Generally, February is one of my most hated months of the year. There. I admitted it. However, this year I am determined to change my own attitude and find all the beauty in this month of love and kindness! Who is with me?
February starts out with the beauty of Epiphany , the fun of Carnival, the love of Valentine’s Day and then we go into the Lenten season of quiet and silence. This should make for a beautiful month!
Here are some of my favorite things this month for our family:
- The festivals!
Chinese New Year: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/09/chinese-new-year-in-the-waldorf-home/
- Fostering Community. We stayed at home more throughout the fall, but recently added in some Waldorf based classes two days a week for our smallest child. I am looking forward to seeing beautiful people who love Waldorf homeschooling several times a week now! We also joined a homeschool field trip group and we have not many field trips planned, but a few. For us, this is a small miracle because I am not a very field trip oriented person as much as I would like to be. We have already been on several field trips this school year and have a few more planned. Hopefully, the love of community will keep February looking bright!
- Fostering health -keeping all of us moving and outside should help keep all of us happy. We are having a little activity challenge to make movement one of the first things in our day after breakfast and chores. We hope to instill a habit in our children to take care of themselves daily with movement that will stick as they grow older.
- Kindness – in this month of love, I want to really emphasize kindness and manners. Manners are just a way we show kindness to one another. In small children, this is done through modeling. Middle schoolers and high schoolers can receive more direct instruction.
Here are a few of my favorite things for small children:
- Rest and sleep. I think February is the perfect month to focus on rest and sleep and solitude.
- Working with beeswax. It is sweet to set up a little scene with natural objects, make a little something out of beeswax and add it to the scene, and then let your little one try!
- Changing the nature table. We changed ours this week to coincide with Candlemas and we have on it a picture of St. Offerus.
- We also have a little bare tree, but with a few bees, to remind us of the gifts of the bees in our beeswax candles of Candlemas, a little wooden groundhog, a wooden angel to remind us of Lent, and some small winter animals. During Lent, we most likely will add a bowl of mixed soil and ash that will remain empty until we plant some seed for an Easter garden, and a little vase of bare branches or pussy willows.
- Focusing on ME modeling good manners and kindness, and clear thought by my clear speech.
Here are a few of my favorite things for older children:
- Celebrating Lent by creating a mood of silence and quiet each day. This can be getting up early to see the sunrise, it can be taking a few minutes before bed with a lit candle, it can be understanding more deeply what goes on in church during the Lenten services. It can be learning new prayers or about a new Holy Man or Holy Woman.
- Learning to cook simple meals that are in the spirit of Lent – more plant-based foods, less sweets, more simplicity.
- Focusing on ME modeling really good manners and kindness, and clear thought by the way I structure my clear speech.
- Vigorous exercise. The children I have noticed lately ages 10 and up are fairly bouncing off the walls. This is the age to have opportunities for the children to move!
Here are a few of my favorite things for teens:
- To talk directly about sacrifice during Lent. An idea of perhaps not just “giving up” in the traditional sense (“I am going to give up candy”) but this idea of what we really want to cultivate that is hard sometimes. Cultivating kindess and inclusion, even when we don’t want to. Cultivating perseverance. Cultivating a good attitude when we just want to be snappish.
- Vigorous exercise!
- Creating things of beauty for the home during this time. I especially like rose windows and transparencies. Teens are really able to do these well!
Here are a few of my favorite things for my own health:
- Adaptogenic herbs. I am not a herbalist, but I have been reading Susun Weed’s books and putting together some teas for my own usage.
- Follow up from any doctor’s appointments from last month where the results need follow up.
- Simple, clean meals for Lent.
- Vigorous exercise!
Here are a few of my favorite things for homeschooling:
- Double check materials if you didn’t order last month and get re-stocked.
- If you don’t have your start and end dates, vacation dates, blocks and length of blocks planned – get moving! Make a goal to plan at least two or three blocks this month, so order the resources you need to be able to do this.
Please share what is inspiring you this month!