At Heron’s Nest, our curriculum is in alignment with the seasons. Our work and our play will be informed by the changing weather, the sounds and smells that surround us, the plants that we seed and the others that choose to sprout. We will do work that reflects our changing needs as the air gets cooler or warmer, and as we get bigger and stronger. There will be an emphasis on seasonal holidays and agricultural cycles and the celebrations and songs that surround them. Children may participate at their own level of ability and will, and our projects will be responsive to their needs. I believe that these routines and rhythms help children, and all people, to develop self reliance, wonder, intrinsic motivation, a strong sense of community, and a sense of stewardship for our natural world. Below is a list of what we will focus on as the year progresses:
September: Late summer harvest
Many garden projects, like marigold harvest and fabric dyeing, flower pressing for winter projects, birdhouse gourds, garden tea at snack, planting bulbs for spring, goat milking and cheese making, and preparing meals like vegetable soups.
October into November: Halloween and Autumn
So much autumn leaf art (mosaics, collaging, waxing), the beginning of handicraft skills like cutting, sewing, and weaving to prepare for winter projects, pumpkins and apples, broom corn harvest, whittling, a boisterous Halloween celebration, and preparing warm meals together.
December, January, and February: The dawn and depths of winter
Lanterns to illuminate the darkening days, weaving with winter vines, a deepening focus on handicrafts, more time indoors leading into more creative arts such as painting, weekly bread making, self sufficiency in dressing, a celebration of family and friendship on Valentine’s Day, and cozier days by the wood stove (Note: We will generally stray away from any religious winter holiday themes).
March into April: Beckoning springtime
The mud and the thaw, noticing signs of new life, bird feeders, spring cleaning of the gardens, gentle woodworking for building new spaces and nooks, a maple sap boiling celebration for the Equinox, seed starting indoors and in our cold frames.
May into June: Warmer days and expansive play
Flower crafts abound, vine weaving and crowns, garlands, picnics, visiting the creek, a May Day song and dance celebration, new garden beds, scavenger hunts, sun catchers, fairy houses, and spaciousness.