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Posts Tagged ‘handwork’

Hi friends. We took a nice break, back when we were feeling a little burned out. Then we picked our work back up and completed 6th and 4th grade, plus drew our preschooler more and more into our rhythmic space. Everyone has really grown. My heart is full seeing my handsome boys shine before my eyes.

We are still doing a couple hours of school a few days a week. I call it Summer School Lite. The oldest, Little Eagle, goes to the wood shop three mornings a week, and practices living math, communications, and working wood, beginning with the most humble tasks. He is also doing the Geology/Mineralogy/Astronomy block. We are just getting started there, using the Charles Kovacs book, and the Waldorf Rocks and Mineral guide, by Meredith Floyd Preston.

My middle guy, Little Fox, is finishing up the Human and Animal block. He just completed the bear, a trunk animal. We decided to write a poem, instead of a summary, for this assignment. He also did a little bit of Freehand Geometry, by drawing a geometric bear with angles. I love how we create our own Main Lesson books. Little Fox finished off his poem with bear prints.

Math is always happening. I’m that mom:teacher. I love maths. Not until I began to study math the waldorf way, did I understand that math is sacred and beautiful. So we will have some daily practice in what the boys learned, in 4th and 6th, over the summer. Measurement, fractions, the four processes, Geometry, and decimals.

This week we are preparing to send one child to church camp, back in KY, and another to grandma camp, also in KY. I am staying home, in Indiana, with our 4 year old, and really giving him some special attention.

My hopes for the summer are to camp on our country property as often as possible, hit up the pool a couple times a week, and alternate going to the zoo, botanical gardens, art museum, and science center. We have cousins coming in July for a couple weeks. They have normally lived abroad, but moved back to the states at Christmas, so we will see them a little more.

I am looking forward to beginning 1st grade wet-on-wet watercolor painting, with Waldorfish. There are 12 lessons that promise to demystify the colors, set-up and verses. I have experience with wet-on-wet over the years, but I hope to deepen my study this summer, so I can prepare to teach 1st grade again, when Little Bear turns 7.

I also purchased Painting through the Festivals by Waldorfish, and I am so excited to again deepen our experience during our favorite holy days.

Years ago, back on my childhood Kentucky Farm, my relationship with the plant and animal kingdom began. In my 20’s and 30’s I deepened my knowledge of herbs, learning to formulate medicine from plants, create soaps, salves, tinctures, hair rinses and pretty much anything our family needed. As time went on, we studied the plants through art, like watercolor painting and drawing. I began our boys with nature journaling, around age 5, so we have been slow and steadily building our wisdom of plant identification. We studied animals and the human in 4th, plants in 5th, and played games, like Wildcraft. Handwork, like embroidery and needle felting nature has really created dimension within our studies.

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Since moving, I have reinvigorated my desire for learning about the plant kingdom. I have begun foraging locally, throughout the seasons, and recently have become obsessed with cut and foraged flowers. I have always put together rustic bouquets, but I may be ready now for growing my garden, and expanding my skills with creating those lovely bouquets. We’ve always had a small children’s garden, with culinary herbs and medicinal perineals, but I believe it’s time to expand and learn in my 40’s.  I have visions of a small cut garden, and dreams of dinner parties, styling out the table and eating and drinking with our new community.

What will you be up to this summer?

Slide on over to Instagram and check out my posts and Stories @nurturing_spirit

Also, if you are planning this summer, I’ve curated preschool and most of the grades over on Pinterest. Feel free to scroll around when the day is too hot, with a cold glass of lemonade at your side.

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Here’s a peak at what we got into the first couple weeks of February. Making candles came first right at Candlemas. Candlemas is the time of year where we make as many candles as possible and bless them for the year. There is something special about this ritual that is like no other. We have alway Loved to use beeswax candles, lighting them for school and during meals. It never gets old. This year we made little votive candles with xoxo’s, hearts, cupid hearts with arrows, and even one with a bunny. Red, pink and white. It really was the first time that I have cut out shapes and letters from pressed beeswax to decorate the outside of the candles. So, even after years of homeschooling and living within the realm of Waldorf — I still found something new to do.

Next up I began embroidering the little heart pouch pictured above. I have found one of my favorite types of handwork is indeed embroidery. My grandmother taught me around the ages of 7-9 years old. I would sit and embroider little birds and flowers on hankerchiefs and pillow cases, while we watched Little House on the Prairie. I will always hold those memories dear.

Lastly, we made our little gnome couple. It was the first time I had made a peg person with hair, so again each year and each season I am spiraling forward and creating dimension in the handwork I do. There’s something comforting about that. Knowing each day, and each season that what I do not accomplish or get done, I can always work towards the next year.

Well, my time as Happy Hedgehog Brand Rep has come to an end. The three months went by pretty quickly, and it I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. Thank you for following along on my posts here and on IG.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. I love celebrating love and gratitude. It doesn’t matter if society dedicates one day, as the commercial holiday. Love is definitely meant to be celebrated.

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We really enjoyed the December envelope from Happy Hedgehog Post. I was pleased to finish the Snowflake baby just as the January envelope ships out to us. Have a look at a few of the pictures we took during our embroidering journey. We also made a cookie recipe similar to the one in the Post. We made so many cookies, there were plenty for the family and a whole group of Suzuki violin players.

Thanks for visiting!

 

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Monday we decided to create our wool Christmas angel, from Happy Hedgehog Post. The angel is our first project with the December envelope. The plan is to do the next project the following Monday as to keep a rhythm this month, but allowing for flexibility during the holidays.  If you have felt intimidated to create a roving fairy or angel, release it. I felt the same, but ordered a May envelope a year ago and willed it forth. We made a spring fairy, then an autumn fairy, now a Christmas angel. I chose these colors and theme, because we already have seasonal wintery decor of whites, blues, purples and silver. Some traditional red and green are nice.

What handcrafts are you up to this month?

I am still embroidering the piece called Full Circle, by Cozy Blue, although I made a lot of progress yesterday. Only a few details left, then I need to put energy into what I will do with it. Sometimes projects happen like that, out of the need to create regardless of the purpose. I also have a blanket I have been working on for two years, too long. It is what it is though, as a mother of three sons, and self-employed. I create so much with our children, because it is where I am in my life, and it is where they are in their life. Experimenting with crafts and handwork, materials and tools. We try to encourage building skill sets.

What skill sets have you learned? What more would you like to learn?

Friends, it is time for me to begin the next small task of the day, so I must go. A snack, a Christmas craft – some bead work. I hope your week is blessed, as we pray for Gatlinburg and Standing Rock. Fire and water. Breath and grounding.

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Hi friends!

I am excited to announce over the next three months you are welcome to Follow me over on IG @Nurturing_Spirit to witness handwork creations in progress! Samantha of Happy Hedgehog Post creates a monthly envelope of seasonal crafts for Waldorf inspired families. They are perfect handwork kits for beginners and busy families, and I will be one of the new reps! There are months where I do not have as much time to gather the supplies I need to continue doing handwork in front of my children, so this kit has been motivating!

Growing up my grandmother was an amazing person who created so much with her hands. She crocheted, created dolls, and sewed up a storm. She sewed a lot by hand, but I also remember the hum of her sewing machine most days that I visited. In the process, I observed and participated in my own projects. This was a starting point for my handwork growth. As an adult I strive to practice daily handwork projects in front of my three boys, usually with soft goods. My husband, the artist and operator behind Coydog Studios usually handles the hard goods handwork for our children, on wood shop days.

Subscribe today and get 10% off your first order, when you sign up for HHP news. I would love to have you creating and crafting alongside me.

 

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I solemnly swear to create, teach and heal.

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Winter.  Rounding out the year.  I have a moment to sit, still myself, and breathe the deepest breath of the year.  We can even loosen up a little bit.  The time I have had since Christmas has been busy, like most, but I am also taking the time to reorganize, dust, purge, and slowly open my eyes up to a new time for us next year.  But first I want to re-cap the past couple months as we finished entering our stories and teachings into our Main Lesson Books for Fourth and Second.

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We did a lot of nature scavenging, and I had dirty floors constantly.  Such is life, and the season in which I am in.

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Here’s our collection of nature to send to our Nature Pal in California.  We dipped some nature in beeswax, painted a wood apple, made beeswax tea lights, and sent a little mouse finger puppet along.  We also had a bird seed gift wrapped as a pumpkin to give too.

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The light of day began to dim, and so we made our lanterns and walked with friends.

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Music filled our ears, as Little Fox, Second Grade, practiced and accomplished his semester recital.

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We warmed our hands with handwork.  Little Eagle, 4th grade, sewed mama a little needle book. This was a craft from September Happy Hedgehog.  I try to pace our handwork, so it stays enjoyable.

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Little Fox begged to make outfits for our Lantern Carriers.

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There was nothing more enjoyable than getting out into the woods with my family for a weekend. We visited Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge, Geological Area.  My buzzword for the year was Connect, and there is no better place than nature.

We are currently alternating rest with work.  I have begun to tackle that urge to clear and clean, organize, and dream.  We are having an unusual late fall and early winter, with lots of rain and warm days.  I can’t help but appreciate how mild the season has been, which can be a help to us this year.  No snow yet.

Here comes 2016!!

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Wow, the boys are really growing up and have shown on the outside all the inner growth of the last 7 years!  Little Fox, now 8, really has gauged this for me, since we now have two older boys walking their path.  He has truly set forth on his earth path, and come into his body.  I mentioned the 12 senses on the last post and how important all of them are in raising children.  He has taught me most about how highly sensitive I truly am.  The term Highly Sensitive Person is a post in itself for another time.  Either way as a parent I came to learn more about myself through watching my children grow and mirroring, as well as reflection upon my childhood.

Before we review the year I want to mention First Grade Readiness.  This is something you can measure by a few standards.  For one, has the child lost their first milk tooth?  How are gross and fine motor skills, as well as core body strength? As a rule of thumb has the child experienced seven Easters yet? Below are a couple of links expressing this thought deeper and why we waited 7 years to start academics.  Most people outside of our family sphere did/do not quite understand why our children did not match up with mainstream, but I took this very big notion to prayer and specifically felt waiting for each child to be ripe was necessary.

Each child is so different and Waldorf allowed me to bring a balance to each child and their differences.  At first it does not appear as though our children are learning or at pace with their peers, and truly they are not.  We want a whole child.  A child who is developing evenly.  We want their body, mind and spirit to be in sync.  To mamas out there who are questioning yourselves because others are questioning you and this practice, hold steady, like an anchor on a ship in the high seas.  You know what is best, somehow this seed was planted in your heart!

http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/first-grade-readiness

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/07/12/guest-post-on-first-grade-readiness-a-comprehensive-look-through-high-school/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/26/readiness-for-waldorf-homeschool-first-grade/

Namely our Little Fox is a cautious fellow.  He likes to watch and observe before making his move.  But once he moves he is graceful and confident.  We waited a little past his 7th birthday to begin formal academics, and my oh my, he paced through with smiles.  I love this because school should be fun, and we had some work to do the first seven years to get him ready.  Auditory, visual and vestibular centers had to be assisted and balanced.  Movement, sensory and games had to be encouraged.  Here is my Pinterest board to give you a sense of what I look at, regardless if a child has sensory issues, in fact all children are special needs in these times when recess and art are not valued. They sure are valued here at home though!

Temperament plays a role in educating and I believe Little Fox to be much like me, melancholic and phlegmatic, but when balanced, quite all four temperaments, much like the Medicine Wheel, and Carl Jung’s Wheel, when finding our Center.  It is important though to observe your child the first seven years and meditate on their temperament and your temperament and right-relationship.  Meditating on how to bring the teachings and how to relate can make a huge difference in how your days go.

We began the year with Form Drawing.  Not only did Form Drawing give us structure with using Main Lesson Books, it gave Little Fox time to practice using crayons and pencils for writing.  Not only do I believe in the soul development aspect of Form Drawing, but also the quality it has to draw us into focus on Monday mornings!  Monday’s are difficult for all to refocus, so doing an exercise first thing really helps us all realign where we are and what we are doing.

Language Arts had us visiting Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and let me tell you they work on the soul differently as a child than they do when we are adults.  As adults we bring our baggage to the stories, unless we let the stories take their time to work on our soul too.  Some people even believe they are gruesome, and perhaps they are a bit, but the things on television for children that have no soul are far more violent.  I can understand how a highly senstive mama might think twice while reading the stories beforehand, but if you approach the stories archetypally, then they are very insightful and assist growth subconsciously in the first year grade, also known as the 7 year change.  In the first grade letters are introduced to the children through a re-creation of the evolutionary pattern of language development.  The letters are drawn out in practice books and Main Lesson Books to make a picture in itself.  Like the letter M in the story Simeli Mountain is actually a part of the Mountain, and there is room left for a short summary of the story, which is beginning writing.

Math.  Arabic Numbers one through 10 are introduced along with Roman Numerals and a story.  The Four Processes are then introduced using a storyline and manipulatives. With our first son we actually used a Star Wars theme, but with Little Fox we used gnomes in a kingdom.  It was just easier to use the traditional approach with our curriculum, the story was already set up. Our curriculum teaches Whole to Parts.  For example, 10 equals 5+5, 9+1, 1+9, 10+0, 0+10, 7+3, 3+7, 5×2, 2×5, 10×1, 1×10, 11-1, 20-10, 15-5, 20/2, 40/4 and so on. During the winter we do daily math practice to keep up with what we have learned and to make it easier for entering into the next year.  Winter and reviewing is where we are right now, as well as planning and dreaming for a new start.

Daily math practice is suggested in Circle Time, which takes place when we say our opening and seasonal verses and play our games.  This is when I might encourage my older child to jump on the trampoline and say his multiplication table.  Or if we are taking a walk we may try to find straight lines and curves in nature to compliment beginning form drawing.  We still do Circle Time our with First and Third Graders together filling the time with Brain Gym activities, movement like stretching and yoga, reading, and music practice.

Waldorf Education has a curriculum for its students that reflects a pattern of evolution that is apparent in both the evolution of humanity and in the development of the human being. For the sake of the developmentally appropriate introduction of information to the young child many traditional forms of academic instruction are held back for an older age. The three stages of development in childhood are birth to seven years of age, seven to fourteen years of age, and finally fourteen to twenty-one years of age. Waldorf Education for the birth to seven stage concentrates on learning through activity (Hands), seven to fourteen through the feelings (Heart), and fourteen to twenty-one through thinking (Head).

The Head aspect we are covering with Language Arts and Math, however we introduce the Heart aspect through painting and music or song.  We have a three day rhythm where I introduce a story and the student draws the story in a practice book.  The second day the student paints the story and retells it. The third day we model the story and enter it into our Main Lesson book.  With this rhythm Little Fox came to digest the story and the teachings and make it a part of himself.  I could not believe how well he came to know the information and in a way that was filled with art and music.  Music and song entered in mostly through the festival life, like Candlemas.  We did not paint or model every single story, but occasionally we reenacted the story with peg people or action figures or even ourselves.

Handwork is introduced this year with beginning knitting.  The student is taught to cast onto needles they make themselves by sharpening then sanding the ends of a dow rod, then adorning one end if they so choose.  For Little Foxes first project we slowly and surely knitted an organic cotton wash cloth.  I paired his cloth with a bar of my soap and we gifted it to the Church Bazaar, which is a fundraiser.

Music has always been a part of our lives in some way or another but this year Little Fox stepped up his involvment by attending Children’s Choir at church. Before he had attended Music Together classes when he was little and then again with Little Bear.  Last week Little Fox began his journey with violin.  For three bars of my homemade soap we rent a violin, bow and case. We have a teacher for private and group violin lessons and it turns out she was home educated.

Another activity that was very much enjoyed this past year and begins again in March is Archery with our local 4H club.  Little Fox was in the Clover Bud section of the Archery team, which means he cannot compete till he is 9, but we are all okay with that.

I was happy to see my middle guy really blossom this year.  He is sweet and giving. The year really culminated last night when he finally lost his two front upper teeth.  He had been hanging onto those teeth for an extra amount of time which in my meditation meant he was unwilling to let go.  Birth to seven years old was comfortable and special, and he didn’t care to leave the wonder days behind.  It is all bitter sweet.  We want them to grow straight and strong into the future, but letting go is more than hard.

Thanks for reading Nurturing Spirit.  I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps gleaned some wisdom from our year end review.  I know reflection is just as important as having lived.

 

 

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2014!  With plenty of preparation work for two years, life has been like a spool of neat thread unwinding itself and revealing what is being made. Cedar blessed us with his arrival last October 2013, and we settled deeply into dreaming and planning, as we do in winter.  Slow.  Winter.  Good.  We had enough inner light to burn our way through the darkness of the cold season until Spring.  For most homeschooling families February is a transition month.  Cabin fever.  Spring wants so badly to arrive, but Jack Frost sometimes lingers and the roots are reluctant to send the energy upward.  The Light is yearning to unite fires within us again encouraging springs in our step, curls at our mouth and early spring morns on the porch with breakfast.

Preparing for Third and First Grade has been a lot of fun.  I have enjoyed deeper spiritual learning with our main lesson of the Old Testament and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with the archetypes.  I keep in mind specific goals set for each child.  Movement is always at the top of the list, rhythm and anchor times equally important.  I feel blessed to observe, pray and listen for each child.  Listening to Creator brought me insight to adding more music this year assisting the nine year change and seven year change as well as transitioning our little nursling with us through the day.

For our Native American block the boys have deep roots and some live education with Elders from the Hopi and Choctaw people.  As their parents we have spent time doing our inner work with the encouragement of these Elders, their ceremonies and wisdom.  All of that has carried over into our daily work. We have some unique teachings to bring to them.  We also provide Buddhist, Sufi and Christian teachings.  I think it is important to recognize the Ascended and Holy Peoples and to make available a universal language.  It’s all about communication and connection, whether you prefer psychic or prose.

Music.  Our circle time music has been our own songs that inspire us, and the Summer Songs from Music Together, which is Cedar’s baby music class playlist.  My big boys are helpers in the music class and I see them getting so much out of the experience.  For one week we spent time at the lovely First Christian Church Music Camp, in my hometown.  I adored the music teacher and the kids.  They worked hard with a tight schedule to really learn alot.  I am impressed at the growth and stretching they had to endure.  I felt I could See the transformation of their hearts and throat chakras.  Flowing.  Singing is magical for many reasons.  The breath of Creator is at work.

Movement.  I have been spending time with the boys this year learning about stretching the body and becoming more aware of their spiritual vehicles.  Everything is sensory.  Stress can be useful but also dangerous, so we have spoke some about how important drinking water, taking salt baths, regular bedtimes, clean foods, and movement can help assist our sensory experiences. Creator wants to come through us and touch all the materially dense richness.  The earth.  The wind.  The warmth of a hug.  The cool water that flows down our throats.  Thankfully we have added new elements to our movement apparatus, like a slackline and trampoline.  Existing equipment includes a zip line, 4 acres to run and bike.  Trees to climb.  Porches to swing upon, especially when it rains.  Wood to chop.  Fires to jump.  Critters to feed. Free play.  My boys do not lack for play time and joint compression.  They are very creative and I have always nurtured and assisted that play with props, dolls, action figures, furniture, lighting, wall paint color, board games and card games.  Natural materials are preferred but we possess some vintage classic toys.  I do see the difference in feeling the materials personally.  Plastic is cold.

Handwork.  Handwork is many things.  A nine month old baby is handwork as a nursling.  My handwork.  Handwork to the boys is taking care of their room, arranging a shelf or an altar.  Brushing their teeth.  Learning to knit a row. Taking blocks out and putting blocks away.  Chopping wood.  Whittling a stick. Modeling with mud, clay or dough.  Sanding or polishing.  Sewing.  Picking up baby brother and helping him explore.

Watercolors and Wet-on-wet.  I’m trying.  A couple years ago I presented the color wheel teachings to the boys.  I am revisiting watercolors again, the brushes, the feel.  I have Painting With Children by Brunhild Muller, and the Waldorf Painting Education binder.  IT’S HUGE, and I haven’t made it all the way through.  I struggle with building scenes and I always add too much water!  I am a work in progress.

Drawing.  Chalk drawings and practice drawing have become staples in our process.  We ingest the stories of each grade that are developmentally appropriate, draw and retell the stories.  Some we love and some we take in and think maybe work is being done on us in the night by the angels who know better than we do.

Angels.  Archangels.  Archai.  This is truly a personal relationship.  We each have one for ourselves, as a group, the community, the earth and so on.  Many times I go to the angels when I am struggling.  But I do see them in the everyday, like when Cedar discovers his own voice.  Or when River smiles at me shyly, and how he always nurtures me.  Wolfsion, he champions as a helper to me and the land.  He’s a steward.  A trailblazer.

Waldorf Essentails curriculum, Melisa Neilsen homeschool teacher trainer and consultant, the Thinking, Feeling, Willing group of women on Facebook and my own spiritual path have been critical.  Aside from doing a lot of listening to my Maker I try to keep my influence minimal or I can easily get distracted.  I find that continual purification of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual intelligences are absolute for the path. Each of us have a process.  Recently, I disconnected from the grid for a couple of months and the time away really energized me, renewed me and helped me ground into my present life.  We discover this as our intuition, the angels, our children and our own paths merge.  It is also when we decide to manifest and come in tune with our soul that our Path becomes clear.

Rhythm.  I need structure, but love the permission to unfold freely within that structure.  Like the earth and the water flowing through and around.  I allow space for the kids to unschool themselves with my guidance also.  There are some days where that is absolutely called for.  At some point I may share a photo of our schedule, it comforts me and transforms through the year, as we school (a)round the wheel.  In and out breaths as the masters speak of in early childhood with anchor times, sleep, play, handwork and meaningful work are so very important.  They are important to me as the teacher and as a human in grounding to this earthly experience.  Life is intensive, but it all depends on how committed one is to the process and the path chosen.  I am working on my Calling and Mission and that changes as the faces and places change, but the sanctuary and the familiarity of home remains.

Farm and home.  For us this block blends nicely with our geographic location of Kentucky.  Bodies of water with as much shoreline as Alaska.  Rolling hills and knobs.  Bluegrass.  Large and small scale agriculture.  Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a good Wednesday read, coupled with our nature-farm jounral.  The boys draw pictures, write summaries and include math measurements or calculations to describe their work.  We raise a few chickens, a turkey and a rabbit with a cat and two dogs, along with a children’s garden.  That proves to be plenty of work for us.

Cursive has been pleasant and enjoyable.  I liken it to form drawing, so we do it two times a week.  After bringing forth the letters, we are now practicing cursive words and seasonal verses.

Early childhood is surfacing again with Cedar on the scene.  I am having things click for me that we did not have time for before.  The stories are becoming a part of me.  I have more of my planning together and props available.  I am slower, more mature.  Patient.  I imagine this comes with any teacher or parent.  The settling in.  It is comfortable and exciting.  The journey.  The Great Mystery ahead.  As time goes on I really note that honoring myself and honoring my family and friends is also loving myself.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Most importantly my lessons have come from making mistakes or as the Elder’s say “learning.”  I realize when I am having a hard time it is due to the level of love I have for myself.  [HUGE!]

Admist the birth of our baby and a new school year we have also birthed our own family business that has grown over the last 12 years of hard work, and we will be celebrating our one year anniversary as Cedar turns one in October.  I am so proud of my husband for his work ethic, his talent and his ability to (at least) appear like he has left his work stress at the door.  When he enters the house, he gives us himself, which is a gift.  Check out http://www.coydogstudios.com or visit us on Facebook at Coydog Studios.  We are also on Instagram Coydog_Studios and Twitter.

Thank you for reading.  There will be more to come, as I find time.  Development, the grades and the spiritual nature of our process is important and it is yearning to find it’s way out of me and into words.  In the meantime visit me over at Pinterest as Nurturing Spirit and on Instagram as Healingoneself

 

xoxo

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As I prepare ahead to school our children I have been reading all the notes my mentor Melisa Nielsen of Waldorf Essentials wrote, namely in the Handwork section.  She quotes Patricia Livingston’s book, Will-Developed Intelligence:  Handwork and Practical Art in the Waldorf School:

“The hands are a unique and beautiful part of the human being, and they bring us important, far-reaching experiences.  Therefore as teachers we must try to help the children become aware of their hands and of the great gifts they bestow on themselves and on others.  Their hands need to become skillful, sensitive, and strong so that they can accomplish many deeds.  Blind people get to know the world through their hands, but most people are unaware of the knowledge that can be gained when the hands are used in useful and sensitive ways.  Think of art and music!  Think of what physical work and daily tasks teach us.  Think of a handshake and what it tells us about another person.  We want the children to make things they love and enjoy and to work skillfully, always increasing their artistry.  Handwork should be relaxing and fun, and at the same time productive, involving strong will activity.  Nothing happens if you don’t use your hands and get to work!”

Somehow within me Spirit begs to be transformed and manifest – winter is inner growth time, like the roots in nature.  SOMEHOW February, a tough time for many home educators in the spiritual mundane, the unseen is hard at work planning and dreaming.  I say take to handwork!  Let balance be kept.  I was reminded very clearly where I am here in winter by beautiful artwork recently.

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

I have all these little creations within me begging to come out, begging to be discerned and transformed.  Like the picture above I close my eyes, but I am not blind.  Information, ideas, designs and healing stream forth through me, through my hands.  Wisdom may come through me and through my limbs to my hands and into the needle through which I sew.   My other handwork, so to speak, is caring for my new beautiful baby boy.  Nursing and holding.  Also, writing comes forth for me and I am trying to honor that creation here in my nurturing space.  Especially the teachings I am to bring forth to the kids in a creative way, such as Language Arts and Math through art. Nonetheless, it is February and I am told by those who reside in the Unseen to relax the thinking mind and allow the hands to become more alive and working.

One does have to become quiet first.  Stillness is active, not passive.  I believe we can transform ourselves, connect both sides of our brain and pass that on down to our children.  Anytime of the year is good for crafting, working and using the hands, but in February, Now, this is my answer.  I am being told to plan and to give creation a chance as my art of life.  Patricia Livingston goes on to say:

Working to transform the materials of the earth fosters inner growth and a sense of well-being in the children.  These lessons support and compliment other subjects in the school, helping to bring balance and wholeness to the education.”

We try to work with natural materials as often as possible.  Wool and cotton for example.  Eco arts and crafts fall naturally to the children when they are outdoors sitting on Mother Earth playing.  Touching, feeling, creating, even destroying is a part of that process.  Many people believe destruction is a very yang perspective, but I see it as a very feminine perspective as well.  The womb, the dark waters of creation, the unseen, the powerful roiling sea within us that wrecks to make way.  The balance must exist.

What illusory boundaries are you destroying in your inner and outer world to make way for the new?  Spring is nigh!  What are you doing with your will?  What are you doing with your hands?  This is all part of the work.  My work as a true Human Being, here at Nurturing Spirit.  Thank you for letting me share.

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