Homeschool Mother’s Journal–Changing Our Approach to Language Arts


In my life this week… I got a ticket! When the officer approached my car, I was actually sincere when I asked, “Is there a problem officer?” as I knew I hadn’t broken any laws. Well, it ends up that our car registration expired in May! I don’t know how neither Mr. Mo nor I noticed this, it is not like us at all. I was so embarrassed, it felt like the first time I had an overdue library book (thanks to one of my children!), I’ve never let my tabs expire in my 28 years of driving. For some reason, having expired tabs seemed more criminal than speeding. Plus, I was right in front of the gymnastics school and a grocery store. Tons of people were walking by and giving me curious looks. I felt sure that they were thinking that I was horrible criminal and were gleefully waiting to watch me hauled off to jail in cuffs. I didn’t actually start the waterworks, but I was so upset, the police officer became apparently distraught himself. I still feel like I can’t wash the “driving with expired tabs” scent off of me. Plus, the ticket was for $216!!! In our homeschool this week…I started our new Charlotte Mason-ish approach to language arts with both Dora and Gohan. I call it “Charlotte Mason-ish”, because I am using Waldorf materials with Dora. I started using L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z, which is a Waldorf  alphabet book. It has one poem and illustration for each letter. Whereas Dora would have nothing to do with Montessori alphabet baskets or sandpaper letters, she begs me to read more than one poem a day from this book and spends a lot of time reflecting on the illustration and the words in the poem. Since I started reading this book to her, she has been talking about her A,B,C’s a lot and pointing out letters when she sees one that she recognizes. I cannot believe what a difference one book has made for her! 

Coating Leaves in Beeswax 2

We also continued to look at autumn leaves. We preserved some leaves by dipping them in melted beeswax. This was the first time that I had ever done this. The hardest part of the activity was keeping the wax at the right temperature. If I left the burner on too long, even on the lowest heat setting, the wax would start to boil. I was worried that this would cause the wax to burn, so I turned the burner off every time the wax started to boil. There would come a point, however, when the wax would get too cold and this would cause the wax to cake on the leaves. The finished leaves feel very smooth, not waxy at all, and look beautiful.

Coating Leaves in Beeswax 3

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… In addition to the usual drama, music and co-op classes, Dora started taking gymnastics with one of her homeschooled friends at a local gymnastics school. It’s an hour long, so Dora was exhausted by the end of class, but by the next morning, she was raring to go again. We had planned to go to our homeschool group’s park day today, but no one else was attending. We may look into joining another homeschool group that has weekly “meetings” in an old building that has a giant lawn to play on. The building is huge, with wooden floors and a stage, so there is lots of room to run around if it is too rainy to play outside. Plus they have some toys there and kids bring board games and so forth. We had tried attending the group once before and I was turned off by the long drive to get there. Also,  no one would play with Dora at the time. I want to try it again, though, as Dora is older and has much better social skills now. Plus, since we have been driving so far to attend park days recently, this drive doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Ebright Park 1

My favorite thing this week was… The temperatures finally dropped to a normal range for this time of year. I could feel a nip in the air, a gentle reminder that winter is not far away.

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Labels: Language Arts, Nature Study, Waldorf, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff