Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First week of school

On Monday 31 January, we started school for the year.

It was also Sheth's birthday. He turned 7 and got his birthday crown.

This is a very special crown as he may now enter into the kingdom of knowledge. This is a very exciting thing for Sheth!

On Monday the two younger children start school with a 2 hour pottery lesson. They have the most fantastic teacher. His name is James.

James is a master potter and a natural teacher, which probably comes from being a missionary for 25 years.

Caleb does his maths and reading while the other two do pottery. Caleb does pottery with James early in the morning as he is having intensive training so that he will be able to work with James at the markets. We then moved onto our main lesson.

We are doing a joint main lesson with Caleb and Hannah. We are doing "Man and Animal" it is a zoology block. We started with the human, learning about the head, trunk and limbs. We then moved on to "The Seal" by the end of the week.

I am using the book "The Human Being and the Animal World" by Charles Kovacs. I highly recommend all of his books, they are written in story form which the children love, with all the facts that they need to know, and because it is in story form my kids take it in easily and remember it.

Then, "Surprise, surprise!", granny arrived for Sheth's birthday. The children were overjoyed! I did not tell them, so they were really surprised.

Caleb had made a delicious bread with cheese and sundried tomatoes for lunch and I had made two carrot cakes, Sheth's choice.

Granny came with us to swimming lessons. The kids really enjoy swimming and are sad that lessons stop at the end of February. Caleb went to horse riding shortly after we got home from swimming.

All in all, our first day of school went very well.

One last thing to do this evening before bed, and that is to make 40 rolls for the Coffee Shop. Caleb makes the 2 batches of dough, and when they have risen I weigh out the dough and make 40 rolls. This takes long, so I watch a movie while I work.

Time for bed and snuggling! Good night.

Tuesday arrived and Sheth was starting his first day of official school.

We started with circle time, learning our versus and practicing our counting and times tables. We do this using bean bags to keep the children attentive.

We use Caleb's "clock" tables and practice our multiplication and division bonds. Sheth does this with us and I give him addition and subtraction. He also does basic division and knows his 0 x table, 1 x tables, 2, 5, and 10. Teaching Sheth Waldorf maths
has been such a beautiful experience for me. I wish I had taught Caleb and Hannah in the same way but I can't look back all the time.

So what I am doing is bringing it to them as much as I can now. We also play lots of card games which help with getting speed into their addition and subtraction.

After circle time Sheth does his main lesson with me and Caleb and Hannah do maths. Sheth's main lesson that we are working on is Form Drawing. We are looking at the straight line and curved line in nature. We found the curved line in the tractor tire we use as a sand pit, in the flower petals and lots of other places. We found the straight line in the tree trunk, in grass blades and all over.

Sheth then drew curved and straight lines in the sand with his left hand then right hand, then proceeded to use his toes. He also used water to drip sand and make balls - the curved line.

What a busy morning we have had, time for tea and cake. Then, the older two and I work on our main lesson while Sheth plays.

We are now starting to do Afrikaans for the first time, we have been learning to speak it but now it is time to do work in it. The kids are excited about learning Afrikaans so the lesson goes well.

Time for lunch and lie down!

Well, the other thing we are doing is a book called "Grammar Land". It is a story about the 9 parts of speech. It is a fun and exciting way to bring this to the children.

When we do our summaries for our main lesson, we write our nouns in blue, articles in brown, pronouns in purple, verbs in red, adjectives in yellow, adverbs in orange, prepositions in green, conjunctions in peach, and interjections in pink.

This concept comes from the Waldorf curriculum. The kids enjoy doing this as their work pages look like 'rainbows'.

That's about it for this post. I will write more about class 1, 4, and 6 at a later stage. Maybe even putting on my planning schedule. And a brief overview of the books I am using. Till later!
Map work
Wet on wet painting

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