Waldorf Festival E-Books

Here are our Festival E-Books designed to support family and caregivers in creating holistic, meaningful holidays and festivals with children. My writing partner, Eileen Straiton of Little Acorn Learning, and I have poured our love and creativity into these e-books, which feature verses and songs, craft projects, caregiver meditations, a little history, traditional symbols and customs, art, and stories. Each of the photos on this page links to the Little Acorn Learning webpage, where you can read about the contents and can purchase the publication. All books are delivered in PDF format. Please explore Little Acorn Learning’s many beautiful offerings for caregivers, day cares, and home schools.

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Martinmas & Thanksgiving Festival E-Book

Advent & Saint Nichoals Festival E-Book           Solstice Spheres

Advent & Saint Nicholas Festival E-Book        Winter Festivals E-Book

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Spring Festivals E-Book                                      Late Spring Festivals E-Book

Midsummer Festival E-Book              E-Book Cover

Midsummer Festival E-Book                                    Autumn Equinox & Michaelmas Festival E-Book

 

 

Dragons!

Green dragon Asher 7

This is some of Asher’s art from this year. (He is 7.) I am afraid I can’t say exactly what month he created these, but I loved them so much I set them aside to keep and then misplaced them until now—which is OK because NOW it’s Michaelmas! And dragons are always appropriate for Michaelmas!

yellow dragon Asher 7
He drew these fine specimens, then cut them out. When I scanned them, of course, they reacquired their white backgrounds.

Black and green dragons Asher 7

I’m pretty sure these are influenced by the “How to Train Your Dragon” film. No matter. I think they’re wonderful.

I adore how sure he is in his drawing, how he means every stroke, but isn’t going to agonize over any of it. He makes a choice, executes it, and moves on. He is prolific and entirely free when drawing, whether he’s creating imaginary creatures or knights with intricate battle armor. He adores sketchbooks and making mural-size art.

 

Marveling About Sixth Grade

Once again I’m in awe of what’s happening in my son’s sixth grade Waldorf class. Everything around him and everything in him is leveling up, stretching, ready to take on more. The class started this year with a new teacher and immediately tackled Rome and manned the Michaelmas dragon. They’ve studied astronomy, physics, added more mathematics into every day, and started writing essays. They’ve recently been through the Fall of Rome and are now working a unit on economics. They’ve begun to participate in organized individual and team sports at school, complete with coaches, practices, and competitions.

Right now, the sixth graders are studying economics and the mathematics that goes with it: money, interest, etc. They are launching into their study of the Middle Ages, too.

What’s more, they have a new class this year, taught by two amazing teachers: Social Arts class is one in which these gorgeous “tweens” are tackling issues of communication, individuality, self-expression, friendship, respect, personal space, and more to build a firm foundation for the coming (challenging) years. These children on the cusp of adolescence are courageous in so many deep and awe-inspiring ways. And Social Arts and their study of the Middle Ages are dovetailing into this:

The students have been asked to develop their own personal coat of arms and their own motto that reflect who they are. They have each chosen three challenges—physical, moral, and intellectual—which they must work on each day. Parents must sign off, to indicate the student worked toward meeting these challenges. In two weeks they will have a special overnight at school, complete with a nighttime vigil, scribing, and an initiation alone. In the morning they will be knighted in a special ceremony, complete with costumes, pageantry, and a medieval feast that follows.

My son has committed to running two miles every day, being nicer to his brother, and practicing his piano 10 minutes every day. These are his ideas and I appreciate how he picked things that are challenging and require diligence, but are within reach. Naturally, his other responsibilities and homework will continue during this time. He has done two days of twelve.

Then, a week after this knighting ceremony, his class will go on a five day trip to a local biodynamic garden, to work and study economics and food. They will be a stone’s throw from home, but gone longer than ever before.

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I have been quieter on the subject of this child lately. I am sensing a shift in him and I want to respect his individuality and his privacy. Several people have asked me if I’ll keep blogging when my boys get bigger. I don’t really know; I guess that is a question I’ll have to continually ask. And I’ll do the best I can because, frankly, I’m off the map. Public and private life is different in this world than it used to be.

I write here for so many reasons. To figure stuff out—most especially myself—and to chronicle our experiences as a family. I write to hash out my feelings and record my discoveries and observations as a parent because this journey of motherhood is the most challenging thing I have ever undertaken and I am learning every day. I also write to honor ourselves as individuals, for at each moment we are beautiful, striving, growing, and changing, and to honor our relationships, for these too morph as we go through time together.

So much change is happening for this sweet son of mine. It is hard at times and wonderful. I stand in awe of him and all he is now, knowing that he has so very much more becoming to do. I am so grateful that our parenting is supported by this sixth grade curriculum and that we are surrounded by so many loving educators who are willing to honor this age. Truly, we are educating his head, heart, and hands.

Waldorf: Forming

Lucas is home sick today. This is what he made for me and to pass the time. Wow. #waldorf #sixthgrade #geometry #drawing #art

Lucas drew this for me on a day when he stayed home sick.

I went to two parent meetings this week, one for first grade and one for sixth.

In first grade, we parents don’t all know each other. We are reaching our way into new relationships, new trusts. We have a new teacher and we’re working out things like how to handle Michaelmas with our little ones, lunch sharing, who has dangerous nut allergies, and how the kids are supporting each other through the change and challenge of first grade, with desks, worktime, mental math, after care, etc. We played get-to-know-you games. Within the first moments, a clever and gregarious dad had us all laughing. We have a long way to go together. It was a good start.

Our class teacher taught us this quote from Rudolf Steiner:
“Form is movement come to rest.”

This makes for a nice segue. First graders are learning their first form drawings. The class is forming. The parent body is forming.

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In sixth grade, we class parents know each other well. We’ve volunteered together; chaperoned together; sewed, cooked, and worked together. Over the last five years (or more), we’ve built friendships that mirror—or even contrast—the friendships the children have with one another. We have supported each other through tough emotional times, through change and loss and struggle, through moments of great celebration like births and birthdays, new jobs. We have a new teacher in this class, too. And she has both the joy and challenge of winning over and leading a cohesive, cooperating parent body.

And though taking two evenings away to meet with new and old friends at school is an inconvenience, it’s also deeply satisfying to be in community. See, parenting can be lonely work. It can feel as though one is standing on the shore, trying to direct and guide the ocean waves—“You, come now.” “You, not so far!” “Wait, not yet, I’m not ready.” Stand your ground. Bend when appropriate. Sink or swim.

We parents don’t all make the same decisions with and for our families. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, or have the same value system. Families come in different shapes and sizes, with different routines, different pastimes, different stuff. We sometime crave more or less connection. But despite these contrasts, we are all here on this journey together. Our trip through Waldorf as parents is a kind of echo of our children’s experience, or maybe the base note that lies underneath their intricate melody. We get to paint and carve wood less frequently than they do, but along the way, and by involving ourselves and intersecting with the school, the class, the parent body, and the festivals, we have the opportunity to find soul-enriching connection and learning just the same.

Last night our class teacher taught us how to make a geometric drawing. (See what the children have been up to in the photo above.) We got to use our children’s high-end, magnificent, school-supplied tools: the sexiest compass I’ve ever touched, shiny metal rulers, mechanical pencils, a 30-60-90 drafting triangle. We made a circle on our paper and added six intersecting circles, forming a flower inside with six petals. It took time. We had to listen and concentrate. Our class teacher had to be precise in her verbal instructions. It was a taste of the kind of demanding and beautiful work our children are doing in their main lesson.

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It also formed a visual metaphor for where our sixth grade child is in his or her development. This is the soulful part: the teacher allowed us to experience the meaning through the metaphor of drawing. The twelve rays we drew represented the twelve main subjects they will be studying this year: geometry, Michaelmas, minerology, Roman history, physics, astronomy, business math, the Fall of Rome and the Golden Age of Islam, geography, math/percentages, medieval history. She included review/sleep as a ray—a key component to their learning and processing of the curriculum. The twelve rays find their way to the center, into the soul life of the child.

We talked about how sixth graders need form, order, and support in this because they are not quite able to order themselves yet. They are competent, but not organized. Self-aware but not self-possessed. They are special individuals who crave conformity and unity. They are forming. Each of the drawings above is the same form, but look how individual the expression of it turned out. Amazing.

Oh—the Michaelmas dragon is going to be AWESOME!

First Days of School 2013

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Last Tuesday, September 3, was our first day back at school. I was over the moon to get some hours to myself. The boys were excited, but Lucas pretended to be sad about summertime coming to a close for this photo. The first morning was playful and optimistic.

Brothers (First Day of School, 2013)

Asher is in first grade this year and Lucas is in sixth! This is one of those milestone moments when you realize, wow, time has passed! Somehow Lucas’s new haircut makes him seem so much older.

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See, Asher was calm, cool, and collected, right? Lucas acted somewhat blasé about the whole thing that first morning. Though I knew that he was very, very jazzed to get to spend his days with his friends and classmates again. Lucas is also excited about having a new teacher this year. He is rededicating himself to his studies, and to his first school sport, cross country running, which is terrific.

Unfortunately for Asher, the first day of school proved to be difficult and scary. He became clingy and and weepy when it was time to go into his classroom.

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Shortly afterward the school held the annual welcome ceremony. All the classes and many parents attended. This turned out to be a stressful thing for Asher, who had never been to anything like it. He wept a bit until his new teacher brought him to sit by her at the end of the row. She rubbed his back and helped him to calm down during the speeches. The tradition is that the second graders give the first graders a flower as a welcome to the school. The teachers also give flowers to the senior class. It’s a lovely acknowledgement of their place in this beautiful Waldorf journey.

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Then, each senior student takes the hand of a first grader and as a group they walk through the school. The older student shows the younger one around, explains where everything is (playgrounds, bathrooms, classrooms, library, farm, etc.). This lovely young lady was Asher’s buddy. He was trying so hard to keep it together, but he was overwhelmed and sad.

He spent a fair amount of time that evening worrying about the next day. There were lots of tears and fear.

Day 2 for Asher started very rocky, but got better. When Ian and I picked him up after school, Asher was in good spirits and said, “It was better than I thought it would be.” Then he showed us his first form drawing and gave Daddy a drawing lesson. He said he met the Spanish teacher and learned some German words for colors. He was in good spirits, and enjoyed spending some special time with Dad in the afternoon.

By evening it was a different story, however. I was forced to admit that tiredness got the better of him and he … well, lost his composure. Again with the tears, the wracking sobs, and “Mama, I just don’t think I can make it through first grade!”

So, with plenty of cuddles and reassuring words, I lay beside him in the dark, and taught him that no matter how bad or scared he may feel, five deep, long breaths would ALWAYS make him feel better. I held his sad, shaking body and remembered that there was a time, only six years ago, when our positions were reversed. When his soft, trusting, tiny, breathing presence was the thing that kept me going when I was very sick, depressed, and terrified.

As exhausting as this mothering job is, as ceaseless and hard and infuriating as it can be sometimes, I am still amazed at the privilege I possess: to see this little being unfold and encounter the world. To see him experience his challenges and stand up and face them, to ride them out until they cease being challenges and transform into achievements. It is an honor of the highest kind.

Asher is teaching me anew about Michaelmas this year, in a way I didn’t anticipate. I am the squire who is tasked with helping the little knight onto the field.

The school days that followed have been progressively better as he became more used to his new school routine, the new expectations, new children in his class, a new teacher, desks, lessons, etc. He lamented to me several times, “Mama, it’s just all so new!” It’s true. There is so much to learn. We have talked a lot about bravery—that one can only be brave if one is also afraid. And that courage lives in us, even when we feel small and scared.

By Friday, “It was the best day yet!”

And now we’re halfway through the second week. No more tears. Asher’s teacher and his friends all report that he’s now fine. Yesterday he stayed for aftercare and even that went well. Although he was worried about it beforehand, after school he said, “It was fun.” And this morning, “Mama, you don’t have to worry about me and nap. I mean, I’m fine with being picked up and fine with staying for nap.”

Asher's first form drawing. Now he is giving Daddy a drawing lesson. #waldorf #firstgrade #formdrawing

So, with some patience, talking about our feelings, extra cuddles and songs, and some quiet routine-building, we seem to have made it over this big scary adjustment. I am so proud of him!

Lucas, suffice it to say, has dived into school. He’s happy, connected, and working hard. Homework every night, which is new, and running practice twice a week after school. He has a lot more on his plate this year, but he’s approaching it with joy.

Waldorf School Harvest Faire

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This is what the Sacramento Waldorf School Harvest Faire (held October 13) looked like to me. In all of these photos I’ve tried to capture a small glimpse into the tremendous effort and creativity required to bring off this wonderful school fundraiser festival. Each year I am inspired by the depth of commitment and strength of community that this event represents.

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Many families cooked and baked goodies to be sold at Cafe Waldorf.

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Each class sang the songs they’ve been working on in music class, and some brave performers took to the stage for fun and to entertain the diners. Many other performers took to the main stage. We heard a terrific young man playing violin.

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Kids (and kittens) made fairy gardens with clothespin fairies and gems. And plenty of glitter glue.

Scarecrow Gnome at Sacramento #waldorf #School #gnome #studentart #art #ceramics

The campus was decorated beautifully with fall pumpkins, cornstalks, flowers, scarecrows, and more.

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The Country Store sold handmade items and housewares, children’s toys, edibles, bath and body items, holiday items, and lots of crafting and handwork supplies. I’m a little sorry I didn’t buy a bag of raw wool, but I knew I’d have difficulty finding time to use it.

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This gorgeous Autumn Fairy Mother was handmade. I’m sorry I never got the name of the artist. I thought she was just beautiful.

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The sixth grade’s Michaelmas dragon was on hand and perfectly tame. He posed with knights and ladies for photographs.

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Amazing vendors were present, like The Puppenstube‘s own Christine Schreier. We had a lovely chat about mermaids and heavy baby dolls and I took her photo as she sewed on a doll, but she’s shy. Here is her collection of Buntsprecht wooden figures for sale.

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And here is the spooky and charming work of our own Mrs. Passie. She carves these beautiful gourds and makes amazing gourd lamps that cast lovely stars and patterns on the walls of a dark room. My son tells me that he’s been making a gourd lamp at school with Mrs. Passie’s instruction.

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Food vendors were terrific, and our class did a wildly successful tri-tip and mushrooms sandwiches booth. I’m told that the line was long and constant. Many thanks to our parent volunteers who manned the booth, but especially to Sean and Heather for spearheading this effort and procuring all the supplies. I even heard Sean say, “next year when we do this, we’ll …” so I guess he feels pretty great about it, too.

Lucas shooting #harvestfaire #waldorf #archery #son Asher, my lefty #harvestfaire #son #skills #waldorf #archery

#archery #arrows #harvestfaire #waldorf upload

This year Katie and I worked on the Archery booth. We both expressed a strong opinion at a meeting last spring that archery just had to be at the faire. Thus, it became our problem to make it so. Katie did absolutely all the legwork and communications before the faire. I showed up the day before to set up, and then Ian and I worked most of the day of to make sure the booth ran smoothly, safely, and had happy customers.  We had great parent volunteers from our fifth grade class, thank goodness. And even the fifth graders played a huge part in setting everything up. Did you know a small group of 10s and 11s can move 15 hay bales? They can! One of the grandpas donated new arrows and six children’s bows to the Harvest Faire, which means that the archery booth can appear at Harvest Faire year after year. Which is great because it did a very brisk business all day long and we had archers ranging from 3 to 75 shooting that day!

Asher and Lucas loved archery and spent most of our faire money on arrows for another chance to shoot.

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The cake walk was popular as always.

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Beautiful colors, beautiful children, beautiful families were everywhere. The weather was warm and lovely. I think the whole thing was a huge success.

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My kids loved having their parents busy and committed all day. It meant that they could run around campus with their friends! They love having the opportunity to be independent, to go where they like and not have to ask. Although this event was open to the public, I feel safe knowing our community is there and everyone is watching out.

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And then, at the very end of a long, tiring, and happy day, we all flopped out. It was worth it!

Our Autumn Equinox Celebration

Equinox Apple-Picking #apples #orchard #autumn #fall #family #seasonal. #traditions

Apple Tree, Autumn Equinox

What a lovely weekend! It had just the right amount of “home” and “away” time, although our laundry piles might beg to differ. We hopped in the car on Saturday and drove up to the foothills to Apple Hill, where we enjoyed gorgeous scenery featuring vineyards, Christmas tree farms, and orchards full of apple trees laden with fruit.

Apple Orchard, Autumn Equinox

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We found a “you-pick” farm and picked apples for the first time.

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Aren’t they pretty hanging on the tree?

Apple Song

The autumn lights are twinkling,
The evening breezes chill.
The ripening apples fall from trees
Upon the apple hill.

The daylight has turned golden,
The air is fresh and clear.
The apples sweet have fallen
For you to eat, my dear. The days are getting shorter,
The nights becoming long.
The farmer harvests apples.
He sings this apple song.

(Yep, I wrote this for our Autumn Equinox & Michaelmas Festival E-Book.)

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Ian had a bit of a height advantage over the rest of us. He was a good sport and carried our heavy bucket, too.

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We picked 14 pounds of Fujis! Turns out we picked a few that weren’t quite ripe, but they should ripen nicely at home in a paper bag. I guess it’s a little early in the season.

Pretty Goats

We stopped at another farm that was having a little festival. We visited the farm animals.

Lucas, a Little Tall for the Hay Maze

And the kids had a great time in this hay maze. Asher was so fast I never captured a photo of him.

Zinnias Growing by a Barn

Empress Plums

Then we went to a big market at Boa Vista orchards, which is a year-round ranch market. I bought some produce for the week.

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At home, Lucas helped me gather clippings from our garden to make our annual Autumn Equinox Wreath. I have a tutorial here, if you’d like to try making one yourself.

Finished Autumn Equinox Wreath, 2012

Here’s our finished wreath. I think it turned out very nice. We don’t have much fall color here in Northern California yet. Our trees don’t change colors until mid- to late October, and the colors are best and brightest in late November. So, we make do.

Equinox apple, pancetta, chevre, pecaan, baby greens pizza, eaten outdoors with good, good friends. Happy equinox, darlings! Blessings of the season on all. Xo #autumn #equinox #food #love #seasonal #apples #home #gourmet

Soon after we finished this, some dear friends came over and we feasted on an Equinox Apple Pizza of our own concoction. It featured apple slices, caramelized onions, pancetta, baby greens, chevre goat cheese, pecans, and for a light sauce, a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle balsamic blue cheese walnut salad dressing. It was sublime!

So, now we have a bunch of apples to make into apple sauce, and I’m hoping some apple butter, too. I understand we can make it in the crock pot. We love kitchen science.

We hope your equinox was every bit as nice as ours. (Please leave a comment and tell me how you spent the first days of autumn!) Blessings of the season to you and your loved ones!

Why Waldorf? Part 3

Basket Full of Second-Grade Knitting

This is the third part in a three-part article about what Waldorf school looks like compared to public school. If you’re just coming to this, I encourage you to read Part 1, which can be found here, and Part 2, which is here. This is, of course, our experience and others will have different takes on Waldorf education. Please keep in mind that Ian and I are parents, not teachers, so our perspective on Waldorf is a parents’ perspective.

 

Lucas's Desk and School Work

11. The School Day. A typical day at Waldorf school for the third grade consists of main lesson (subjects of language arts and math are taught in six-week blocks), snack time, specialty class, lunch, and then two specialty classes. There are several recesses too. Spanish, German, handwork, music, and gardening are each taught twice a week. Movement, Eurhythmy, painting, and form drawing are taught once per week. Two or three periods a week are devoted to reading practice and groups. My son loves all of his subjects.

Right now in main lesson, they are working on math, with specific emphasis on measurement and reviewing carrying and introducing borrowing. Next month they will move into a “shelter and housing” block. They will study housing around the world and the history of life skills. The children will choose a particular type of house or home and then fashion a realistic 3-D shelter diorama and present a report to the class. I have seen the most amazing shelter dioramas—igloos, geodesic domes, longhouses, log cabins—pass by me at school, lovingly carried (with difficulty) by their third-grade creators. This shelter block harkens back to autumn blocks of gardening and farming and building. In the spring, the third grade will have a social studies and life sciences block that covers clothing and textiles. Students will complete a clothing and weaving project, which handsomely dovetails with their handwork classes covering crochet and spinning.That’s a lot of information about our grade specifically, but it gives a picture of what school is like and shows how many teaching modalities are present, as art, movement, and music are interwoven throughout. All grades have some variation on this kind of day, with subjects becoming more advanced as the children grow.

Overall, the Waldorf curriculum is highly geared to meet the needs of the growing child, whose development can be divided into three main phases. Birth to age 7 is considered to be the imitation/will years; 7 to age 14 are considered to be the imagination/feeling years; and ages 14 to 21 make up the truth-seeking/thinking years. Subjects are introduced with these developmental stages in mind, for example eighth graders study world revolutions.

12. Parent Involvement. Our school is not, strictly speaking,  a “parent-participation” school. Parents do not volunteer regularly in the classroom. However, parents support and help with many tasks, and are asked to get involved in everything from festival committees and boosters clubs to the parent guild and the board of directors. There are celebrations and festivals all year long that require a great deal of parent involvement, and many fundraisers. Each family is asked to volunteer in numerous ways and to let the school know their particular talents and hobbies. There are hundreds of ways to be involved in our child’s education. I was thrilled when I was asked to help with baking dragon breads, to take photographs of the Harvest Faire, and to paint wings for the third grade’s Firebird Eurhythmy performance last fall.

Sixth Grade Dragon

First Graders Throw Their Petals

13. Festivals. So what are these festivals anyway? Waldorf schools celebrate a plethora of festivals that might be unfamiliar to many, or perhaps may be familiar only because they once were (or still are) a part of the yearly liturgical rhythm of European cultures. These festivals are closely connected to the seasons and occur almost once per month. Michaelmas occurs at the end of September. Harvest Faire happens in October. Martinmas and Thanksgiving are in November. The season of Advent is celebrated as the contemplative days leading up to the winter solstice and Christmas. May Day is a big school-wide festival that happens in the first week of May.

School festivals are opportunities for celebration, for contemplation and inner revelation, and for community building. By celebrating holidays and holding festivals, we celebrate the bounty and beauty of life. We stand up, take a deep breath, and collectively say, “We are human and humans together.” Because they are unique to Waldorf schools, these festivals are a kind of icing on the Waldorf cake and most families love to partake.

Scenes from the School Farm

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14. Nourishment. From the moment we set foot on our Waldorf school campus we have been nourished in every way. Every sense* is considered in every moment: sight, sound, taste, touch. Lighting is beautiful. Materials used in school are superb and of the best possible quality so that they may please and inspire. Wood, wool, sunlight, silk, paints of the purest colors, and nourishing foods are the delights that surround my son during his school day. Every item is both functional and beautiful, from the desks to the doorjambs, from the spectacular woods and river surrounding the campus to the school farm. And let me talk about that farm a moment. Fruits and vegetables are grown organically and biodynamically all year. Some (very lucky) animals make their homes there: a sweet old cow, a flock of chickens who produce lovely eggs, several sheep, and an old man llama named Balboa. Children participate in working this farm throughout grades 1–8 in their gardening classes. They learn where food comes from, and through their labors in the sun and open air get an inkling of the time, effort, and knowledge required to produce and harvest food. In the Waldorf Kindergarten, snack is provided by the school and the little ones are fed nourishing grains, vegetables, and soups. I assert that whenever 24 5- and 6-year-olds eat organic vegetable and barley soup together as a class, a small miracle has occurred. And I think any parent with a picky eater will agree.

Girl Holding Chick

We're Heading for the Sheep

15. Nature, Reverence, and Respect. This is perhaps the aspect of Waldorf education that most appeals to me. Wonderment and reverence for nature and humanity are part of my personal morality, and this is something I truly hope my children will learn. And I see these principles in practice every day at school. Rudolf Steiner said, “Receive the children in reverence; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom.” We believe that our son is being taught as and treated as an individual with worth. We believe he is loved and valued and that his contributions to the class and the lives of the students and teacher are valued. We think this is a pretty good case for Waldorf education, since it is in feeling loved and wanted and respected that people are able to open up to learning and new experiences, and make lasting relationships. We do not want our son to burn out on school. We don’t want him to hate school and hate learning. We do not want him simply to survive his schooling, but rather to thrive in it and because of it. We feel that our private school is an investment in his future success and may help stave off some of the problems that teens and young adults face. We might be wrong, of course. Nothing is guaranteed. No school will raise him for us. We still have the toughest job of parenting. I wouldn’t have it any other way. (I welcome your comments.)

Lucas on the Vine

* Steiner described and explored twelve senses of the human being. I am not qualified to explain these.

Story Time with Reg Down

A month ago we had the great pleasure of visiting Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks to see author Reg Down tell a story from his book The Bee Who Lost His Buzz. Reg is the author of the Tiptoes Lightly books and my kids love them. For the event, Reg had handcrafted story props with needle-felted wool and silk; he made a Tiptoes, Bee, Cactus, Jeremy Mouse, and the Great Oak Tree where Tiptoes lives.

My Kiddos to See Reg Down

Some kids had dressed up like their favorite characters from the Tiptoes Lightly books. One boy had a fantastic oak-leaf hat! See it on the right?

Story Time with Reg Down

With simple props such as cloths, story puppets, and a lyre, Reg skillfully created the world of the fairy, Tiptoes, and her forest friends. The children were enraptured (with one exception, a little girl who decided to go for a stroll).

Story Time with Reg Down

It was neat to have Reg’s permission to take photos. I tried to be unobtrusive while doing so and I have since shared them with him. Reg posted my photos on his Tiptoes Lightly Facebook page.

Story Props

After the story, which was the first three chapters of Book 1: The Bee Who Lost His Buzz (also be found in The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly collection), the children were allowed to touch the needle-felted puppets. Both Tiptoes, the beautiful fairy in the blue dress, and grumpy Cactus, the spiky fellow who accidentally snagged Bee’s buzz, were popular for touching.

Autograph

We brought our (much loved and rumpled) books for Reg to sign. I think this is our kids’ first autograph.

What we love about Reg’s stories is that they are gentle and filled with a child’s reverence for the natural world. Chapters are short and perfect for bedtime. While magic and wonder are threaded throughout, nothing is heavy-handed and there is plenty of sweet humor. Events in the stories often pair beautifully with Waldorf festivals, such as Michaelmas, Martinmas, the season of Advent, Christmas and more. If you haven’t seen them before and you have children ages 3 to 9, check them out. You won’t be disappointed. Reg’s newest books are full color and his paintings are amazing. We bought a copy of The Cricket and the Shepherd Boy for next Christmas.

More Colors of Autumn

Farm Machinery

Farm equipment at Capay Organics

Zenias and Verbena

Backyard zenias and verbena in the late afternoon sun

Pumpkin Patch at Capay Organics

Pumpkin patch at Capay Organics

Friendly Sun

Sun decorating Grandma and Papa’s garden fence

Mossy Rock

Mossy rock at my parents’ home

Finished Leaf Art

Fallen leaf art

Evening Sky for Our Michaelmas Dinner Outdoors

Michaelmas evening sky

Tulip Tree Turning

Tulip tree turning

These Smell Heavenly

Grandma’s old-fashioned roses

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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