My previous post spoke about when the lightbulb goes on for the kids. Last week, I had my “aha” moment. I began planning my school year in the summer. Two holidays I wanted to incorporate into the year were Halloween and Diwali (two of my kids favorite holidays). As you know, then I also decided to follow a Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum. In my mind, I thought, “Will I have time to teach Halloween and Diwali in addition to this curriculum?” Well not only can I teach these two holidays, they fit into the curriculum perfectly. The Waldorf curriculum celebrates Martinmas and the Festival of Lanterns. Halloween, Martinmas, and Diwali-all teach about good versus evil and use light as the symbol. Thus, we have three weeks of celebrating light!
Last week, we began our investigation of light with the history of Halloween. The kids learned about how the dead are believed to walk the earth on the last day of October (this tradition also fit well with the Norse myths that Sims is studying). The kids made their jack-o-lanterns to scare away the dead and they dressed up to trick or treat. This week, they are researching the science behind light and the properties of light. They are also making lanterns in preparation for Martinmas.
Along the way, the kids are making all of the connections which make learning so much fun. We are listening to “The Magician’s Nephew” and light seems to be a theme throughout the book, from the presence of it to the lack of it. The kids noticed the theme right away. They have also been discussing the moon, the stars and the sun a lot. Today, they realized (they have always been told this but it clicked today) exactly how the moon reflects light and that it does not illuminate itself.
You will hear more about light in the next post, I am sure. For now, Happy Halloween and Happy Martinmas-and one of my favorite sayings:
May the light in me, honor the light in you.