Oak Meadow Week 5 and Inter-tribal Pow-wow Field Trip

We are really getting into the rhythm of school around here.  Our days are, as a whole, going smoothly and gently…which is what I had really hoped for from the beginning.  Little Guy is coming to expect and appreciate our routine.  He even at times asks for what he knows comes next.  And that makes me very, very happy.

He is making such quick improvement, it is really hard for me to know how much if it is due to the GAPS diet and how much is due to our newly implemented Waldorf/Oak Meadow rhythm.  Either way–something is working.  And I mean really working.  Little Guy is calmer, more verbal, more interactive, more focused. I am so proud of him.

One of these day I am going to write a post about our daily rhythm.  I visit a lot of homeschooling blogs, and always find the posts detailing daily rhythm or schedule to be highly informative and helpful.  But that’s a topic for another day.

In the meantime, here is our week.  It was a bit shorter than usual, since Daddy was home for the holiday on Monday and we didn’t school that day.  But we still got a lot accomplished.

During our circle times, we learned some new songs.  In addition to singing all the songs we have sung for the past month, we sang “Three Blind Mice,”  “Down in the Valley,” and “Reuben, Reuben.”  He loved all three.  I loved being reminded of “Down in the Valley.”  It brought back my seven-year-old-first-piano-lessons days.  🙂

Our focus letter this week was “D”.  Little Guy is really getting the hang of writing with his block crayons.  I am so glad that we have started using them; we have tried writing/coloring tools of every shape and size under the sun, and these are definitely what works best for him.  Their size and shape give him optimal control, and I can really see the fine-motor improvement.  He did a great job writing his D’s this week.

Our main story this week was Beatrix Potter’s “The Pie and the Pattypan.”  I have to admit…neither of us liked it.  That is a first; both of us have liked all the stories so far.  But he had a really hard time following this one; none of the story fit in his frame of reference, and he was mostly just plain bored.  So we only read it twice, and ended up spending the rest of our reading time this week with library books.  We particularly enjoyed two Ezra Jack Keats books we got….Jennie’s Hat, and Apt. 3.  The latter especially is a beautiful story….I highly recommend it!

Little Guy went outside in the evenings this week, ostensibly to observe the stars….but unfortunately there weren’t any stars to observe.  It’s been a cloudy week.  I’m glad though that it is finally getting dark earlier, as that means he’ll be able to go outside to stargaze before bedtime a lot more often.  Weather observation, signs of fall, and feeling different textures of tree bark were all part of our science studies this week.  We read the OM story “The Crying Tree,”  which seemed to really make the concept of the falling leaves in autumn concrete for him (especially since we haven’t had many falling leaves here yet.)  I’ve noticed that personification tends to do that for him.

Tying in with the autumn theme, on Thursday we went for an autumn nature walk and made a nature collage.  Little Guy worked very hard on it, and couldn’t wait to show it to his daddy when he got home from work.

 

We also did some extra fine motor work this week.   I gave him a bowl of dry navy beans, an empty bowl, and a spoon, and had him carefully transfer the beans from one bowl to the other.  He worked really hard at it with great attention, and really mastered getting the angle of the spoon just right so that those slippy beans wouldn’t keep falling all over the floor. 

(Please ignore the dire and obvious need for a haircut.  With Little Guy’s sensory issues, we have a HUGE problem with haircuts.  We do them as infrequently as possible, because he is mortally terrified of them.  We have tried every suggestion in every book written on the topic, but nothing has worked, and if anything the problem has only intensified as he has gotten older.  Unfortunately he is now due for one of these infrequent scary episodes, so his  hair will probably be shorter in next week’s pictures.)

Speaking of fine motor skills, Little Guy has finally decided he likes modelling beeswax!  We have had it out almost every day this week and have enjoyed it thoroughly.

We also baked muffins and banana bread again, and sang “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling” and made word cards for it.  We reviewed the number “2” and played the Opposites Game (in which I would say a word and he would say its opposite.)  This also fit under the category of speech therapy.  We read lots of  library books, did watercolor painting (focusing on painting with two colors together and cleaning our brush between colors), drew D’s in the shape of doors, and lots more.

On Friday, we went to playgroup at the park and played till we were all hot and tired.  We also visited both of our usual libraries…the post library and our local city library.  They each have their strengths and weaknesses so we try to frequent them both as we are able.

And then this evening, we went on a field trip to the Intertribal Pow-wow being held locally.  The city where we currently live is located on the Trail of Tears, so every year a pow-wow is held to honor the lives of those who passed this way.  We arrived at six o’clock, just in time to see the grand entry of all of the participants in full regalia.  It was truly beautiful.  We did some sight seeing, encountered a few friends, sampled some genuine Native American food, and generally had fun.  It was a great evening!

I do have some pictures of the dancers in their regalia, and of the dancing itself…but they turned out kind of blurry, so I don’t think I’ll include them.  Can’t have too many pictures of this guy though.

See you next time!

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 3:04 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. What a great week! I love the idea of the of spooning the beans. I’m going to try that for Elijah. I’m glad the GAPS diet is working for your family. Over the last 2 years (especially the last year) I have changed my own diet and the last month I’ve been working on transitions the children to a whole foods type of diet. Anyway it looks like Oak Meadow is going well for both of you. I’m using Sonight P3/4 with Ava along with Rod & Staff workbooks. We are getting ready to move on to Sonlight P4/5 in a few weeks.

  2. It was a great week, thanks! And the bean-spooning really has been great. It’s so good for concentration as well as fine motor. And it gives a definable end point for them to work toward, which helps. GAPS is interesting and difficult at times, but it is definitely working wonders for us. If you are trying to move in a more whole foods direction yourself, we should talk….I know some great local food resources! And yes, OM is fantastic and I am so glad we chose to use it. It is such a relief (esp. since we chose to use a boxed curriculum) not to have any second thoughts. I am not personally familiar with Sonlight, but have heard a lot of good things about it on a Charlotte Mason board I visit.

  3. Found your blog on a google search of Oak Meadow… Just curious, was the bean spooning idea part of your OM curriculum, or did you come up with that on your own? I’m considering using OM1 for when my little boy turns 6 (using it as a Kindergarten year). First year homeschooling, worried OM won’t have enough direction/ideas for me, since I have no idea where to start! :-). Thanks!

    • Hi Stacie…thanks for stopping by! No, the bean spooning was something I found elsewhere. However, I think you would like Oak Meadow’s detailed craft instructions. I don’t end up posting about a lot of the crafts included in the curriculum, as we end up having to sub out a lot of them due to my son’s delayed fine motor skills. But I absolutely love the crafts, and the directions are extremely clear. For instance, this past week, he did a bean-building craft; the directions included everything from how and how long to soak the beans, to what kind of toothpicks to use, etc. Today we are doing an ice sculpture, and the directions are equally detailed. Most of the crafts are in a separate book (First Book of Crafts), although additional ones are detailed in the syllabus. There are also lots of recipes included in the syllabus for various snacks and food crafts; you don’t see those featured on my blog because of my son’s food sensitivities. 🙂 We follow the curriculum as closely as possible with our necessary adjustments, and appreciate both the detailed and comprehensive activity lists/instructions, and the flexibility that the week-by-week as opposed to day-by-day structure provides. HTH!

      • Thanks so much for your detailed reply, I appreciate it so much! Facing my first year of HS’ing, any advice I’m so thankful for. I thought I might ask a another question or two, if you don’t mind! I was considering using the 1st grade package for my 6yr old, though using it as his kindergarten… He has gone to 2 yrs of private preschool, and I think it would be a better fit. What age did your son use the Kinder/1st grade curriculum w/ OM? Just want to make sure I’m making the right choice. Also, do you find you need to supplement here and there with this program? I love, love everything I have found on their website, but I’ve found more than a few reviews that say you need to supplement or it’s lacking. I thought I would add to their history, as it didn’t seem as multicultural as I would like. Last question, if you DID use the 1st grade as Kindergarten, how will this play out when they reach the higher grades, as when they’re in 12th, it would technically be their 11th grade year. OK, that’s it :-). Love your blog, it’s made me feel more confident in trying this with my little boy!

  4. Hey, we are currently on our first real year of homeschooling too and still learning, so happy to pass on anything we can. 🙂 We are using OM K, and my son is 5. He does have speech and fine motor delays, but OM K fits him perfectly anyway (except for having to leave off the few crafts that are above his fine motor skill set. There actually aren’t too many of those, though, as they tend to include open-ended, creative crafts…another thing I love.) I honestly think that, even with the delays, he would be bored with K if he were 6. He is rather ahead of OM’s pace on reading…he knows all letters and sounds, spells lots and lots of words, sounds out new ones, etc. So I end up supplementing a bit there so his natural learning-to-read progression is not slowed. (Unless I am mistaken, OM doesn’t have them really starting to read till 2nd grade.) We do a bit of phonics, sight words, etc…still delight-directed and very much with him setting the pace. If your son has already been to private preschool and is six, I would say definitely skip the OM K and move on to OM 1. I think it will still be gentle enough for kindergarten, and give you both the chance to get well-established in a solid rhythm and comfort zone before 1st grade.

    I will also be adding to their history and fairy tale selections, as we prefer a more multicultural approach too. I have to agree that I love their approach on literally everything else, but that one thing is easy for us to fix…we simply use our afternoon reading hour (strongly suggested in the teacher materials to include in the daily rhythm) to fit in lots of library books with fairy and folk tales from different cultures.

    How would it work if you started with OM 1? Well, I’m not sure, but I’m sure you could work something out. Maybe you could do a super-intensive Great Books type course in his final year of high school (after OM 12)? Or, who knows…I do know that many people are of the opinion that OM’s delayed-academics approach evens out later on, so maybe he’ll just be ready for college a year early. 🙂

    Hope this helps and glad you like the blog! thanks!

    • Thank you So much! I start homeschooling next year, nerve wracking! 🙂 I’ve spent countless hours researching EVERY curriculum out there. Seems like there are those that will love or hate something about all of them, so it’s been a struggle choosing one. I’m most drawn to Oak Meadow, it’s really the only one that sounds like a good fit for our family and lifestyle. I’m just nervous to begin with, which is normal, and worry some about it not keeping him at the level he should be, since it’s waldorf-based (only because of the possibility of re-entering PS if this doesn’t work out). But I’m still excited to try, and I’m glad I’ve found a blog with someone that’s trying it with a kid my son’s age, helpful! Thanks again.


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