November: Waldorf Life

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A Quote about Waldorf Education
Waldorf Education addresses the child as no other education does. Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study. The textures and colours of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of humankind fill the Waldorf students’ imaginations and the pages of their beautiful lesson books. Education grows into a union with life that serves them for decades. By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.”   -Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Amherst College

The Lantern Festival
This is a wonderful event to plan for November. Often called Martinmas or Martinstag, this holiday is still celebrated throughout Europe and the UK.St. Martin may be best known for his compassionate gesture of sharing his cloak with a beggar, shivering in the cold. This charitable gesture is at the heart of this festival for many Waldorf schools, who hold coat drives and other charitable drives at this time.

It is also a time of year when we recognize that the cold and darkness of Winter are coming, and we band together to help each other as the darkness closes in. One symbol of this is working with light from lanterns in the traditional Lantern Walk.

The essence of this festival is to acknowledge the light that shines forth from each of us. When we make our own lantern we may feel that we are giving protection to our own little “flame” so that we may carry it safely through the dark Winter. Like one of the songs says: “Each of us is one small light, but together we shine bright!” It may only be a small and fragile light- but every light brings relief to the darkness.

Sources: All Year Round by Ann Druitt , Sue Fitzjohn, Marije Rowling, http://waldorfinspiredlearning.com/the-lantern-festival-overview, and http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/11/10/a-waldorf-view-of-martinmas

Recommended Book and Website
1. http://www.waldorflibrary.org

This site has been created to provide useful information for Waldorf teachers, parents and anyone interested in Waldorf education. The aim of the site is to make visible all the available book resources on Waldorf education that are currently in print.

2. A Child’s Seasonal Treasury by Betty Jones

The book opens with general “Year Round” imaginations, songs, artistic and craft activities, and recipes that fit into any time of the year. The shifting colors, moods, weather, foods, and activities that mark the difference and flow from one season to another are well represented here.

Activity/Craft: Make Gnome Homes!
When you are out in nature, it’s always a fun activity to take a moment to make a gnome home. Let the kids forage for gnome-y things… a little bark table, stone stools, a twig house. Decorate with [leaves] and flowers. You’ll be amazed at how much fun it is… for the kids AND for you! Just imagine the delight an unsuspecting passer-by will have when they come across your enchanting scene. Source: http://www.themagiconions.com/2013/08/make-gnome-homes-in-the-woods.html

Post by Crystal

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