I love fall. This is my favorite season. People talk so much about watching things die and wither and the impending doom of winter and I say, ‘Hogwash!’ I love fall. The colors, the crisp cool air, the water birds who either stay or go, the browning of the marsh as it quiets down for winter…fall is beautiful and for me, filled with hope. This is the beginning of the school year and the beginning of the season of festivals. This is the season of activity, lessons, the making of and shopping for gifts and it is the season for cooking delicious food. For me there is nothing of impending doom but maybe that’s because I tend to live deeper inside myself than most people and thus this season of going within simply feels like a return to home.
Last week we had a week of pre-school. Pre-school in the sense that we did a bit of math review with our gnomes and number and process stones; Martina memorized a poem about wild geese to settle us into the mood of the season; I covered our last 4 phonograms in a chalk drawing and paragraph; we did beeswax modeling for our season table; and we read about Saint Columba. All of these things consumed more time and contained more activity than I’m indicating, probably, but the point was to ease ourselves back into the routine of work, thinking, writing and drawing and creativity. It was a nice, slow, easy way to transition back into our more focused work.
Here is the paragraph that goes with the chalk drawing at the top and the final four phonograms:
A knight rode through a rough storm. His frightened horse neighed when a bough blew down in front of them knocking the bave knight out of the saddle. He landed on his knees, knocking his knuckles on a rock. He sighed and led his mount into the night.
This year Martina is in the third grade. This means we will be working harder on headwork than ever before. I am also more committed to using Waldorf-inspired materials for our schoolwork because I’ve seen how this approach is so natural and right for us and that it is, indeed, the approach is keeping my little one academically up to speed. Her test scores were good enough for her very demanding Grandfather and that was important to us and very helpful in settling my mind that Waldorf is the right path for us.
It’s nice only having to homeschool one child. I have concurrently worked with 3 in grades K, 8 and 12 and that was pretty difficult. One child at homeschool means that all of my focus is on her and what we are doing in the 3rd grade. It is really lovely. We are using a variety of sources: Earthschooling’s 3rd grade curriculum is a base guide but I also reference Marsha Johnson’s website often for information. I also use many other materials which I make an effort to list and link in the column to the right on this blog. English is easy for me, as is history but science and mathematics are more difficult and so I tend to purchase more books and guides for those subjects. I use many of them concurrently and honestly, they often contain the same or very similar stories, ideas and information.
This week we will begin our third grade journey with Math and English blocks; recorder; form drawing; ponies; piano; ObX; Song School Greek; handwork, to be augmented to two exciting classes offered by a local woman, one on weaving and another in which we will make our own knitting needles and dye our own yarn! and probably a hundred other things I’m forgetting like Stories of the Saints and a science class on herbs which will end with a trip to the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference in October.
I love fall. Summer, for us, is a season that we spend mostly indoors. Autumn brings with it an awakening, an alertness, that we miss during the hazy, humid, thick summers here in southeastern Virginia coast country. Autumn means outdoors, trail rides without deer flies, open windows, energy! We are looking forward to the season.