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Posts Tagged ‘Harvest’

It has been five full moons since we started 5th and 3rd grades. There is so much to recapture.

In fifth grade we began with stories from Africa, then Egypt. Little Eagle read the book Maia of Thebes, his largest book ever. Then, we covered the main gods and goddess’ in Greek Myths and the boys listened to some audio stories, which speak a lot about the demi gods and other characters. We have spent this whole time reviewing 4th grade math on a daily basis, with a few problems to keep our minds sharp. During what used to be Circle time when Little Eagle was younger, we now replace with math review, form drawing, music and daily reading. We are also pushing through with fractions.

My resources for 5th include Waldorf Essentials as our mainstay, D’Aulaires Greek Myths book, Key to Fractions and a cheap 4th grade math book, from which I pull daily review.  Monday’s we try to paint nature, and I usually allow the boys to choose their subject. Whatever inspires them. I am working on a Master List of resources, but it will take some time to organize. I hope to make separate posts covering the different aspects of the grades and subjects as well as time goes on.

Soon, we will start our block on Botany and the teachings will be more specific in the study of plant wisdom, but this has always been important to us. We have covered some, but not all of the Herb Fairy stories. Also, Little Eagle began ukulele in the spring, as he was gifted his own concert size uke and lessons at the local folk school. As part of movement for 5th grade, I set up a corner dedicated to yoga and provided a reader on meditation 101, which satisfies the Movement portion of 5th grade, as well as exploring the spiritual practice of the body. Last week, both big boys began and are alternating a yoga/hoop/dance/chant class. They will have wood shop most of the day, then end by going to the movement class.

We are on break at the moment, after Lammas, cleaning and organizing the house, and going to visit with family in from Germany. And now every mama I know has her calendar out planning away till the end of the year, if not beyond. We are also back at church, and getting the kids settled in to some great little circles. Little Bear is starting a circle time called Little Acorns, that my lovely friend Mrs. Elle will be leading. It is based on the Little Acorn Learning curriculum, and will be housed at our church. We are so excited all our friends 2-5 years old will be in the group. Little Bear also started the pre-k class at church on Sunday’s, which is Montessori based worship. They have a lovely rhythm with story that includes wood figures and felt, then an activity and feast. It is very similar to Circle Time in the Waldorf tradition.

When 5th grade starts back we still have so much to cover through the end of November. Hinduism and the creation story, Buddhism and the four noble truths and eight fold path. Then, we will cover Ancient Persia and Zarathustra, which is modern-day Iran. Within this scope of time we will also cover freehand geometry, which will be a jumping off point for using tools like the compass and protractor.

3rd grade feels easier compared to 5th, which makes sense. Most people looking outside of the Waldorf tradition believe that the curriculum is bogus, because one does not start the child with letters and numbers formally till age 7, in first grade. The curriculum and more importantly lifestyle does look different for each family, since we are all unique, but at the same time we are all working with the whole child. Movement-the body, the brain, and the emotions are all intertwined. They are forms of intelligence that grow at varying rates and all need attention and meditation on the parent/teachers part. The child may be stronger in the brain/mental aspect, so drawing the child into their body is a good way to balance out. During the first 7 years of life, the physical body is the focus. Ages 7-14 focus on the emotional life. 14-21 draw the child into their mental/thinking life. This curriculum is intensive. It’s a work of art. Inner work on my part is vital on a daily basis.

So, 3rd grade we have been using Jakob Streit’s book, And Then There Was Light for the Old Testament. A couple of years ago we used Pearl S. Buck’s, Story Bible. I really like it, but thought this year we could use the other resources I already owned. We are using Jewish Festivals, A Family Treasury, to cover Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Hanukkah this fall and winter, as well as book suggestions from the Jewish Library and Chabad dot org.

We are also looking more at multiplication and divide, plus multiple digit addition and subtraction with carrying and borrowing. I do use an inexpensive workbook to pull from our daily review for math. Circular calendars continue to be used to measure time and I just gifted Little Fox a new watch to work on measuring time. It is a basic black Timex watch with velcro strap. Little Fox is continuing with Suzuki violin. We switched to fiddle/Suzuki and a different teacher during the summer, but after giving it a shot, we found Little Fox flowed better with his original teacher. Little Fox is about to get his turn at Movement class this week. They are borrowing my hula hoop at the moment, which is too big, but I am going to allow them to make their own hoop soon with cool duct tape to wrap it.

We start back to school September 6th, after my 14 year wedding anniversary and 39th birthday. September is my favorite month, and fall is my favorite season. To end the month, we will have a Michaelmas celebration with our private co-op group at my house. We have decided on the Waldorf Essentials story of Super Sam and the dragon, with an obstacle course for the kids. We have asked everyone to make a loaf of bread, that will become a large dragons body, with roving as fire coming from the dragons mouth. I have a large stash of fabric and notions gifted to me, so I plan to share the bounty that day as well. Instead of buying more plastic drawers and cramming stuff in, it is easier to share with friends the abundance, and have nice easier to open drawers with everything organized.

My prayers are with you and your harvest as autumn approaches. The sun has given us Light, our bodies have stretched and grown, and the time for learning and introspection nears.

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Maybe it is the moon outside of my bedroom window that’s keeping me awake. Maybe I had too much coffee earlier.  Maybe God had a message for me and needed me half asleep, half awake. Maybe I was inspired by reading links and posts scrolling endlessly on Facebook (it happens!)  But as I laid in bed tonight I felt a change come over me.

I could See myself Broken.  Darkness.  Wounded.  In many ways, over time I have received wounds from various experiences that left me sore, hurt, angry, resentful, sad, stronger, frightened, cynical, doubtful…God was working on me in these times.

I recently took a Facebook break, from May till now.  I felt Creator talking to me. Oneness was asking me to Listen.  Deep listen.  Part of that listening was Shifting. Purification.  Disconnecting – Reconnecting. Emptying. Emptying so much to the point of confusion.  Recently when I came out of my deep listening period I couldn’t figure out what I had gone through, or what I had learned. What had I been doing?  What was I listening for?  I mean surely after months of listening I had to have something profound to say or feel!  Nothing.  I couldn’t say.  I wasn’t sure, at all, because I am not really in control.  I am to a degree in control of my choices, but if I am open enough and vulnerable enough I knew that Creator was really in charge.

Then it happened.  I could See. The light of this very moon illuminated all of me. I was broken.  An empty vessel.  I laid there breathing deeply.  In the vision my body turned over and my arms were stretched wide, and my chest was So Open. My heart was So visible.  All the holes and cracks in my brokeness were there to be seen.  I have prayed to God in the past week or two more in Awareness than I ever have over the entire summer.  I begged God for help.  God was working on me in the deepest of ways.  Slowly Oneness opened itself up to me.  A beautiful gold liquid poured forth from above and began to fill me up.  All the cracks were filled with an essence so rich, so pure.  All the dark places in my life were illuminated so brightly that I could See my Wholeness!  God lives in me.  And God fills me up when I am empty, but then if I am vulnerable enough that essence pours out of me into the lives of those around me.  It is part of my Gifts.  My brokeness and the parts of me that are tender and gold.  I am repaired.  I am forgiven, and I forgive and that is my greatest gift to myself and others.

Can I honor myself.  Can I be vulnerable.  Can I be broken and whole at the same time.  Can I live this life with my chest wide open knowing that life breaks me, that love breaks me and fills me up.  The Oneness knows my strength better than me.  As I fell in love with my husband and as we added each child to our nest God knew.  God knew that love would tear me open and fill me up even more.

I have memories of my childhood.  I have children now.  So much time has passed and so much more will pass before I leave this earth.  I was given the Vision by a healer once that I lived to old age and I was surrounded and loved by many.  My children and grandchildren.  My husband.  Love had torn me open. Brokeness had torn me open.  But I was always filled back up by that pure liquid gold.  That essence that I cannot truly name.  The nameless.

This life is good.  It has been hard and riddled with confusion and doubts, lonliness…heartache so huge.  Loss.  I have had great teachers come my way in many forms.  Nature.  Elders.  Friends. My husband. Our children.  Oh, so so so much our children.  I am surrounded by teachers.  If I take deep breaths I am teachable most days.

You can take my word for it that right now our Maker, whatever form, has something to teach us.  I feel that in the next few days as the Super Moon approaches, it will light up parts of us that have been so dark for so long.  We can choose to look and embrace.  We can choose to see what diamonds have been made by that tightly held fist in the darkness.  The brightness is sometimes so painful that we turn our heads away, but I beg you to look and hold your gaze.

Be open, despite the brokeness, because we may just get filled up and See the Wholeness. The Integration.  I feel so whole right now in this moment, more so than anytime since I was born, a wee babe.  All along I was Whole though, I just couldn’t see it.  I looked for my wholeness in the reflection of other people’s faces and glances.  Mirrors.  My husband has known his Wholeness all along, despite his struggles throughout life.  I know it is why I love him So much.  I have always wished to balance myself and to be as humble as him.  But my game with myself and the world was protection.  Walls.  I went from a little girl to a straight Warrior.  One Who Stands In Her Power, but with walls.  So my life hasn’t always been open, full circle, reciprocal.  Maybe in some cases speaking my truth has been warranted.  Well, I am sure it has.  But it is okay to just Be too, because I am already Whole. I am already and always filled with gold, in all the cracks and brokeness.

No matter what Vision I have for myself, Oneness knows what I most need.  My Ego is actually my ally.  It guides me, as a Contrary.  As a human on this dense plane, earth, we actually need our Egos. Not the Ego of Ego=tistical-ness.  But the I.  I Am.  Being-ness.  Broken down I am nothing and everything.  I am alive and I am dying.  Cyclically.

Right now we are approaching Harvest.  Spiritually it is just as significant as the harvest of my garden.  I planned and dreamed last winter like any farmer would, farmer of the heart, like Rumi says.  In Spring I was planting seeds.  This summer I tended and deep listened. August has been such a time of preparation too. Preparing for harvest.  It is near. And some of us are already seeing the harvest come in.  I see pictures on Facebook of baskets filled up.  I am not even fully sure what all this means, my harvest.  I haven’t held the bounty in my hands long enough.  I haven’t had time to wash things off and taste it.  I’ll try to keep my door open to share with you though.  I’ll try.  It’s part of my promise to Trust, in my brokeness and in my healing and in my Wholeness.

Aho.

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Beeswax anything has become a tradition in our household.  We dip tapers, roll sheets into tapers, dip nature items, and use it in salves and wood polishes.  Have I missed something?  Well, as the cold creeps in with a breeze, I find myself shuffling around in house shoes, and no longer flip flops.  Fleece and wool clothing begin to surface.  And the aroma of beeswax keeps our souls warm.

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The images and scents we display help to remind us of our own inner light, as our gaze shifts inward during fall.  The place where we are warmed from the inside out.  We created a Fire Fairy to put with our Nature Table.  A table that is ever changing with the seasons.  It includes the felt decorations sewn by me and the children, the hanging beeswax dipped items, our knitted gnome friend Sam, and his Community’s harvest.  The kids and I have a story we go by every week about Sam the gnome and his forest friends.  This story continues the entire year, and we act it out on our nature table.  Our nature table is located on the top of a small bookcase.  The bookcase contains all of our natural, wildlife, outdoors and homesteading books and magazines.  Along with a bug container, some finds in nature, and a magnifying glass and binoculars.  Our nature table and stories are the heart of our Circle Time together.  How do you use beeswax?  What does your nature table look like?

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