Geometry playground

Class 5 geometry lessons are underway! It’s exciting for me to revisit the beauty and symmetry of compass art, Learning about polygons, prisms, pyramids, solids, quadrilaterals, angles, lines and circle language. I enjoy the artistic focus in presenting this work with Lily through the Waldorf curriculum.

On an adventurous day out recently we were happy to find this playground in a small village. (Neustadt near Metzingen) Soon there where exclamations about how this whole place was framed on polygons, prisms and even a quadrilateral pyramid supporting the tree! We are all looking at the world through geometry glasses now!   
    
    
 

I hunted for four leaf clovers (unsuccessfully) and enjoying watching while the two spent half an hour cleaning the sand out of the water play basins and creating waterfalls. I know Lily gets lonely for friends her own size when we travel and I cherish the richness of her relationship with Cedar and their ability to play together despite 6 years age difference. 

They where really engaged with the water pump and this initiated more conversations about living in historical times, continuing on from visiting Lichtenstein Castle earlier in the day. Shall we detour there right now, it’s a lovely late summer day in Southern Germany….

   
    
    
    We took the tour so we could snoop around inside the castle. I was especially enthralled with the detailed paintings on walls and ceilings. Photographing strictly Verboten! So you will have to go there yourself.

Afterwards we sought out the Easter Egg museum, decorated not chocolate !unfortunatley closed but the glimpse in the door was inspiring for our own Easter festival. After studying ancient Egypt lily was taken with the egyptian artwork eggs in the centre. 

  
 Anyway back to geometry!

We have been playing with toothpicks and modelling clay to create a sample board. It began with lines, which naturally flowed into the exploration of what can you make with lines.   

  glimpses from Lily’s main lesson book.

 It is fascinating the different polygons and patterns which are made when you follow the times table…  
  

Draw a dozen intersecting straight lines, then identify and color the various types of triangles.

Mamas exploration.   Lily’s

  Cedar’s

   
  Practicing rays by imagining starlight that shines on forever.The city map practicing all different types of lines. See if you can spot them!  
    
    
  First freehand circle explorations before introducing the compass.  
    
    Cedar watched the above flower of life developing, later he sat quietly and recreated his own very beautiful version. I loved making and colouring this mandala as a child also.

  The hexagon creations are beautiful, followed by a dodecagon.
   The fun side of mathematics for us!

The truck house inspiration

                           
These dear friends are in the project of rebuilding this fantastic old fire truck with an add on cabin. Alongside rebuilding a beautiful old house in Southern Germany. Creativity, laughter and lots of child cuddles to be shared in this family.  I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of their holiday home. When I met them 7 years ago they lived in another wonderful fire truck and I was very inspired for our own travel bus. Simple solutions, lots of hand shaped timber. maybe I will have a truck one day. So spacious! I’m coveting the windscreen fringe….

Clover luck

       
My luck is changing! 

I had never found a four leaf clover before this trip! 

While Lily has found over 25 in the last months, I found one, I really did!

She has her clover glasses on and this whole trip has accumulated and gifted quite a collection of four leaf clovers. 

I think it’s remarkable !

It’s rubbing off on Cedar also. 

Have you ever found a four leaf clover? 

Hope you’re feeling lucky!

The Treadle Machine

     
I am unsure how time passed so swiftly 

But here we are 

Thinking a lot of home and our return in a couple of weeks

What is happening in my garden?

Many stories not shared, I can’t claim I am a proficient travel writer!

Four people in a small space, so much outside to see and explore, where is the plug anyway?

Packing sorting packing

Being held lovingly by a friends home

Watching Lily make a travel bag for her birthday dolls and small things

The treadle machine is a new experience and has a gentle sound and rhythm

I am impressed with her independent skill revealing itself with sewing this project

She began as a wee girl sitting on my knee ‘steering’ fabric or ‘driving’ the peddle for me

Look at her now!

An alpine birthday

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth 

And we wish you a good and happy life on earth!

(Alternative birthday ditty)        The traditional pancake breakfast substitutes for a cake when we are camping. Lush toppings, fresh berries, cream, yoghurt and maple syrup. I eat renegade savoury pancakes first, gruyere cheese and pesto.

  Craved farm animals from Werner reifentiere. Found at Pastorini in Zurich. Up up up on the cable car from Falkenberg to Oeschin. Summer tobogganing.       The ausblick/outlook is enthralling.     Postcard moments. Oeschinersee. The lake is turquoise. Crispy clear and cold, it is fed by the snow melt and glaciers.       I am enchanted by the alpine flowers and the children hunt out wild strawberries and raspberries. It keeps them busy and happy for an hour and I can soak up the incredible environment at 1500 or so metres above sea level. We are blessed with mostly sunshine and wonderful cloud pictures being sucked on by the peaks.       Another gift was a junior Opinel whittling knife . The end is round so not quite as perilous but just as sharp. There are sticks of softest pine to be found in the woods. This fellow hiked up with his alphorn! I opened conversation as we had all been guessing what was in his pack, and he willingly took it out and played for Us some folk tunes. The harmonic singing of the horn was beautiful to me. It seemed so fitting in this environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better spot to hear it for the first time since childhood.   The sound carried across the water and the long tones needed the space. Magic.   There are many carving and sculptures along the lakeside path. Cedar played his own little birthday Sansula and enchanted us.  

     

 The folk art and carvings on the buildings continuously impress me in Switzerland. I have been guessing they are winter arts to keep hands creative when indoors for much of the year. Strong traditions. The little model house had a barn full of cows like Cedars birthday cow Tulip.  

  Jesse dared to leave the signed pathway (incredibly practical signs for Wanderweg/walkway with distances and times, everywhere in Switzerland. I love the walking culture. This has been a focus of our trip) and despite our resistance ( I’m imagining lost on the mountain in the dark with hungry tired little people) found us a gorgeous place to have a fire for our traditional Swiss sausage roasting. 

  

   

Who loves chocolate and hazelnuts in fire cooked banana s? Have you tried this? Wait  until you have a bed of embers then lay upon it bananas with their side split and chocolate stuffed in. Yum.      Walking down the mountain is not always easier! I think the grade was about 16%. Sore knees and ankles. 

So happy to get to the playground at the bottom! We walked back to camp at 9 pm via the restaurant for slices of cake and warm milks. I took candles and we had a mini birthday celebration there. A super special family day! Hooray Cedar!

To you we sing

And happiness we bring

To celebrate your birth

An angel here on earth. 

Thanks to friends for this song

Merging Midwives

A dear Midwife friend of mine Carly, has put together a fantastic project called Merging Midwives.
They are halfway to raising the $10,000 they need for the educational project.

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In her own words…

The story of the project

This is a unique project FOR midwives, created BY midwives.

Indonesian midwives from Bumi Sehat birth centre in Bali, Indonesia have been invited to travel to Perth, Australia for a midwifery study tour to further their education.

Bumi Sehat is a by-donation clinic that provides the most gentle, safe and culturally appropriate midwifery care in Indonesia. The clinic has a focus on reproductive health but also offers free general health care services to people of the local community.
Bumi Sehat provides humanitarian relief and has been a first responder after disasters in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Haiti and most recently in Nepal after the May 2015 earthquake.

Indonesia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South East Asia. It is well recognised that one of the key factors for improving maternal mortality rates is the attendance of skilled birth workers. The Bumi Sehat midwives are awesome! They rock. However, like most midwives from developing countries they have limited opportunities for continuing education. Professional development is virtually non-existent in Indonesia so midwives that want to improve their education face a huge challenge in accessing further training.

This is why I have designed this project.

To read the full project click here.
If you are not in a position to donate money, you can still help by spreading the word about this project. Or if you think you can help in any other way, please contact me on: balimidwife@gmail.com

What an inspiration!

I was blessed with fantastic midwives at both of my children’s births. These women (and less commonly) men are essential in our communities please consider donating to this project.
Blessings on all the babies!!

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The wild poetree

  
The wild poetree 

whispers of  gypsy winds and 

lilting lullabies 
Embers of emotions 

Smelting words into

Liquid form with the nights midnight ink
Worlds arise in misty form

Spun from dreams and breath

Wonderous creation
 Dewlit strands of silk

Thread these visions into cloth

Of determined gold
Delicately held

Tapestries of memories

Unfurl me gently
The spool of life spun

I return to poetree

My nest high above

Roselinde

  

3,4,5 triangle

       While researching  Ancient Egypt in June for Lily’s studies, I came across the 3,4,5 triangle. Apparently the Ancient Egyptians used a rope of 12 (we used metres) knotted sections. With angles made at 3m and 7m a right angle or Egyptian triangle is made. Fascinating little insight into geometry without a compass or ruler. 

With my father we went out in the hof (courtyard between the house and barns) with string and sticks and measures and markers and  water cans, we created an Egyptian triangle in the dirt. After we marked the triangle we flipped it and made another triangle, for a rectangle, then marked the centre and made circles with 3, 4 and 5 m diameters. Finally we finished with a central post and made a pyramid! A really fun, visual exploration. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

          While we travel I homeschool Lily. I follow the Waldorf curriculum as closely as I can (with guidance from her teacher in Australia) while not being a trained teacher myself. It usually works really  well and it’s a fantastic opportunity to tutor Lily in areas she has challenges. Getting her motivated is not always easy though and the differentiation from parent to teacher is interesting (read challenging, inspiring,frustrating) for me. I learn so much alongside her and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and discovery in research also. It is difficult to maintain consistency when we are moving a lot so this 6 week interlude with my parents in Germany was a good foundation for studies. We visited the Egyptian museum in Berlin which inspired us with incredibly detailed and beautiful carvings and paintings. It is the home of the famous bust of Nerfetiti which cannot be photographed, so we took our sketchbooks and drew her. The guard commented Lily was the youngest artist he had witnessed sketching her.    

  Her drawing books are full of images of Egypt. 

  

Drawing freely.

    Cedar has discovered drawing in such a new way! It’s very exciting to see him coming more freely into expressing his own visions and ideas as it’s been many months of encouraging this little one who was frustrated as his hands couldn’t do what his thoughts could see. He only wanted to direct us to draw for him. Now I see this fantastic leap in self confidence blooming!

He has invented some fantastic trailer/home/hay makers and the theme is tractors and machinery, trains, maps, gnome homes in trees, apple orchards and landscapes. He’s not often drawing his own wheels or people yet which I find intriguing.  

Each comes to these things at their own pace but I’m glad as I see it brings him much happiness and us much entertainment! 

   

This picture was a surprise to me this morning. The piglet on the left is having a birthday and wears a ribbon around its neck.   

Both children draw a lot while we travel, we have a good stock of visual diaries with quality paper and we have an extensive collection of Lyra pencils. I find the thicker pencils easier for little hands to hold and the smooth bright colours very satisfying. The enjoyment of the materials inspires more use. 

I gained a lot of confidence drawing alongside Lily as she grew and now with Cedar. The children don’t need a perfect replica of something, they just need a suggestion and their imagination fills the rest. I learnt to draw like a child again and it’s brought me a lot of happiness and a fun connection with my children. 

Even after years in art school I needed to de program and lose the critic. So many of us are thinking “well, I can’t draw” do you want your child to think this also about themselves? I was determined not  to say “I can’t draw” in front of my child but to say, well I will have a try, and be able to laugh if it turns out oddly and have another go or ask my child for ideas. Begin with them as they start to scribble at age 2, mimic your child, for they are free. Look to nature for simple gestures, a grassy field, a tree. Then put a swing in the tree or an apple. And so grow slowly. It takes a lot of slow to grow, I heard this recently. 

My people began as stick figures and gradually became 3 dimensional as I drew more and more with Lily. The children also like simple art they can mimic. To just sit with them and begin putting color down can begin a new pleasure (and healing) for you both. 

What are your children drawing?

What are you drawing?