I am trying some new things this year. In an effort to keep things organized and put more responsibility on my boys for keeping up with their stuff, I have created School Work Boxes and Handwork Baskets. Neither idea is original nor groundbreaking for that matter, but I am hoping it will help streamline our school work and our handwork. I know a lot of people do versions of these ideas, but Jean Miller is the person who inspired me.
School Work Boxes: Both Vincent and Jude have an old metal file box with their name on it. Inside, they keep daily math practice sheets (Vincent), copies of their monthly poems, sheet music for pennywhistle, works in progress . . . you get the idea. Anything that is related to what they are doing in school goes in their School Work Box. Last year, I would always wind up with a huge pile of paper on my desk that would be related to Vincent’s main lessons. This year, I am hoping to eliminate that, and have him be responsible for his work. This will obviously be different and more relaxed for Jude, but I am trying to instill good habits with him from the start. (We learn so much the first time around. Those lucky, lucky second children!) Also any independent reading related to a block would go in here as well.
Handwork Baskets: One of our biggest hindrances to handwork is finding all the parts and pieces that go along with a project and then keeping them all together. I’m hoping our handwork baskets will change that, plus keep our projects at the ready so they can be picked up and worked on easily. I have started the year off by filling the baskets with projects for each of us. Vincent will be working on a raccoon-themed cross stitch. (Rascal keeps giving and giving!) Jude’s basket contains a ball of thick wool yarn for finger knitting and/or winding into a ball, a few cardboard sewing cards with laces and also a bag of big wooden beads to string together. (Actually Vincent has a bag of smaller wooden beads to string together in his basket.) I have some felt finger puppets that I need to finish sewing and also a brand new fabric yo-yo maker that I bought who-knows-when. Maybe I’ll actually open the package and make some soon! As projects are completed, new projects will replace them. I also plan to keep putting in activities (like the bead stringing bags) that help with fine motor skills, coordination and such. Donna Simmons’ book, Joyful Movement, is a great resource for ideas.
PS. If you were wanting a more literal answer to yesterday’s post, about what Waldorf looks like in our home, you can take a tour of our schoolroom here.
PPS. I am participating in Annette’s Waldorf Wednesday. Check out all the links on her blog.