Last Friday, I mentioned in my last post, was the year’s final meeting for our Waldorf Homeschooling group. Each Friday morning, we’ve shared songs, verses, stories, snacks, crafts, and outdoor adventures. The group has grown to a total of 10 children, ages 2 – 6, and we’ve held the space as a mixed-ages kindergarten.
In celebration of the children’s growth and efforts this year, we held a small, but lovely ceremony at the close of Friday’s school. Actually, I should mention Friday’s school adventure, because it is very unique. Our good friend Ethan, a parent of one of the students, has led occasional “Adventure Days” throughout the winter and spring. A former outdoor educator, he dresses himself in full costume, and leads the kids on forest walks, pond explorations, and, this week, baby goat cuddles. Outfitted in hand-made leather pants and vest, with a fuzzy goatee, painted eyebrows, and a French-style hat, he embodied a French half goat-half human named “Monsieur Jean Paul le Chevre.” The kids learned a few facts about goats, listened to a story about goats, played two games to test their agility and speed, and then visited a few day-old baby goat in its pen.
As the children played with goats, another mama and I readied a ceremonial space by placing one strawbale on top of another, with one placed behind as step. The bales were decorated in flowers and a few benches were arranged in a circle. When the children returned, we sang a few songs together, and then began the short ceremony.
One at a time, each child was called to climb the strawbales and stand on the top as they received words of love and admiration that we parents had together written for each student. What struck me was how beautiful and open these children are – their shoulders held back and heads held high, receiving the messages of love that we shared with each of them. After sharing a few words, we thanked them for being a part of school this year, cheered for them, and then invited them to leap off the strawbale into the next year. Simple, but so sweet.
Afterwards, we enjoyed watermelon and cookies to conclude our final school session until the fall. While I look forward to the more unstructured play that will happen this summer – blueberry picking, pond swims – the Friday morning gatherings have been something that I have looked forward to as much as Ella, as an opportunity to engage with other parents, share beautiful music and movement, and celebrate the changing seasons together.