Anchor: a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.
When we work to become the author of own family life, we take on the authority to provide our spouse and children and ourselves stability. An effective way to do this is through the use of rhythm. If you have small children, it takes time to build a family rhythm that encompasses the year. If you are homeschooling older children and also have younger children not yet ready for formal learning, the cycle of the year through the seasons and through your religious year becomes the number one tool you have for family unity, for family identity, for stability.
Welcome, September! One of my favorite months because it is a month of new beginnings, which I love. I wrote a post regarding September and some of the wonderful things in this month here.
Here are the things that we are celebrating this month:
- September 1 – Labor Day
- September 8 – The Nativity of St. Mary, the Theotokos
- September 14 – Holy Cross Day
- September 29 – The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels
Ideas for Celebration:
For Labor Day, we enjoyed a camping weekend this year that was a lot of fun. Last year it was boating on the lake. I would especially love to find a parade, but these seem to be most common in the northeastern part of the United States and not particularly where I live. If you look at last year’s post I linked to above, I talked about finding things that were built in your community and sharing that with your children for Labor Day.
The Nativity of St. Mary and for Holy Cross Day, for us, are days primarily for celebrating in church and through prayer and literature. There are some lovely books about St. Mary and St. Helena for Holy Cross Day as well.
The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels is of course a big feast day in the church and also in Michaelmas in Waldorf Education. You can see my Michaelmas Pinterest board for some ideas I collected.
The Domestic Life:
September is the month in which I like to de-clutter and make room for fall things. It can also be the time of fall garden clean-up and time to make lists of needed winter clothing.
Kindergarten: We are mainly going through our six year old kindergarten year working through the feast days. Last month we focused on St. Herman of Alaska, The Dormition of St. Mary, and St. Aidan, along with the life of monks. This month, we are focused on stories of St. Michael, stories of angels and St. Helena. It is so rewarding to see the excitement on my little one’s face about the liturgical year!
In our circle we are focused on songs and verses regarding Michaelmas, and our fall friends the apple tree and the squirrel. Our circle is lovely with rich Michaelmas and Autumn songs. Our stories this month were Suzanne Down’s “There is a Bear in Our Plum Tree!” (I hope that is the actual title!) and “The Princess In The Flaming Castle”, which can be found in the back of the red book, “Let Us Form A Ring”. We have been baking cookies and baked apples, drawing apple trees and telling stories and songs about the star inside the apple and the five little rooms inside the apple, playing with modeling materials and watercolor painting, and planning a field trip to go apple picking!
Fifth Grade: We are still working with math concepts, spelling and handwriting. Our Botany block is coming along– we have mainly covered roots, stems and leaves; fungi, algae and lichens, mosses and ferns with hopes to finish up with conifers, trees and flowering plants. I have had some particular epiphanies about ways to approach this block and hope to share that at some point. Our reading has been focused on the work of Holling C. Holling (two books), “Girls Who Looked Under Rocks” as an independent reader, and “A Day in the Alpine Tundra”, “A Day in the Woods” by Jean Craighead George.
Other than that, life has been busy with choir, horses and swimming for our fifth grader.
Eighth Grade: We finished our math block focusing on stereometry and loci and have moved into an American history block. We are reviewing a lot of math and working out some formulas for area and volume, which we also did last year but this year is more in depth and practice. We also are doing some separate work putting together a main lesson book on World Geography. Our eighth grader is busy with a typing program on-line and is submitting work to an Oak Meadow teacher for high school Spanish I. Other than that, much fun and busy life times with 4-H, horses, choir.
In the meantime, I have started naming and writing a description of our high school for future high school transcripts. I think we have decided what to tackle in ninth grade and how “grading” for those courses will occur, since that is something that some colleges want spelled out on paper when looking at a homeschooler’s admission paperwork. Much more to think about there!
Self-Care: I wish I had more to say about this, but it is still a struggle. I find time for myself early in the morning or late at night and have had very little success in doing anything during the day or later afternoon or early evening hours just for me. I don’t see that changing in the forseeable future!
Please share your successes, ideas and plans for September! I would love to hear from you!
My self care has become learning a new hymn while making dinner. I have been enjoying learning something new just for me and perhaps the kids will learn too.
Looks like a very full month! How lucky your kids are to have you.
I love these anchor posts, because this is something I think about too. I really enjoy celebrations. I especially appreciate your addition of self-care and while I wish you were able to get more time, I appreciate knowing that I am not alone in finding the time for self-care is limited, despite being essential. I had a recent realization that I really need alone time daily. It doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to be time where no-one needs or interrupts me. I am trying to ensure this happens again, as it slipped away at some point. I find, also, that my kids fall asleep later and (as a result seem to) wake earlier when it is hot and light longer, so I lose some of my alone time, especially in the early morning. And sleep is essential for me, too!
As for lessons…we homeschool (in CA) through a charter, so I have to blend some mainstream lessons into our Waldorf homeschool. As a result, we are just wrapping up mapping lessons. A bit of mapping review mixed with new learnings about the U.S. for my 5th grader and the continents for my 2nd grader. We all really enjoy geography. We are also doing math review for my 5th grader. 4-H is just starting up, as are dance (5th grader) and soccer. Swimming is winding down. September tends to be busy, because, as homeschoolers, there is more of a gradual shift into the school year from summer.
I am trying to wrap my head around high school, but until that happens I am paying attention to your high school/transcript posts. Learning a lot about the other grades too. I am trying hard here to hold the space for early childhood and also balancing out teaching 4th and 2nd. It’s not going terrible, I just have to make sure I have self care and that planning/organizing happens. 😘
Your children are closer together in age than mine, but I am so glad you are here and feel something can be gleamed from where I am. Hugs and love,