September, I love you so! Cooler weather, harvest, leaves turning colors, long walks and bike rides, apples and pumpkins, acorns, getting the house organized for fall, searching for things to make for the holidays, fall decorating! So many wonderful things to love about September!
September often seems to be about new beginnings. Here in the South, the school children have been back to school about a month, so perhaps it is not “new”, but it still has that feel to me and my Northern upbringing (where we always started school the day after Labor Day) , that it is a time of possibility and change. Things are full of fun and new life over in our house as well. We recently got a brand new cute little rescue puppy, and she has energy and fun in her, but is also pretty calm.
We are three weeks into school, and finishing up our first blocks of first and sixth grade, with our first block of ninth grade planned to take about six weeks. We have been going on a few field trips, (and I hope to talk in another post about field trips!)
This month we are celebrating:
September 5 – Labor Day – I have written before about trying to find a Labor Day parade or going to take your small children where something spectacular was built and finding out the history of how it was created and built.
September 8- The Nativity of St.Mary, the Theotokos
September 21 – The Feast of St. Matthew
September 29 – Michaelmas
There are a host of wonderful Celtic Saints to celebrate this month in Anglican tradition as well – really to many to choose from. St. Cyprian, St. Hildegard, and St. Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury. I hope to at least read about some of these Saints to our children.
Some of our Field Trips this month may include:
- Apple Picking
Ideas for Celebrating this Month with Littles:
- Quick Autumn Ideas for Waldorf Kindergarten
- Favorite Fall Tales for the Waldorf Kindergarten
- Fall Stories for Puppets
- Cook, bake, and preserve with apples
- Crafts with leaves, although down here sometimes we don’t get the best color to our leaves until October
- Sing favorite Autumn songs
Ideas for Celebrating this Month With Older Children:
- A Beautiful Back to School Ceremony
- Start working on homemade holiday gifts
- Celebrate an attitude of kindness and gratitude
- Celebrate apple picking and cooking with apples
- Knit fall projects!
- Long bike rides and walks in the cooler air
Ideas for Celebrating this Month With Teens:
- Find great theater, museum, and festival events to attend
- Longer hiking, camping, and backpacking trips
- Bake and cook fall dishes
- Work on fall organizing and cleaning
- Find new activities outside the home that your teen will adore
- Find new knitting, crocheting, sewing, woodworking and woodcarving ideas to try
- Getting our rhythm down. I often have to make changes and tweak things a few weeks into school. This year has been busy with some outside things ( judging events in 4-H, taking care of a puppy down the street, etc) so once some of those things have ended, I think it will be simpler. You all know how it goes – hard to garner a fanstastic rhythm if the time is just being broken up.
- I have plans to really go through the children’s toys. Some things need to be refreshed and moved around for our soon to be seven year old, and some things just need to be weeded out. The Konmari In The Waldorf Home group on Facebook has been very inspiring to me.
- Planning landscaping. This house had the bushes planted during construction and we would like to do something more and get back into having a fall garden. Not a lot of this has happened since we moved into this house.
- I am feeling pretty settled into what we are doing, other than my children in general move rather slowly when it comes to the “doing” part of putting anything in our Main Lesson Books (but that isn’t new). It can be a real juggle to teach three children, and I find I am often teaching fairly non-stop between 8:30 and 2:30 or so.
- One thing I have been contemplating so much is the loss of people homeschooling in general as children grow older; the loss of older children in Waldorf homeschooling in particular and the development of academic skills within the Waldorf curriculum that children around the fifth grade and up mark really and truly need to be successful at the high school level. I just don’t think there is enough emphasis regarding the HOW to develop skills in the upper Waldorf curriculum and Waldorf high school – whether that is increasing artistic skills or academic skills – for homeschooling parents to really sink their teeth into. More on that at some point in the future!
- School starting has really thrown off my self-care routines, but I feel it coming back to the surface after several weeks of putting myself on the back burner.
- Spiritual studies are taking on a new life for me. I took part in a really wonderful prayer event for homeschooling, and am looking forward to adult Sunday School beginning at church next week. I have been rather inward focused this summer, and feel a new period of growth coming on. There is also a study I am taking part in through our local Waldorf School, and another one on-line. I like to feel my knowledge of Waldorf Education expanding. Even things as small as picking out new verses for the children’s grade to open the day and picking out verses for me to focus myself for this school year has seemed significant.
I would love to hear what you are up to this September!