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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Creative Learning #8

Welcome to another week of Creative Learning.  Last week we had some inspiring submissions, including the ultimate in form drawing in a Celtic Knot Cross, a review of an amazing free homeschool resource (We will be using this next year.), and a sweet idea for pretend play for your budding photographer.

Creative Learning on Friday

Come join us in the inspiration.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Charlotte Mason Says: Handiwork (Rainbow Yarn Jars)

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we use the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling while incorporating Waldorf techniques.  Lately I have been thinking about the direction our weekly rhythm needs to go in the realm of handicraft.  Charlotte Mason encouraged educators to teach children a useful craft or skill, not simply tom make quick projects that would end up in the trash in a few weeks.  During this, my first year of homeschooling, I have found so many tempting quick crafts to supplement our lessons, and while some have turned out to be useful for other lessons or treasured seasonal decorations, many were discarded after a few weeks of hanging on the fridge. 

Charlotte Mason wanted students to learn something more meaningful than a quick craft - a  life skill.  Waldorf education hits this right on with elementary-aged children learning watercolor painting and knitting.  We are going to move in this direction by turning our handiwork time toward useful, and therefor, treasured results and then move more toward a life skill that the boys will carry with them as they grow to be men. With this in mind, I am ready to whip out the knitting needles or woodworking tools, but I pull back in mind of what Charlotte Mason says, "No work should be given to a child that he cannot execute perfectly, and then perfection should be required from him as a matter of course." and, "The points to be borne in mind in children's handicrafts are: (a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper mats, and the like; (b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do; (c) that slipshod work should not allowed; (d) and that, therefore, the children's work should be kept well within their compass."

 We practice this "perfection" in copywork lessons, but in handiwork, not so much.  I tend to give my boys handiwork that could take up to an hour to complete, but find that at times they become frustrated because I have not taken the time to show them how to do it properly or they grow weary of the project and their works gets sloppy.  So today we are starting a new project and I will take time to show them how to do it, although it is quite easy, but maybe not for little hands. I will also allow them several days to complete their project. And the project will be of use to our family: Yarn Jars - just what we need to organize homeschool supplies and brighten our learning space. (Inspired by Donni at The Magic Onion.)

1. Pick out colorful yarn.
2. Stick 3 vertical strips of double-sided tape down the jar about 1 inch apart
3. Wrap the yarn around and around.
4. Spend about 10 minutes a day wrapping the yarn until done. 
     Use double-sided tape to hold the the ends of the yarn on the jar.

Here are a few links to other thoughts on Charlotte Mason and Handiwork:
Handicraft becoming Life Skills

What are you and your children doing for useful handicraft?  I would love to know. (Feel free to leave a link to a pinterest board or blog post of your own useful crafts in the comments section.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Creative Learning Link Up #7

Welcome back to another week of Creative Learning.  Last week we had some wonderful posts linked up, including a wonderful way to teach children the difference between cities, states, nations, and continents with Geography Nesting Cans, how to make Nature Study fit your family (the 5th installment of an inspiring nature study series),  rhyming Easter Eggs, and a delightful Waldorf Math Story.  There were many more great links that we will carry into our homeschool days.  

Our week has been busy with a huge children's consignment sale, so finding some creative learning in our  days was challanging, but it was there in the form of handiwork.  I will be posting about what Charlotte Mason had to say about handiwork in the next few days in a new series titled Charlotte Mason Says.  How about you?  What creative learning has gone on in your lives this week?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Creative Learning Link Up #6

Welcome back to another week of Creative Learning.  Last week we were all about nature as we shift our science studies from planets to birds & animals and two bloggers who linked up had a great nature focus as well.  At My Soul Doth Delight there is a wonderful series on Nature Studies that is perfect for our Charlotte Mason style, also Selena, of Look We're Learning, shared a detailed post about their inspiring creation lapbook.

Here in central PA, the season is slowly changing into spring with crocus blooms popping out of the soil and birds singing to the heavens.  As the season changes, the outdoors becomes our classroom and our learning becomes more hands-on.  How about you.  What creative learning experiences come for you in the spring?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The winner is...

This evening we took out our number river rocks...

and selected a winner of the main lesson books & Stockmar beeswax block crayons from Oak Meadow.

Congratulations to Tristan who left comment #2.
Thank you to all who participated.  Our next giveaway is from A Toy Garden.  One sure to inspire creativity and set to begin next week.

St. Patrick's Day copywork & more

Here are some ideas for St. Patrick's Day copywork and some wonderful printables I found at the Graphics Fairy.


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye of every one who sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
-Saint Patrick
Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Bless This House
Bless this house, o Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out.
Bless the roof and chimney tall,
Let thy peace lie over all.
Bless the doors that they may prove
Ever open to joy and love.
Bless the windows shining bright,
Letting in God's heavenly light.
Bless the hearth a-blazing there,
With smoke ascending like a prayer.
Bless the people here within...
Keep them pure and free from sin.
Bless us all, that one day, we
May be fit, O lord, to dwell with Thee.
Are you ready to add a little green to your home?  Visit The Graphics Fairy for some wonderful printable Banners and other Graphics to make any St. Patrick's Day gathering festive.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Creative Learning Link Up #5

Welcome to Creative Learning on Friday.  Last week, we had a wonderful post about the Magna Carta. The history geek in me was thrilled!  We also had some wonderful posts shared that made us ready for more time spent outside, including Urban Nature Study and saying YES to our little ones.  As the weather warms and light shines longer, I am looking forward to more outdoor creative learning.

While you are here, don't forget to enter the Main Lesson Books & Stockmar Block Crayon giveaway.

Creative Learning on Friday

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Terrariums - part 1

Several weeks ago, I ordered little glass bottles from Etsy with the hopes of making tiny terrarium pendants.  At the Philadelphia Flower Show, I was able to ask the folks from City Planter all kinds of questions about how to preserve terrariums, what plants would work best, light, soil, etc. and purchased some moss and Tillandsia. This afternoon, I set to work on Tiny Terrarium Pendants.

The City Planter booth

My supplies included tiny 2 centimeter and 4 centimeter bottles with corks and hooks, little shells, pebbles of semi-precious stones we found in North Carolina, and mood moss.
To make your own, you can purchase bottles at craft stores. Use sand, pebbles, beads, or soil on the bottom.  Then clip off tiny pieces of moss and, using needle-nose pliers, put in several pieces of moss. (If you are doing this with children, keep in mind that these little glass bottles shatter easily.)


Next, spritz in a bit of water and cap it.  The moss will retain the moisture and should last for weeks, if not months, to come.  If you have leftover moss, it can go outside and last through the rest of the winter.


Now you have a lovely, living bit of nature to carry with you, hang in your window, or give as a special gift.
As the water settles to the bottom, the individual moss
fronds will separate and fluff out.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Welcome, the Giveaway, and Flowers

Yesterday, we had a lovely time at the Philadelphia Flower Show and I want to share a few photos to cheer your day. But before I do, I want to give a warm welcome to all of the new followers of How the Sun Rose. I hope you enjoy the blog and all it offers. I welcome your comments, questions, and please feel free to link up to the Creative Learning link party. Also, don't forget to enter our giveaway of Main Lesson Books and Stockmar Block Crayons from Oak Meadow.

Now on to the Philadelphia Flower Show where the theme was: England.




Monday, March 4, 2013

Main Lesson Books & Block Crayons Giveaway


In our homeschooling adventures, nature study has provided ample opportunity for my son to tap into his creative side and encourage his observation skills.  One of his favorite parts of nature study is drawing what he has observed, whether it is a butterfly, a tree, or a rainbow.  For detailed drawings he uses a small blank book that travels with us to museums and parks. However, often, he needs a larger space to draw an entire landscape or large, more pronounced aspect of nature.  For that, he uses his treasured main lesson book. 

Main lesson books are typically used in Waldorf education, but are gaining popularity in Charlotte Mason homeschool families for seasonal or nature studies.  Main lesson book can be used for every subject, and are especially useful when teaching in blocks or unit studies.

Aidan's tree drawings after a maple sugaring field trip where we
learned that sugar maples have symmetrical branches.
(Drawn with Stockmar beeswax block crayons.)

Having quality art supplies is an essential part of our homeschool plan.  My children know that they have nice supplies and therefor take better care of what they have. Our main lesson books come from Oak Meadow, are 31x24cm, and have onion skin between the pages so the crayon drawings do not rub off on to the next page. These main lesson books are such quality that we will keep them for years to come as reference guides. They will also be a treasured source of pride and a journal of our children's homeschool journey and discoveries. We currently use them for our nature studies, but next year we will use our main lesson books for creating a Book of Centuries for history lessons, and a separate one for form drawing and math lessons.

The shining rainbow shows us Seven
As it stretches down from Heaven.

For our crayons, Aidan, who is seven, uses both Stockmar Beeswax stick and block crayons, also from Oak Meadow.  When we switched from cheaper crayons to these high quality beeswax crayons, Aidan remarked about how much brighter his beeswax crayons are than the ones in a traditional coloring box. And he is right. They are truly vibrant.

He recently began using block crayons and is learning techniques that give a soft blending texture that he cannot get with stick crayons and uses the edge for sharp lines. (I am looking forward to using them myself.) For more inspiration on using block crayons visit Homeschool Mo where Maureen writes about the evolution of block crayon use in her own homeschool journey.

Block crayons are perfect for bark rubbings.

Would you like to discover the beauty of block crayons as an art medium for yourself? Oak Meadow is generously offering one reader a set of 3 Main Lesson Books and a set of Stockmar Block Crayons. 

There are two ways to enter. (You are welcome to do both.)

1.  Like Oak Meadow on facebook, where you will join over 7,000 fans who enjoy daily informative and inspiring posts. Leave a comment that you did so and tell how you or your child would use the main lesson book and block crayons.

2. Follow How the Sun Rose via GFC (found on the sidebar) or facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did so.  (I often draw inspiration form my readers, and welcome your comments on posts and fellow bloggers linking up to Creative Learning on Fridays.)

On the evening of Monday, March 11, my 4 year old son will pick a random number out of our math river rocks and I will reveal the winner.

Our next giveaway is from A Toy Garden.  It is sure to inspire creativity!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Creative Learning Link Up #4

Welcome to Creative Learning on Friday.  Last week we had some wonderful posts linked up, including A Tribute to Charlotte Mason, the founder of the homeschool method we follow, amazing Little House on the Prairie paper craft, and a Burgess Bird Book Study Guide perfect for studying our feathered friends coming back north. We look forward to the creative learning you share with us today.

Please post the Creative Learning button on you blog so others can share in the inspiration.

The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to How the Sun Rose. Please do not republish an entire post or post photos of my family. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too!