Seasonal songs serve as a musical reflection of the ever-shifting environment, celebrating the beauty and significance of each season and a deeper appreciation for the cyclical nature of life. This approach fosters a sense of connection to the natural world and helps children develop a heightened awareness of time's passage, instilling a sense of harmony and balance with the world around them.
The following are some fun seasonal songs you can incorporate into your daily rhythm this Fall.
Pssst! We have a brand new Kindergarten mini-course: Learn to Teach Finger Knitting. Learn more HERE.
The essential elements of a Waldorf Kindergarten are not the specific activities (baking, painting, etc.) but should reflect the underlying philosophy of Waldorf-inspired kindergarten: It's play-based, non-academic, and nature-inspired.
The kindergarten-aged child (and even the 3-4-year-old) learn through imitation, open-ended creative play, movement, music, stories, artistic activities and purposeful work.
Your role as the parent is to form the daily and weekly rhythm, create lots of opportunity to learn and play, and build your relationship with your child.
Did you know that Candlemas has been celebrated for centuries under different names? As with many festivals today, it has its roots in pagan culture. For example, today, we are more familiar with references to Groundhog Day as a way to mark the coming of spring. However, way before Groundhog Day, this marking of the year was referred to as Candlemas, part of the Christian tradition. But, of course, before the Christian tradition, this day was celebrated by the Celtic people and known as Imbolc, which celebrates Brigid, the Goddess of the Dawn.
Felted Artwork by Mimi Hirsch
The Meaning of Martinmas
Throughout the year, Waldorf Education celebrates festivals to connect with the cycle of nature, establish a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthen the community. The Festival of Compassion (Martinmas) is celebrated around November 11, between Michaelmas - the Festival of Courage's fiery out-breath and the winter holidays' deep in-breath. Universally, it honours St. Martin's story, patron saint of beggars and outcasts, known for his gentleness and ability to bring warmth and light to those in need. He is best known for his kindness toward a poor beggar freezing outside. Martin used his sword to cut his cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar. This act of compassion, which gave the beggar warmth and hope, is why this festival is also called the Festival of Compassion. Waldorf Education celebrates this festival by making lanterns with the children and gathering for an evening Lantern Walk.
Spring is such a time of renewal and comes with a burst of energy. Seasonal celebrations give you a point of focus when choosing stories, crafts and activities to do as a family. Celebrations such as Easter offer a beautiful annual rhythm, something that your child looks forward to re-engaging with each year. It's a special experience to choose activities that become family traditions.
Each Daily Wonder unit comes complete with three weeks of guided daily curriculum and a 4th week called a Flex Week. Parents can rest assured that the curriculum is covered as planned for each unit during the first three weeks. If parents choose to continue the daily routine with Flex Week, they will continue to cover the curriculum and expand on that with design thinking as well.
The Flex Week project for the Grade 2, Month 7, The Wonder of Reading unit is the completion of a Kindness Quilt. The theme of kindness runs through the stories told during this unit. Stories of kindness are a perfect backdrop for the level of reflection appropriate for the 7 or 8-year-old. It is more developmentally appropriate for a child this age to feel how they feel rather than to think about how they feel. This means it is easier for them to read about kindness and feel how that care feels than for them to bring this into their thinking for analysis.
Children thrive in a predictable rhythm and routine. We see their anxiety lessen when they know what to expect. When meals and bedtime happen regularly , it anchors their day. Once established, it is helpful to find other aspects of the day that you can commit to making happen regularly. Homeschool is, of course, a source of rhythm for your child. Although these days, school can be somewhat unpredictable as well, giving us even more reasons to fill moments in your child’s day with heartfelt connection and a sense of calm.
Birthdays are always cause for celebration, especially in Waldorf education. Traditions and rituals help children to experience the rhythm of the year, and celebrating a birthday honours the child’s place in the family and in the world. Below are some suggestions for bringing meaningful traditions to your child's birthday at home.
What is Michaelmas?
Michaelmas (pronounced Mi-kel-miss) was originally a Christian festival in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. It is the feast day of the archangel St. Michael, and is celebrated at the end of September and beginning of October each year.
We encourage families to recognize the passage of time and the seasonal rhythms through festival celebrations. Festivals provide an opportunity for your community to unite and share wonder, reverence and gratitude. May Festival celebrates the awakening of the earth, the lengthening of days, and the rebirth of nature around us. We celebrate this time of growth with joyous song and dance, playful games and a community picnic.
Traditionally May Festivals are celebrated on May 1st, but we have always found that using the early weeks of May to prepare and then holding the festival later in the month works too. And if you're homeschooling, you can be as flexible as you like.
Here are some ways you can bring a May Festival to your homeschooling community.
Explore schedules, rhythms & routines, songs, music, festivals, free play, meals, projects & more to support your homeschooling program.