Block 2

Believe it or not, we have actually schooled throughout the fall.  Unfortunately, I have not updated my blog on our progress!  Well so far, we have completed 4 blocks.  I plan to get up to date as soon as possible.  Let’s start with block 2!

Block two included shelters, botany and alchemy.  All fun blocks!  Parks worked through his first block on shelters.  For this block, he memorized the poem Here is the House.  He also used this poem as his copy work for the the month.  He learned about the different types of houses around the world and used the different types of house names to practice alphabetical order.  The second week, Parks looked at the different ways that we protect ourselves from the environment. Then he wanted to learn about animal shelters and Native American shelters, so we researched both of these for the remainder of the block.

Sawyer began her education on botany during this block.  We began botany by discussing all of the essential nutrients and life giving elements of the soil and the air.  We discussed the importance of dark and light for plants.  We then went into the parts of a flower and plant nomenclature  Overall, we followed the Charles Kovacs Botany book and followed plant life from the simplest up to the most complex.  Thus, we started by discussing mushrooms/fungi progressed to mosses and ferns and finished with flowering trees.  We watched tulips open and close with the light.  We examined moss under magnifying glasses.  We went to the local nursery and looked at all types of plants.  Overall, we both are looking forward to delve more into the topic of botany in the spring!

Sims’ second block was a favorite.  We ALL enjoyed it.  He studied the history of alchemy and chemistry.  Beginning with the book Alchemy and Chemistry by Stefoff, he learned some important definitions and the journey of field.  From alchemy, we discussed the elements of earth, fire, water and air and some of the most natural chemical reactions-photosynthesis and respiration.  He also used the book Photosynthesis by Silverstein throughout this week. The last two weeks of the block were filled with lab experiments using fire.  We all gathered around candles and the fire pit as Sims worked through his experiments. In preparation for next month, Sims also read “The Alchemist.”

In addition to their main lessons, everyone continued to work through their math-u-see work, spelling, Latin and reading.

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Waldorf Grade 3 Shelters

Last month, Sawyer completed her first block on shelters.  She was far from interested in this topic and wanted to research birds instead.  Well if you know kids, then you know it is best to just follow their lead sometimes.  I went to the library and checked out a tone of books on birds.  She read them and researched birds on the internet and loved every minute of it.

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Then I made the slip.  I found a book on nests.  Birds, Nests & Eggs by Mel Boring was perfect for what I wanted to cover.  The book covered where the birds lived and how the bird’s habitat determined what type of nest it would build.  She spent time attempting to make different types of nests.  She had a difficult time getting the nests to “stick” together.”  We all have a new appreciation for nest building!

Along with the bird books, I picked up a couple of books on Native American Shelters.  She loves to read, and she will read almost anything that I put out.  She read the two books that I picked up and immediately found the similarities between the Native American shelters and the bird nests.

We then looked at the Native American homes sheet from Montessori for Everyone.  Sawyer made a booklet out of the sheets and was amazed by the different shelters that people made.  She also made several connections between the tepees in the sheet and the tepees described in the book White Fang, which we are reading as a family.

Considering I was nervous about how the shelters block was going to work, the block worked out perfectly!