Spring?!!!

And just as we thought Spring had arrived, it began to snow…..

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πŸ˜‰β„οΈβ›„οΈ

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We Don’t Need Waldorf….

Just getting out our watercolours on request, and Ted produced some beautiful paintings…

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My title is tongue in cheek – for someone who has been interested and intrigued by Waldorf education for many years, but who feels it’s out of my reach for many reasons. Our nearest Waldorf school is not so very near, and without the use of a car, it would make it next to impossible.

Home education is illegal in this country, so I just choose to do things my ‘own’ way. I choose to keep my children at home as long as I possibly can (they start school the year they turn seven here, with a non-mandatory first school year when they turn six – something that I think is positive, and a good introduction to ‘real’ school, and which we take part in – with the odd day or two home each week, when desired). I choose a school which I think benefits my child – smaller groups if possible, a forest environment ‘playground’ with much time for free play and exploration within nature, a school which teaches creative aspects of life such as music, knitting, woodwork, sewing and art – and includes these weekly in the curriculum. At home we have always had routines ; we celebrate festivals ; we observe and learn through the seasons ; we spend extended periods of time outside in the garden or in parks or forests – learning, exploring, playing ; we bake ; we craft ; we create ; we read. And we try to keep screen activities and commercial products at a limit, as much as we see necessary.

And then I have moments of doubt. IF we could send our children to a Waldorf school, would it make us happier? Would we feel restrained? As a family who likes to introduce our children to many aspects of life, this also includes such things as ‘Minecraft’, ‘SuperMario’ and ‘Geometry Dash’ – all screen games which we feel our children have enjoyed, and benefited from, for various reasons. Television programmes and films, which we again feel our children have enjoyed , and in many cases, learnt from. Our ‘Saturday sweeties’ which, despite being a spout of sugar and food colouring, are just that – a ‘spout’ (our children get to pick one sweet according to their age from the pick n mix section, until they’re ten years old, and can choose their own treats carefully – if they want them) and a weekly fun family ‘tradition’. Occasionally we indulge in ‘commercialism’ – the children can choose a toy for their birthday which we parents wouldn’t necessarily choose, and many of these, such as ‘Gogos’ and ‘Trashpacks’ have been items the children have played with time and time again. I do think, that within reason, a little of everything is good – and realistic. And I do wonder, if following a specific ‘education style’ or ‘curriculum’ or ‘lifestyle’ would make me feel ‘boxed in’ ?

So there you have it. My reason for the title to this post. Because if you see an ideal, and wish upon a certain ‘way’, but for some reason out of your control, can’t follow that wish, it’s important to look at the positive. To think “I can”.

Because we don’t need a Waldorf school or a Waldorf curriculum, or to homeschool, to be able to lead a healthy, creative, warm, loving, educational lifestyle. We can lead one anyway – and we do – and when I look at Ted’s paintings, at the beautiful colours, and the way he mixes them, and asks openly to paint….I know that…and I feel grateful for the good life that we have. 😊❀️

Spring!

Spring has arrived – very early – here in Sweden. Yesterday, clear blue skies, the sun shining, and warmth! Just a little warmth to keep us happy!
We enjoyed a fabulous walk in HellasgΓ₯rden, where Ted discovered the ‘napkins’ (catkins) hanging from the trees…..

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Beautiful Spring! 😊

St Patricks Day Celebrations

I always try to do something on St Patricks day – despite it being a non-event in Sweden – and this year, particularly important, as we have our very own Patrick (Patu) staying with us!

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It seems that Liam the leprechaun (our resident St Patrick’s day visitor) had been up to mischief!
He had changed all the breakfast plates and cutlery to green items, put green grapes upon our plates, turned the milk green – and left his ‘give away’ trail of shamrocks…

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He had mixed up the shoes by the front door – and again, left his ‘give away’ trail of shamrocks….

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In the morning I made gold and green play dough for Ted…

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In the afternoon we had shamrock cookies (Maya was responsible for taking them out of the oven πŸ˜‰)…

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I set up the window shamrocks…

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…and in the evening we ate Irish stew, and had a super quick lesson on the Irish potato famine!
Of course, Liam the leprechaun couldn’t quite let it be, and there was one more trail of ‘give away’ shamrocks ….this time leading to a piece of ‘gold’ for each child by the rainbow..with Liam standing by of course….!

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Happy St Patrick’s Day! πŸ˜„πŸ‘’πŸ‘—πŸ’šπŸŒ±πŸ΅πŸ

Maya’s Rainbow Party

Maya turned 11 on Monday!
So we decided to do a very last minute after school tea for her four best friends…

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I decided to set it up loosely as a ‘rainbow theme’, hence the ‘rainbow’ of balloons, and the coloured streamers and paper plates.
I found ‘Pink and Green Mama’ ‘s blog, and got a few ideas from there – such as the 7-up, which was coloured with a drop of food colouring – blue, yellow and red in separate jugs – which when mixed made green, orange or purple. This was VERY popular!

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Also on the blog, and something we’ve done before – a decorate your own cupcake ‘activity’ with rainbow coloured icing…

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..rainbow cookies…

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..and my favourite, rainbow fruit kebabs….

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The girls were very happy…

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…especially the birthday girl of course…

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…and to take home, a small bag of rainbow sweets….

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As this was a last minute ‘party’ only to last a short while (two of the girls had after school activities to attend), I didn’t arrange any party games. However, I didn’t need to – the girls went outside and played happily for a good hour or so before it was time to go home!
A simple – and very successful party! πŸ˜„πŸŒˆπŸŽπŸŽˆ

Mothering Sunday Simnel Cake

Mormor (my mum) and Patu have come to stay from England – and as it was mother’s day in England, I decided to treat her to a ‘simnel’ cake – apparently traditional originally on mothering Sunday….

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..and somewhere I read that violets were a traditional mothering Sunday flower, so a marzipan one was made on her cake….

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Happy Mother’s day mum! πŸ’πŸ’œ

The Magic Rectangle!

I taped a rectangle on the living room floor to see what would happen…

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..at first the rectangle became a place to jump in to from the sofa, and a ‘dangerous place’ to not be inside, and then part of a course for small cuddly toys. But then it became the basis for a shop…

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…which inspired more shops…

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..which led to a lot of buying and selling ‘unwanted’ toys from each other. Quite a nice way to recycle! πŸ˜€πŸ’·

Discovering Stars

The skies in Sweden are mostly clear at night, and in March, a perfect time for star watching.

I started with reading two books to Alfie and Ted – fictional books about stars…

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…both thoroughly enjoyed 😊
Later I then read a factual book about stars with Alfie…

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..it goes in to detail about what a star is, what they are made of, our nearest star, the constellations, and the colours of the stars…

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This book was the perfect level for Alfie, and it inspired much conversation.
Later I took the english group – plus Alfie – outside for a star walk, using a booklet of constellations I had printed out from the scout group…

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It was a beautifully clear night, and we managed to find and point out quite a few constellations. Maya and Alfie were particularly excited by this!
We went inside, and using the wet on wet technique, using diluted food colouring in pipettes, we painted our skies. We sprinkled salt on afterwards, giving it a ‘glittery’ look. And then we added star stickers, to make a constellation – either one we had seen, or our own..

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Three children made real constellations (can you see which ones they are?), and one made his own…’smiley face’…
Alfie joined us after the painting, and made his own just using stickers…

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The next day, Alfie and Ted painted their own. Alfie’s is the top one, entitled ‘the picture’…

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We must try to go on another star walk soon! πŸ˜ŠπŸŒ™β­οΈ

Celebrate The Wind!

At the weekend we had a beautifully sunny – but rather windy, day. Perfect for kite flying!

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Admittedly the grown ups did quite a bit of the flying – but Alfie held on tight, and gave it an excellent try..

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Ted gave it a try too…

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….though the inevitable happened and he let go! Alfie and I ran and ran, and the wind blew and blew, and the kite got caught in a tree…but luckily, blew down again, and we were able to retrieve our kite without much of a tangle! πŸ˜‰
The following day, the wind continued to blow…and it seemed an appropriate time to make a paper bag ‘wind sock’..

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..and in the evening, we couldn’t go without reading this classic book..!

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Celebrate the wind! πŸ˜ƒβ›…οΈπŸŒŠ