Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Room to dream

Darcy hasn't really taken to kindy. And it isn't the kindy as such, he would just rather be at home with me. He still comes along to playgroup with us each week, when he isn't visiting Grandma in Albany. He is the big kid there now, more than two years older than the other little ones. He loves it.

We go to a Steiner playgroup where the children play with natural materials and simple toys. They build cubbies out of muslin and tuck cloth dolls into bed beneath crocheted blankets. Today Darcy improvised a game which involved throwing the hand-felted marsupials from the nature table through the ring at the top of the muslin tent in the dolls' corner. It proved a hit with the little folk. He is a bit of a leader among the two-year-old set right now.

I love the way that Steiner education follows the rhythm of the seasons. One of Darcy's favourite books has always been The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. So making crowns out of autumn leaves and playing king of the forest was special indeed.

We are busy making lanterns in readiness for the winter solstice next week. Our family always marks the longest night of the year by gathering together with close friends to feast by candlelight. We have done so each year since Lewis was born, and I am so happy that those same friends will be traveling to share midwinter's night with us in the deep south next week.

I am trying to stay enthusiastic about kindy and nurture a love of learning in my middle child. I planned on spending tomorrow morning at school with him to help with the craft tables and preparing fruit for morning tea. Darcy was looking forward to having me there and wearing the special fruit-helpers' hat. But a big storm is brewing here in the west and school has been canceled.

It is the kind of thing I dreamed about happening for all my school years but never a day did we miss. Bushfires and storms have forced the local schools here to close twice in the last six months. We live much closer to the elements in the country it seems. Not that we mind. We will stoke up the fire and bake cupcakes while the storm rages outside. It is where Darcy would prefer to be, after all. There is room for him to dream here.


  1. Sounds like Darcy will have an awesome day at home with you.

    Hopefully kindy gets more enjoyable for him soon.

    Your steiner group sounds wonderful! We'll hopefully get a coveted spot at our local one sometime this year.

  2. I like the term "room to dream" :-)

  3. Wow sounds like a great place. I had heard of Steiner but didn't know what it meant. Thanks for the info! My son is starting at a pre-school in the UK in September that is called a 'Forest School' - where they spend time each week in a woodland - building cubbies, outdoor craft, campfire cooking etc... I can't wait for him to start. Such a nice approach to learning. x

    1. That sounds wonderful Anna. I just wrote a story with a woman who worked with the Forest Schools movement in the UK and is helping to establish one here. Such a beautiful philosophy.


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