On any given day you are most likely to find us communing with the gnomes and the fairies Under The Old Oak Tree

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The 4th of July - An Anniversary of Sorts

I hope everyone reading had a wonderful 4th of July. I've been wanting to post for a few days, but then I was sick, and W had a bit of a scary accident that led to an ER visit (he's totally fine...just a bump on the head) so it's take me a while to get to this.

Our family celebrated by visiting Colonial Williamsburg, one of our favorite places in Virginia.  My parents got Daddy and I annual passes there for Father's Day this year so we have been visiting fairly frequently.  I love that we are only an hour away!  The Independence Day celebration there was wonderful.

We got to play games and learn about meals in the Powell house and help in the garden and see the animals there (such a wonderful hands on site).  W kept walking around the yard saying "Sheep, Sheep, Baa, Baa".  He loves sheep!  I guess it's fitting since my two favorite things to do are knitting and felting.

We also were able to hear two lovely concerts.  The first one was a more formal demonstration of colonial music in an auditorium (W made it through 3/4 of this before becoming disruptive) and the second was the outdoor fife and drum performance (which W just loved).

And then of course there were the fireworks.  W didn't seem scared at all, though he was over tired and slightly cranky.  He sat on our laps and watched  the beautiful bursts of color in the sky and seemed to really enjoy them.  At one point, I was talking to him and looked down and he had fallen asleep with his head up like he was still watching the fireworks.  Poor little guy was so tired he didn't wake up till the next morning.

During the day, I was thinking about the last 4th of July.  Daddy was working, so we took a picnic lunch to share with his co-workers.  That evening we had a small family bbq and then watched Capital 4th on TV.  What I remember most from that day though, was that it was the day I first really discovered Waldorf education.

I remember while we were watching Capital 4th, I was also reading as many articles about Waldorf education as I could.  I remember feeling like I just could not learn enough about it.  The next day I started weaning us off of TV and started knitting a cotton hat for W to wear during the summer.  Over the next year, I studied; I read; I knit; I learned to felt; I started sewing again; I met other Waldorf families; I started going to events at the local Waldorf school; I kept learning as much as I could; I questioned if this was the right path for our family; I prayed about it; I found reassurance that it was; I started my own healing process.

As a family, we switched to a much more nature based life; we put out a nature table...which grew to take up two surfaces in our dining room; we got rid of 95% of the plastic toys; then we pared the remaining toys way down; we tried to create a sense of rhythm in our home; we celebrated Michaelmas,  Candlemas,  Mayday and Midsummer;  our celebrations of Advent, Christmas and Lent and Easter all began to look a little different than in the past...more hand made, more in tune with the seasons and nature around us, with a greater focus on what these celebrations had to teach (at least the adult members of the family).

My son is not yet two and I feel like we still have lots to figure out.  We plan on starting the 1 day a week toddler class at the local Waldorf school this fall.  I am really looking forward to it.  Our experiences with the school so far have been really wonderful.  I go back and forth almost daily about whether I want to send W to school or do a Waldorf inspired home school.  I think there are major advantages and disadvantages to both.  In the end it may come down to finances and/or our proximity to a Waldorf school at the point when he is ready to start..  The one thing that is certain is that I plan on sticking to a Steiner-based educational experience for him and any other children we may have one way or the other.

In any case, I am so grateful for the past year in all its beauty, and look forward to many more years filled with nature, festivals, handwork and learning.  One year in, I have the following goals for the next year: to read Steiner, to practice prayer and meditation more faithfully especially concerning W but also about the children I babysit, to work on my will, to set a good example for my child, and to learn to do more wood-working.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your little anniversary story very much, and found it kind of special since my oldest daughter was born on July 4th, and we are a Waldorf homeschooling family. I wish you much joy as you continue on your Waldorf journey!


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