Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making a Nature Table

First off, sorry for my absenteeism! I've been quite busy researching and marveling over this whole homeschooling thing. In my research, I've discovered the wonder and beauty of Waldorf-inspired homeschooling, and I think this is the direction we are going to take with our little ones. I love how it is so grounded in nature and in the arts, and helps to create such a beautiful and rich life experience for children. I've bought a couple of books to help get me started. One is Kindergarten with your Three to Six Year Old, by Donna Simmons. The other is Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer. I've been devouring both of them, and working on putting in place some of the many wonderful suggestions they have to offer. One of my favourite suggestions has been the Nature Table! A Nature Table is basically a place for you and your children to celebrate the beauty of each season. When you go on your daily walks, you can find things in nature that represent the season, and bring them home and place them on the Nature Table. It helps the children get a strong sense of the yearly rhythm of the seasons by helping them to appreciate and celebrate them. Some people also add various other things to their tables, like handmade seasonal accessories. I was even thinking of making seasonal curtains for the window above the shelf (yes, our table is actually a shelf - our shoe shelf, actually!). Our table will evolve as we add things to it and change it around. On there now is a tart burner, burning a beeswax candle with apple peels and cinnamon sticks in the top (which makes the house smell wonderfully of fall), some pinecones (that we painted!), some acorns and rocks that we found on our walks, and some gourds and Indian corn we got at the farm where we get our produce. The kids are really enjoying it, and I love that I don't just have a boring ol' shoe shelf in our entryway!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a nature table! I feel very Waldorfy myself in how we learn -- it adds a beautiful element to our homeschool.

    Your shoe shelf is pretty gorgeous! All those bits and bobs from nature...the kids look quite delighted with it all!

    Thanks for the great idea :)