Saturday, January 13, 2007

Back to School

It's been busy, this first week "back to school, back to violin, back to piano." Hmmm....let's see:

This was the first week of our Math Block. We did a lot of singing number patterns, rhythm games for number patterns, working on odd and even, counting by 2s, 3s, etc. We've been playing number games: mancala, dominoes and geometric games: tangrams, blockus. One afternoon Nightowl spied Barbara Dewey's Math for Waldorf Homeschoolers book. She was delighted by the illustration of gnomes on the cover and begged to begin learning about the gnomes. Thus we have entered the world of Math Gnomes. We're at the beginning but she is delighted with the tale of the four gnomes: Plus, Minus, Times and Divide and their adventures in the jewel mine digging up treasures. She requests more of this activity faster than I can provide it. I suspect that during the next few weeks we'll be doing even more. I'd better get ready.

One morning Nightowl and Bearcub got busy with measuring tapes. I looked up from my morning tea and noticed that they were both very intently measuring all the furniture in the living room. Ta da: impromptu math lesson. Nightowl measured many pieces of furniture then noted the measurements on paper. She next cut out each item and arranged them in order from smallest to largest. She had some confusion regarding the order of the higher numbers so we got out the Unix Cubes. These little cubes attach in columns and can be used for a variety of things. Nightowl used them to figure out the numerical order of the items she'd measured. As this progressed she figured out that it was much easier to count using columns of ten. This prompted a little lesson on counting by 10s to 100.

Nightowl was also busy building this week. She asked that I include the following images of her dollhouse world - a city of rainbow buildings and multi-cultural communal living. The entire world is presided over by two Grandmas and their children. The Grandmas have been together for many, many years and have many, many children and grandchildren.

After math, our next big project has been getting ready for the homeschool science fair. This year Nightowl has selected Shells as her topic. We discussed her project, came up with several questions that she'd like to find answers for and took a trip to the library for research materials. Nightowl has been diligently sorting through the family shell collection in search of beauties to display for her project.

Finally, our biggest project was working on Rosetta. For Christmas, Nightowl received a doll making kit and this week we began the task of creating the doll. I purchased the kit on-line from Joy's Waldorf Dolls and, as it was our first doll, I took the easier route of getting several pieces created for us (the head, the wig). Our task was to take the head and attach the skin, create the nose, stuff the hands, feet, arms, legs and body; sew it all together; embroider the face and attach the hair. This was a really fun project. Nightowl helped as much as she could. She sewed the nose, did the stuffing, attached the head covering, and placed the eyes, mouth and hair.

After our first day working on the doll Nightowl had named her Rosetta. This inspired us to work even hard to get her finished - we just couldn't leave Rosetta in pieces! It was a really magical experience. Nightowl was so excited watching the creation of this doll. When we weren't working on her she would randomly pick up the pieces and hug them. I'd hear her whispering to Rosetta, telling her what her life would be like. She prepared her other dolls for an introduction to their new sister. And then she announced that, unlike her other dolls who sleep in doll beds, Rosetta would be sleeping with her. "She's not hard like my other dolls," Nightowl explained. "So she'll be more comfortable sleeping with me." Wow. Normally Nightowl doesn't sleep with dolls or stuffed animals. While she has quite a routine for putting her various doll and animal family to bed none of them get the invitation into the big bed. An interesting development.

By the end of the week Rosetta was finished!

And, true to her word, Nightowl has slept curled up with her every night since.

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