Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's Going to be a Great Year!

Crunch time! In past years I have planned things out waaaay ahead of time. This year I did not... I only have September in detail and sketched out through December.

I always plan way more than E ever cares to learn. For instance, in third grade there are at least six regions of Native Americans to cover: People of Ice and Snow, People of the Rice, People of the Plains, People of the Desert, People of the Woodlands, People of the Swamp... You get the idea. Last year we ended up learning about only the People of Ice and Snow. It was relevant to his here and now. It made sense to him. He could feel the bitter cold, stand on the packed tundra snow, taste the fireweed, and see the moose. He wanted to know how people survived there without electricity or modern buildings, and how to weave willow or make birchbark baskets.


Likewise with Old Testament Stories. We made it only to the Flood. There is so much more to learn, with lessons I think he can grasp better this year than last. He is now fully the age Steiner intended a third grader to be, even though by common standards he fits well within the age range of a fourth grader, and I believe that he will be more drawn to these stories as a 9-year-old then he was at 8.


Thus for E I plan to offer Native American stories and crafts from as many regions as I can this month, building some of the shelters and preparing some of the foods. We will start with People of the Woodlands, because that is our new here and now. I hope to take him to Jamestown soon, where he only vaguely remembers seeing the dwellings and food years ago. We might spend the whole month on this one region, and that would be okay. Whatever I don't get to learn with E, perhaps e will want to do. Her education already looks so different from his, just by nature of where we live and what speaks to her.


Building will be next for E. We have a spinning wheel to sand, watercolor, beeswax, and put together! My incredible friend Sara gave him the pieces for his birthday last March. We are all so excited to be spinning our own yarn! I need to get a drop spindle also. I foresee plenty of fiber arts this winter!


After building will come Old Testament. I am so excited to read about Abraham and Joseph and Moses with E. His perspective is so different from my own. Plus so many winter festivals! We want to do a spiral this year in the yard for Advent, and e is old enough for St. Lucia. St. Nicholas is always wonderful and then of course Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Before all that, though, there's Michaelmas and Martinmas, perhaps my favorite of them all.


For e we have a quick journey through the alphabet, this time with more fairy tales, and by October she gets to meet the math somethings! I have not decided exactly what yet. E had math ravens, as we were surrounded by those amazing birds in Alaska, and their creative trickster nature spoke to him. Erin might have squirrels. She loves squirrels and we have quite a lot of them here for sure.


E does do Teaching Textbooks for math. He is partway through Math3. The children will both continue on piano (with dad as teacher for now). e will learn recorder with me, and we will sing and sing like always. In January I anticipate moving onto fourth grade subjects- Norse Myths and Water, Wind, and Fire. Beaufort's Scale will hopefully make its appearance. And of course there will be gymnastics. Always, always gymnastics. e has officially advanced to Developmental, which means 3 hours a week. She is nervous and worried but so happy. E starts his first ever competitive season as a Level 5 gymnast, training 16 hours a week. Whew! I'm tired already and we haven't even begun!


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