Welcome to Wood Nymph Way! I have created this blog with two intentions: (A) keeping our family and friends, many of whom live in lands Far Far Away, up to date with what we've been doing, and (B) as a tool to document and learn from our journey as a Waldorf homeschooling family. Enjoy! And don't forget to check out my resource pages on the right!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today, for the first time, we celebrated Michaelmas.  For weeks now we've been working up to our celebration of this holiday.  We've been reading stories such as St. George and the Dragon,  The Shooting Stars, The Strong Boy and other fairy tales about strength and courage.  As Autumn progresses, it is a time of inner reflection and preparing for the months ahead.  In a practical way, at least for me, it means tending the last bits of garden, doing household repairs, canning and preserving food, and otherwise getting ready for the colder months ahead.  In a spiritual way, it means a time of self-reflection and bolstering oneself with the spirit of courageousness and perseverence.

I have mentioned in my previous post, I am not a religious individual, and I don't affiliate myself with any type of organized religion at all.  But I am a spiritual person, and that is one of the reasons why I decided to include the celebration of Michaelmas (and other upcoming holidays) in our lives and curriculum.  I can find the value in the philosophies of many religions and take from these the aspects that I feel most drawn to.  I guess it's kind of a global approach. 

There is an idea that I keep coming across in my readings on Steiner's philosophy, and that is that a parent is a child's first teacher, and children learn by imitation, especially in their younger years.  It is up to us to be worthy of imitation and surround them with others who are also worthy.  This applies to other areas of a child's life too, like choosing what a child sees, hears, and reads.  So much of what children are exposed to today through media and even school, is very much unworthy of imitation.  Nonetheless, children act on what they take in, and even undesirable behaviors are imitated.  As a parent, it is a constant process for me to remember this and make myself worthy of imitation.  I'm not perfect, and neither are my kids, but we're all working on it.

The stories surrounding Michaelmas are those of courage, healing, and strength.  Admirable qualities that are definitely worthy of imitation.  And I have noticed that the kids are catching on.  I "catch" them doing "good deeds" throughout the day, give a little praise (and I mean a little, I don't believe in over-praising kids for doing what is expected and right) and a thank you, and feel incredibly proud of my fine, upstanding little citizens. 

Quick story here:  a couple of days ago, the kids had each gotten a balloon somewhere, I don't even remember where.  Since they were tied to the kids' wrists, we let them bring them in to a store.  F's ballon broke off of the string and floated up to the top of an impossibly high ceiling.  Surprisingly, there was no breakdown of tears or anything, but he was very sad.  A few minutes later we were continuing with our shopping and S turned to me and said, "I'd like to give F my balloon."  I could've cried, I was so proud.  Like I said before, my kids aren't perfect, and there's the usual amount of sibling rivalry.  But this gesture was so self-less and thoughtful (and probably meant more to me than it did to F.  Although he was very thankful to his big sister.

This event gave me a much needed boost in the self-reflection department.  Here was the evidence of something I did right.  Yay me!  Too often, when looking inward, we find flaws first.  Now I know there are other things to find in there, maybe even some things worthy of imitation, if I look hard enough.

How We Spent Michaelmas:

freshly baked pumpkin bread for breakfast
a morning at the park playing games, "jousting", and chasing dragons
an afternoon of stories and songs followed by the
making of our Dragon Bread
a lovely dinnder of pea soup and dragon bread

my brave knights ready to do good deeds

jousting at the park

dragon bread before the oven

dragon bread after the oven

1 comment:

  1. oh love the bread!! FANTASTIC dragon... and loving the jousting on space hoppers!!!
    Lovely story as well. it's very heart warming when a child does a random act of kindness. especially when it's your child. well done on teaching them such kindness! xx