Thursday, December 3, 2009


Now I walk in beauty,
Beauty is before me,
Beauty is behind me,
Beauty's all around me,
Above and below me.

This is the song that has begun our homeschool mornings this week and last. One story I told was, "Little Dawn Boy and the Rainbow Trail", a Navaho tale. I found it on the Online Waldorf Library, submitted by JoAnne Dennee. Another story was a coyote tale, "The Sky Is Falling". Our watercolor painting followed the theme from that story. We also had a table puppet performance of "The Frog Prince". It is funny that I have been preparing for this for several weeks now and in the meantime have completely misplaced the princess and prince dolls I made for the telling. I did have the frog, the crown and the golden ball. We used an elf doll for the prince (the one in the photo in the previous post) and an antique from my grandmother's doll collection for the princess. Rowan set up the house scene (he loves to decorate) and moved props around while I told the tale.

It felt so good to be telling a fairytale again. I have done it a few times over the past several months. As my youngest gets older, I find that our story times have become slightly less magical. Rowan's mind wants to grab onto some of the things I tell in our recent stories and discuss them. I see this as healthy and natural and good, but it brings us out of the dreamy story place and engages our thinking capacities much more. As I told the fairy tale, I could feel the softness enter Rowan and myself. Here is opening and closing verse:

Mother of the fairy tale,
Take us by your shining hand,
Lead us gently up beyond,
To where was it, where was it not?
To when was it, when was it not?

I tried for this same quality with the "Little Dawn Boy" tale and it was there, I think because of the songs that puncutate the story. For Rowan's main lesson book, I had him focus on beautiful drawings, carefully written poems and completing stories he had left unfinished. Rowan had to complete a writing assignment for the homeschool charter group we belong to. He had to write a three-paragraph persuasive essay on this topic: "Your parents tell you that your family is planning to move. Where do you want to move and why?". The point is to practice the whole Intro, Body, Conclusion model for paper writing. I felt resistant at first, but decided to give it a go. Rowan's response was what I expected: "I don't want to move anywhere." He had very little trouble with the assignment. He sat down and in one sitting cranked out the needed paragraphs in a very sensible way. All of his spelling errors were phonetically correct. I was pleased. His reading still seems slow, but he is making steady progress. We read one chapter each day from a book by Reg Down, "The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly". I think the reading level is maybe high third grade or fourth grade, but it is a good challenge for Rowan and the story engages his interest.

Clearly I have much time for this post. Today is Thursday, the one day I have to myself all week! I try to luxuriate in the time as much as possible. I need to sign off now and go luxuriate somewhere else (like in front of the fire).


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