Michaelmas Season in the Kindergarten
The threads of Michaelmas are woven in and out of our days in the kindergarten classes between mid-September and early October. Part of a Waldorf celebration is experiencing the process of preparation, which takes time to develop. All of the kindergarten children hear stories of people who dig deep within themselves for strength and courage to help others. As the children hear these stories they form images and feelings of courage and strength within themselves. They also have the experience of gathering onion skins and dried marigold tops to make a beautiful golden dye. This dye is used to create a special Michaelmas project that has its origins in our stories, symbolizing light to give strength and courage to do good deeds. These threads of courage, community and accomplishment can also be found in our circle time, in baking a harvest loaf, or dragon bread, modeling the golden beeswax into elements from the story, a picnic with friends, or sharing a puppet show with another class! This season is filled with activities that exercise the will, symbolizing inner strength that manifests itself in good deeds.
The experience of Michaelmas in Kindergarten is very rich. For those in the 5-day Kindergarten, Michaelmas is celebrated on the same day that the grades are celebrating. The 3-day Kindergarten class celebrates on a school day close to that time. Our celebrations are part of our school day.
We suggest that the K children not participate in the grades’ event for Michaelmas, since we have our own separate celebration that is appropriate for this age group. We recommend a restful afternoon for the Kindergarten children, allowing the images and feelings of our celebration to be kept alive in each child.
The grades’ celebration with the dragon chase and larger groups of children is something for your children to anticipate as they enter the grade school in the future. How wonderful it is for young children to experience an expanding world as they get older! This gradual movement into activities gives them time to be little, grow, anticipate, and then participate.
Facing the Dragon – Michaelmas in the Grades
Grades 1-8 Celebrate Michaelmas
Friday, September 27
Michaelmas is a symbolic, ancient tradition celebrated in autumn. As the days grow shorter and the sun wanes, human beings often feel called to sleepiness. The strength of our will seems sapped, and we feel pulled towards complacency. To conquer this lethargic “dragon,” we must look inward to find strength and an “inner light” to guide us through the darkness of winter. We cannot sleep like many of the plants underground or hibernate like some of the animals. We have work to do, we must awake!
WSA grades students will celebrate Michaelmas with a day of games, drumming, festive songs, and a visit from St. Michael and the dragon!
Parents are invited to join us for this celebration. (Look for the schedule next week!) As stated in the article above, we strongly suggest that parents with children of kindergarten age allow their child to enjoy their class celebrations and anticipate participating in the grades’ celebration with the older students when they are older children themselves.