Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spirit of Obedience: Binder of Special Days

My summer vacation got me thinking about the need to make--to create--special days for my children. Along with the idea of daily rhythm, that is one of the main aspects that draws me to my interest in a Waldorf -style education. They celebrate various holidays and special events. But I suppose holidays and rhythm go hand-in-hand when you stop to think about it. Waldorf practices daily, weekly, yearly rhythm-- and holidays are those days we celebrate repeated or rhythmically each year.

Wanting to give my children a bit more color, fun, celebration--whatever you want to call it--in their life I decided this school year to 'purpose' more special days into our school year and into our lives. I have wanted to do this for awhile but was never organized enough to implement it. It takes forethought and planning to some degree.

Two book I have found helpful in planning our special days are:

All Year Round by Ann Druitt, Christine Fynes-Clinton, and Marje Rowling

To keep the days organized I have created a binder. I have divider tabs to mark the months of the year (and seasons too--another biggy in Waldorf, observing and celebrating the seasons) and a printed calendar behind each to mark the holidays, events, birthdays, etc. we intend to celebrate. We may not get around to doing all of them, but perhaps three or four a month. Some special days may be more involved than others. For instance some may be all out with crafts and foods, while others may be a simple coloring page to commemorate a saints' feast day.

I intend this binder to be ongoing, to cycle through it repeatedly. So the calendars will remain in there year after year to keep me from having to research over and over again that month's holidays and feast days. I have also started to print copies of coloring pages and activity pages to keep in a page protector to xerox annually. The idea being to do the work once while being able to benefit from it over and over again. I also have a page for notes of activities for a particular day and resources of books or web pages where I found them. Doing similar activities and celebrations year after year instills a sense of tradition.

Something else I've come across and found useful is a "Get It Done" Project Planner sheet I printed out from my book, Educating the WholeHearted Child. Essentially it's just a simple form for helping you plan out projects, i.e. the date you need it by, what materials you need, resources to use, steps to take, etc. It's great for preplanning which was one of my pitfalls in trying to do this before. The day would arrive with little to no forethought. I'd have nothing planned out so I'd let it slide by saying to myself, "Well we'll catch the next special day." But the same thing would happen the next time. No celebrating was getting done.

And now that I have that fantastic, new camera of mine I'll be photographing our specials to record in our recently started The Goad Family's Book of Special Days scrap book I'm creating for my girls to cherish as the days pass and they grow older.