Homeschool: Dragon bread, swords and modeling

Hello fellow homeschooling moms out there. Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week! Just wanted to share with you what we did this week in our homeschooling journey. We had an exciting week with sword making and dragon bread. We also used clay as a project instead of beeswax for now since it is softer. I wanted to see where Mr. 4 was at in terms of trying to actually mold something together so for now I think we are going to still be using clay. This weeks story involved a dragon so I finished up my peg doll and used it as a prop. We also made swords together for handwork just by using sticks and old yard to tie the two. Overall, I am seeing that it is very VERY messy cooking with multiple kids. Makes me wonder about how homeschooling multiple children will be. Also, for circle time the younger ones want to be involved but it is hard with interruptions. Does anyone else have this problem? Sigh.

Here is the dragon bread recipe we used from the Waldorf Snack Book:

2 cups of very warm water

Large tablespoon of honey

1 tbls of yeast

Around 5 cups of flour or more until the dough is not sticky (a mix of wheat and white is what the book uses)

1 tsp salt

Now the thing about this recipe is that it made a lot of bread. Yes we shaped it into a dragon and it was great fun but now we have to eat it all. Both my husband and I are not bread eating people so we have to serve this bread as a snack everyday pretty much to not have it go to waste. We are using jelly and honey for the snack and next week we are supposed to make more buns. We will see how it goes.

There was another tinkergarden activity this week and it was about spreading happiness :o) The kids all found treasures around our building from nature such as acorns and sticks, then they got to decorate them any way they wanted and hide them for others to find. It was a lot of fun making happy faces on acorns and working together to find places to hide them. It was also fun afterwards when the treasures were hidden and the kids were playing, seeing random discoveries from other kids.

It has been such nice weather here in NY lately, it still feels like summer (I am not complaining). Some of the women here in the community got together for an evening of bonfire fun. It was so warm that night we had iced apple cider! Was a nice break for this mama here reminding me to relax and let go and enjoy the night sometimes. Motherhood can be so mundane and hard at times and we find ourselves stuck in autopilot. Just taking a break from a bedtime routine with kids, taking my shoes off and walking in the grass, watching the fire dance, looking at the moon, staying in the moment, has been my self care lately. It is worth it. We forget so much about ourselves.

Hope you had a blessed week!

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DIY: toothpaste

Today I wanted to share with you my favorite toothpaste recipe. It is so easy to make and you only need 3 ingredients. Here we go.

What you need:

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

1.5 tablespoons of baking soda

10 drops of peppermint essential oils

Combine in a container and store in bathroom. That’s all folks! Super easy and chemical free. It might be a bit getting used to after you ditch the Colgate or Crest, but so is a chemically free life and then you wonder… how did I ever live like that before?

Sickness season

We are at the end of September here and the cold and flu season is upon us soon. Let’s prevent those colds getting to us and our kids. I wanted to share some basic essential oil recipes to prevent bacteria and viruses sneaking up in your home.

First, I wanted to share with you the secret weapon against bacteria and virus you can buy at our local health store. Colloidal silver. It can be bought in sprays and also added to lavender oil. On its own I use it on my kids before we go anywhere especially during the flu season. There is always interaction with other kids here in seminary so that is one way to help avoid bringing those bugs into our house.

There is a broad-spectrum room spray that is a good combination that covers both bacteria and viral if you are not sure what’s going around.

What you need:

Thyme 10 drops

Oregano 12 drops

Palmarosa 10 drops

Lemongrass 9 drops

Clove bud 4 drops

Dilute oil blend into 2 tsp (10 ml) of distilled white vinegar then add the mixture to around 3 1/4 tbs (50 ml) of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well and leave to cool and shake before each use. If you would like you can use this in a diffuser but some people do not like the smell combo and children can be sensitive to it. Try to prevent the water in the spray from falling onto delicate materials and wooden furniture.

I hope this help some of you keep healthy this season. Next time we will focus more on childrens care with essential oils to help them naturally with common colds and coughs.

Homeschooling week

Happy Friday! Hope your homeschooling journey was a success this week. We had a great time this week baking and making crowns that goes with our story. I wanted to share the recipe with you this week since we substituted it with the one in the curriculum.

Carrot raisin bread

Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 salt

1 cup sugar

Wet ingredients:

3 eggs

3 tbs molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup oil (I used olive oil)

1/4 cup pineapple

1 cup raisins

1 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven 350 F and prepare bread pans. Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside then mix wet ingredients in a different bowl. Combine the mix from 2 bowls into one. Spread the mix evenly between two bread pans and put in oven to cook for 60 min, use a toothpick to test the middle. Your kitchen will smell so nice! This was a winner with all the boys (husband included) although cooking is a messy process it is worth it to see the excitement on the boys faces after it is done cooking and they taste their creation.

For our co-op the kids continued to learn days of the week with Tuesday for St. John the Baptist.

Oh forerunner oh baptizer

Holy St. John, pray for us

You lived in the wilderness

You baptized the master

Help us follow him too

Help us follow him too

Holy St. John pray for us

That is the song we taught the children and they made a beautiful Tuesday page with a river and the Holy Spirit coming down.

Handwork

This week we made leaf crown and they boys loved it. We also flew our kites from last week since the breeze cooperated with us. It was so much fun to them running around with crowns pretending to be kings of the forest and flying their kites. For my handwork I am working on a dragon peg doll for next weeks story and have it almost done.

This week with friends we did a tinkergarden activity with balancing gnomes and the children had to figure out how to use a stick to balance the gnomes on the other side. It was lots of creativity, working together, and critical thinking involved. This builds good social skills for the kids and I enjoyed seeing all the kids actually working together and not fighting battle against each other. You can also do tinkergarden activities with your kids or group they have a website http://www.tinkergarden.com for ideas and their philosophy.

What was your highs and lows on your journey this week?

DIY: Body wash

Today I wanted to share a DIY recipe for body wash. Recently I started diving more into organic and natural living and started doing some basic essential oil blends for things like sleep and immune booster. So far I have made my own face wash and toothpaste and now body wash, here is the recipe for the body wash.

What you need:

1/4 cup Coconut oil

1 teaspoon Calendula oil

10 drops Favorite essential oil

1/4 cup Raw honey

1/2 cup Dr. Bronners castile soap

An unused bottle

Start off by melting the coconut oil indirectly, this means to put a cup of hot water in a bowl, then in a smaller cup put in the coconut oil, then put the coconut oil cup into the water cup. Make sure the coconut cup doesn’t sink into the hot water bowl. I used a bowl of hot water then put the oil in a small plastic cup and had the cup float in the bowl.

Then once the coconut oil is melted add in the honey. Mix it all together and add your drops of essential oils (I used lavender for its smell and skin healing). After that I added the calendula oil and mixed that all in together (you can also use vitamin E oil). Lastly I mixed in Dr. Bronners soap slowly with the rest of the mixture and put it in an empty plastic bottle for the shower.

Please note that it most likely will not lather up but it does get you clean. I use a baking soda or brown sugar scrub beforehand then finish off with this in the shower. Leaves skin smooth and chemical free!

Homeschooling week

This week in our homeschooling journey day after day we had unpredictable circumstances. We started off strong with lessons and co-op going smooth but then the store ran out of eggs… all eggs… what store does that? Sigh…NYC. Therefore we could not prepare a recipe this week. Thankfully, this week was the Exaltation of the Cross feast in the Orthodox Church so we just did two days of painting instead.

I tied in the Waldorf Essentials core story of super Sam with the feast, this is sort of a Waldorf approach with tying stories together that seems to work with younger children. We did make kites together as part of our handwork this week as this was part of the WE story but there was no wind (of course) to test them out. Painting was messy. Like I said, nothing was working with us this week.

Part of the co-op was their work on Monday and how it represents the angels for the church. They learned a song:

Oh holy angels and archangels

Mighty brave and strong

We ask that you please pray for us

As we sing this song

They made their own angel craft and put it in their school book.

My handwork this week was a peg doll of St. George since he will be part of our story next week.

I am working on my stitching, this is still very much a learning process for me. I never knew how to do any of this stuff before discovering Waldorf. Now I see the handwork makes a difference.

Our Russian studies have been going as well. Consistency is key with foreign language. My husband does not speak Russian so dialogue is hard to have in front of the boys, so I have to to an actual curriculum for them and be consistent. We use our chalk board for stick figures of things we learned so they see it all day and we repeat it often throughout the day.

Hope your week in homeschooling journey was good. Blessed weekend to all.

Exaltation of the Cross

Orthodox Christians celebrate the cross 3 times a year and tomorrow is one of those times. For our feast lesson we used the Garden of the Theotokos curriculum and made our own wooden crosses.

Added circle time song:

Before thy cross we bow down in worship oh master

And thy holy resurrection, we glorify.

For the lesson we talked about the resurrection icon and how the cross is really not a bad thing. I related the demons to bad guys and Hades to jail to make more of an image for them. We looked at the icon together and saw how Christ is pulling people out of this jail place and they are holding onto him to get out.

Since during the service we see red for the cross we changed our cloth to red and then made wooden crosses to process with while we sing our song for the cross. The wooden crosses are super easy to make. All you need is wooden dowels from your local craft store, hot glue them together and then paint them.

We also used string to tie the middle part together since it was a fun handwork thing for the boys to do. We chose red for the color and tried to mix it with orange for fall colors but it mainly just turned to red. This was a fun process and I will share with you how we tied it into our school story from the Waldorf Essentials curriculum later this week.

Reflection: Seeing the other side

I recently was brushing teeth with my boys and every mother knows it’s one part of the bedtime routine that can get really mundane. After going through the rhythm of “ok now wash your face, ok let’s put the brush down… ok put the brush down… ok PUT the brush DOWN” I looked at my oldest son in the mirror. He gave me a big smile as I looked at him in the mirror and then he turned to me to look at me face to face. In that moment I realized that how I saw him in the mirror is so different from how he sees himself. I see him so much different than he sees himself and so much more beautiful than he knows he is at this moment.

It made me wonder about other people as well. How we honestly look at them through a mirror. We only see a little part of themselves. Sometimes we see the flaws in the mirror and judge or gossip about those flaws. The whole other side, the face to face side, is really hard to get to know. Sometimes we never get to see that side of people. Knowing that the other side exists in other people can in itself be eye opening.

My hope is to have that realization with me when I am inclined to judge or gossip about others. I hope I can carry that with me when people hurt me. That is what some believe to be… seeing the goodness in everyone, forgiveness and love.

DIY fall mobile

Part of our handwork this week was making a fall mobile and I thought I’d share with you this easy way to do this craft.

What you need:

  • Colorful leaves (we collected ours on our nature walks)
  • A stick
  • Ribbon
  • String (we used floss)
  • Pine cones
  • Beeswax

How to do it:

  1. Melt the beeswax
  2. Lay all the leaves in wax paper or aluminum foil
  3. Once beeswax is melted dip each leaf and lay them back down to dry (this preserves the leaves)
  4. Get string ready
  5. Tie each leaf on as you’d like finishing with a pine cone on the bottom for weight
  6. Tie another string on top of the stick one end to each side
  7. Find a great place to display your craft!

This was fun to do with kids because they got to pick the stick and leaves and pine cones so everyday was a treasure hunt looking for our items when we went outdoors. Next weeks handwork kites!

Homeschool

This week we started with the Waldorf Essentials curriculum and so far we really like it. I have to compile the teaching days into 2 days so we do our craft one day and baking day another. The reason why we do this is because of our co-op that takes a day and just schedules that work best for our family. We did bake the recipe that was suggested with peach cookies and it was a great big mess in the kitchen alright with kids trying to mix and touch every ingredient. Overall I enjoyed it and am seeing that my boys enjoy lessons as well if I hold the space and try not to just check something off the list.

Our co-op started the unit 1 study of the days of the week from the Garden of the Theotokos curriculum. We started with Sunday and since that is the day we go to church we put a chalice and a diskos on our page. We also talked about how God took 7 days to make everything and tried to talk to the kids about what their dads and moms do that is work and resting on the holy day. I mixed in circle time from the WE curriculum along with other finger plays and action rhymes my kids have enjoyed.

This week we have the Feast of Nativity of the Theotokos and used our peg dolls I made to retell the story. The cloth was switched to blue and the icon of the feast was put up. This was a great hit because the whole day we roll played the story, with either using the peg dolls or just acting out the story.

That was our homeschooling wrap up. Blessed Feast everyone!