Why the Tree of Life?


First Week

Well, we're in the middle of our first week. I made a tactical error by forgetting that when you order supplies online, it takes a few days for them to get here. So, we're kind of doing a 'pre' week, and we'll get into the meat of the first Consonants Block next week. We're doing form drawing and circle and reading some favorite K stories and Duchess Autumn. And we also decorated the title pages of our Good Books in lieu of story work drawings.

Here's my Good Book and Dunagan's Good Book.

And here is one of Kirven's Good Books: Science. I had him follow my lead as I told him this story:

'Once, long ago, at the beginning of time, there was much that the earliest people didn't understand. (I said this as I was drawing the dark border with a purple crayon-- blue would have been better in hindsight). People didn't know how to make fire. They didn't know how to make clothes. They didn't know why the bees made honey or what plants were best to eat. They didn't know how to make metal. (I talked along these lines as I colored with the purple)

(Then I took a yellow crayon and drew a dot in the center). Then one day, someone wondered. Someone wondered how to make fire, and they figured it out. (Then I expanded the yellow circle) Then someone else wondered about how to make clothes, and they figured it out. (and I continued on in this vein until the whole center was yellow).

The more people wondered, the more they understood. And the more they understood, the more they were able to wonder, and the more they wondered, the more they were able to figure out.

Kirven, you are old enough now to join all the people in wondering. There are many things we still don't understand, but you can wonder about them and you can help to figure them out."

Kirven seemed to be touched deeply, and it was a pretty cool mama-son moment.

Here's Kirven's free drawing for his Form Drawing book. I debated doing all one book, but decided to go with separate subject books, but I did take the advice of my good friend and fellow Enki mom, Michelle, and got Dunagan his own good book, though smaller.

For the Form Drawing Book and the Language Arts Book (not pictured), I let Kirven free draw how he wanted.

And two knights showed up last night. Evan and I thought we heard them come in, but we weren't sure until the morning when we found them at the breakfast table. They had heard that the boys had a castle that needed some defending. The dinosaur was in desparate need of reinforcements; not to mention, it was the first week of school.


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I've set Monday as our first day of Grade One for Kirven (and K4 for Dunagan!-- he's going to have his own little Good Book). What this means is that I am cramming like I have a final coming up. I'm reading and planning and gathering resources together all weekend.

Our weekly schedule for the fall has firmed up. We've decided (surprisingly) against Cub Scouts. The den is a really great homeschool den, but it just wasn't a good fit this year. It might be next year. We are still doing Enki Game Day (with Austin Enki Homeschoolers) and Eurythmy (with Austin Waldorf Homeschoolers), and our friend Cristina, a native Spanish speaker, is still going to come and play with the kids for a couple hours in Spanish.

We're going to start with a Consonants (Language Arts) Block, and I'll post more details about that later on Musings.

We're going to try something different with circle this year because my memory is completely caput. I don't know if it's the third pregancy that did it or what, but I can't memorize anything anymore, and I just don't have the time. It has meant the difference between doing circle and NOT doing circle (adventure, formal, enhanced walk, whatever). If I'm stumbling along (which I am), I lose the boys nearly immediately. So, Evan and I have come up with a cheat. Evan's degree is in audio engineering, and he has been offering to record me saying the verses. We're going to make MP3 playlists of each circle (adding in songs from the Enki cds), and I will just play them when we do circle and we'll all follow as a group. It's a total cheat, I know. We'll see how it goes.

Ok, back to work... or time to start, I guess. Evan and the kids are down at the creek for the morning. I'm obviously supposed to be using my time more wisely than blogging. This helps me focus for the task at hand, right?


16 Tons

16 tons of pea gravel. Two dump truck loads. And we moved it all in one day (with a bit of last hour shoveling from a very kind neighbor).

The boys did their fair share of hauling, and it truly was a lot of fun to work together as a family.

We have a wonderful new playscape to show for our efforts.

Evan and I are still feeling it in places we didn't know we had muscles.


Little Mama

Ayla has discovered her baby doll. Yesterday, she climbed up in our rocking chair with her baby and her sunglasses, worked at getting her sunglasses to stay on top of her head, cradled her baby in her arms and then started making the rocker rock. Then she gently patted her baby. I only happened to see her out of the corner of my eye. And some say boys and girls are the same. HA! Both of my boys had a doll, but they never nurtured it--- not like this. They might carry it around in the doll sling once in a blue moon (at my suggestion) and pretend to be a daddy while continuing to play trucks, but that is the extent of it. Ayla will give kisses and snuggle and rock and pat and carry her baby in the sling for long periods of time. She's also starting to put her to bed! And taking her to bed with her herself. 16 months. I can't get over it. I didn't expect her to play like that until at least two and a half or three. And it's funny how easily I can sink into playing dolls with her; my mind doesn't wander away with boredom at all. I have a much harder time playing the boy type of things with Kirven and Dunagan. Legos. Trucks. Trains. (my eyes glaze over) But dolls on the other hand; much easier for me to stay focused! (and I've suddenly realized: now here is a child who might be interested in a dollhouse and a play kitchen... oh, the possibilities; how exciting... and, um, the potential to go overboard at Christmas...)

And I should add, the doll in the picture is a very special doll. A version of this doll was given to me and both my sisters and all my female cousins by my mother's mother, and my mother, I think, bought Ayla's doll for her the day after her 20-weeks-gestation sonogram when we found out her gender. It was a first Christmas present for her. So, Mamma, you ought to be pleased! (Because she scorns the waldorfy doll I so carefully picked out for her!!) And you'll also notice: no clothes on the doll. What is it with naked baby dolls??


We found our paint! Unpack art supplies- CHECK

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Ayla playing in one of the first boxes to be packed at our old house


We bought some new shelves for the playroom/project room from IKEA, and the boys did all the screwing together. "IKEA: furniture so well-designed a four year old and a six year old can put it together."

Silly Clothes

This is a new game called 'Silly Clothes'. It all started when I asked Dunagan to please, for last time, go get dressed. This is how he came down, and the game was born. His job is to put clothes on in the most ridiculous ways he can come up with, and my job is to exclaim how silly he looks and how he still doesn't have it right and to please go try again.

Mail Call

Ayla with our mailbag all ready to walk down to the mailbox with Geena