our first year of Waldorf kindergarten, I remember our teacher mandating
homemade valentines. No candy or
other sweets please.
from a more conventional school experience, this demand seemed both burdensome
and a bit mean-spirited. How were
we going to make 24 handmade valentines in the next four weeks? And what's wrong with a little candy on
what's wrong with a little candy is the math. In a classroom of 24 children, one little piece of candy can multiply to 48 or 72 pieces and a
stomachache. So fine, no
candy. But what about this
Although daunting at first, 24 handmade valentines really
don't need to take over your life (unless you let them). Requiring Martha Stewart perfection
from a five year old (or a 45 year old) is asking for trouble. But the simplest red paper heart pasted
on a doily can be absolutely charming.
Keep it simple. And make
sure everyone is well-fed and well-rested.
with any craft project, you help your child break down the task into manageable
pieces. Definitely hold him
accountable for clean up-but let his aesthetics rule, and let him do the work. That way he'll have the sense of accomplishment
that comes from working on a project and completing it.
kindergartener chose to make Swedish hearts-an overly ambitious project I'd NOT
recommend before Grade 2 or 3, but she was adamant. So we split the work.
I cut the paper, and she wove the hearts, and we had scrambled eggs for
dinner three nights in a row. But
I learned a lot about my determined, nimble-fingered little girl on those
nights. And when the valentines
were finally done, she GLOWED with pride. (So did I!)
my children know to set aside time for making valentines. Believe me, when your tween sets aside
time to craft with you, you will bless the kindergarten teacher who so sweetly
required homemade valentines all those years ago.