Friday, October 30, 2009

Education & Volunteering

We have been discovering the joys of volunteering this autumn! Mosi, my 14-year-old (will be 15 in one month!) has been learning about a number of volunteer opportunities from a volunteer club in our community. This club puts out announcements about opportunities so you don't have to go search for them or wonder "Do they really need help this week or do they already have too many volunteers?". Community organizations around town contact the club so it becomes a really nice central place to request volunteers as well as find opportunities for volunteering. If you do not have a club like this in your community it would be a really great idea to start one. This is a secular club and involves the entire community. It is easy to start and only needs a few e-mails back and forth to maintain itself.

We have been thrilled with what Mosi's volunteering has brought to her and to the entire family.

1. This has been a great way for Mosi to meet new people - from all age groups. And to meet people who have similar interests as her.

2. Because I need to provide transport to these events the other two children and I have attended events we would not have attended otherwise.

3. Some of these events I never would have known about if not for the volunteer opportunity Mosi had - like the annual PowWow in November. They have not advertised for this powwow anywhere that I usually find information. I was thrilled to find out about it and Mosi is excited to be able to help them serve food on that day!

4. Mosi gets to experience some of the places she loved as a child but has "grown out of" the events for. She was a volunteer at the zoo and Living History Farms Halloween events - she is really too old to attend the events, although she would have loved to - so this is a way for her to continue to stay connected to her favorite events and places.

5. Mosi loves helping. Her favorite event so far was helping kids carve pumpkins at the local Autumn fest. She had so much fun with the little kids. She even got to be one of the judges for the "pet costume" contest.

6. Mosi gets to do new things - she has been a pet costume judge, dancing pumpkin, official marshmallow roaster, and more. It is always a surprise!

We are so thankful for this organization! It has really provided so many wonderful opportunities for Mosi and our family and I am sure they are happy having people to help out with their events as well :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fashion Design 101

Sofi and I discovered this wonderful book on the $2.00 table at Barnes and Noble a month ago. It is called, "Sew Teen" and it shows you how to make about 20 different outfits from scratch - no patterns or anything - it tells YOU how to measure & cut (talk about amazing math practice!) your own pattern based on the measurements you take of yourself. This book was perfect for Sofi because she loves to design her own fashion. She is always cutting up old clothes to make something new and creating things for her dolls out of scraps of fabric. I didn't want to stifle her natural creativity and make sewing a chore for her by bringing in all the pre-stamped patterns and complex directions. And intuitively I was right - she LOVES this method.

So we started by making her Halloween costume - the bottom part will be a skirt - and with the leftover fabric we can easily make something to match for her doll because there is no pattern, we just follow the cutting instructions for the doll down to the doll's size and all is well.

And isn't the skirt pattern so clever? It is just two squares placed at an angle to each other and a waistband in the middle (see picture).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Type of Script Do I Teach?

Question: I was schooled in Switzerland and Italy in a Waldorf Inspired elementary school. I am homeschooling my son who is now in first grade...but I am confused about why we would introduce the manuscript style now...I remember learning a ceratin type of alphabet that looked very wasn't script...why are we teaching script? I am a bit confused and need help. Somebody told me you have a book for sale on how to intoduce lower case

Answer: This is a good question! What you introduce depends on what you choose to introduce. There are many choices in today's world that were not available in Steiner's time so I tend to go outside of the traditional confines of Waldorf with this. You can read more about the different styles here:

We tend towards a Zaner-Bloser style but I let the kids develop their own style (Ok, I am a renegade mama I know) as long as it is clear and readable.

One of the other styles may be more suitable for you. The E-books I publish can be adapted to any style of handwriting. Any creative mama could modify the pictures that tiny bit.

I would definitely introduce manuscript (in whichever style) before cursive, however.

Hope this helps?

The E-books I have (I am offering both together now) are at:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October Special

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Introduction to the New Earthschooling Member Website

This video is for people wanting to preview the new website or for members wanting a quick review of the website before they start using it.