Tuesday, December 15

Countdown to Christmas

It has been awhile since I have been here. I've been spending a lot of time looking at a lot of other inspiring blogs, reading and learning more about Waldorf education, and doing some thinking and changing to our daily routine. My posts may be different as a result. Without going into too much detail, I find an appreciation for the Waldorf philosophy as much as I do Montessori and at times it can be a struggle as a parent and an educator. Anyway, I am excited to be posting again and I hope you will continue to join me.


Our countdown to Christmas last year was a traditional advent box with small boxes holding presents for each of the 25 days to Christmas. Halfway through this advent box I decided we would not be using it again. Giving out 25 small presents (and even finding 25 things to fit in the box) felt contrary to my efforts to teach the real meaning of Christmas to my children.


This year, this is our countdown to Christmas. I started this 12 days before Christmas. It is actually our birthday ring, just not in the circle shape. Each night at dinner we read a verse or two from the Christmas story (as told in the New Testament) We add a candle and then count how many days until Christmas. The white candle is saved for the last night before Christmas. It is simple, it works and it feels like the focus is more on our reason for celebrating Christmas.

13 comments:

Becky said...

I've also been reading up on Waldorf and have found an appreciation. I was even thinking about purchasing that same ring for the same purpose, and I like how you have it set up better than the spiral.

hikingmama said...

I am excited to see that you are back! We also do a mix of Waldorf and Montessori. Still doing a lot of learning and discovering what work for us. Will enjoy hearing how you find a balance that works for you and your girls.

I love your advent spiral! I find this to be more meaningful then advent calendars with gifts or chocolate.

montessori mommy said...

I am so glad you are back! I love your blog and I have been so inspired by you!

Ratliffs said...

What a great idea!! We use a picture of Christ that has 24 scriptures, and each night after we're done reading that nights scripture they get to color in the book that the scripture is printed on. I have really enjoyed doing it, as it brings our minds back to Christ.

Love your blog and your great ideas!!

Gypsy said...

Will be so interested to read how you meld the two. Have you seen adventures of a rainbow mama blog - she is another waldorf/montessori mixing mama.

Lindart said...

Lovely idea!!

Evenspor said...

I like that. I am going to make a tiny nativity with 25 pieces (lots of sheep) to use in our advent calendar next year. I think the boys would have fun adding a new piece everyday, and it will put the focus where it belongs.

My Child's Diary said...

I am so glad you are alright! Sorry, but was a bit worried about you. Even e-mailed you to ask if you were alright...:)
Actually, it will be interesting to hear, if you are willing to share, what brought you to Waldorf. I know quite a few Montessorians that during the years found some comfort in Waldorf too. I believe that it is like in any other aspect of our life, when you concentrate on the similar, rather different, you can only benefit from it.
In my country, there is no Montessori school. We live in the area where the Waldorf education has strong influence, and there is a beautiful Waldorf school here. At the beginning i didn't want to hear about it. But today I am wiser, or if you like I am more confident about myself. So I decided to take a one year course about Waldorf education, as there is a good chance that if my son ever goes to school, it will be the only option for him. And because I wanted to learn more about Waldorf philosophy. It's been quite interesting. There are so many similar thoughts with Montessori, though different reasoning. There are other ideas that complete my Montessori believes. And yes there are things that I don't accept. But then I try to look at them as an observer - like with any theory I guess, the wisdom is to always question it and see if you could live with it, rather then following it with your eyes blindfolded. Then instead of looking at this as a a struggle, you might even find out that it helps you to find out about your own, true, right only for you, way through the life.
Anyway, I am glad you are back! Looking forward to hearing more...
Happy Holidays,
Miri

Kellie said...

I have been a lurker on your blog for several months now. Coming, never commenting. I was disappointed I couldn't find your blog, but so happy to see you are back. I am working out my own ideas about teaching my children and have appreciated your ideas. It helps me find my own balance. I'm new and not totally how committed we are to being true Montessorians, so we welcome the Waldorf ideas fully.

aarnette said...

I too have lurked on your blog and I was so sad to see it was gone!! Wow! I thought, all those wonderful ideas and I didn't write them down, thinking that they would always be here. I am so glad to see you back!!

I love your idea, I may try that one next year!

Sarah said...

I like this idea! Where did you get the candle holder?

Amy said...

Thanks for the comments! The candle holder (birthday ring), I think came from Nova Natural or maybe Palumba.

Annicles said...

I loved what I saw on other Waldorf blogs about natural childhoods and parenting and am also a montessori teacher. I decided to do some more research about the Waldorf philosophy.

I have to say, I was more than disappointed, I was horrified. Firstly, by the fact that it claimed to follow a child's natural development but then fundamentally refuses to allow a child to learn to read until they are seven. I was also horrified by Anthroposphy. It is fundamentally racist, saying that Black people are have a child's mind, Asians an adolescent's and only White people have an adult mind.

Other things that bother me are the non-scientific approach to science (which is due to the Anthroposophical influence). This amounts to lying to students who deserve lessons that contain facts. The non-scientific reaches into every part of the philosophy, with teachers having to assign each child to one of four personality types, teaching the children there are 12 senses to match the 12 signs of the zodiac and so on.

I was surprised by how anti-creativity the curriculum is seeing as it is valued for its emphasis on art. I found it disappointing that children are not allowed to freely express themselve, but have to limit themselves to a narrow range of expression and materials.

I could go on (and on) but I won't, except to say that I was extremely disappointed to find that a philosophy that looked so warm and loving and based upon good sense is in fact the result of a mind that could be called eccentric, or there again, seriously disturbed.

I am definitely sticking with Montessori!