Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Newsletter!

Our quarterly newsletter is out!  We are accepting articles and advertising all year long about homeschooling, Waldorf, arts at home and more.  Click here for the newsletter!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Organizing our Homeschooling

Staying organized as a homeschooling family is important. At times, it can feel like learning is taking over every space of the home! Here are some of the ways that we stay organized during the homeschool year.

We hung magnetic ropes on a wall to showcase recent artwork. It is easy and inexpensive. We rotate artwork and then store them away. Eventually, some watercolors get cut into cards, gift tags, notebook covers and book markers.

We dedicate one open bookcase for current books, projects, supplies and reference material. We found some magazine holders at a thrift shop and added chalkboard stickers on the sides. Handwork is kept in a basket that may be carried anywhere. A large basket with commonly used art and other supplies is on the floor.

We dedicate a space for a nature table...mantle, bar, top of bookcase or other spot.

A table space is clean and available for written work and artwork during the day, and is cleaned up before dinner each afternoon. 

We found an antique caddy for all of our writing and drawing supplies. Reused food jars and cylindrical gift boxes hold pens and paint brushes.

Sometimes, organizing feels like it takes as much time as planning! Daily, we organize and clean the table space. Weekly, we organize the bookcase. Seasonally, we rotate the nature table, artwork and reorganize the magazine holders in the bookcase. Curricula and supplies that are not being used will be stored in a bin in the garage, sold, gifted or recycled.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Living the Waldorf Life - School for All Seasons

As a conscious parent, your goals are to nourish your child as a whole individual,
give them confidence to express themselves in their unique way, nurture creativity
balance and independent thinking, allow them to focus on what interests them,
cultivate a love for learning and more important- allow them enjoy being a child.
“School for all Seasons”, gives parents the opportunity to learn within
a structured program that will guide but not overwhelm. It lays out the main
elements to providing a Waldorf-inspired structure for a young child.
Complete with real life examples, templates, videos & week-by-week curriculum, 
this course will clear away the confusion and replace it with understanding. It will 
allow you to say, “Yes! I can do that.” It will show you how. Wherever you may be on 
this path, “School for all Seasons” will meet you there with practical nuts-n-bolts solutions,
time-saving steps, and answers to your questions.

There is great cultural pressure to “hurry” our children into… everything.
Academics, sports, classes, and basically a scheduled life.
This course is designed to provide you with the way to give holistic education 
to your child to nourish their body, mind and spirit.

Click here to find out more!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Grade 4 Nordic Blocks

One of the more unique and fascinating part of Waldorf curricula is the study of Nordic tales in grade 4. This is presented often through the teaching of Norse mythology, stories about Vikings, information about Scandinavia and Finland, and the Finnish Kalevala. We chose to cover this block during the coldest and darkest time of the year at home, enjoying reading Thorkill of Iceland, D'Aulaires Norse Myths and the Kalavela while naalbinding yarn and sipping hot chocolate....

Main Lesson Book page on Norse God Balder.

Symbols from ancient Finland.

Wet-on-dry watercolor of heroes fighting at Asgard in Norse Mythology.

Lucetting a gift for big brother for Christmas.

Designing and carving Thor's hammer, "Mjolnir" out of clay.

Yggdrasil = The nine worlds in Norse Mythology

Making a raw vegan "Odin's Yule Log"

Creating rune stones out of clay

Baking vegan Santa Lucia buns

A handwork basket filled with Scandinavian tools: nostepinne, lucet, double-lucet, naalbinding needle

Oil crayon drawn, then wet-on-dry watercolor painted Vainamoinen playing the kantele from the Kalevala

Wet-on-dry watercolor of a Viking ship


Monday, December 2, 2013

Family Handwork

We love doing handwork projects as a family!  Our new eBook was written to inspire families to create beautiful handwork projects as a family at home.  Available in our Etsy shop.

Our eBook contains instructions and colorful photos for four projects:
1. Knitted gnome and bed
2. Crochet/Knit Baby Blanket
3. Natural Silk Gift Wrapping
4. Handspun Woven Table Runner

Information about supplies, planning, importance of family handwork and resources included. 18 pages. This listing is for one digital copy that is in pdf format. Upon purchase, you will be able to download it directly through Etsy. eBook is for your own personal family use, only. Schools and co-op groups may email us for information on a custom listing for their organization.

Return to Homeschooling

     Wet on dry Viking ship painting

What an adventure--we are homeschooling again! Our family fully supports and embraces a variety of educational opportunities for our children, including public school, private Waldorf school and homeschooling.  This year, we have decided to jump back into the homeschooling realm with Wilson. What a pleasure it is for us to have Wilson at home, growing up with his little sister Linden, actively involved in the home, and enjoying the exciting 4th grade curriculum.
Ceramic Celtic letter tile

We have not been blogging as much lately.  Thanks for being patient with us!  The past two years have been fabulous...a new baby, a new home, and our wedding business has grown three-fold.  So thankful, and so blessed.  
Fractions - Castle story math

Our Syrendell time has been focused on workshops, consulting, private lessons, custom orders for our Etsy shop, our newsletter, and keeping in touch via social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram.  Now, we promise to start blogging more again! Please follow us through social media and sign up for our quarterly newsletter.
Form drawing

Enjoy some samples of Wilson's homeschooling adventures this year!

Trip to Lake Solano to observe river otters, geese, peacocks and squirrels and to sketch trees

             Spanish and German months of the year 

Trip to Baldo walnut farm in Rumsey, CA - squeezing our own pomegranate juice

        Violin lesson and learning how to play musical saws at Baldo Farm

Trip to the Maidu Museum and exploring Native American petroglyphs and grinding rocks in Roseville, CA

Autumn nature table

     Wet on dry watercolor of sea turtles

                   Visit to Cache Creek Lavender Farm in Rumsey, CA

Clay runes

              Hike in Stebbins Cold Creek Canyon outside of Winters, CA

 Scandinavian lucetting

       Wet on dry watercolor of a horse

        Homeschool ceramics class at the Davis Art Center

        Needlefelting a Thanksgiving cornucopia with the whole family


       Trip to Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, CA

     Interacting with baby animals at Impossible Acres Farm in Davis

Momix performance at the Mondavi Art Center at the University of California, Davis

Learning about energy and recycling at the Utility Exploration Center in Roseville, CA

  Weaving a Native American-style pine needle basket

   Perimeter of shapes

    Painting and folding a lantern for Martinmas

            Crayon drawing of Miwok Native Americans

Sketching and watercoloring the state of California

Sea animals - Crocheted an octobpus finger puppet and created a play

German retelling of Hansel and Gretel

Fractions tree

Entomology - Metamorphosis of a caterpillar in German

Marine Animals - Trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Ornithology - Kiwi bird

Trip to the San Luis Obispo Mission

Tap dancing

Trip to the Sacramento Capitol building

Major scales on the piano

Compass Rose

Geocaching and Letterboxing around Davis

Wet on dry watercolor of a jellyfish