King Sun he climbs the summer sky
Ascending ever higher.
He mounts his gay midsummer throne,
all made of golden fire.
His flowing mantle, flowing free,
His shining gifts he showers
All golden on the earth and sea,
On men and beasts and flowers.
-From “Summer” by Wynstones Press
Beautiful sunny summer is here! Images of beaches, the ocean, radiating sun, heat and warmth, dragonflies, bees, butterflies, and sunflowers are filling my head right now in my happiness that summer has arrived!
I have been collecting verses and songs for summer. My favorites can be found in “Summer” by Wynstones Press and “The Singing Year” by Candy Verney. At this time of year, I like to change the nature table to just a little cloth and a small vase of flowers although pebbles, seaglass and shells often make their way to our table. I have a little branch hanging in my school room, and I would like to make some little sylphs, those little elements of air and warmth the way gnomes are seen in Waldorf education as elementals of the earth, to hang from this branch. This is also the time of year I love to re-read Steiner’s lectures about bees and butterflies. Have you read those? They are very inspiring!
For work with small children, one could consider many little projects as an adjunct to outside play, such as sand painting, making terrariums, and making grass dolls. I like to save shooting streamer ball kinds of projects for Michaelmas, but some make these types of toys now as well.
One project I want to make with our rising second grader next week is a large moving picture of a boat and fish. There is an example of this in the book, “Earthways” by Carol Petrash and you can see an example of a very large moving picture I made for Vacation Bible School in this back post (and yes, that is me and our now almost eight- year- old back when he was still able to be with me in a sling when I taught!). I put together that giant-sized mural in one afternoon by soaking the pieces of paper in the bathtub as they were rather large, but it was not a difficult project. Perhaps you would enjoy creating something like this with your children!
Other fun things include all the summer gardening – bean teepees and sunflower houses-, and all the wonderful baking with berries available this time of year. Many of you are no doubt collecting and drying herbs for your family’s use as well!
We are still keeping to our rhythms of mealtimes and bedtimes. I was recently re-reading the article, “Rhythm During the Summer” by Karen Rivers in the book, “Waldorf Education: A Family Guide” in which the author writes that “the daily and weekly rhythm of the school year have a deep significance for children especially up to the age of fourteen…Therefore, we invite you to bring as much form and regularity into your child’s summer life as you possibly can.” This is a wonderful time to bring in more work, more chores, and some activities to be alternated with free time.
I hope you are having a wonderful summer; look for some upcoming posts about celebrating June and St. John’s Tide; planning for homeschooling; gentle discipline and communicating with our children and more.
Many blessings in this fruitful period,