Monday, 9 March 2015

February 2015: A Rose Ceremony & Beginning Grade One

February 2015

As the Summer drew to a close and the school year officially began for our schooling friends, we set off on a week long holiday to an old shack on beautiful Bruny Island with the extended family joining us later in the week. We explored Bruny Island’s history and natural beauty, and spent a week of lovely warm weather swimming, kayaking, walking and beaching. It was a lovely way to end our Summer this year, and return, refreshed to begin establishing our schooling rhythm back again.

Bruny Island flora - introduced and native

Nebraska Beach’s beautiful sandstone formations

Learning to kayak

Cairn building

Family game of Swedish Kubb

Rose Ceremony 2015

Toward the end of February, we shared a lovely little Rose Ceremony with two other homeschooling families, to welcome the children to a new year of learning. Traditionally, the Rose Ceremony is celebrated for the children entering First Grade in Waldorf-Steiner schools. The eldest students in the school pass a rose to each of the 6/7 year olds to mark their entry to their first year of academic learning. 

As we are homeschooling younger children, and they are all at different stages of learning, not necessarily based on the traditional school calendar year, but rather on their readiness, we decided to include all of the children in the ceremony, not just those two who were entering First Grade. 

I think this quote from the Eugene Waldorf School about the significance of the rose in the Rose Ceremony is really quite lovely: "The rose, while sensitive and delicate, is also quite bold. It is strongly rooted to the earth, and even has thorns to protect itself. Its unfolding is gradual, as each round of petals comes to bloom — the rose’s transformation from bud to blossom is a significant change. The hardy rose celebrates life on this earth."

We gathered flowers from the garden and wove willow crowns. Each child wore a special cape and flower crown for the ceremony. One at a time, they walked under a rainbow silk to receive their rose and a small gift each. It was a very simple, sweet ceremony and the look of wonder and delight in each child’s eyes made it such a special day <3  


We started to gently reintroduce a little more structure into our daily rhythm which had become over outward and relaxing over the Summer months. We recommenced a short morning Circle Time and a daily story again, drawing a few each day from out Summer Circle Time collection. 

{ Summer Circle-Time Collection }

* * * * * * * *

Opening Verse:
Come out, come out this sunny day
The fields are sweet with new mown hay
The birds are singing loud and clear
For summer time once more is here
So bring your rakes and come and play
And toss and tumble in the hay
The sweet wild roses softly blow
All pink and white the roses grow
The nodding daisies in the grass
Lift up their heads to hear you pass
Upon this happy, sunny day
When you come out to make the hay.

* * * * * * * *

Action Song:
If I were a farmer, a farmer, a farmer.
If I were a farmer, what would I do?
I would feed the hungry chickens/milk the cows each morning… etc.
That’s what I’d do!

* * * * * * * *

Action Rhyme:
Long green snakes in the grass are we,
Our tail is far away,
We wriggle and wriggle and twist and turn
As in and out we sway.

* * * * * * * *

This is a house for a robin
(make a nest with hands)
This is a hive for a bee
(two fists together to make a hive)
This is a hole for a bunny
(thumbs and pointers on both hands to make hole)
And this is a house for me!
(Arms and hands form roof overhead)

* * * * * * * *

Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating high up in the sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Bye, Bye, butterfly!

* * * * * * * *

Butterfly Game:
Dancing among the flowers with dainty painted wings
Flits the golden butterfly, joy to my heart she brings
Stopping only for a rest to sip the morning dew
Then flits and flutters off again
Butterfly, I can't catch you!
(Children sit in a circle with hands held up and cupped on top of head acting as flowers. Butterfly dances inside the circle, flitting in and out of the space between seated children. Butterfly stops behind one child in circle for a rest, bends, and sips dew by tickling a flower in the child's palms. Flower child jumps up and chases butterfly back to his place, then becomes the next butterfly. Repeat game with new butterfly.)

* * * * * * * *

Action Rhyme:
Here is a beehive
But where are the bees?
Hiding away where nobody sees!
See them come crawling out of their hive:

* * * * * * * *

Action Rhyme:
What do you suppose? 
A bee sat on my nose!
Then what do you think? 
He gave a little wink and said:
“I beg your pardon, 
I thought you were the garden!”

* * * * * * * *

Little bees work very hard,
making golden honey. 
Taking nectar from the flowers,
when the days are sunny.

* * * * * * * *

Action Song:
Here is the sea,
The wavy sea.
Here is a boat.
And here is me.

And little fishes,
way down below,
Wiggle their tails,
And away they go!

* * * * * * * *

Action Rhyme:
Build a sand castle to the sky,
(Pat air; move hands upward.)
Make a moat so when the waves roll by
(Make a big circle with arms in front of body.)

The castle will stand with its sandy wall
(Hold arms upright with fingertips touching.)
‘Til high tide comes and then it will fall.
(Fingers flutter at rooftop, and slowly flutter downward to lap.)

* * * * * * * *

Action Rhyme:
Once a caught a fish alive.
Then I let it go again!
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so!
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.

* * * * * * * *

Closing Poem:
O Dandelion, yellow as gold, what do you do all day?
“I just wait here in the tall, green grass, ’till the children come to play.”
O Dandelion, yellow as gold, what do you do all night?
“I wait and wait, while the cool dew falls, and my hair grows long and white.”
And what do you do when your hair grows white, and the children come to play?
“They take me in their dimpled hands, and blow my hair away!”

* * * * * * * *


Artwork & Handwork 

Making wet-on-wet painting boards with Daddy
New Filana crayons! A Rose Ceremony gift for Mr 6

Testing out wet-on-wet painting boards
Candle-wax watercolour resist
Peg doll painting
A donsy of gnomes :)
Weekly EarthSchooling Curriculum Story: ‘The Hut in the Forest’ 
EarthSchooling: Making dream catchers
Self-initiated alphabet practise! 
Testing out a cable car pulley they made with Daddy

My Handwork: Making Grade One Math Gnomes


Natural Science: Bush & Garden

Busy in the kitchen garden
A white lipped snake came to visit one warm evening
Native currants red and juicy
Siting an Wedgetailed Eagle nest with our neighbour, a DPIPWE Tassie Devil scientist!
Building cubbies in the bush
Garden treasures
Hugging carrots!
Watching the pademelon wallabies, watching us :)
Garden helpers
Fun in the river with friends


  1. I just discovered your blog and have really enjoyed reading about your beautiful, gentle days. Just the blend of natural learning and Waldorf that I aspire to create. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Bronya <3 Good luck on your own Waldorf-inspired journey :) xx