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Archive for the ‘Kindy’ Category

August paid off with planning, and our rest, travel and play enriched us enough to focus daily on our tasks for the past month and a half. We began our new school year, as year rounders back in April. So when September hit, we were beginning the final stretch after a break. I make sure we are learning with in and out breaths, developing the best process for our heads, hearts and hands. That is how we came naturally to schooling this way. Intuition, meditation, prayer, focus, intent, manifestation.

Deepening our painting skills, we have learned a bit about Botany, with the Charles Kovac book. Geography skills have been expanded through music lessons, stories, and real life experience. I have learned more about the Old Testament stories by taking them in to my Soul and teaching, which has in turn helped me to become a more multi-dimensional teacher. It helps that I used one set of resources the first time I taught 3rd, and another set of resources this second time around. Waldorf Essentials has always been my lamp post though! 5th grade has taken us to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and into the lap of Buddha. Teaching 3rd and 5th at the same time has its teacher incentives, when subjects become intermingled. In other words, I have begun to deepen my own personal web of life. Everything is interrelated.

Our handwork rhythm has deepened and that makes me proud. Needle Point (with yarn) and Embroider (with thread/floss) has enriched our Souls using our Hands. Freehand Geometry is taking shape through a few Waldorf resources and I am having fun presenting the sacredness of the universe through Math, to my little learner. I intend to join the embroidering world and math in the next cycle of my teaching. I have a great recommendation for a book assisting with this, on my IG account. Also, please take a look at my personal embroider work project, which is stitch by stitch prayers for the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline #nodapl  –  It is a pattern by @cozyblue, called Full Circle. This can be found #WIP style on IG.

Another one of my little learners will play in his 5th Suzuki violin recital in a couple weeks, And he is blossoming in our Cooking Class. So many good things. My littlest learner is unfolding beautifully in our Waldorfy prek circle, at my home church. The Circle Time was taken on by our Children’s Minister, in which we are so grateful. Once a week for an hour and a half we get together with 5/6 other families to sing, sign, hear stories, do crafts, move, shake and laugh. We come as we are, 2 to 4 years of age, at the moment. So many good things are evolving for the Wolf Pack, and Eagle Tree Homeschool. Teaching 3 age levels at the same time is a challenge, but with self care, time management, organization and Love as the centerpiece, it can be done.

If you are interested in speaking with me about my experience with Waldorf Essentials, I am now a (TFW) Thinking, Feeling, Willing Leader. Please comment below or contact me healingoneself@gmail.com. TFW is a blessing and gives you access to organized, essential mama lessons. Not only will Melisa hold your hand, if you are willing to do the inner work, but I will be nearby local, in Kentucky. It helps to have community.

Follow me over on IG @nurturing_spirit  for daily Waldorfy goodness.

If I have already referred you to Melisa and WE and you would like to be added to my secret Facebook group, just message me. I will add you. I plan to post videos, links to songs I sing for Circle Time or the Seasons and personal wisdom on homeschooling, mothering, marriage, and being self-employed (see www.coydogstudios.com and on IG @coydog~studios).

I also have a secret Facebook group for Handwork, if you wish to message me, I will add you there as well.

I have also organized homeschooling resources and other lifestyle pursuits over on Pinterest.

We have been using Waldorf Essentials curriculum for a number of years. I have taught both Kindy through Third twice, as well as Fourth and Fifth once through. I have had the honor to hold space for the preschool years three times, with my three sons, ages 11, 9 and now 3. Join me, if you wish and I will do my best to guide you as I can. Life is a journey, and we can take it day by day together.

 

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Meet King Arthur!  He is our newest member of the family.  Arthur is a four month old buck.  For pickup, it took us about 2 hours to get to our destination in Southern Indiana, from where we live in Central Kentucky.  I didn’t remember it took that long, but it is a very beautiful drive.  When we arranged the meeting we had planned on taking home a FAB torte, but the farmer brought this guy along. He was two months older than the torte, and noticeably larger.  We could definitely tell he was a boy too.  Being new at raising rabbits (as an adult) has been very educating.  I helped my grandfather when I was little with standard rex rabbits, but as an adult it’s all new to me again.  A year and a half ago we purchased a FAB, but it turned out to be a doe!  Just this week we got the pedigree changed. King Arthur is a calm and sweet guy.  I was a little worried about getting a boy, but the farmer convinced me this guys mother was his smartest and well behaved.  I do love his white fiber.  It is kind of matted up, but we will shear it soon.  We will try to capture more of our journey as we go along.  Until then, here’s a little verse.

 

Rabbit twitched his twitchety ears on a twinkling autumn day,
He could hear the North Wind whistle and he scampered off to say:
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, we must all get fat and furry,
Not a moment to be lost, I can hear bold Jackie Frost.

Groundhog sniffed her sniffety nose on a snappy autumn day
She could smell the winter coming, and she waddled off to say:
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, we must all get fat and furry,
Not a moment to be lost, I can smell bold Jackie Frost.

Squirrel shivered a shivery shiver on a shiv’ry autumn day
He could feel the North Wind’s fingers, and he scurried off to say:
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, we must all get fat and furry,
Not a moment to be lost, I can feel bold Jackie Frost.

Black Bear blinked her blinkety eyes on a blust’ry autumn day
She could see the snow clouds gather, and she lumbered off to say:
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, we must all get fat and furry,
Not a moment to be lost, I can see bold Jackie Frost.

 

 

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The path of simplicity is truly what you make of it.  To me and my family it is a road of beauty.  It is a road that is not convenient always, but who says it should be?  Simplicity is the paring down of your life to purify the energy around you and find out what truly matters.  What does matter to you?  Most people say family.

I am piggy-backing on my last post about slow living, slow eating and slow educating.  To do these things you have to take a look at your family culture. Have you written down what is important to you?  Do you have goals? Expectations?  Boundaries?  How has society influenced you?  What are you really wanting to leave your children when it is all said and done.  Lots of money and “stuff,” or memories shared?  I am sure they would appreciate money, perhaps even skills that you have taught them, but most of all values, at least to us, values are important for posterity.

There have been several occasions where our children have lived in a very cluttered home.  There was a time when I was so overwhelmed with stuff that I thought I would go mad.  Eventually I cleared out anything and everything under their beds, on the shelves and streamlined their rooms. My living room and kitchen area is simple.  Not a lot of extra decor taking up space waiting for me to dust it off.  If I don’t use it, it doesn’t belong. I have been a practical person most of my life, so this was not terribly hard for me to figure out, although it was a side effect of having children.

We teach keeping the lights off when not in use.  We teach wearing appropriate clothes to keep warm and keeping the heat turned down to a reasonable temperature.  We like to air out the house on nice days and not overuse our cooling system.  We like to be proactive and eat well instead of getting sick, but it doesn’t seem like that mattered this year with all the sickness going around, it caught us too.  But we have learned from it and worked harder to investigate gut health, eating foods that are fermented and utilizing mother nature and her bounty of healing foods and herbs.

We own a small farmhouse with almost four acres.  The simplicity of play and living has far outweighed the desire to own more.  That is not to say we have not struggled and won’t ever struggle.  We own a business, Coydog Studios, and it has not been easy.  Thankfully, because of our life before we made the transition, it wasn’t as hard a transition as it could have been.  We did have family help at times and for that I am grateful.  I support my husbands creativity, and we are proud he has recently earned a place in the Kentucky Art’s Council Directory as Architectural Artist.  In reading his bio you will see how simplicity leads over into his work and creative life as well.  In our world Spirit and the Physical realm are not separate.  It’s simple, and interwoven throughout every moment.  Ryan speaks about “sacred space” in his work and I too think of our home as Sacred Space.  Sanctuary.  I have to work harder and longer if our sacred space is cluttered and dysfunctional.

As you know we home educate.  To fullfill my duty and sacred contract I have made with Creator I cannot have an environment that has not been simplified. There are times before and after having a baby that the house may seem fuller, but to everything there is a season and I always come back around to clearing and cleaning.  Simplifying is a constant.  Simplicity takes work.  Especially in this day and age when one can buy anything.  Where there are box stores on every corner and Amazon Prime can deliver you anything within two days.

To make it possible to shop at places like Whole Foods I had to do the work and preparation.  I had to go online, make lists, mark recipes, and read tips on how to shop.  I spoke with the folks working in the grocery isles.  They were more than willing to speak to a smiling, learning face.  I have learned in the isles where we shop, on the shelving, there are stickers for all the products.  On these stickers which read the prices are other numbers and information.  On the left hand side, top, there is a number that represents price per ounce or pound.  When you are shopping and trying to decide which product you get better bang for your dollar, read those numbers.  For example, I wanted to buy crackers for Cedar to munch on.  He is 15 months old. I had the choice of buying the baby brand cracker, or the crackers that were the generic Whole Foods brand.  I got more product for less if I bought the product not geared towards babies.  It’s all about the marketing, no matter where you go, and I realize this aspect.  Also, if you have the desire to buy something by the case, you get an automatic 10% off.  This is a rare need for us.

Also, we do not buy sodas, or loads of junk food.  Most of the food we eat is whole.  I do enjoy sweets upon occasion, but we have been sick this season more than any season in years, so we are eating less sugar that compromises the immune system.  If we do eat sweets I make them at home and alter the recipe with other substitutes that won’t hurt us, as much.  And as I said before I do not do a lot of purchasing in the middle section of the grocery, because I have learned to make many things.  In doing so, and in learning to cook good foods I have enabled us to shop at places like Whole Foods, where labeling is transparent. Where a family can shop and purchase non-GMO products.  And when possible we shop at Farmer’s Market, in season.

We have also learned to eat less meat.  You can still have a good meal without meat.  Your health is not determined on whether you don’t have meat on your plate, nor does every meal without meat have to be pasta.  Just take a look at my Pinterest food board and see many alternatives.

Below is another good link that I have also pinned on my food board with others sharing ways to shop at these other stores without compromising your budget, yet eating better.

http://foodformyfamily.com/menu-planning/whole-foods-menu-challenge-100-gift-card-giveaway

Fish was by far the most expensive it seemed.  Chicken and beef were doable if one prepared them in a good way and used the other parts to make things like bone broth, or leftovers for lunch the next day.  You can buy products like cous cous in the box or bulk.  If you buy cous cous in the box it is the same price as other grocery stores, and there is more variety.  Cous cous in bulk is even cheaper and there is less packaging waste for the landfill or to compost.

Something I have also noticed is the shopping carts are smaller at places like Whole Foods.  The isles are shorter, and there are less marketing ads flying around.  There is only one small isle of condiments, not a longggg isle, or two. Sometimes too many choices are just too many, and overwhelming.  We find the shopping experience at marketplaces like Whole Foods higher vibrating, and that is about worth the difference right there.  Trader Joe’s is definitely cheaper in some aspects and we have the choice to go next door and get some of the alternatives, however my friend’s husband works at Whole Foods and he says WF is competeing with some of TJ’s pricing. So, stay tuned and keep your eyes open. I still like to stop in Trader Joe’s as well though for certain things.

If you have patience or are blessed with even a bit of lawn or land you can grow a few plants to compensate the grocery bill.  I tend to grow medicinal and culinary foods most.  Community gardens are on the rise as well.  Another way we save, while having children is to breast feed 1 to 2 years and to use cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  I did make baby food for our second child, but we utilize the concept of baby led weaning now, so while we use some non-GMO brands like Beechnut, our little bear eats from our plate a lot.

Now, it may take some time to arrive at this destination.  There is more to it. Rhythm is tied to success I believe.  To keep us successful I shop the same day every week if we can help it.  We shop in the mornings, with three children who come to learn and be the next generation to make good choices.  It is also our payday, and I do errands for our business to make the short drive to a neighboring town worth it.

Feel free to comment with your own tips, or leave links to blogs or articles that may have helped you and your family budget better and still be able to purchase whole non-GMO foods.

Blessings!!

 

 

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A post has been building in me for some time.  I awoke in the middle of the night as I do sometimes inspired.  For most of my life I have lived very slowly. Growing up we had 100 blessed acres, and three families working together to nurture each other, grow food and live slower.  As I grew folks passed on and families moved away from each other, making it harder to rely and lean on each other for assistance.  Since leaving home after high school I have grown.  I have traveled.  I have opened my heart to healing and staying teachable.  For me I am not fixed in time and space.  I am changeable.  I leave myself room to change my mind as I learn new things.  But something that has not changed much is my desire to live slowly. Intentionally.  Honestly.  And I desire this for my family. Nature shows me this teaching in her seasons.  We do live in a part of the country where there are four seasons, although this winter seems mild so far.  I believe Creator placed us side by side with nature to learn cycles and the process and journey of living.  To everything there is a season the bible says.  And many other cultures feel the same way.  We have had the fortunate blessings to learn from Elders who have also told us stories to help us to understand these ways as well.  It is my intention to give you a glimpse of our family culture that works for us, but that has a lasting impact on posterity.  We care about our children’s future.  We care about our grandchildren. When my stories are told and I have passed into the earth I would like my legacy to be a lasting one.

Slow educating.

We homeschool and are known to ourselves as Eagle Tree Homeschool.  I am a firm, loving, boundary keeping, sensory protecting mother of three boys.  In my heart, the eagle holds the vision, and the eagle is also a symbol of the heroes journey, a symbol of youth.  The eagle also flies close to the heavens to bring prayers and messages from The People to Creator, and back again.  We also hold the name Eagle Tree Scouts for all of our Scouting adventures, although my middle son recently joined Cub Scouts to be a part of a group with some of his friends at church. Homeschooling is not easy, I never thought it would be, but Creator led me to it.

We are Waldorf-inspired, where academics do not fully begin until around 7 years of age, when the milk teeth fall out.  During the first seven years of the child’s life we spend working with them in balancing the brain and the body.  Gross and fine motor.  Sensory issues.  And in general play-based learning.  From a neurological standpoint this works for us. Here’s a list of articles supporting our view.

http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/07_community/articles.asp

To me homeschooling is a great privelege and honor our country and state allows, and I have great counsel with Melisa Neilsen of Waldorf Essentials and many other women. Our inner work is the vital Center of success with the children.  Please go to this website to learn about how you can find more help in that way, with parenting, inner work, marriage and home educating.

I am not here to convince you of anything, but if you want more information on Waldorf, then please watch this video to help you understand further.  Home educating and Waldorf is not for everyone.

In early childhood we as parents work with the children in observing the seasons, seasonal festivals, spirituality, as well as normal daily life and skills. Slow living. Rhythm.  To us it is about the whole child.  The whole family.  The whole woman. The whole man.  The whole marriage.  All of this takes work, compromise, and we make plenty of mistakes or “learnings” as indigenous folks call it.  Not to be forgiven, but understood that this is a Part of the life process. Our children ((appear)) behind other mainstream children at first in things like reading, but quickly these practices take root and they are growing into strong sturdy trees reaching towards the sun.  It is difficult to explain and I don’t care to unless someone is genuine about listening to our chosen path.  Here is another article supporting the views of lifelong relevance.

http://www.waldorftoday.com/2011/11/daily-rhythm-at-home-and-its-lifelong-relevance-by-helle-heckmann/

To speak to our way of educating is to relate why we also eat slowly, or slowly dine.  While teaching Third Grade this year we have spent time learning the Old Testament and Jewish Festivals.  In this time I have learned about Shabbat.  A time to rest.  We do have Sabbath in Christian tradition as well, but this article really hit home and I have posted it on my Facebook page several times.

https://groundedmag.com/article/finding-rest/

Life is not easy, and we don’t always have what we think we need.  Life is uncomfortable at times, but suffering has made me stronger and I have also learned the things I think I wanted, were not even necessary for healthy, whole living.  There is so much luxury today for all of us, even compared to my childhood and my parents and grand-parents childhood.  So much has changed since the turn of the last century, 115 years before.  Cars, grocery stores, the internet, public schooling.  The opportunities are vast.  The economy relies on folks to work and stimulate consuming.  I however prefer to live simply and honestly, even if I must suffer at times.  I do not need an overly large house.  I do not need all that is trendy.  I am not entitled to have these things.  Only if I work for them and desire them should I have them.  And I hope to teach our children this as well.  We have suffered recently at the end of 2014 to make a change to our family for the greater good of us as a whole.  My husband is a man who works with his hands, who loves to build and create things and we support him.  Not only do we support him so he can support us, but it is vital for him to create as soul expression, even if it is a commission for someone else.  In the end, it is vital I stay home, as we have decided to provide slow living for our family.  It has made me stronger and more humble in the ways of the world.  I am a teacher and healer, true at heart and I enjoy what I do day to day, the spiritual mundane.  I walk in prayer and lean on Creator to help me.  I am not alone, and never have been even through my suffering days.  Our family has been a great support as well in trying times.  As hard as it was to accept help from them, I know their parents helped them tremendously and I intend on doing the same for our children.  I do help them and I will help them.  And so in the meantime it is important for us to keep or hold Space.  I hold the Center energy for the family or space.  In doing so I have to meditate on the foods we provide, among other essential for healthy intentional living.  Long term it is important to win out over obesity, disease and destruction of the environment.

Slow eating.

For some time we have shopped locally, whether at Farmer’s Market or our local grocery.  Even though I have shopped at Whole Foods before I never took the amount of time to really delve deep enough to see if I could shop there on a budget the same as our local store.  However two friends of mine swore to me it could be done.  The point was to avoid Genetically Modified Foods or GMO’s, which tear up the gut, as well as foods sprayed with Round Up.  You have other choices as well like Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare and locally there are cooperatives.  So, I set off to do my research on Pinterest (not a total time suck when you engage your will power).  I have pinned several blogs and articles on how to shop Whole Foods, grocery lists, receipes and coupons, which can be found on Whole Foods website. Here is a link to my Pinterest board where I have almost 20,000 pins and almost 2,000 followers, not that I tried.  Go ahead and take a keek, it’s up to you to do the work for your own family, tailoring style, taste, and menus.

Slowing down is not new.  Slowing down is old and our ancestors understood this concept.  Over time however we as a society have somehow found value in being busy.  Being busy means production is taking place, and that is necessary to some degree, I won’t argue that.  But, I will argue for balance.  Long term and with the long vision that I hold for our family Slowing Down is important, because babies do not keep, and neither will Mother Earth if we do not do our part. Here is an article supporting dinner time as a family.  We are not perfect and our house is quite loud at times.  Our boys do burp and fart in front of us and their immediate grandparents at times, but it is because they feel loved and comfortable and well they are boys/kids.  It’s funny and contrary and they show us that life is really not all that serious as we adults intend to make it 24/7.  Now, in front of their peers and others they tend to curb themselves and have better manners.  In fact, quite often I get compliments at the grocery, at church and elsewhere.  Still, we are not perfect and do not claim to be.  But I do claim to love them and I do claim to love Mother Earth and Creator.

http://parentandthepro.com/slowing-dinner/

Let’s reconnect here again.  Feel free to subscribe to my blog if you wish, or just check back upon occasion.  I don’t promise to write regularly, but I do promise to be honest, truthful and transparent.

Have a blessed day, the sun is shining outside and in our hearts.

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Welcome to Nurturing Spirit.  My name is Nichole and I am a 36 year old mother of three boys.  I live in rural Kentucky, on four acres of sacred pasture.  We have mostly homeschooled and enjoy learning in an environment that takes us all into consideration.  Light, touch, feel, hear, smell…it all matters to us.  Being present and meeting myself where I am is prevelant to all of us walking in a good way.  Atmosphere is conducive to learning.  We all have filters and storylines, but somehow you’ve led yourself to this blog post.  If you are new to homeschooling I want to say to you, save yourself.  Save yourself from worry.  Invoke your Maker and Angels to guide you.  Have faith.  Don’t worry, each day if you wake and engage your will and rhythm you will make it to the end of the day and you might just feel a sense of purpose, accomplishment and contentment.  If you are not new to this lifestyle I’ll say it’s possible you understand the spiritual mundane.  Or maybe you haven’t made the connection yet.  God is present in every moment.  Or that is what I choose to believe.  So if that is the case, then I am being guided and I do not need to worry.  It’s me here in this earthly experience gathering materials to make a birthday crown.  It’s creator coming through to make a chalk drawing of a fairy tale.  It’s Nichole who nurses the baby and breathes and listens to the sounds of the house.  This is where I am.  Right now.

Some of my dreams, I have a few, are being illuminated to me by the dew on the web of life, by the light of the moon.  I want to learn to storytell.  I want to become one who draws.  I want to knit our own wash rags.  I want to become a Master Teacher to my children.  I want the days to carry me with the momentum of my own sweat and struggle and stretch and happiness.  For me to do this I invoke the medicine of turtle.  Slow and steady.  It’s ok. Don’t worry.  Today make your soup Woman.  Wash your sheets.  Feed and play with the baby.  Love your man.  Grab a moment to read a chapter of the book your are studying Mama.  Be right there with your priorities.  Time has changed so much since I became a Mother.  Do your work now for later also.  Plant those seeds when it’s the season to do so.  Tend each day those dream seeds.  Harvest and Rest.  Then spring forth again.

Meet yourself where you are in life.

Give yourself permission to do things in a good way.  Find the path of peace.  Work hard everyday, rest well, eat enough and love deeply.  Make connections.  Hug often.  Light candles for your meals.  See the changes of those trees each year and how they change and grow.  Then look in the mirror occasionally and See yourself do the same.

I came to waldorf more fully when my kids were entering Kindy, although I had the seed planted in my heart a few years earlier.  You see?  So it is new for me to have a newborn with all the thoughts and considerations of this lifestyle and more mature, healed Self.  Things in many ways are easier, and there are new challenges.  I know I have been doing the work.  I meet myself everyday.  Each day I give new permission to Be who I am and that is settling.  Grounding.  Accepting.

The future seems exciting and full of possibility.  Reality is sometimes different from how I imagine things going, but I hold so much love for my family and my path, that Gratitude prevails.  I believe in being postive.  I believe in intention.  I believe we manifest what we think over and over.  I belive in comedy!

Well, for now I am happy to be writing.  That is where I am meeting myself on this good day, with my baby straddled across my lap trying to delete my draft.  I’ve got to do this for myself.  Occasionally paint pictures of my life with words and feeling.  It’s who I am.  It is who Creator wants to reflect to you.

What is your Creation story?

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Beeswax anything has become a tradition in our household.  We dip tapers, roll sheets into tapers, dip nature items, and use it in salves and wood polishes.  Have I missed something?  Well, as the cold creeps in with a breeze, I find myself shuffling around in house shoes, and no longer flip flops.  Fleece and wool clothing begin to surface.  And the aroma of beeswax keeps our souls warm.

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The images and scents we display help to remind us of our own inner light, as our gaze shifts inward during fall.  The place where we are warmed from the inside out.  We created a Fire Fairy to put with our Nature Table.  A table that is ever changing with the seasons.  It includes the felt decorations sewn by me and the children, the hanging beeswax dipped items, our knitted gnome friend Sam, and his Community’s harvest.  The kids and I have a story we go by every week about Sam the gnome and his forest friends.  This story continues the entire year, and we act it out on our nature table.  Our nature table is located on the top of a small bookcase.  The bookcase contains all of our natural, wildlife, outdoors and homesteading books and magazines.  Along with a bug container, some finds in nature, and a magnifying glass and binoculars.  Our nature table and stories are the heart of our Circle Time together.  How do you use beeswax?  What does your nature table look like?

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Thanks for joining me here in the studio.  This month we are taking a close look at the Michealmas Festival.  The story of St. George and the Dragon, and Archangel Michael.  With my Margaret Hodges book, St. George and the Dragon to inspire us, we made felt banners as visual imagery.

If you are wondering where I got the large felt, it is actually a Christmas tree skirt.  My mom picked it up at Michael’s on deep discount.  I had no idea what I was saving it for, but now I know.  The white felt is embedded with glitter, which bounces light nicely.  I made three banner flags.  One for the kitchen as you see.  One hanging on the boys bedroom door, and a small one for our nature table.  I got the fantastic verse below from my homeschool consultant and the Thinking, Feeling, Willing program, through Waldorf Essentials.

Brave Saint Michael is my guide
As free and fearless forth I ride
With courage of Saint George of old
I dare to fight fierce dragons bold.

 

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