A Beautiful Back To School Ceremony

 

On Friday, we celebrated a beautiful back to school ceremony with our homeschool group.  It had a different mood than in the past, because whilst we have many small under-7 children in our group, we now have a large crop of first through fourth graders, and some of things our group is doing reflects that a large portion of our children are in the grades.

 

We met at a member’s house for some wet on wet painting done outside, free play, and a delicious potluck lunch.  The ceremony itself began with all of us gathering together outside near a simple arched stairway.  The stairway led to a deck and had been dressed in silks over the banisters with a small ring of stones made in front of the stairway.  A log was present to hold a tall candle.

We, as homeschooling parents and teachers, opened our year of learning by standing and  reading in unison Rudolf Steiner’s verse regarding a teacher’s thoughts for children (you can see the words to this on Rebecca’s blog here:  http://bendingbirches2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/steiners-words.html).  We then sang a welcoming song and welcomed each grade (highest grade first and descending to first grade last) and then each child in each grade to come up to the front with their parents in order to receive a small token and a few words to start off a beautiful year of homeschooling.  Many parents had made things by hand to give to their children with simple sentences of  love and ideas for the new school  year.   Then,  once all the first graders had received the little gifts from their parents, they  were led  as a group over the arched stairway by the oldest child present, in a nod to a traditional  Waldorf School’s rose ceremony.  Lastly, the oldest child lit the tall white candle to signify the beginning of the learning year.

 

In our household we celebrated the first week of school last week.  It was a lovely week beginning with going out for breakfast, a small in-home rose ceremony where our new first grader received a story and flower from our fourth grader.  We focused on form drawing and math this week for our first grader, and local geography and math for our fourth grader.

 

Our first grader has been especially excited, and every day she remarked how much she loves school; from learning a song on her pentatonic flute to movement to math to drawing forms, she just is so happy.   She turned to her older sister one day and said with her eyes shining, “You know, in first grade, you can do ANYTHING.”  Anything is possible!  And isn’t that a wonderful way to feel about embarking on a world of learning in love as a family?

 

Many blessings,

Carrie

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7 thoughts on “A Beautiful Back To School Ceremony

  1. Wow! Where do you live? This sounds so beautiful! I would LOVE to be a part of a coop like that! Btw, I have been a reader of your blog ever since the Elements of Early Childhood course on The Waldorf Connection last winter. I get so much inspiration from your writings. Thank you for your dedication. It means SO much!

    • Amanda,
      Thank you. We live in the Deep South, the link to my homeschool group is available through the “About” page on this blog.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  2. What a lovely idea..a ceremony for starting school. We seem to focus a lot on ceremonies for ending school here…end of term party, end of first school, proms, etc. What a lovely way to focus on new beginnings. Thank you, I will be doing something similar at home. Daisy xx

  3. Hi Carrie! I saw on FB that you were open to suggestions of topics to write about. I couldn’t find that post so I thought I’d try to leave something here, instead :). I’d love to hear what you have to say about “Morning” rhythms. I have a 1 year old and 5 year old and a great daily rhythm but sometimes we struggle in the mornings. They can get cranky really easy and my one year old seems “bored”. What kind of rhythm do you find that sets a nice tone for the day?

    Also, it’s almost my daughters birthday and we want to have a (small) Waldorf-inspired birthday ceremony/party. She’ll be 5….any suggestions? Thanks so much! Enjoy your day!
    Love and Light,
    Katie

  4. Carrie this is such a beautiful idea. Thank you for sharing this with us. Much appreciated.

    After our local Waldorf School Spring Fair recently, I again (as I often do after visiting the school) wondered if I will be able to create the magic and beauty that the school does in our homeschooling environment. But reading little snippets of beauty that people do create in their homeschooling environments and communities really inspires me to know that we can and will :) xxx Thank you

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