Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Autumnal Equinox - Learning at Home

This is my most favorite time of year!

Fall is upon us! The days are getting shorter. And for those of us in the northern hemisphere, we are beginning to enjoy the cooler days of autumn even as preparations for the coming winter are well underway. On the other hand, south of the equator, it is the commencement of spring.

Yes, I know this post is a day ahead of schedule (smile). This year the autumnal equinox occurs officially Friday September 23, 2011, at 4:05 a.m. CDT (9:05 UTC). However, I wanted to give you a chance to incorporate some of these activities into your schedule if you so choose.

Twice a year, between the summer and winter solstices, the earth arrives at a state of balance between day and night. This signals the official change in season. In the spring, this is called the vernal equinox. In the fall, it is referred to as the autumnal equinox.

We can see the integration of the autumnal equinox and belief systems among many cultures throughout history. This year, our family will be exploring both the science and the historic celebrations associated with this astronomical phenomenon.

For centuries before us, people of every culture have participated in special celebrations in order to express gratitude for the bounties the earth provided. These celebrations most often included a feast.

This Friday, our plans for the day include (you may find more here):

• Start the day with this video.
• Review some of these activities (based on the age of the children).
• Set out our fall decorations around the house.
• Make a wreath with the fresh trimmings from grapevines in the backyard (and added decorations similar to this one).
• Do the eggs-periment of balancing an egg.
• Prepare a feast appropriate for the celebration (Including crock pot autumn vegetables, nuts, berries, and homemade apple butter on fresh bread).
• And if by some slim chance we feel the need to do more (smile), a seed mosaic would wrap it up.

Embrace the balance that is represented in this day. Teach your children these extraordinary laws of nature; and most importantly, show them how these laws guide our sustainable rhythms of life.

Happy fall!

See this post and a host of others here


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