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!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So Much Advent and Christmas!

The fourth light of Advent is the light of Humankind
The light of hope that we may learn to love and understand.
~ R. Steiner

So much to do!  So much to do!  Unfortunately,no matter how laid back I try to be about the holidays this week, that seems to be my mantra.  My tasks are not unpleasant, just a little too plentiful!

As we finish our last week of Advent, we are adding human figures to our nativity.  We started with the shepherd and now have two of the Three Kings.  Instead of adding the Three Kings to the scene immediately, they are at a far end of the table, for they have not yet begun their journey to bring their gifts to the Christmas Child.  They will be moving closer each day after Christmas until they arrive on January sixth.  See?  I might not be a religious person, but I've at least done my reading!  It's all in the spirit of keeping it in line with the story.
the shepherd joins his flock on the right

Speaking of stories, we did a little puppet play for one of our Christmas songs yesterday morning during circle time.  That old song, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is such a nice little story and perfect for acting out with a few little dolls and simple props.  The kids thought it was great fun to sing the different parts and move the dolls accordingly.  We used one of the kings and the shepherd from the nativity, along with a cut out paper star with a "golden" tail.  The kings palace and throne were comprised of several plain wooden blocks.
Said the Night Wind to the Little Lamb, "Do you hear what I hear?"
Another nice little activity we've been doing ties in with the story of Mary's Journey.  Mary is up in the heavens gathering silver and golden threads to weave a shift for her baby.  She is wondering if she will finish it in time for the arrival of the baby.  But all ends well, because the children of the earth are doing good deeds.  The children's angels carry news of these deeds to the heavens where new threads are created in a quantity sufficient to complete the garment just in time.  (I was not able to find this story on line to link to, though I'm sure there must be one out there somewhere. The one I have is in our Live Ed curriculum.  Sorry!)

As much as I don't like to admit it, my kids have needed a few more reminders than usual to mind their actions towards one another this week.  So each time they do a good deed by sharing, using kind and loving words, or helping someone, I write their deed on a little paper star with a "golden" thread hanging from it.  The star then gets hung up around a door frame for all to see and to remind them of their good behavior.  I'm happy to say that the door frame is getting quite full of stars!

Tonight we're getting ready to walk our Solstice Spiral.  Many people kick off Advent with a walk in the Advent Spiral, but the appropriateness of walking the spiral on the actual Solstice made more sense, especially with our more nature-based approach to Advent and Christmas.  I believe there's a link to an explanation of the Advent spiral in my first Advent post.  We're taking a less solemn approach to our Spiral walk, and the children will be singing "This Little Light of Mine" as they walk in and out. (We'll be leaving out the Jesus and Satan parts, thank you!)

Lastly, in preparation for Winter, we stripped our nature table of Autumn items and set the scene for the new season.  Our nature table has three tiers, so we took a new approach this season.  Our lower tier represents the underground, where the gnomes are busy at work making and mining crystals, gems, and precious metals.  The middle tier is the surface of the earth, covered with snow (a white silk).  We will be adding King Winter to this part of the scene at a later date (as in when I finish making him!).  The top tier is for the heavens, where the Snow Queen sits on a soft cloud of white wool and makes the snow fall.  We had two little crystal prisms which we hung from this tier to represent sparkly snowflakes and ice.  The effect is quite charming, and the kids thought it was delightful to create.  They especially loved adding special stones and geodes for the gnomes.

our winter nature table

Since I most likely won't get a chance to write again until after Christmas, have a joyous holiday season with your families and love ones!

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