We have the most beautiful perpetual circular Waldorf calendar hanging on our wall. It’s drawn by Phoebe Wahl and depicts a delightful gnome family going about their seasonal days. My children consult it often. They turn the season dial at the start of each season (March on top now on top). They write in important events and dates that are going to happen in each new season and it helps enormously to smooth transitions and keep our family rhythm going throughout the year. My eight-year old in particular, loves to be reminded which season we are enjoying and which season is coming next.
You can purchase this Waldorf perpetual calendar in The Magic Onions Shop.
Nicole Shiffler also finds her family’s perpetual calendar indispensable in their homeschooling journey. “Perpetual calendars are a physical way children can see the progression and changing of time. By turning their illustrated wheel, they can match the month with the season, and what visually that season looks like to them.
The child’s understanding of larger spans of time are better understood by regularly using their own perpetual calendar. And the fact that it is a circular calendar, they can understand that “time” is an ongoing cycle, easily comprehended on their wheel year after year.”
She shares a super DIY tutorial on a kid-made perpetual calendar.
Why a circle? Anne Forbes explains that we usually think of the passing of time as linear, with one event following another in sequence by day, by month, by year. Placing the same events in a circular journal, or wheel shape, helps us discover new patterns (or rediscover known ones). We can use the Phenology Wheel to communicate about what is really important or interesting to us.
Seeing the year in a circular flow helps children make sense of time in a meaningful way. As we know, keeping rhythm though our days vital in a Waldorf home and school environment. A circular calendar settles a child’s understanding that this rhythm continues through the year too. Children respond so well to knowing what comes next in the day. They respond just as well to knowing what comes next throughout the year.
Here is another beautiful DIY tutorial to guide you through making your own Waldorf perpetual calendar.
Here’s a lovely poem to learn with your children as you work with your seasonal Waldorf calendar…
In January falls the snow,
In February cold winds blow,
In March peep out the early flowers,
And April comes with sunny showers.
In May the roses bloom so gay,
In June the farmer mows his hay,
In July brightly shines the sun,
In August harvest is begun.
September turns the green leaves brown,
October winds then shake them down,
November fills with bleak and drear,
December comes and ends the year.
by Flora Willis Watson
In a Waldorf environment, rhythm is key. A perpetual calendar helps maintain rhythm throughout the year.
If you are looking for other meaningful Waldorf articles, please visit the Discovering Waldorf Education archives.
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Blessings and magic,
I am so honored that you picked up (and linked to) my Wheel Calendar Tutorial! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog, and I love it so much. Thank you for all that you do!
Ditto, Hayley … I’ve been a long time admirer of your blog too! I love that tutorial, in fact, my son’s school is going to be following it to make their own calendars this year :)
Blessings and magic,