Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth

Summer Dreaming And A Giveaway


I remember what would happen this time of year when I was a child… I would be sitting in my classroom at school staring out the window, the warm weather tantalizing me, with the teacher and blackboard a distant reality!  I have that same summer itch now as an adult.  Our beach towels and swimsuits are brought up from seasonal storage and at the ready, our kiddie pool is set up and the Cedar Ring Mamas have put together a list of all the summer must-do’s!

(My children are planning ahead too… making sure next year’s crop of dandelions is plentiful.)

Last summer, I saw a list of all the summer activities Mama Erin wanted to enjoy on her fridge, many already checked off.  This year, I suggested we compile our list together and she gladly agreed, reminiscing how her mother used to make this list with her every year when school was out.

Places To Go:

  • The Beach (Build sandcastles, Bury Dad in the Sand, Barbecue at a Shelter)
  • The Races (Yes, we have to see those fast cars at least once! The races brings out half the town, many local residents compete and it is the essence of summer around here.)
  • Local Ice Cream Parlor (they have mini-golf too!).
  • Berry-picking (Organic Strawberries, Blueberries, and Sour Cherries are a must for delicious summer pies, canning, and freezing for next year’s smoothies.)
  • The State Fair
  • Hot Air Balloon Show
  • 4th of July Parade & Fireworks Display
  • Carnival
  • Amusement/Water Park
  • Tent Camping (At least one night! Don’t forget to roast marshmallows and tell scary stories!)
  • Run in the fountain in the main square in Corning (no, you’re not supposed to, but everybody does!)
  • Yard-Saleing
  • The Zoo

Things To Do:

  • Dance in the rain
  • Have a Mudpie-Making Contest
  • Watch a lightning storm together on the porch
  • Go fishing
  • Blow bubbles
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Catch tadpoles, fireflies, and crawfish
  • Chase waterbugs in the creek
  • Host a summer barbecue
  • Build sunflower houses and bean pole teepees
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Make elderflower cordial and elderberry body paint
  • Stay up late on midsummer’s eve and hunt for fairies
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Sit on the porch swing and read some good books
  • Attend the Waldorf Connection Homeschooling Expo

Ok, so it seemed like the perfect lead-in 😉

Donna Ashton is hosting her annual virtual Waldorf Homeschooling Expo, with an incredible line-up of topics and speakers, June 11-12.  The Cedar Ring Mamas are so thrilled to sponsor this year’s Expo, and to celebrate, we are doing some great giveaways.  Today, Donna is hosting a free call “Tips to Easier Homeschool Planning”, so be sure to head on over to The Waldorf Connection and register for this.

I’m excited to be planning for next year- First Grade with my 6 year-old, and plenty of simple stories, songs, and crafts with my 4 year-old and toddler. I’ve just purchased a simple, crisp planner:

With daily pages…

And full calendars.

This year, I’m ready to embark on a new adventure.  The sense of community and years of experience gained from Donna’s Expo are invaluable– but as many of our Waldorf guides are quick to remind, Waldorf education is a living education that is not about conforming to a strict dogma or set of rules.  We must bring the child what he or she needs- and to do this, it is essential to read some Steiner and go to the source for our educational philosophy to be sound, and to really accomplish what the circle times, stories, and lessons are meant to impart to the soul.

Running the Cedar Ring Circle Waldorf Supply Co-op, I’m lucky to get sneak peeks of Waldorf books that are ordered by co-op members.  Recently, my friend and co-op member Elisabeth, who is involved in a Waldorf Teacher Training program, ordered a copy of Discussions With Teachers by Steiner, and (with her permission) I devoured it within a few days before mailing it to her. I was so pleasantly surprised to find it wonderfully enlightening and very easy to read (previous encounters with more philosophical volumes like Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path had me re-reading lines 2 or 3 times just to fully comprehend the truths being suggested).  I’m committed to making my way through the foundational education lectures available through SteinerBooks.org, and am also making them available to co-op members at 25% off the cover price (browse through our Bookshelf here).  I have found reading these books gives me a basic understanding of what I am really trying to do.  Then, when those wonderful people who offer years of putting these principles into practice in concrete, tangible ways offer advice through forums such as The Waldorf Connection, I know why I am doing it, rather than just following blindly because it sounds good ;). Besides, isn’t reading some good books on my summer list of things to do!?

Now for that giveaway you’ve been waiting for! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Steiner’s The Kingdom Of Childhood, and all you need to do to enter is post a comment listing one favorite summer activity you plan to do this summer, or one Waldorf book you’d love to read.  For a second entry, share our Summer Reading Challenge (below) on Facebook or your blog and comment with the link! The giveaway will be open through next Wednesday.

Our winner, generated by Random.org, is Sandra M.  Congrats Sandra &  hope you enjoy the book!

Now back to summer daydreaming… and making the most of the last days of spring…

Every evening at dusk, as the air cools and the fragrance of the lilacs explode, we gather round and breathe deeply!

We are loving our chicks.  This year we have 20 new chickens (and two mature hens), ranging the gamut from one week old to 4 weeks old to 6 weeks old and several who are 3 months old.  Our breeds include Brahmas, Auracanas, and Golden Laced Wyandottes, to name a few. We’ll be getting some turkey chicks soon, too!

P.S.   The co-op is adding organic cotton and organic cotton/silk blend undergarments (bras and nursing bras too!) and baby clothes for May by this weekend- stock up (and don’t forget your special discount code!), our next clothing order won’t be until end of August.

19 thoughts on “Summer Dreaming And A Giveaway

  1. One of the things that we do every summer is run in the sprinkler as much as possible. During dry spells when we must water the grass or gardens, the water flying past the windows is an invitation to run and play in the sprinkles. Another thing that we love to do is look for pictures in the clouds lying on a big blanket in the pasture or yard. So much sweetness to be enjoyed!

  2. We try to get as much swimming done as possible, as my daughter has just learned to swim. I love seeing her delight as she masters this skill, getting braver each time she swims.

  3. We look forward to lots of picnics in the park this summer. fun!

  4. Go to the beach.

  5. Hi! So nice to see what you are doing and planning. I would LOVE the book as I am trying to read it online right now. I really dislike online reading. Blog posts are fine but anything longer than that is no fun for me.

    Anyway, I am excited to check out the new pool in our community and get my 6 1/2 yr old a swim class. I also am wanting to read “Seven times the Sun”.

    It seems we are in the same boat this summer. I also want to read some Steiner lectures and also have a kindergartener going to first grade. I will be planning away this summer. What curriculum are you using?


    • Becca,

      I am using the Earthschooling curriculum. I am really tempted to supplement our modelling time with Learning About the World Through Modelling Book from Christopherus too (I co-op with two other moms, one is using a mix of Earthschooling and a non-Waldorf curriculum, the other is using Christopherus. I peaked at that book when she brought it to co-op to show us her resources for next year, and loved it). Plus, I’m with you- it’s nice sometimes to have a physical book! And on the flip side, it’s great to have MP3 and audio files to “see and hear” what should be done, which Earthschooling offers.

  6. Lots of playing outside in the backyard, in the woods, or at the beach. Would love to read The Education of the Child and You Are Your Child’s First Teacher…and Soul Economy…and many others…

  7. We love cooking dinner in our fire pit, eating on the picnic table and then catching lighting bugs!

    My reading list is ever growing – You are your child’s fist teacher and Last Child in the Woods are on the top.

  8. We will spend most of our days at the pool doing swim team practices for my 7 year old and swim lessons for my 12 and 4 year old. I am hopeful there will be a beach day, a zoo day and some camping and hiking in there also.

  9. We look forward to our beach days. Playing in the sand and swimming in the beautiful and refreshing ocean. I plan to do a lot of school planning reading this summer. I hope to read Rhythms of Learning and You Are Your Child’s First Teacher.

  10. ahh, this summer…..I would love to listen to band concerts at the park down the street from us and dance in the moonlight:)
    what a gracious giveaway!

  11. Hello 🙂
    I am so happy to have found your blog through Donna! We are just starting our waldorf journey and I am trying to suck up as much knowledge as possible. I would love love to win a copy of this book 🙂

    We are planning to do an awful lot of camping. We just finished up a week at a nearby lake in the middle of nowhere. It is such a treat to explore the forest, swim, collect bugs, watch the sunrise/sunsets and have fun together. Hopefully we’ll be making a lot of trips. Thanks so much for the chance to win and I look forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

  12. This summer we are going camping by the river which is very exciting and enjoy the outdoors in the “wilderness” happy summer. We are in Australia and going into Winter so have a while till we turn back into the warmer months, enjoy your summer frolics.

  13. Hi there,

    we have bunch of things on our wanna-do list – beside things you already mentioned; since my daughter is 4YO, I want to show her lot of things she was not able to do before (plus the things we did before, of course) – making flower crowns, build a house for a fairy in a near-by national park, stay late into the night to watch the stars, catching fire-bugs, singing around the fire, do a body-paint, make St. John’s wort oil, drawing anything we see while on our daily nature trips, teach her to swim without swimming aid, watching clouds while laying on our blankie…lot and lot of things! 🙂

    And I would love to join you in your summer reading venture!

    Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  14. My favorite activity every summer is going to the beach in Maine with my family! I look forward to it each year and love all of us getting together. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Here on our little farm”ette” we have already had chicken races (where chicks race to find their worms), our annual “running with the goats” and garden planting but we are looking forward to playing in the sprinkler, going to our local lake beach where hours are spent playing in the sand, and making lots of homemade ice cream, eating watermelon! Ah summer! Great idea I’m getting more excited everyday!

  16. I’m just starting out on my Waldorf inner work, I guess you’d say, so the timing of this summer reading challenge is perfect. 😀

    I asked on a yahoo waldorf group which I should start with and it was unanimously suggested I started with Kingdom of Childhood. What do you think?

    • Yes, I think it is a great starting point- my friend in teacher training began with that one and Theosophy (which is more about Steiner’s ideas of spirituality than the education of the child).

  17. Love your blog, and the summer sun!

    We are currently experiencing a lot of unseasonable rain here in Northern California. but one of our favorite summer activities is hiking a short distance to a local stairstep waterfall, weekly, almost daily, and watching it slowly slow and then eventually disappear.

    On our walk over, we all make guesses as to how far the water has gone down and if our favorite swimming pool is too low to enjoy. On the walk back we take the long way around, so that we can enjoy the wild berries and cherries. Can’t wait for the dry weather!

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