From the archives… Choosing a Family Major

, ,

My internet roots are found in two yahoogroups I used to run– Everyday Waldorf and Feasts and Festivals. One of my goals this year is to bring a good bit of that content to this blog.

In the excellent book “Teaching Children Joy” (a book which takes as its
basic premise the concept that children should spend less of their early
childhood years learning the ABC’s and 123’s and more time joyfully
exploring the world around them) the suggestion is made that when the
New Year comes you, as a family, chose a “major.” Much like a college
major, your family major will be an area you focus on throughout the
year. Here are some of my ideas for family majors…

– Arts and Crafts. Each month choose a different area of handicrafts and
spend time as a family mastering it.

– Gardening and Harvesting. Begin now to plan a garden. Spend the whole
year nurturing it, harvesting the fruits, making holiday gifts from what
you grow.

– Make it a banner year. Create seasonal banners, as well as one for
each family member to hang up on special days.

– Focus on Fitness. Choose a different type of exercise to practice as a
family each month. In the winter, learn to ice skate together. Go hiking
in the fall, and learn to swim this summer

– What’s Cooking? Each month stress a different type of culinary art.
Learn to bake bread, make homemade candy, spend a month trying vegetarian
cuisine.

– Go around the world in 365 days. Choose a different country each
month, and focus on its food, language, and culture. Have a special
family meal, and learn to say hello in the country’s native language.

– Feasts and Festivals. Resolve to really live by the feasts and
festivals of the year. Resolve to keep “ordinary” times plain and
simple, and really live up the festival celebrations.

– If your family is religious, there is a wealth of topics you could
focus on in Scripture. You could choose a fruit of the spirit to
emphasize each month. Choose a Bible character or story. Our family’s
major this year will be 1 Corinthians 13 (you know, the “love” chapter
that’s always read at weddings!) We will be dividing it into twelve
sections and focusing on one section per month. This month is “Love is
patient.” What a challenge!