Our travels across North America finished up in the last week of November, and we will continue with Europe in January, and then to Asia later in the school year. December started with holiday preparations and continued through until the last day of classes. Christmas is a large part of our ‘Celebrations of Light’ and has been a topic of discussion throughout December. Materials have been changed on the shelves to reflect the upcoming holiday season. The children are welcome to decorate the tree daily, work on seasonal materials such as search for the bells in the snow, Christmas math counters, Christmas buttons on Christmas fabric, and of course beading in red, green and white crystal seed beads. The children are also adding little bells and seasonal buttons onto their rings and bracelets. This year our main Christmas art project was a large wood bead ornament, with a painted centre bead and star at the bottom. All beads were threaded together like a big wooden icicle, a bit of glitter, and it was done. It seems like quite a simple object, but there are a lot of different skill developments involved in that one project alone. Every child made a beeswax candle during the last week. The wax sheet is warmed for easy rolling and the whole classroom smells of honey. Lacing a paper cut-out tree was another fun project. After the lacing colourful pom-poms were glued on. We noticed that quite a few children glued their pom-poms along the bottom of the tree, even though the sample we made had them scattered randomly. Conclusion; they made the trees with all the ornaments along the bottom because that is where they can reach the tree at home. Just a theory, but it makes sense. There was plenty of Christmas themed collage, gluing, cutting and other art materials on the art shelves. A very busy classroom. The annual gingerbread baking was the final project before the concert. The aroma drifting from the kitchen never ceases to be a true delight. Then, to add the final finish to the holiday season, we wrapped gift books and popped them into every child’s home file. You all know by now that we LOVE books and we hope you do as well. Reading to your child every night will give you fond life long memories.
The Christmas tree has lights, our menorah has candles, the diyas had tea lights. Celebrations of Light are a way to show that no matter where we come from, what we look like, and how we dress, we all have many things in common. For every big holiday or observance, we gather together to send out hopes and wishes and prayers at a temple, a church, a synagogue, a mosque, or simply at home. We display lights or candles during the darkest of days. We join together with friends and family. We give gifts. We share meals. We share our time with those we love and care about. We think about loved ones who cannot be with us. We give to those less fortunate. We think about how much we have to be grateful for, which is a lot. These simple lessons about kindness and acceptance have been an experience that we hope the children will remember and expand upon throughout their lives. We will finish our Celebrations of Light next year with Chinese New Year.
School re-opens on Tuesday, January 4th at 8:45am. Registration packages for returning children for September (2020-2021 school year), will be going out the first week of January. Pre-K aged children transition to the afternoon Junior Kindergarten class next September. January start children remain in the morning for the 2022-2023 school year. Please let us know as soon as possible if you require a package for siblings starting in September. Returning families have asked and returned packages for siblings and the morning class is filling. Progress reports will also be going out in January. Please take a look, and then return them to the teachers for our continued use until the end of the school year. They will be returned to you in June for your keeping. Emails will be checked occasionally during the break.
Our last day together for 2021 was the concert on Thursday, December 16th. Although we still could not manage the hall concert, we made a step forward by joining both morning and afternoon classes. It was a wonderful time and the children really had a fun day. We are hopeful to have another step forward next year by joining together at the hall. Being optimistic by nature, we are already booked. Your children gave us an amazing performance. Miss Lori and Miss Stacy (our fabulous choir directors), with a good sense of humour and endless patience, practiced with the children in preparation of the concert day. We have heard back from many parents how much they were enjoying the songs at home, over and over (and sometimes even more). This is not an easy task for three and four year olds. The children all worked very hard and we are proud of each and every one of them. Cold and flu season is still a fact of life, and all those away were very much missed. The concert ended with a finish of brilliant smiles. Perfect. The afternoon children were at the preschool for a much longer day, so we made a pizza lunch, then hot popcorn and a short Christmas movie at the end of class. A fun way to end the last class of 2021. The afternoon children also held a last minute repeat concert outside after class. We hope the family members picking up enjoyed this extra al fresco performance.
If we didn’t have the opportunity to say it in person, thank you for all the kind and extremely thoughtful gifts. The beautiful handmade cards, artwork and crafts from the children truly brighten our day. We are closing in on two years of restrictions, lockdowns, fear and fatigue. This last year has been particularly exhausting for all. We truly appreciate all that our families do with being cautious, testing and reporting back to us. We realize that young families will not know all the basic health guidelines and protocols and we appreciate that you are taking the time to read the handouts and emails. In normal times, children are constantly sick through the winter months and your attention to details has helped. It’s been said a million times and more, but it really does take a village to raise a child. Thank you for your continued support. We wish all of you, your families and loved ones, a safe and Happy Holiday. We look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.
May peace and joy be yours, in this season of hope