If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ramblings about teeth & reading... & a weekly wrap-up...

There's a whole theory of reading/learning readiness in Steiner education (i.e. Waldorf) that says a child isn't ready for sitting down to learn, especially reading, until the loss of the milk teeth, in his day usually around the age of 7, though now it seems many are losing theirs at 5 or 6. Yesterday, Fairy lost her third tooth - she pulled it out herself (accidentally) as it was very loose. She's got 5 more loose ones starting. And reading? She's remembering, finally, what we're covering. And asking, no... make that demanding, reading instruction. So maybe there is more to this theory than I have thought. She demanded some reading instruction this morning. So I looked at the letters we'd be using in Progressive Phonics, had her go through them on Starfall, then we read the Progressive Phonics stories, and she's working on the printed worksheets off and on since then. She seems to like this approach, so I will keep trying it.

Since I'm on a two week vacation (from work, not everything else), I feel much more relaxed! I have some fall cleaning plans, and I figure it is a good time to launch more seriously into our homeschool year, especially since we've changed a few things around. The kids, after viewing the moon and then Jupiter, along with 4 of its moons, through a good telescope last night, are very excited about Mr Q's Classical Science. Our friend is bringing the telescope on our camping trip next weekend, and we can't wait to find out what we'll be able to see out in the middle of nowhere, with no ambient light from city stuff! I also hope to take them to the local planetarium fairly soon. I've got our projects planned for the week, along with reading. I'm not big into the worksheets part, preferring narration for science and history, but if either child wants one, I'll print something up.

We have started our study of the Middle Ages. We read about the fall of Rome in A Little History of the World, and started The White Stag. We also spent well over an hour checking out the Hagia Sophia since it was mentioned in the text - this is one awesome virtual tour! We talked about the arch, and the dome, and their importance in architecture, we talked about how artists would approach painting on ceilings, lying on their backs on scaffolding. We discussed possible art projects, and I found a stained glass paper project. We also talked about the presence of halos around everyone's heads in medieval art, and Elf thinks it would be fun to do a family portrait with halos.

We also started reading about birds. I read the first chapter from The Burgess Bird Book for Children, and we looked up wrens on the ornithology site from Cornell. I highly recommend this site - it is full of a TON of information. The kids watched another couple of episodes of Crash, Bang, Splat!, and HeadRush for more science.

We didn't do much math this week, although the kids played a lot of War and Go Fish! We did work on the times tables, chanting various patterns while driving around.

Other than that, we're really enjoying listening to Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone on cd. We love Jim Dale as a narrator! The kids watched the movie version too, to compare to the story. While both enjoy the movie, Elf says they really leave a lot out compared to the book. We're taking joy in sharing The Borrowers Afield as well, my personal favorite of the series, though I really like The Borrowers Avenged too!

I'm adding in more physical fitness activities over the next couple of weeks too. While Elf fences, and Fairy does gymnastics, both those activities are once weekly, and because of 4H, we don't always make it to homeschool skating (also only once a week). So I dug out their Tae Bo Kicks! dvd and they can do that in the mornings while I am on the treadmill.

And that's our week! Hope you're having a good weekend! Head on over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read more Weekly Wrap-ups.


  1. Sounds like a great week! I love reading about all the things you do.

  2. My experience flies directly in the face of Steiner's theory. My eldest lost her first teeth at 6 1/2. By then she'd been reading novels for two years already, after learning to read self-directedly without any formal instruction. Two of my other kids followed a similar course, though without quite as dramatic a disparity.

    Mostly I'm just posting to say that it sounds like you're having a great time, doing some pretty cool things. I love the idea of a family portrait with halos, LOL! The bundled software my kids got with their LifeCam webcam identifies human heads and adds halos to your video feed that move and rotate with you -- very fun!

    Enjoy the rest of your "vacation!"

  3. Looks like you've got lots of fun things going on.


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