We began our Language Arts companion guide the week of 8/21 and jumped in with learning about vegetables. The companion guide we’re following is only $6 (!), I can’t recommend it enough. There are two book suggestions, a craft and/or field trip, poetry memorization, and an art study every week. It’s very book heavy, but we were able to find every book at our local library or read aloud on YouTube. The only additional book we purchased was the art accompaniment because we’ll need it for 12 weeks and our library didn’t have it. It’s available on Amazon or at ThriftBooks, our copy was around $4 and you can save 15% on your first order if you go through my link.
The companion guides are available as free PDFs from Wee Folk Art, but for $6 you can get updated guides with book lists that are all in print. I encourage anyone who’s interested and can afford it, to buy the $6 downloads. The Wee Folk Art site is a great resource and it’s a great, low-cost way to support the site.
For the last few years I have been in love with this curriculum, but based on Steiner teachings, personal convictions, and following Mimi’s lead, we were waiting to start any formal learning until six or seven years old. Wee Folk Art’s curriculum is based on seasonal companions that incorporate books, crafts, activities, field trips, and art study. The approach has a great flow to it, and it is the perfect gentle introduction to more formal learning.
Week one started off with learning about vegetables; how they’re grown, the different categories of vegetables, and we read a funny story about a lazy bear who didn’t understand that some vegetables grow above ground and some above, until being taken advantage of by an enterprising hare. Tops and Bottoms was a fun story that gave a funny, living story example of how certain vegetables grow.
We made salt dough veggies and the girls enjoyed mixing the dough together. It’s a firm dough and they even had to stand on the table to get enough leverage to knead it! Insider tip: only make one batch size. I doubled it, thinking it wouldn’t make it enough, but we only used about ⅓ of it. The dough can be stored in the fridge, but it becomes a lot runnier the next day. I think it would be better to just make a batch at a time as needed.
Costco has huge bags of salt for $3 and it worked great for this dough. It’s such a big bag that this recipe didn’t even put a dent in it. I foresee a lot of salt projects in our future!
We made an assortment of fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, yellow squash, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, carrots, and a gigantic white chocolate chip. We even made two little bowls and a watering hole for our farm animals.
Painting, especially painting little items, is an engaging fine-motor activity, which is beneficial for pre-writing skills.
All the talk about how veggies grow led me to look up if we had time to start a fall garden. There’s a patch of our yard that’s about 15’x20’, completely overgrown with blackberries and other weeds that would be perfect for a garden. It turns out that September is the perfect time to start a fall garden in our zone so that day the girls and I began ripping out all the weeds. By the following weekend it was ready to rototill, with the help of Papa and Daddy, and a week later we had various seeds planted. In the next week we will know of if the seeds were viable and we’re all excited to check the progress each morning.
Keeping in line with fall harvest, we shucked corn at a local produce store.
This week’s art study was Bull Jumping. We found a video on YouTube that showed it in detail, and colored a reproduction drawing of it. I was a little intimidated by doing any sort of art study, but the art book suggested by Wee Folk Art made it super simple and has a few questions to ask to lead the discussion.As our first week of homeschooling came to a close, I was really thankful to have found such amazing resources. I’m excited, the girls are excited, and I really feel like we’re set up for success this year.