The Kalabazoo by Isaiah

We are closing down Isaiah’s blog at IsaiahDotCom. After much deliberation, I decided that there was no reason for both of these blogs. I think everyone who is interested in homeschooling would be interested in what he creates with his unencumbered mind. And so, on Friday’s, I will post something that is uniquely Isaiah.

 

The Kalabazoo

the kalabazoo

 

I’ve been eaten by a Kalabazoo

A horrible nasty Kalabazo

Now please close this book

I don’t want him to eat you too.

So if anyone asks you

what’s a Kalabazoo

say you don’t want to find out.

Whatever you do,

if you have a rhyme book never got to page 22.

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What is a Main Lesson Book Anyway? Do I Need One?

 

main lesson books do i need

I don’t like rules.

When I started with Waldorf Homeschooling I kept hearing Main Lesson book, Main Lesson Book, Main Lesson Book.

Do this in your Math Main Lesson Book, do this in your Science Main Lesson Book and do this in your Literature Main Lesson Book. (Don’t even get me started on Form Drawing)

Listen lady, that’s too much for me to remember; let alone have, or spend money on, because my kid is a drawing fiend and I can’t say, “Hey! No! Don’t draw in that one, draw in this one!” That doesn’t seem very Waldorfy to me.

And don’t tell me only your best work can go in your main lesson book, because I am the child of a narcissist and when you say those things I feel the micromanager wake up inside me, and it says “The child must only put his best work in the main lesson book.” (in a scary voice) And by best, I mean best.

Back when he was in first grade I tried, that was before I realized it was okay for me to think outside the box, I was still trying to conform.

It was a nightmare. Yes, a nightmare. Don’t tell me I am exaggerating, because I most certainly am not.

My son is a drawing machine, if you don’t belive me check out this video. I cannot EVER tell him he can only draw on one page, or he needs to draw this picture just like me. Nor would I want him to. But I tried and it was bad….

Not to mention the fact that organization does not come easy to me.

So what is the solution you ask? The best one EVER. 100 page sketch books! For those of you who like to use drawing and creativity as part of your curriculum go to Michael’s when sketch books are buy one get one free. Like right now. And do what I do.

main lesson book or sketch book

Grab the first one and write the start date on it. Ours stays on our home school table, and by home school table I mean coffee table, with the box of colored pencils next to it. Whenever it’s time to draw he opens his sketch book and gets going. And if he wants to draw later in the day, he takes the same sketchbook and keeps going.

I know some Waldorf people will not be happy with this set-up, I’m not sure why. I think most might be relieved.

My understanding about the point of Main Lesson books was that all of your child’s work would be in one place and you or he, could go back and look at all of it. With Main Lesson books that’s a subject by subject deal, and if you run out of pages, then what?  I know that when you’re working on the alphabet you want to look back to yesterday, but if you are using the block system, then most likely all of your alphabet pictures will be grouped together anyway.

When you use a sketch book all of the lessons are in one book and when you run out of pages you just start a new one, and lessons continue. At the end of the year you have maybe two full sketch books, and ten years from now that will be much less cumbersome than dragging out 8 main lesson books, no?

main lesson books do I need

Amazingly Beautiful Winter and Christmas Stories for Children

I love a beautiful story so much. There is something about the internal calmness that one feels after reading a story that is filled with soothing imagery and elegant language. A story that touches the nature of who we are, that slows us down and reminds us to look at the world around us. No matter the eloquent words used to describe such a story, they touch the souls of our little ones because they speak to the universal beauty in this world, something that is not unique to one person, something that makes us take a deep breath, and relax into that moment. The moment the story takes us away. These treasures have crossed my path over the years as I have continued to search for books that are more… More than the fun hokey Christmas stories, more than the obvious morals and much much more than the pure entertainment. Of course there is a place for those. But when I know it is time to help my child quiet his mind, this is where we go. the tomten The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren – This book is really a winter book. The best way to describe it is quiet. The imagery is amazing, with very few words as we watch the Tomten’s footprints move through out the farm, our imagination is piqued. Astrid Lindgren creates a story that is captivating and calming all at once. snip snap sledSnipp Snapp Snurr and The Yellow Sled by Maj Lindman – These books are over 70 years old. The whole series of Snipp Snapp and Snurr are absolutely a gift. The stories of triplets and how they work through simple life tasks. In this story the boys desperately want a sled, they work for the money and visit it every day. Another boy visits every day too, but when they find out how come he won’t be buying the sled, you will understand why this is the perfect Christmas book. the night before christmasThe Night Before Christmas original poem illustrated by Douglas Gorsline. I specifically recommend this version, there is something about the very classic drawings, they are like you are peering into someone else’s world. The details are amazing, and captivate my son year after year. This version is not modernized, nor is there a twist. It is what you would expect, it is an amazing peek into history and a quiet lyrical way to look at Santa Claus. christmas in noisy villageChristmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren – This book could not be more different than The Tomten. This book takes us back to a time where there was no electricity or refrigeration, where eggs were collected from out back and every single wonderful treat the children looked forward to at Christmas time was lovingly made from scratch by their mother. Christmas rituals consisted of time spent with friends and family, and also a few jokes. The children’s antics as well as awe are so wonderfully illustrated it makes you want to join them again. (Which you can by reading The Children of Noisy Village) the wild christmas reindeerThe Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett – Well this book would earn its spot on this list by the illustrations alone. But of course a book so wonderful would have to give us even more, and this story does. She is well-known for her illustration style because she uses the borders to deepen the story. While we watch young Teeka learn a lesson of teaching with kindness and the power of using kind word on the main pages, on the borders we watch the elves prepare for Christmas. The story is captivating, and the illustrations make you want to linger on each page. the secret staircaseThe Secret Staircase by Jill Barklem – This is one of many amazing books by Jill Barklem. After discovering this book I decided to just go ahead and buy The Complete Brambly Hedge. Within each of her stories you are transported into a world living beyond, the mice of the hedgegrow have homes and mansion within the trees along the river and at the edge of the fields. They are intricate, beautiful and delicate. They have a society amongst themselves, there are bakers, weavers, a keeper of the wine and even a Store Stump where every item you could possible need to cook with is kept to assure this beautiful community at Brambly Hedge makes it through the winter. The Secret Staircase is an adventure for two young mice who discover a part of The Old Oak Palace no one knows about and it is also about the celebration of Mid-Winter, such an intricately woven tale. We have read all of her stories year round for three years and the boy is still not tired of the vividness and detail that help feed this imaginary world that now has a permanent residence in his mind.

I highly recommend all of these books, I found them all through Amazon myself. Sadly many of them were not available at my library, however I never once regretted adding them to our collection.