What a busy, fun fall we’ve had together! The children are busy with their lessons, pumpkin muffins and soft pretzels are baking in our oven, and everyone hums or sings a tune from time to time. One of our current favorite songs is Harvest Time (lyrics below), and the afternoon class is very fond of Ciranda Cirandinha, a Brazilian circle game song where a specific child is asked to enter the circle and recite a snippet of verse or a tongue twister before continuing the song. We have learned about so many different things at gathering time — why leaves change color, the process of recycling, various types of fish, even the songs of Elvis Presley! We like reading a longer story together on Friday mornings and might continue the tradition with stories from various places around the world.
The older children are working on various individual projects — exploring equivalence with fractions (three sixths fit into one of the half spaces perfectly!), learning facts about each of the 50 states, writing little phrases and stories with the moveable alphabet, and making large addition and subtraction books to bind with ribbon and share at home. The younger children are doing lots of banana slicing, polishing little objects that beautify our room, working with art materials like stencils and crayon rubbing, and playing little sound games to help them recognize the separate beginning sounds of words. They are learning that they live on the earth which is round in a continent called North America. They are practicing how to sit properly in a chair at lunchtime. They are using the ellipse to develop coordination and gain better control of their movements by skipping, walking, marching, and tiptoeing to musical accompaniment several times each morning. They are learning to look out for each other by offering and receiving help graciously. Slowly but steadily, our community of children is learning how to function like a second family. We use the word “peace” a lot, and discuss/model ways that we can be peaceful with our words and our hands, even how we can spread peace around the world, sometimes with just the thoughts from our hearts. We also like to sing about peace. This song is a favorite : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9M8SmWh2Fo
In addition to all of our regular classroom activities, we have received a visit from the local fire department, enjoyed a very seasonal trip to Varner’s farm (animals, pumpkins, hay bales, apple cider!), and had an exciting Fall Fest at school. The costumes were very creative, from a gumball machine to the weather to a monster truck! The day was rainy, but spirits were high as each child proudly told everyone what their costume was and bobbed for apples, threw beanbags into pumpkins, and made skeletons. We ended the day by carving and lighting up our own jack-o-lantern (thanks to Ms. Grogan for her knife skills).
As always, it’s a pleasure being with your children. I receive many gifts of stories and hugs each day. Our time together is full of laughter, discoveries, and sharing. Difficult moments of conflict and tears give way to opportunities to grow, to behave differently the next time, to appreciate another’s perspective, to offer a hug and repair or initiate a friendship. This is always their most beautiful work, this wonderful journey of becoming a human in this place and time, and for making this world a more peaceful place for everyone to be.
Harvest time is here,
Thanksgiving’s coming soon.
Indian summer days
And nights of harvest moon,
Gather all good gifts,
And offer thanks above,
For all our many blessings,
The bounty of Earth’s love.