Today is the first day of school. Aria and I are both a bit nervous. She wonders what first grade will be like. I wonder what it'll be like to homeschool "for real" while keeping all the other plates spinning. Fortunately, we're easing into things a bit, since Aria and her younger brother are attending Music & Arts camp this week. While they were away this morning, I did the laundry and strove to process some blog drama with patience, perspective and grace. And then, I chose to move on. Because there are school tables to clean. Chalkboards to erase. Memories to be made.
I set up each child's desk with a large, blank piece of paper and a first day surprise - new crayons in a mama-made crayon roll!
Nothing says school like new school supplies! Crayons are a big deal around here because we don't do markers. Long ago, I read Amanda Soule's The Creative Family and caught the beeswax crayon bug. Do you know about beeswax crayons? How I love them. Let me count the ways... Smell like honey. Apply about 400 times more color than Crayola. Petroleum-free. Oh, and the block crayons never, ever, ever break. Even when your 1-year-old throws them across the room. Even when your 3-year-old colors so hard he makes holes in the paper. Even when your 5-year-old uses them like blocks. They do look like bricks when they're brand-new, but after some use the edges round nicely and they're really so much more versatile than stick crayons. I prefer to use the blocks. We sell both beeswax blocks and sticks at my non-toxic baby store. You know, just in case you have a little one who needs a new set of crayons (and/or a mother who needs an excuse to make a crayon roll).
Here's a shot of an old block crayon from a set over 2 years old. This, our first set, will be mine now. See that felt crayon-holder in the corner? I think that was my very, very first sewing project. Hey, it's still in one piece! Though, it's felt which is so, so forgiving.
Our new crayon rolls hold 16 stick crayons and 12 block crayons. The roll design was inspired by some instructions in my homeschooling curriculum, but I modified it to fit our needs. For one, I had to add those color-coded pockets. As if I could resist!
It's layered with batting to protect the sticks if it's dropped. For kid-friendly closure, an elastic loop extends from one end. Just roll them up, elastic and go.
Definitely not the most attractive finish, but I know from experience that "easy" is a must if I want closure to happen at all.
So, as I type they're in their rooms enjoying new crayons during rest time. And after rest, it really begins. Today we start "form drawing," a practice unique to Waldorf education, and one I'm particularly excited about. Wish me luck!