Alone in the night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still,
And a heaven full of stars
Over my head
White and topaz
And misty red;
Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
Cannot vex or tire;
Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill,
I watch them marching
Stately and still,
And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty
-“Stars” by Sara Teasdale
I love November in all its crisp leaved, golden sunset, chill temperatures. The leaves are FINALLY turning here where I live, and it feels like the beauty and coziness of fall is upon us at last.
This is a wonderful month of celebrations for our family:
- November 1 and 2 – All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
- November 6 – Election Day
- November 11 – Martinmas (and there are many other posts about Martinmas if you use the search engine box!)
- November 22- Thanksgiving
- November 30- The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle
Learning and celebrating:
- Learn songs for a Martinmas Lantern Walk
- Use transparency paper to make window silhouettes and transparency cut-outs and lanterns.
- Bake bread on the cold days
- Look for bird’s nests as the trees lose their leaves; make feeders start to be filled all the time, make treats for the birds
- Dip leaves in glycerin or beeswax and preserve them
- Cook things with cranberries, corn, and pumpkin.
- Try the book Cranberry Thanksgiving and make cranberry bread!
- Learn some Thanksgiving songs and practice so you can play them after Thanksgiving Dinner!
- Find a place to volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner
- Make Thanksgiving Baskets and leaving them on your neighbor’s doorstep!
- Gather greens and natural items to use for an Advent Wreath. We do this at church from the areas surrounding the church and it is quite lovely!
- Find books, cozy blankets and pillows, and mark off half days for just reading and lounging around. Pull out candles, homemade Martinmas lanterns, salt lamps and scatter them around. Cuddle up and read with some fabulous tea or hot chocolate.
- Find handwork projects that you will love and get started.
- Order some woolens for your family members; my favorite place to get them is Green Mountain Organics
For littles especially:
- Try the work of Suzanne Down in her book “Autumn Tales”
- Quick ideas for homeschooling Waldorf Kindergarten in fall
- Favorite fall tales for kindergarten
- Fall Stories for Puppets
For the older children:
- Get them involved in your autumn traditions – baking, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the birds outside, hiking, star watching, volunteering.
- Think of traditions of gratitude and light. Some teens may no longer love a lantern walk (although I still love it and I am an adult), but some teens might go for a big bonfire with friends on Martinmas.
- Some thoughts: Cultivating Gratitude in Children
- Well, we are coming up to the holiday season, so here are few things to ponder:
- Guest post on starting new traditions
- Set ideas and expectations for holiday gift-giving – see Making Holiday Gifts and Holiday Gifts for Children
The Homeschooling Corner: (where we are!)
Let’s see… our third grader is moving quite slowly. We are still working on basic reading and math skills, and moving from gardening and grains of the world now into math based upon the book “Farmer Boy” and then into the Old Testament. He is busy with lots of music – percussion, piano, voice- and soccer, karate, and church. Our eighth grader has two outside classes and has found it hard to balance everything, but we are finishing up a literature block that was short stories and the novel “The Old Man and the Sea” and moving into Revolutions. She is busy with music – violin and voice- and horses and church. Our eleventh grader is taking classes mainly outside the home, and we are moving through chemistry at home this year. She is also busy with music – voice- and horses and some exploring into careers at our local children’s hospital and church. It hasn’t been a bad year, perhaps a slow but steady pace, which is fine with me. I am feeling grateful. Come follow me on IG @theparentingpassageway where I post many of the resources we are using, pictures of main lesson work, and more.
The Episcopalian Corner
- I have gotten a few requests to write about our Episcopalian homeschooling. You can see my back post on The Episcopalian Homeschool
- Right now, I am personally excited with Bishop Curry’s new book, The Power of Love and with fairly incessantly following The Episcopal Public Policy Network
Blessings upon you this wonderful month,