Sensory Spelling and Modeling Beeswax

We’ve really been jumping all over the place here.  I don’t know about you.

Even though I had the curriculum all ironed out, I just never know what will happen as I start a new school year.

Isaiah is a person. And as a person his likes and dislikes change. What works for him changes. And to be honest, I don’t do well with change.

And so I went back to what I know works, and we started a Waldorf spelling block. I’m adding it in twice a week. We have never done “spelling” per se so I am starting from the beginning with the first 100 of the High Utility 500 words.

And since this is Waldorf,

waldorf spelling

 

The beauty of Waldorf is they did Sensory work, before Sensory was cool.

We pulled out the box of modeling beeswax.

I have to say I really missed the modeling beeswax, and I didn’t realize how much until we started using it.

You can’t get anymore sensory integrated than having to wait patiently as the beeswax warms in your hands, as it warms you begin to smell that light comforting smell that is uniquely beeswax. Slowly you begin rolling it in your hands, it warms more and becomes more and more malleable until it’s ready to use.

The whole process is so integrated with the senses that it has a very calming effect. The key is getting your child there.

Isaiah is impatient. And at first refused to take the time to grab a lump and let it warm up.

So I grabbed a lump and worked on it as I walked around the room.

When I came back I found him working carefully on his own beeswax project. Even he couldn’t resist that feeling. It also speaks to just doing it, and waiting for your child to follow. Don’t press, just do.

 

Working in beeswax is completely unique and inviting. It responds so well to your directions. Even the artistically challenged can make something look like what they (I) want.

spelling modeling beeswax waldorf

 

The road became clear to me when yesterday I asked him to spell “the” as we were driving home from his allergy shots.

His response? “We don’t do spelling mom.” and then after some negotiating “th”.

I found this odd, I know he can read that word just fine. But clearly the idea of spelling was foreign to him. You have to start somewhere, right? Immediately I realized Waldorf’s method of learning to spell was going to be the right answer for us.

So today, I handed him my warmed up red and asked him to spell “of.”spelling with modeling beeswax

At first he resisted, but then he formed the letters carefully and put them in front of me.

We continued through the first 9 words of the first 100. And amazingly, even though he couldn’t spell them as we drove down the street, he had no problem modeling them out of beeswax.

Score 1 for Waldorf, or more like 100!

Of course I am nothing if not a crazy, whatever method works for you, homeschooling mom. And so this happened too.

spelling modeling beeswax unschooling

 

Here are some tips for Waldorf – Sensory Spelling.

Modeling Beeswax, slowly warm and then form the words.

Write the words in whatever handwriting your child enjoys using colored pencils or beeswax crayons, and then walk to the other side of the room and write it again, either the same way or a different way.

Then on his way back to you, have him walk the letters of the word he’s spelling.

Make it fun, encourage him, do it with him if he’s being resistant.

I know everything there is to know about a child who won’t do it “because.” He doesn’t need a reason to say no, me asking is usually enough. So be gentle, do it yourself at first if you need to.

I am very confident this will work for your reluctant speller!

working with modeling beeswax

 

Please feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas for sensory spelling!

signature.homeschool

 

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Third Grade Curriculum – September

homeschool home school curriculum

I will try to get next month up before we start, we started the last week of August. Here is an overview of what I hope to accomplish in the month of September.

Click here for an example of our schedule in google docs, please feel free to use it and then fill in the blanks.

Our school day tends to be about 4 hours long, when teaching one or two children there is no need to spend excessive time on a subject. For us this includes lunch, a snack and playtime!

home school reluctant reader

Everyday:

Read aloud from reading level appropriate reader. For us this is about 15-20 minutes depending on how goofy he’s being.

4 pages from Explode the Code ( we are in book 3)

Cursive Practice – Ask your child for a sentence from the story you read

Math U See – we are in the Alpha book, we picked up again at exactly the halfway mark. My plan is to do 1 or 2 lessons a week depending on where he gets stuck. Rushing it never helped anyone!

Literature – Folk Tales in the evening from Oak Meadow Folk Tales book 2 or 3 times a week. (I am sure you can find a folk tales book in the library and a great FREE online resource is MainLesson.com you can search the site by genre. In the fairy tales section you can find folk stories and fairy tales from other cultures, which are essentially folk tales.) We read the story in the evening, or in the afternoon. The next day I ask Isaiah to retell it to me as he draws me a picture or series of pictures that he feels relate to the story. I do not lead him or guide him at all. If he wants to change the story as long as I feel like it started somewhere with the original story I’m cool with that.
If you have not read the Grimm Fairy Tales this would also be a good time for that.

Get Outside – Every morning we try to take a walk around the block and check out what’s changing in the seasons, it is also a good time to quiet our minds and get ready for the day. I try to remind Isaiah to not chatter on, by mentioning that I hear crickets or birds, and asking questions about them.
And of course plenty of play time throughout the day!

Week 1:

Folk TalesThe Fox’s Snack, The Mighty Caterpillar and The Queen’s Gifts

Science – ( you can do this M, W, F or over 2 days – we do the rotation models one day, and the tide video a second day)

Earth’s rotation, illustrated using that old-fashioned model of a balloon slowly rotating around a lamp without a shade. Draw a little stick figure on the balloon so he understands where we are in relation to the sun during the day and evening. Although this was not a new concept for most kids, it’s fun!

The Moon – Add a smaller balloon (this is now a two person job, you can use anything small and round) to illustrate the moon rotating around the earth. I explained that the Moon is large enough to effect our oceans.

Tides – There is no easier way to explain the tides than to watch a movie about. I recommend The Blue Planet – Tidal Seas. (I picked it up at the library) also The Magic School Bus Goes to Mussel Beach

Social Studies – (This year we are studying the Old Testament and Ancient Cultures) Read the story of The Garden of Eden and Cain and Abel (two separate days that should alternate with Folk Tales). (Once again a great resource for these stories are on Main Lesson.com  Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible)

 

Week 2:

Folk Tales: Jesper the Herder of Hares, The Faithful Friends (the musicians of Bremen),  and Prince Hyacinth

Science: How Plants Make Food – The Magic School Bus Gets Planted also Pushing and Pulling with balloon rockets.

Social Studies: Noah’s Ark and The Tower of Babel both of these present great opportunities for crafts and drawing.

 

Week 3:

Folk Tales: Rapunzel, The Gardener’s Son and The Pot of Honey

Science: Evaporation – place dishes with the same amount of water all over, and measure evaporation, talk about why it evaporated more in certain places.
The Magic School Bus – Wet All Over
Water Bead Fun!

Social Studies: This week we will spend the whole time reading about Abram’s journey and His choices.

 

Week 4:

Folk Tales: The Six Travellers, The Goat Eared Emperor, and Brother and Sister

Science: Salt Crystal Trees (this is a big project so we’re going to stick to one)

Social Studies: Continue our reading on Abram and how he becomes Abraham.

 

home school waldorf learn hebrew

 

Extra Stuff: Trips to the museum, so we may skip a day here or there. Learning Hebrew! And visiting some home bound relatives to brighten their days!

Remember! Each of those weeks includes the everyday list. Some weeks we don’t do science so intensely because for us science is a lot of everyday being outside. Also I embellish a lot as I go along, and will be writing about that weekly. So if you want to keep up with what we are doing, remember to hit the subscribe by email button!

 

 

home school curriculum third grade