Thursday, September 27, 2018

Do you know what Michaelmas is?

If you are not familiar with Waldorf Education, this mysterious Fall Festival which falls this Saturday, September 29th, may not be something you are familiar with.  

From the Little Acorn Learning 
Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas Festival E-Book:

"The significance of the Michaelmas festival in Waldorf schools is seen in the story of a simple boy, who acts out of bravery and righteousness on behalf of others, can overcome fear and darkness. Light must be honored and respected, and can be the greatest weapon we possess in the face of frightening challenges. The older children are taught that we all have within us a dark side, and that we must acknowledge it, learn to control it, and not act out of our destructive emotions. Our dark sides can be a source of strength, inspiration, power, creativity, and mystery—but they must be balanced and harnessed by the light for us to live healthy, happy lives and do good in the world."

"During this time of year when the world is growing dark and we travel inward to find our own inner light to offer to the world around us... (we are much like Michael)..This is the time when we gather up our strength and wield our swords of courage and upright living to slay our inner dragons of depression, egoism, untruth that try to arise. " ~ written by my dear friend, mentor Marianne Frost 

We obviously do not bring these heavy concepts to the little people in our lives. For them, the idea of bravery and truth need not be communicated, it should be emulated naturally. Simple celebrations of the season are appropriate instead and do not have to be done just today – bring them through the next month or two to enjoy each day of through autumn.
  • -        Go Apple Picking
  • -        Make an Autumn Nature Table
  • -        Read Fall Books
  • -        Make Homemade Applesauce
  • -        Bake Dragon Bread
  • -        Hold a Family Autumn Feast
  • -        Go for an Autumn Nature Walk
  • -        Share Songs and Fingerplays of the Season
  • -        Weave Yarn around a Pinecone
Michaelmas Fingerplay
*repeat verse for each finger
(taken from our September Afterschooling Guide)
Five brave knights
With swords held high,
Rode their white stallions
Across the sky.

The dragon roared fire
From the mountain top
One horse ran away
But four did not stop!

Four brave knights... (continue verse as above)
Three brave knights...
Two brave knights...
One brave knight

With sword held high
Rode his white stallion
Across the sky.

The dragon roared fire
From the mountain top
The knight looked back
But would not stop!

The swords raised high
The stallions full speed
Five brave nights
One good deed.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Autumn Comes Tomorrow

Soon down to earth will flutter
The withered autumn leaves,
The meadows all are empty,
And earth in silences grieves.

The days begin to shorten,
The nights are long and chill;
The birds have all departed,
To find another spring.

This Saturday, September 22 marks the beginning of autumn.  In Connecticut, the air is already starting to get crisp with temperatures in the 60's and 70's the last week and the leaves are beginning to change. Living in a new town with so many beautiful trees surrounding our property is such beautiful inspiration for writing again and I truly love the change of each season. Autumn, always being my favorite.

~Are you looking for ways to celebrate the beautiful early autumn festivals and months with your children?  Little Acorn Learning has put together amazing guides filled with verses, fingerplays, poems, songs, crafts, meditations, book recommendations, circle times, recipes and much more to assist you. We have been writing since 2005 and our programs are loved and cherished by Waldorf mamas and papas internationally.  Here are some that you may find useful:

Like every autumn, we went apple picking and began decorating our new home for Halloween. I am excited to be putting my full attention once again into my writing and Little Acorn Learning business after a difficult two years of change and transitions. Festivals, holidays and traditions are a wonderful way to keep us grounded when life is ever changing around us, and it is something I am grateful for.

The cooler air also is when I tend to do more knitting and cooking. I have been trying very hard to only eat vegetarian and it is much easier when there are good recipes to make. We made a delicious vegan chili, homemade pizzas, sauce from the tomatoes in our garden and roasted vegetables.

I love the colors, the warm recipes and all of the delicious vegetables that are in season this time of year. My dog seems to love the yarn.  Each time I begin this sock pattern and walk away, I find it eaten and unraveled by him. So, I've restarted quite a few times and learned to keep it up high and out of sight unless I'm right there. Knitted socks never go well for me... I've lost one, frogged a bunch and broken needles.. but I am not giving up!  Hopefully you will see a pair of completed socks on the blog at some point.  

Always remaining grateful for inevitable and constant change... leaves, seasons and life... and remembering to always try to focus on the present and the good in each moment which becomes more and more clear when you hold on and remain hopeful through all transitions.