Archive for the ‘Songs’ Category

Today we celebrated May Day, the ancient pagan holiday of celebrating the awakening earth. We donned our capes, washed our faces in the morning dew (not much dew this morning, so it was enhanced by our own well water), and set off with sunflowers and raisins to feed the faeries. Upon our return, we sat at the fire circle and I told them the story of the Faerie’s Gift (see Mary Alice and Peter Amidon’s CD of the same name). In this story, a poor woodcutter lives with his wife and again parents, and each member of the family has their own wish (for a child, for sight, and for gold). When the woodcutter saves a faerie man’s life, he is given a ball of light—a wish—and he becomes confused by the competing demands of his family members. There is a wonderful singing part of it that the friends learned—ask them to teach it to you!

We also read two stories from The Magical World of Fairies by Nicola Baxter (The Butterfly Babies and The Blossom Ball). We each chose a faerie name, and called each other by it, as often as we remembered:

Charlotte: Sap

Kate D.: Bleeding Heart

Kate O’: Rosebud

Rhiannon: River

Stella: Buttercup

Sydney: Red Crocus

Zoe: Snowdrop

We danced around the Maypole in our capes and crowns, and sang a sweet song about the celebration of spring. Next Friday we will dance for Ruth at her home after we share lunch. We began our color-by-number project of the toucan, a beautiful rainforest bird.

Books We Read:

“The Butterfly Babies” in The Magical World of Fairies by Nicola Baxter

“The Blossom Ball” in The Magical World of Fairies by Nicola Baxter


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Today we celebrated Zoe’s 6th Birthday with a visit from her Mom, Tony, who shared pictures of Zoe in each of her six years thus far. We sang our birthday song below, and paused to share photos and memories of Zoe.

We move round the circle like the moon, the moon, the moon, and sun
We move roung the circle and then we are born…1…2….etc.

After our lunch and cake, we enjoyed our umbrella walk in the woods, and paused to find our umbrella tree (a sweeping hemlock that protects us from the elements!) so we could tell the story of Sky Woman and Turtle Island. (This is the Iroquois creation story.)
We then did a visualization for spirit animal guides under the hemlock tree. Each of the friends “saw” an animal that they decided would guide and protect them.

Zoe: Deer

Charlotte: Whale

Sydney: Duck

Kate: Otter

WE had an umbrella walk in the woods, and the friends heard the Iroquois creation story called Sky Woman and Turtle Island. When we arrived back at Mt. View, we began our Turtle Island project which will house the creation story in a pocket underneath.

Books We Read:
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
When the Root Children Wake Up Retold by Audrey Wood

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Morning Circle

At the end of circle we began our discussion of the Mohawk people who lived (and some of whom continue to live here and the surrounding areas) in the Northeastern area of the United States. We learned the song “

    The Earth is Our Mother

” with American Sign Language Signs.

The Earth is our Mother

The Earth is our Mother
We must take care of her (2X)

Hey yana Ho yana Hey yana Ho
Hey yana Ho yana Hey yana Ho

The Sky is our Father
We must take care of him (2X)

Hey yana Ho yana Hey yana Ho
Hey yana Ho yana Hey yana Ho

The Rivers are our Sisters
We must take care of them (2X)


The Trees are our Brothers
We must take care of them (2X)

(The song continues…The earth is our mother, she will take of us…
The sky is our father, he will take care of us, etc.)

Friends begin taking turns doing jobs. Thus far, we are taking turns being the Line Leader, the Bell ringer, and the Candle Holder (The beeswax candle is a special unlit candle that we use for greeting each other in circle. We pass the candle around as we greet each other with “Good Morning (name).”

Butterfly Quest to other meadows: We took our morning walk to two different meadows along Cricket Hill Road. Butterflies have been scarce this year (although we have spotted some on our butterfly bushes on the front lawn), but we have found evidence of eggs on specific plants. Some of the plants also show evidence of hatched eggs because of “munched on” leaves. Friends have enjoyed being butterfly detectives.


We have referred back to The Tiny Seed and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to review Eric Carle’s artistic style with tissue paper and glue. We have begun our project of illustrating
phase one and phase two of butterfly lives (eggs and caterpillars) on watercolor paper that we prepared on the first day of school.

We are preparing a Peace Traveler’s Alphabet Book, studying one to two letters per week, and matching them with words for birds, animals, and plants in the natural world, as well as geographical references and those people who have achieved becoming Peace Travelers in the world.

This week we began with the letter “A” and its sounds (short A as in apple, long A as in ape.) The friends practice sounds with the American Sign Language Alphabet, which assists in getting the sounds “in their bodies.”


Closing Circle

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Morning Circle: We begin our day with a free play transitional time where friends have options about various games, blocks, imaginary play, and a shelf full of books. After tidy up, we begin our day in our circle with a morning ritual of ringing the singing bowl and feeling its vibration in our bodies and our circle. Then we sing our song with our voices and American Sign Language as we offer our gratitude to Mother Earth.

“The Four Directions” by Sarah Pirtle (Modified for our circle)

Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Our journey has begun

Come on and sing, sing to the east
Come on and sing, sing to the east
Come on and sing, sing to the east
The place of the rising sun

Come on and sing, sing to the south
Come on and sing, sing to the south
Come on and sing, sing to the south
The place of the fire song

Come on and sing, sing to the west
Come on and sing, sing to the west
Come on and sing, sing to the west
The place of the setting sun

Come on and sing, sing to the north
Come on and sing, sing to the north
Come on and sing, sing to the north
The place of the rich, black earth

Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Come on and sing, sing to the earth
Our journey has begun

We greet each other by passing an unlit beeswax candle around the circle, looking into the face of the person next to us and saying

    “Good Morning (name).”

The person who takes the candle returns our greeting.

Morning circle is also the time we talk about our plans for the day, and have discussions. There are times when we will read a book to begin a new area of study.

Today we began with Peace Wishes. We have a Tibetan Prayer flag banner that we hung after we added our own wishes to it.

Charlotte: I want to grow bigger and be five years old.

Zoe: When I’m six, I wish to grow into the clothes that are too big for me now.

Sydney: I wish that I can sleep in my own bed.

Kate: I wish that we learn and grow from each other, as we collect more Peace travelers throughout the year.

The friends also answered the question, “What was your favorite thing about summer?”

Charlotte: Playing with my dogs and going to the lake.

Zoe: I learned to go off the diving board and swim to the ladder in the deep part.

Sydney: I had fun swimming and seeing friends.

Kate: I liked visiting Cape Cod for a couple days, and staying in the house where we stayed when Liam was a little baby. It was fun to remember that. The light in September is really beautiful, but the water was really too cold for swimming.

At snack, we celebrated the Autumn Equinox, and learned about the earth’s tilting away from the sun, here in the Northern Hemisphere. We are on our way to less light and warmth, as the days grow shorter and colder. The friends took turns measuring both, the dry and wet ingredients for Strawberry Yogurt-Vanilla Muffins from The Sunlight Café by Mollie Katzen, p. 85. (We substituted the strawberry yogurt for ricotta cheese, and added ¾ c. whole wheat flour to the otherwise all white flour recipe. We used skim milk for the buttermilk that was suggested.)

Our snack was followed by a Butterflies and Mushroom Quest through the woods down to the meadows. We began our study of butterflies, and looked for signs of eggs and caterpillars on the milkweed close by. We found a couple of wooly bears, and an odd yellow wooly bear as well. (When I looked this up, it seems another homeschooler had found one in West Chesterfield, MA, and identified it as a “Yellow Bear” that becomes a Virginian Tiger Moth.)

We have begun our study of the lifecycle of a butterfly, and began depicting that lifecycle in an art project in the Eric Carle tradition. Today, we did our background color (a sky blue, grey, and purple combination for all the happens around this time of year), and we’ll use tissue paper glued on to show the eggs on leaves, the caterpillar munching away the leaves on which it is hatched, the chrysalis, and full grown butterfly.

We baked and ate our muffins, and then finished with our closing circle.
Closing Circle: We finish our day with two songs. The first is adapted from the book called

The second was composed by Lui Collins (of Music Together and Kids’ Jam fame) of Ashfield, Massachusetts.

Tibetan Farewell
May no harm come to us
May we love each other well
May we be kind to all the creatures of the earth

May no harm come to us
May we love each other well
May we be kind to all the people of the earth

Kids’ Jam Farewell (with American Sign Language)
See you later alligator
Bye-bye fly
After awhile crocodile
Time to say good-bye

Toot Alou kangaroo
Ciao meow
Adios nanny goat
Good-bye for now

Bye-bye (name), bye-bye (name), bye-bye (name), bye, bye, bye….etc.

Books we read:

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
The Life Cycle of a Butterfly by Trevor Terry & Margaret Linton

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Today we prepared our songs for the “Peace Travelers Sing Along and Art Exhibit” We will be bringing our passports and taking families and friends on a tour of our world travels through our art projects and songs. 


Base 10 continues with our grids and addition—moving down columns to count by 10s and across in counting by ones. 


We have begun our study of Peru with a book called This Place is High by Vicki Cobb.




It discusses the adaptions made by people who have lived high for generations. The book also discusses the animals (guniea pigs, chinchillas, and llamas) and foods (quinoa, chuno, and charqui) important to the survival of the Peruvian (and Bolivian) people. The book also discusses the 96 year reign of the Incan people.

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“The Peace Travelers”



Photo Credit Kate O’Shea


from Mountain View Educational Collaborative



Sat May 3oth 6:00pm

“Donations Welcome”


at  Elmer’s Store 

396 Main Street 

Ashfield, MA 01330

The concert will feature Multi Cultural Peace Oriented Songs, ASL, Poems, Puppets  and Around-the-World Art Work

Peace Travelers is a twice-weekly home school program that highlights multicultural studies, geography, and social skill development through “travel” around the world. Children, ages 4-9, receive a passport and explore a country and cultures through festivals, storytelling, food, crafts, housing, and transportation. Reading, writing, and mathematics are integrated throughout the curriculum.


For more info 413.369.4700


Ashfield is at the corner of Routes 112 and 116, up the mountain from Greenfield. 

From Greenfield take Route 2 west out towards Shelburne Falls. Just past SF, take 112 all the way up the mountain until you get to 116. Then turn left. 

From Northampton, take Route 9 until you get to 112. Then take 112 to 116. 

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Happy May Day!

Today we began our day with a celebration of Sebastian’s birthday with fresh out-of-the-oven blueberry cobbler. (Thank you, Lauren!) We prepared our Maypole, by digging a hole and installing a 18” 1 and 3/4” pipe for our 10 foot Maypole. Friends chose ribbons for our dance, and we decorated the top of the Maypole with ivy and our favorite shorter ribbons.


We then donned our capes and crowns and washed our faces in a stone bowl of morning dew and rainwater collected earlier that morning.



We then had a procession out to our chosen spot. (Look just beyond the faerie circle/fire circle where our Maypole stands.) We then established our circle with birdseed and song, and finished with a Maypole dance.


Our Maypole celebration is an adaption from Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill.

The song we used is an adaptation of an old Negro spiritual hymn entitled “Train is a Comin’.”

The verses are as follows:

1. Come and wash your faces, oh yeah

Come and wash your faces, oh yeah

Come and wash your faces, come and wash your faces, come and wash your faces, oh yeah.

2. Greet the Goddess Gaia, oh yeah, etc.

3. Greet the Queen of Springtime, Queen Maeve, etc.

4. Make the sacred circle, etc.

5. Come and dance the May Dance, oh yeah, etc.


We finished our celebration with the story of The Sacred Cauldron, also adapted from a story by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill. It entails two children, a son and daughter of earth traveling with Brother deer and Father Twilight, to meet Queen Maeve, Goddess of Springtime (and new beginnings) and the Grandmother Winter (and endings/death). After a remarkable journey on Brother Deer’s back, and then, guided by Grandfather Twilight, over a long lake in a boat made of birch with a sail of spring green moss, the children journey with Queen Maeve. She makes the path they walk upon blossom as she passes. The children greet Grandmother Winter and look into the “Cauldron of Life.” There they see all the rainbow-colored souls that have passed from this earth, and all of those waiting to be born. The children taste from the broth of life, which is the most wonderful broth they have tasted. It tastes like the most wonderful foods they have ever tasted, and it fills them up and gives them hope. Queen Maeve and Grandmother Winter tell them that they must remember the feeling they had as they tasted the broth; it will always make them feel in connection with all of humankind, and give them hope when they need it.


We continued our May Day celebration with an impromtu visit to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. We kept our capes and crowns on, and became colorful butterflies on the ground! We gathered in the special gazebo and read All Kinds of Love, again, by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill. The story is a Rachel Carson-like version of Silent Spring, and a child who longs for the flowers to bloom and the birds to sing again. It involves honoring all kinds of love (friends, partners, and love of earth) and bringing all into the circle of life to help heal the Gaia, and respect her goodness.



Thanks to the five parents who consented for us  to go at a moment’s notice; with three friends out that day, it was convenient to get us all there and back quite easily. I believe the friends will remember this May Day with fond memories! And don’t worry, we’ll get there again before the end of the year.)

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