After circle , i set my 2nd grader up with a book for reading to himself (a fiction book of his choice at the moment. He’s reading a Ramona book) while i focused on the kindergartner. I tell her her story and we play a little bit. This probably last 15-30 minutes. By then, she’s content and wants to go play on her own usually. I might stop and make snack at this point, depending upon the time.

It is then time for my 2nd grader’s main lesson. We are currently doing a fable block. So I told him a story a crocodile and a monkey. He loved it. Then we had a watercolor lesson, painting a picture to go with the story. Little sister painted her own paintings along with us. The baby was thankfully asleep on my back.

After this we sat and did handwork. The 8 year old started a knitting project and the 5 year old finished up a sewing project while I mended some clothing.

Fiddle practice came next for the 8 year old and then he practiced his form drawing a bit on he chalkboard (no pictures, I’ll get some later this week.)

The afternoon was free and the kids played outside for most of it, in spite of the rain. We have a second wave of chores that happen at 4pm, and that’s when they usually head in for the day.

More to come tomorrow.