Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day One at the Golden Sun Learning Cooperative

A new school year has begun! We are back to learning in blocks, and having a more structured rhythm to our days. I am really excited about sharing this year with my kids.

 Grade five in the Waldorf curriculum is incredible! We will spend time on the ancient cultures of India, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Egypt, China and Greece. We'll work on decimals and continue work with fractions and geometry. In geography, we will explore North American continent,  physical and cultural, as well as North American Indians (particularly the Cherokee which live in this region). Currently, Mia and I  are working on a main lesson block of Botany. I got so many good ideas from Quimby, Barbara Dewey's husband who is a passionate forester, entomologist and naturalist.

Vivienne begins the year with a nature study, as well. Hers comes from a place of story... tales that bring the true light of nature into awareness. We won't focus our attention on complex vocabulary, but rather the beauty and wonder of the natural world. For the second grade work, we will also visit animal stories and fables, saint and hero tales from around the world, as well as continued work with form drawing, the four processes in math, grammar, foreign language, recorder, all presented with an artistic emphasis.

I am so happy to be learning alongside my children. It is both enlightening, and eye-opening! There is so much that I feel that I missed in my younger days. To get to educate myself and present information in a living, artful way is really a healing gift of the greatest sort. And best of all, we share this journey. I find it interesting how much concern people feel for home schoolers getting enough socialization. Our experience has been that there are more group activities to join than there are hours in the day! We are fortunate to live somewhere that the home school community is large and thriving. I feel more than blessed to be on this path with my children.

Our first day was wonderful. We started off with a celebratory pancake breakfast. The  kids a each got a schultüte to open. This is a tradition that my mother remembers from her early days in Germany (generally given for grade 1) The school cone held some special little items for each child: a small notebook, a storybook, new beeswax crayons, modeling beeswax, some wool roving, and gummy bears for a treat.

Mia and I began with our first Botany lesson, and later Vivienne started her form drawing. She loved the form drawing so much that what meant to be a review of first grade forms became a nearly completed main lesson book! She loved the challenge and wanted to keep practicing more and more complex forms. In the meanwhile, Mia decided to use a wild edibles cookbook  and collected a ton of plantain ( or otherwise known as Psyllium seed) with Jasper  to make plantain seed, carob and raisin cookies. They were very healthy and delicious.  We also picked some bird house gourds from the garden, cut holes and set them to dry. There are so many things to be grateful for.

Kind hearts are gardens,
Kind thoughts are roots,
Kind words are blossoms,
Kind deeds are fruits.
~adapted from poem by Henry Wadswoth Longfellow


saraelise said...

It is always so wonderful to see your lovely photos and I relate to this post so very much. It looks like your family had a splendid start to the year.

We are doing 1st and 5th grade this year. I feel the exact same way about the gaps in my educational experience. It truly is such a joy to learn with them.

momma rae said...

i would like to attend your school!! you are right, this is an incredibly rich and supportive community for homeschoolers. blessings on your new year! xoxoxo

Kelly said...

How I loved your words - so very heartening to read and I can relate so much to your thoughts on learning alongside the children. This is a magnificent journey to follow. Those gourds are incredible. We are doing 2nd and kindy this year. We ahven't started yet - clinging to the last bit of summer still!

Eva said...

Emily, your picture of the flower parts looks very much like mine! What a coincidence!