Nicholas

Spotlight on... Nicholas

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It’s spring break week for all my kiddos. And luckily (???) I’ve been dealing with some fairly serious medical issues that mean I get to be here at home with them while they’re on break. And this little guy? He’s just the sweetest.

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Nicholas is always there with a sweet hug and kind words. He goes through life with a pretty good sense of humor, and even when things do go wrong (like when I accidentally shaved him bald during the Great Lice Epidemic of 2015, he rallies nicely.

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Roots and Wings

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There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.
~ Hodding Carter

If the school year was a baseball game, we’d be rounding the corner to third base. We’ve left behind, for now anyway, those incredible Old Testament characters—the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ve learned about how people throughout the ages have built structures so as to make homes for their families and we’ve built a few of our own. The idea of house and home has even made its way into our math blocks, as we place the numbers in their little houses while working out addition and multiplication with regrouping and subtraction with borrowing. We’ve explored Native American culture and their early homes as well. While making our first formal exploration of history we’ve been led to question our own family history, and I was amazed at how our findings delighted Nicholas.

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Around here, we’re not big on grandiose fancy-schmancy birthday gifts. Sure, we might occasionally give a big gift like a bike, but generally speaking we like to focus our energy on experiences over things.

Thus, the Birthday Adventure was born.

Some adventures of the past have included tickets for shows (Michael has had both a trip to Pittsburgh to see The Lion King and a more local outing to see Stomp), day trips, trips to New York City, outings to the movies, and special lunches or dinners out, to name a few. Our Nicholas turned eight last week while Daddy was away on retreat, and we had a very special birthday adventure planned.

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Here’s what Nicholas kept busy with today.
An alphabet magnet book.

Playing The Very Hungry Caterpillar game with Daniel.

Reading “Each Peach, Pear, Plum” with Katie Grace.

Painting with blue.

Going on a penny hunt created by Michael.

Repeating a pancake game we made up yesterday.

Making patterns.

Talking about Ash Wednesday.

Putting favorite things away in a Lent box.

Making a robin finger puppet.

And taking over the world with ROBOTS!

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Asking a child to draw a picture of a house, a tree, and a person is a pretty common assessment technique, and one I’ve been using with my own little ones for years. You can use it with anyone age 3 and up. There’s actually an entire psychological evaluation centered around the exercise, but I don’t quite take it that far, LOL!

The Waldorf community has a different take on the house–tree–person exercise. A 1999 edition of Gateways makes the following connections:

1. The house– a picture of where the child is on earth. From that place the child goes out and comes in again in the process of meeting the world.

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Happy Workbox Wednesday!

We’ve been talking a lot about halves and wholes lately, so first we played a little game where I drew a half and he finished it. Nicholas said they were “treasure boxes,” LOL!

And then he used pattern blocks to use two halves to create a whole.

He made a beautiful window transparency with fairy fleece.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I have it on good authority that it’s a gnome standing in the sun.

He had a great time with finger puppets.


And then big sister joined him in making a beautiful stained glass lantern.

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I cannot begin to tell you how thankful and blessed I am to be able to homeschool, especially when it comes to Nicholas. He’s simply not ready for an academic kindergarten. In the shelter of our home, however, he’s free to explore and learn at his own pace, which is alternately slow and completely frenetic.

Some themes this week were the fairy tale Needle, Shuttle, and Spindle, the letter N, heavy and light and long and short, and winter.

Sewing a little pillow for one of his animal friends…

Making beeswax icicles to decorate the sleepy bears’ cave on the nature table…