Thursday, July 24, 2014

Verses for chores and transitions

I've been having a bit of a hard time getting Max to follow instruction the last week. However, I dove back in to some of the Waldorf parenting and education stuff that I love so much and refreshed my memory on some good techniques. One of these is easing transition times through song. A lot of what I saw as failing to follow instructions was partially just not wanting to transition from playing to whatever else. But in the last two days when I've begun transitions with singing, things have been so much smoother. Max stops what he's doing and comes out smiling and knows what is coming. Sometimes he still takes a bit of prodding, but it is much more peaceful than before. The singing probably helps me be more patient as well.

I think the other secret to this change in our household dynamics is that I've made sure to do everything with him. Instead of just telling him to clean up the toys, I sing the verse and begin to do it and have him help me. This is much better than telling him and telling him and then finally shouting "PICK UP YOUR TOYS!" He's still only four after all. This also applies to transitioning to outside playtime. The kids are much easier to get out the door when I'm heading that way too. I've been reminded how important modeling is with young children, and let's be honest, it's hard to get angry at someone singing and smiling and inviting you to join them.

So here are some verses I've made up and started using for different parts of our day. You can make up your own tune. I have mine that I use (although some I'm still toying with). If you're really stuck on tunes, let me know, and I'll post a video.

For making beds
(I've found that somewhere around 4-5 children are able to start making their bed themselves. It isn't super pretty, but it's made. Until that age, make it with them. Right now I'm able to make my bed and Jane and Max each make their bed.)

To keep a tidy house,
We all must make our beds.
So smooth the covers out.
Tonight we'll rest our heads

For putting laundry in the hamper

Toss in the shirts.
Toss in the skirts.
Toss in the dirty pants.
Get them off the floor
So we can wash
And wear once more.

For setting the table
(You get the kids knowing this one well enough and you can sing Do you smell the food? and they'll reply Mmm, it smells so good! It's like instant  compliments whenever you want!)

Do you smell the food?
Mmm, it smells so good!
Let's get the table set,
and we'll be eating yet!

To Go Outside
This one can be easily revised to reflect the weather. Don't be afraid to do so. (Or to go outside in all kinds of weather!)

The sun is shining,
Grass is green,
So come outside with me.

Bathtime To the tune of "Let's Go Fly a Kite"

Let's go take a bath,
Oh how we'll splish and splash
Let's go take a bath,
And then start snoring.
Up where the water's clear,
We know that bedtime's here.
Oh, let's go take a bath!

Post-Bath baby Song 
Okay, I don't know how well this will work for anyone else. You can try it with your baby's name. My baby is so wiggly now that singing a song and playing games are the only way to keep him still enough for diaper and dressing.

Oh my baby, Tommy-tum,
Let's put a diaper on your bum,
Then we'll give you pj's too,
And say goodnight to you!

Monday, July 14, 2014

G week

G week was super fun! Even though, I probably won't have much to put here.

We learned our g signs, and continued memorizing our poem. We located Greenland on a map. We made geoboards and the kids played with them for hours every day. Jane finished her letter g quilt square. I need to come up with a new stitich for her to master. I think this week I'm going to show her how to do a lazy daisy.

We studied "Boy with a House of Cards." Practiced writing the letter g. Had a drawing and writing lesson everyday. Did 2-5 pages of math every day. We continued to learn about flowers and gardens. We tried to have garden olympics, but my plaster of paris didn't work out. We'll try again this upcoming week, but maybe with a different event not involving plaster of paris.

We've stopped planting flowers for each letter until the fall. There's no good place in our new house to really grow them. They get enough sun to sprout, but not enough to get strong and grow leaves. But when we move them outside, they burn up. So we need a little bit more forgiving temperatures first.

Jane added another page to her alphabet book. The letter b. She drew a book, banana, etc.

We made clay G's and baked them.

Other than that, we really just did a lot of reading. Jane is starting to really enjoy longer books and stories.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

F Week

F was for France, folding, fables, and flowers

F week was super fun and productive. Like always, we had circle time every day.

Scripture Story: Lehi's Family
Picture Study: Roman Girl at a Fountain
Poem: Farewell by Charles Kingsley first verse
Country: France
Song: You're a Grand Old Flag
F Signs

We did math in our workbooks every day. Jane worked on her quilt square.
She also started making her own alphabet book. Her page this week was the letter A.
We made modeling clay and formed upper and lower case letters A-F and baked them. We'll paint them this next week and add G.
We played "Roll a Flower" and talked about the different parts of a flower and what they do, including pollinators.
We read Madeline several times and matched the illustrations of the sites in France to pictures of the real thing and learned their names.
We learned how to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you in french.
We learned origami (folding). Origami whale and crown.
Handwriting practice
We learned about fables and read 3 or 4. It was fun to talk about the "lesson" afterward and hear what the kids thought the lesson was.
Finished reading Magic Tree House #4

Signs for G Week

garbage can
get dressed
get up