We celebrated a huge milestone in August. Turning seven years old, once you understand the anthroposophical view on the seven year cycles, is a major event. In the days leading up to his birthday, I could see the changes taking place. I could actually start pinpointing certain temperament characteristics, as he moved away from the Sanguine carefree child, to slightly more Melancholic. This has been of tremendous help in planning the curriculum, as Melissa Neilson gives a few tips ( As does Steiner, Dorothy Harrer and Eric Fairman among others) on teaching the Melancholic child. This has also been a big learning curve for me, to learn patience and understanding....... and knowing when to just let go.... "it is better to be kind, than it is to be right!".
I timed my language block around his birthday, as in Melissa Neilsons curriculum, the story that carries the child through all the letters of the alphabet, ends with the seventh birthday, when the child receives the "gift from the angels", the vowel sounds. I combined a few ideas, and used the arch angels to present the gifts, which were made from cotton and silk, and drawn on the blackboard, the actual vowels were stars that fell from the heavens.
One of the angels hanging from the ceiling on a pulley system that daddy made.
The letter U in his lesson book.
We all made the sounds aaah, or eeee or ooooh for each consecutive day, and it was a spiritual experience each time. the whole house just radiated warmth and calmness.
The "cave wall" with all the sacred writings. (the paper was dyed with tea bags and burnt around the edges)
On the day he received his gift, we woke very early to prepare his favourite breakfast of flapjacks and honey with fresh orange juice. we draped silks all over the chalk drawings and tables. we lit all the candles and strung streamers across his bedroom door for the veil he must pass through.
he received a golden cross on a chain that were gifts from both his Nanan and Ouma, which he wears with utmost pride.
The story, her Lady's child, was very appropriate, as I was having trouble recently from preventing him from sneaking out every night to peak at the next days chalkboard drawing. I was thrilled that he was eager and excited, but he was spoiling the surprises for himself. So the story taught him honesty,respect and patience, among others that he is still learning the longer he dwells on them.