24 September 2013

drawing the year

In my last post, I showed some seasonal drawings I'd done with a five-year-old friend.

I wonder if anyone noticed the little circles in the upper left of each picture. Remember my presenting the lesson about the liturgical year this summer? Well, my friend certainly did! As soon as I began to explain that I wanted to make pictures for the seasons of the year, she made the association. She pulled out a red tube of glitter glue and explained that it would ideal for that one red square that is HOT.

Even after I explained that I wanted the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall (rather than the liturgical seasons like Pentecost), she could not shake the memories of the Godly Play lesson. You can talk about how time is in a line and also in a circle, she offered. [This is how the Church Year lesson begins.]

Our solution was to draw the Circle of the Church Year in the corner of each seasonal picture. I suspect that this association may be why she decided to put even our large seasonal symbols in circles.

She also carefully drew churches inside the "church clocks":

She explained to me as she drew, this is the door and this is the window, but I didn't pick up on what she was doing fast enough. So the next church was extra-elaborate:

See that passage between the two doors? That's where the WCs are!

13 September 2013

a birthday, Montessori-style

It may well have been Deb's Living Montessori Now post that first introduced me to the Montessori way of observing a child's birthday. The birthday child carries a globe around the "sun", once for every year they have been alive. At many schools this is accompanied by a special song, looking at photographs of the child growing up, or even reminiscences from the different years of the child's life. For another description with a couple of gorgeous photos, see MariaMontessori.com.

I decided I'd like to try something similar for my godson's birthday. Not having a globe, I started by printed out a large picture of the earth. Then Godson's sister and I drew labels for the four seasons of the year.

the drawings by Godson's sister and Storyteller

I put a big yellow candle in the middle of the room to signify the sun, placed the season signs around it, and then we sat in a rough circle around the candle. (Some Montessori schools are even more correct, sitting in an ellipse-shape!) As this was an unfamiliar custom for us, it became clear it would work better for me to circle the sun while Godson sat with everyone else and listened.

I mentioned the day he was born and the day he came home from the hospital, the first time he rolled over, and what his first "solid" foods were. I remembered what he'd worn for Hallowe'en each year, what they'd done for Christmas, their annual spring weekend at Family Church Camp, and at least one summer highlight. [His parents spotted immediately that most of the information had been cribbed from their blog!]

I included his sister's birth, the chicken pox, riding on his granddad's tractor, and his first day of school. Several times he interrupted to add something. For example, when I remembered their move from a small apartment to a larger house he said, "That's this house!"

When we got to age six, I stopped and sat down. "Now you have to tell me about last year, because I was in England and don't know what happened!" And so Papa took the earth picture, and with the help of the rest of the family told the story of his son's seventh year.

Although he seemed to enjoy most of it, at the very end Godson asked, "Why did this take sssooo llooong?" I answered, "Because you've been alive now for SEVEN YEARS!"

09 September 2013

a picture of being in the circle

I drew this myself, as part of an exercise for my spiritual director. (Please ignore the torn bit, caused by taping it up and then taking it down to bring home.)