Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome Autumn

It's here!  My favorite season of the year!  I like all of the seasons, for different reasons, but if I'm being honest, fall is still my favorite.  The colors (our trees are starting to turn around here!), the breeze (I'm officially converting closets to long sleeve t's and jeans), and the pace (our schedule is more structured but weekends are back to primarily being home rather than traveling).  Like every year, I'm welcoming the return of autumn with open arms.

So, now that those vacation posts are done (whew!  I'm so naive, when we got home from Mackinaw I really thought I'd have those written within a week - I should have known it'd take me a month!) I have so much to catch up on here. Of course there is the typical that I'm always behind on, monthly posts for Nolan, birthday party round up's, etc., but I'm also hoping to spend some more time documenting our everyday this season - like the fact that we painted our front door red.  If it looks splotchy in the picture, that's because it is, we got one coat on and couldn't decide if we liked it, so it's still sitting until we make a final call to do another coat or try something else.

Inside, I have yet to pull out my fall decorations but over the summer I was doing some reading on different education philosophies and the Waldorf approach (developed by philosopher Rudolf Steiner) really struck a chord with me - I think, mostly, because of its emphasis on nature and rhythm in the house, both of which are right up my kids' alley.  So I decided to start with a Nature Table.  For weeks I looked around the house for the right spot, I wanted it to be in a central place but with the layout of our house and the way we have furniture currently arranged, that left few options.  I kept coming back to this table under our tv though, it holds our dvd player and dish box - it's not ideal, but it is central for the kids, and it wasn't otherwise being used.  Eventually we need to do something about these wires and hopefully even move the boxes up into the wall, but for now it's functioning as both a place for "work" and "play".

At our "Back to School" dinner at Papa & Busha's the boys' helped set the table, putting out the place mats and silverware and name cards, and the centerpiece of their table was a branch that had fallen off a tree outside, it was still green and little acorns were attached to it.  After dinner, Busha sent it home with me and it became the first part of our Nature Table. I added some pine cones, rocks, bark and acorns, the feathers (also a collection that came mostly from Busha's), and a couple of Autumn books and....viola!

I'm a newbie at this and I don't really know what I'm doing, but when Keaton walked in the house he walked straight to that table and said "Mom, that's the most beauuuuutiful centerpiece!" and I realized it didn't matter if I knew what I was doing or not, this works for them.

Of course, the boys saw this as an opportunity to do a little decorating themselves....

...but that's fine, because while they love to "hunt" this is also a good way to talk to them about the ethics of hunting, something that is very important to us.

The other thing we're starting is a "book of the month" inspired by Waldorf and this particular book selection (and likely many more) were inspired by a post on Doting on Deirdre. September's book Christopher's Harvest Time by Elsa Beskow has pretty much brought all of my childhood dreams to life.  

It's a little longer story so we don't read it every night, some nights we just can't fit it in, but we read it most nights. There have been a few nights that Hutton has had a hard time sitting still, getting squirmy in the middle of it, but the other day he peeked his head out this bedroom door and completely unprompted said "you can't tease an old man like that!" (a line from the book) - a huge smile broke across my face and I've been even more eager to read it on nights when we can.

The Autumn board book found on the other side of the table is just pictures, no words, and it's perfect because Nolan can reach up and take it down and look at it without hurting anything.

The acorns were found on hunts at Busha's and this is probably only an 1/8, no, less than that, of what the boys brought home.  I thought it'd be good to display them in a bowl but Keaton disagreed, so right on the table they went, mixed in with some bark and moss and dirt for good measure.

So, while September is nearly gone (how did that happen?) Autumn is here and we welcome her.


Amanda said...

LOVE it!!! Great job :)

Karma said...

My Aunt Lori (mom's sister) has a Waldorf school in California. You can find it on Facebook Spirit Mountain School. Take care, Karma

Kate said...

KARMA!! That is awesome!! I'm going to look for it!

Hey, are you coming home this year??

Em said...

I LOVE the red door. :)

CAS said...

Love the Nature table and LOVED seeing the pic of how the boys decorated it- perfect! It keeps those creative juices flowing and they can add to it. I like to that it is an area that they can "play" with the items and not worry about "breaking" things. Great job!

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