Matthew and Molly have been asking if they get to “do school” this year. With late November birthdays, it gets a little awkward. I don’t plan on starting kindergarten until the September after they turn 5, which gives us 2 more preschool years to fill. I like to save Nursery Rhyme Nursery School for the four-year-old year, so this year we’ll really be doing a lot of Seasons of Joy stuff. I’m hoping it encourages me to do some editing and cleaning up as well!
What I like about Seasons of Joy (if I do say so myself) is that it gives us plenty of time to really get into the stories and circle times. Each one lasts for 2 weeks, giving the twins and I plenty of time to really learn the songs, rhymes, and stories. It’s amazing how they seep into our whole day, not just specific times.
You can find some specific Seasons of Joy Autumn info, including samples, by following this link, but I also wanted to share a brief outline of what’s included. While I’ve made noise about not wanting to limit myself by methodology dogma, including Waldorf dogma, I will say that I’ve made a strong effort to keep Steiner’s “goals” for teachers (including parents!) while working with children:
Receive the child in reverence from his world,
Educate the child with love,
And bring the child forth in true freedom.
It is my sincere hope that all the Seasons of Joy guides help protect and revere the innocence of a child and his world and bring new experiences into that world with love and respect, with the end goal being that the child progresses through life in freedom and truth.
Autumn Seasons of Joy includes:
5 circle times, including music for songs (one of my dreams is to eventually have MP3s available… a mom can dream!). The circle themes are A Trip to the Apple Orchard, Gnomes (a perennial favorite around here!), Falling Leaves, Harvest Time, and Autumn Creatures. i’ve also included my very own gathering verse, candle lighting verse, and end-of-circle verse.
5 fairy tales with songs, crafts, and other extensions. These are Mother Earth’s Blanket (my own creation), The Magic Porridge Pot (the Brothers Grimm), The Enormous Turnip (a folktale), Stone Soup (another folk tale), and Rumpelstiltskin (the Brothers Grimm).
10 additional fingerplays and verses to be worked in as you see fit.
10 painting stories, including a painting verse and directions on how to do wet-on-wet watercolor painting. There’s a story/verse for each of the primary and each of the secondary colors as well as some additional painting ideas.
10 ideas for handwork that you and your child can do together, including a handwork verse.
10 modeling ideas and a verse. These are mainly intended to be used with modeling beeswax, but could be used with other modeling mediums as well. I have tried to adhere to the Waldorf principles of warmth and of starting with the whole.
10 ideas for coloring with appropriate stories and verses. Some of the ideas explore the colors and others are centred around seasonal stories.
10 playtime ideas to explore together. These are mainly centered around autumn themes.
10 ideas for your nature table. Nature table photos are also included in the photo attachment.
10 recipes to cook and bake together. These are especially appropriate to the autumn season. There is also a special section on baking bread together, including a verse and a song.
A section with 10 recipes, songs, activities, etc especially for babies.
10 field trips or outings to share with friends and playgroups.
A parent handwork idea for making walking blocks.
Additional songs, rhymes, blessings, and verses to work into your rhythms and routines.
My plan is to work in some stories and activities from picture books as well, and I think we’ll have a full year of fun!
If you’re interested in ordering Autumn Seasons of Joy (a bargain for only $15!) you can do so here.