We have loosely followed Exploring Nature with Children for two years and have loved this curriculum! This past week was Candlemas week. We also just discovered that Magic Homeschool Bus provides free weekly STEAM units that parallel the ENWC curriculum—-so go sign up for the emails—they are free!
Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated annually on February 2. It celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification (mainly in Catholic churches).
And though we are Christian, we neglected to read these stories, but did celebrate the return of more light at the end of the days. We schooled by candlelight—beeswax candles that the boys made. We discussed how we could be little lights and how to kindle the light within ourselves by speaking words of kindness to ourselves and others both. We read The Snowdrop by Hans Christian Andersen. And we attempted to make torches from dried mullein stalks, but I spilled the warm beeswax all over the floor and spent hours cleaning it up while the boys played in the backyard.
Our Candlemas day was bright, sunny and warm—-so by the saying we are only halfway through winter:
If Candlemas Day is bright with sun, then winter has only half begun. But if Candlemas Day is dark with rain then winter is already on the wane.
Once I cleaned the wax, I lamented that we couldn’t make the mullein torches because I didn’t have enough beeswax to try again. Nor did I want to! So we tried to light just the dry stalks which burned like incense but didn’t smell nearly as nice:
Finally, we made it through our regular Ambleside readings (week 21, year 1), went for two hikes, a lot of bike rides, had 2 park days, worked on time telling, wrote an opinion paragraph about which season is best, and continued reading The Magician’s Nephew. Our favorite library book of the week was The Library Bus—find a review here:
And that was our week! I hope you had a bright and sunny Candlemas Day and that your winter is more than half over. I’d love if our winter were through-though we could use more snow and rain, it’s been such a dry winter, and I’d rather not have a repeat of last summer’s Fire season.
May we kindle the light within ourselves and others both.