Our program is very influenced by the rhythms found in Waldorf schools. I find that children seem to find great comfort in the daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms. These rhythms manifest themselves in a variety of ways and, as we are not purely a Waldorf program, I am able to create a unique rhythm that works for us.
As we reenter fall the children are singing some of the songs, reciting some of the poems and recalling some of the stories from last year. They are not all the same as the children are at a different developmental stage now, but there is certainly some joy in the familiar.
Last autumn we talked about the root children getting ready to sleep for the winter. In the spring we talked about what they needed to do when they awoke for the summer. I have found that this is such a gentle story that the children really embrace in their understanding of the seasons.
I am now telling them the story of how Mother Earth works hard to knit a beautiful blanket using the leaves, and plants she finds in the forest. This blanket will keep the root children warm through the winter. Each day that I told the story I would continue to knit a little blanket. The children would each day choose different yarns to weave in, and talk about what plants they thought their chosen yarns represented. Once the little blanket was complete the children took great care in settling the root children so that they would be warm and cozy for the winter ahead!
I wanted to share with you another resource I found last winter. It was after six months of oh so many hours spent on the internet trying to find just the right songs, poems and stories for each season. This is a set of books, one for each season, with everything you could need. It was money well spent for me, a teacher with two little children at home and therefore very little ‘free’ time! The series is very Waldorf, but I think it is also very universal. There is a book for each season (autumn, winter, spring, summer) as well as one for birthdays, mornings and evenings (gateways) and a general compilation (spindrift).