Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kim John Payne on Boys

Some little gems from Kim John Payne's lecture on boys last night at Summerfield Waldorf School in Santa Rosa.

Boys need to know 3 things (plus one :))

1-Who's in charge
Too often, these days, parents have created a child run and child centered world. Parents need to be at the top of the hierarchy. A child centered, adult led world is the goal.
2-What are the rules
They need absolute clear boundaries with clear communication. Don't expect them to get off the couch and help you do dishes unless you have DIRECTLY told them that it is necessary.
3-Are they meant
Don't change the rules, be consistent.
4-Where's the food! (my son is always hungry!)

In a world that has lost touch with actually, physically building, boys have lost their role. Everything is all ready to go. Press a button and watch what happens. Boys don't want to watch, this doesn't make the proper connections in the brain that give them self worth. They need to feel industrious. Hammers, nails, board...anything that they can build themselves is what's needed.

The percentage of boys diagnosed with ADD is astounding. I love that KJP (as we affectionately call him) prefers to call it Attention Priority Disorder. Things are moving so fast that for a boy it's just a matter of not being able to prioritize information at the speed that our society is expecting. It takes 8 seconds for boys to process an image. How fast are those images flashing on the TV? Think of the backlog! Boys need TIME! Without it, they push back just to hold their own form and then of course they get into trouble. They feel under attack with all this pressure. Dial it down for them. He also mentioned the sad suicide rate and that boys are most likely to succeed at it. Frightening. Soccer practice, homework, social pressure, media intensity and on and on. These poor kids. It's true, there is an undeclared war on childhood. We need to stand for our boys. Our boys will become men.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Gift of the Nile

We've stepped back into Ancient Egypt. Begining with The Nile, the life giving waters that supplied the valleys with fertile soils for farming and papyrus for paper. Egypt begins here. We are reading the story of Osiris and Isis, talking about hieroglyphics, mummies, gods and goddesses. A very colorful lesson block!

Friday, January 11, 2013

No Math Friday's

The kids love that Friday is math free. We use most of the day penning creative stories loosely based on our curriculum. I taped down large pieces of paper, brought out the colored pens and gave them some general ideas to build on. Molly built a whole little geometric world filled with shape people and Oliver wrote about the village in "Starry Night" turning it into Starry Town's annual foot race with the greedy Ravenwood family expecting to defeat the community once again. I want them to do all their own attempts at spelling so we know what to work on. This also enables them to just let their creative ideas flow. Our Fridays are for writing, dreaming, creating and exploring. After they've finished their stories, then we can work on mechanics.

A Visit from Grandpa

Cinnamon popovers
an all day fire
Nuts and chocolate
Astronomy, botany, geometry and art
a telescope, chess and Greek mythology

We just about covered everything, lovely day

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Yoga channel on Pandora
Fresh chicken stock simmering on the stove
Twilight sending rainbow sparks through dangling crystals
Incense burning
Children playing
Oliver gardening
New library books; Leonardo da Vinci's writings on the mechanics of man filled with his drawings(where Oliver first learned about sex today!), Harriet Tubman's biography, drawing techniques for fashion design(Molly loves) and a hard back filled with Van Gogh's paintings that Oliver would like to recreate

After waking up "late", feeling behind and cranky; after attempting my walk and turning back around to go in from the cold and after complaining to Oliver about his complaining, this is where we ended up. I stepped back, let go and ended up right where we all needed to be.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Starry, Starry Night

 Working with the astronomy block in a well rounded way, we dabbled in the art world with Vincent and his impasto brush strokes. Oliver really enjoyed this today and his picture turned out so beautifully. Molly constructed the pentagram within the pentagon which was much more complex requiring repositioning of the compass a few times. I love her artistic embellishments!

Oliver's interpretation of Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

Molly's birth of a pentagram