As far as I’m concerned, this is by far the best time of year in western North Carolina. Cool foggy mornings, warm sunny days followed by crisp chilly nights. And the light – I wish I could capture it – it is just stunning. We bought our house during October 1999, and I swear it was because of the light. The fact that it had no insulation, old crappy windows, oh, and no water or heat when we moved in thirteen years ago – yes, it had to have been a trick of the light. Having put more money that I care to count into this old farmhouse, I’m glad I still get to bask in all this enchanted autumn sunshine for free. Anyway, here’s what we’re up to this month.
Vincent: 10 1/2 years old, 5th grader I am pretty much following my original grade 5 layout, as the altered block schedule is working out nicely. Vincent will start October by finishing up Persian myths. We will then have a week of math that will focus on division and double-digit multiplication. After that we will resume our ancient mythologies study by moving onto Babylon. Instead of reading individual myths as we have for India and Persia, we will be reading Geraldine McCaughrean’s novel, Gilgamesh the Hero. I have planned 2 weeks for this and then we will have a week of math.
Jude: 7 years old, 1st grader I changed some things around from my original layout , and decided to just finish all the letters in one big block. Jude is really enjoying the journey story, hearing the Grimm’s fairy tales interspersed within the larger story and drawing all the corresponding letter pictures. Instead of just writing rows of letters, I am going to have him copy sentences in his main lesson book. He has been writing for a while now, and I feel like he needs the challenge (and discipline) of copying whole sentences. We will then do one week of Nature Study during the third week in October. I hope this will be peak leaf time, as I have several crafts planned, and some outdoor activities as well. After that, I am planning to teach Jude to knit during his main lesson time. He is a lefty, so I am not sure how this is going to go. My guess is that he will observe a lot, and then – presto! – do it on his own. That is usually how he does things. The last week in October we will start our first math block of grade 1. It will go through the week of Thanksgiving.
Sheila: This year I have tried to schedule different cultural events for our whole family. Last week, we went to a piano concert, and I will admit to being worried that one or both boys would not be able to sit through the whole performance. Despite one of them not wearing any shoes (!!!!!!) and the fact that we were seated in the first row (!!!!!!!), they both did great and seemed to really enjoy themselves. This month we will attend the Blue Ridge Orchestra’s performance of Peter and the Wolf and also see the original Sleeping Beauty done by the Asheville Puppetry Alliance. We saw 2 shows by the APA last year (La Befana and Animalia) and they were both spectacular. The annual Western North Carolina Fiber Fair will be held during the last weekend in October. I coordinated Jude’s knitting lessons with this, so hopefully it will be a nice weekend to get out and see some animals, spinning, weaving and all things fiber. Should be a fun month.
Links and other things I have loved this past month:
- Do you know the Toymaker? Her website, newsletter and books are all great.
- Waldorf Wednesdays! Thanks Annette!
- I love so much of what Carrie at The Parenting Passageway has to say, but this post about precocious children and coming to Waldorf late is exceptional.
- I made these fabric pumpkins one year, and I may just have to make them again.
- Here is a great free download from Sarah Jane Studios. Color print this quotation and put it where you can see it every day!
- If you are a member of Thinking, Feeling, Willing, watch the painting lessons included in the “mom” part of the program. Melisa gives some great instruction in this delicate medium.
Recipe of the month: Raggedy Ann and Andy are still all the rage at our house. This recipe comes from Raggedy Ann’s Tea Party Book by Elizabeth Silbaugh. Treat yourself – these little cakes are delicious. (PS. They are dead-ringers for Devil Dogs, if that means anything to you. Dense, super-chocolatey and slightly dry. If they were shaped differently and filled with a combination of fresh whipped cream and marshmallow fluff, well, they would take me back to a certain corner store in Elizabeth, NJ during the 1970s. Yum.)
Easy Chocolate Cakes
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water (we used coffee instead – my mother-in-law’s trick!)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add wets to drys. Mix well. Pour into lined cupcake pans. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 18 cupcakes.