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Posts Tagged ‘waldorf homeschool’

Today I wanted to take the time out to articulate part of our journey, and how I use name medicine to guide us. What is in a name? We have our born day names. My name is Nichole, meaning Victorious Heart. My heart eye leads me. It’s as if the name is all the chakras unified in the heart. A name is medicine, and it is a journey towards oneself.

We have a family name medicine. The Wolf Pack. Loyal, leaders, tightly knit, respectful of each other’s roles. Enduring, patient, loving, playful. Family medicine.

Our homeschool name is Eagle Tree. I developed the name as my children began guiding me towards schooling at home, the place of liberation and free learning. I have spent time with many Elders. My own grandparents were a fixture in my young life, and as I grew, more Elders appeared. I was ready. One great teaching I learned is the teaching of time and space, the teaching of the Long Vision, and the dance that is done on the journey.

A name is medicine, and I chose Eagle Tree. My boys are eaglets perched in our family tree. Not only are my husband and I the tree, the roots, the foundation and the Tenders of the family flame, we are the eagle parents as well. We are holding space for the Long Vision. The Spirit of the turtle taught me this wisdom. Slow and steady, no rush. It’s the archetype of Grandmother. And so I found Grandmother Nichole, across time and space and she has helped Nichole the Maiden step into the shoes of Nichole the Mother. And now Grandmother Nichole has helped me step once again through the portal of the eclipses. I am in a new place, within the Long Vision. Ironically, the turtle could give me this wisdom, because turtle lives within the eagle. Eagles pick turtles up off the ground carry them high up, drop them, crack them open and eat them. So the Spirit of the turtle lives within the Spirit of the Eagle. As do we All live within the Collective Conscious. We are One. And we always and forever have the ability to understand one another.

Over time, since the birth of Eagle Tree School, I have been helping my boys learn to Trust the Long, Keen Vision. The Greater Good of our journey. The place where there is No Rushing. Only Presence. It’s messy in reality, because that is the lower energy of the 3rd dimension (we really spend more time in the 5th), where we must live out our Vision. It’s the Higher Realm which is our guide, our council, and from where we “bring down” the energy and spiritualize matter.

Because we are and are not fully in control, sometimes things align differently than we hope. But that’s because our higher self can See clearer. Like the Eagle. We are more like mice some days. Our face, nose and eyes to the ground, living among the details. Those dreadful, distracting details. We must live between the worlds when we can to find a balance. Not always so close to the ground. Not always so high up above our real lives. But right in the middle, being the divine light body we truly are, directing our higher and lower consciousness.

Endurance is what our lower selves learn, and patience. We learn to dance the journey, and persevere. Our higher selves want to taste the sensory of this world. The dirt, the sex, the food, the love, the loneliness, the blood of natural pain, time even. There is so much to understand within the realm of Love. There is a Long Vision.

What is in a name? A great deal of medicine. A wonderful story. Wisdom.

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Moving to a new state has our school cycle Shifting. For 7 years we started a new school year in the spring, but this past year it all shifted to fall. Little Eagle began 7th grade, Little Fox began 5th and Little Bear began Kindy for the 4/5 year old.

Our older boys began Waldorfish Geometry for their respective grades. Fall 2017, and all of 2018 was the first year we began using online teaching resources. First, with Waldorfish Weekly Art. Next, I purchased Waldorfish Geometry, Festival Art and First Grade Watercolors. It has been a blessing with (almost) two middle schoolers. Having that time, while they are in class to work with my littlest guy has really helped me as a teacher to give balanced time to each of them. I will have these resources for life, so Little Bear will benefit when the time comes. When you combine Art, Handwork and main teaching subjects like Math it creates a multi-dimensional learning opportunity. Little Fox is embroidering a geometric bear to build his will with handwork, and bring more dimension to his Freehand Geometry. I’ll post more on handwork later.

Both older boys do daily math, journaling prompts and we have developed their Planners to accommodate us as a whole. I spend several hours each weekend writing in their school work for the week, some prayer ideas, meditations and encouragement. This process has helped us flow through the week, and it is helping the boys become self-starters. Check out my Stories on IG weekly to see glimpses into this new routine. I may do a blog post on this topic. Several moms have asked about my process.

Little Eagle began his apprenticeship in the wood shop this year! He goes Monday and Friday mornings. He helps with Coydog Studio projects and also helped build his own bed. It’s almost done! I’ll do a post on it when it’s finished.

Homeschool Gym and Strength Training began in September. The older boys love it. We have a family membership at the Y. Little Bear and I get in the pool, where I aquacise and he plays with friends. I hit up the hot tub and a few minutes in the dry heat sauna, which brings me weekly peace. I began this routine last fall/winter to keep up my mental health in our new northern climate. It has been a blessing.

Little Bear has been listening to weekly stories of Sam the gnome, which is a two year container story by Waldorf Essentials. We have Circle Time beforehand, which includes singing, call and response, movement opportunity like jump rope, Simon Says and similar ideas, which I glean from Joyful Movement by Christopherus. I also have a Pinterest board called Movement, Games and Sensory, which is very helpful as well. Occasionally we join a local nature group connected to Little River Wetlands Project once a month.

I am very excited to attend a local event in February, with my little guy. Anna from Kid Lit Crafts develops modestly priced activities for little ones, themed around books. Her tag line is “Where Beautiful Children’s Books Inspire Family Creativity.” February will be our first event. I’ll report back on IG about our time, and perhaps here.

For those interested in our move from Kentucky to Indiana, we are finally moving on with renovating the house. The shop is not fully done, but that will take time. We will get new windows in the entire house sometime this winter, and eventually all new siding. My husband has pulled out the entire mechanical closet and cleaned it, and traced all the plumbing. He will be replacing parts here and there, and we will add a few new plumbing lines as we demo and shift the laundry room to the other side of the house, creating a mud room combo. This past summer we planted lilac bushes, peonies, pink naked ladies, irises and such from my mothers home in Kentucky.

Thanks for reading along.

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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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August paid off with planning, and our rest, travel and play enriched us enough to focus daily on our tasks for the past month and a half. We began our new school year, as year rounders back in April. So when September hit, we were beginning the final stretch after a break. I make sure we are learning with in and out breaths, developing the best process for our heads, hearts and hands. That is how we came naturally to schooling this way. Intuition, meditation, prayer, focus, intent, manifestation.

Deepening our painting skills, we have learned a bit about Botany, with the Charles Kovac book. Geography skills have been expanded through music lessons, stories, and real life experience. I have learned more about the Old Testament stories by taking them in to my Soul and teaching, which has in turn helped me to become a more multi-dimensional teacher. It helps that I used one set of resources the first time I taught 3rd, and another set of resources this second time around. Waldorf Essentials has always been my lamp post though! 5th grade has taken us to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and into the lap of Buddha. Teaching 3rd and 5th at the same time has its teacher incentives, when subjects become intermingled. In other words, I have begun to deepen my own personal web of life. Everything is interrelated.

Our handwork rhythm has deepened and that makes me proud. Needle Point (with yarn) and Embroider (with thread/floss) has enriched our Souls using our Hands. Freehand Geometry is taking shape through a few Waldorf resources and I am having fun presenting the sacredness of the universe through Math, to my little learner. I intend to join the embroidering world and math in the next cycle of my teaching. I have a great recommendation for a book assisting with this, on my IG account. Also, please take a look at my personal embroider work project, which is stitch by stitch prayers for the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline #nodapl  –  It is a pattern by @cozyblue, called Full Circle. This can be found #WIP style on IG.

Another one of my little learners will play in his 5th Suzuki violin recital in a couple weeks, And he is blossoming in our Cooking Class. So many good things. My littlest learner is unfolding beautifully in our Waldorfy prek circle, at my home church. The Circle Time was taken on by our Children’s Minister, in which we are so grateful. Once a week for an hour and a half we get together with 5/6 other families to sing, sign, hear stories, do crafts, move, shake and laugh. We come as we are, 2 to 4 years of age, at the moment. So many good things are evolving for the Wolf Pack, and Eagle Tree Homeschool. Teaching 3 age levels at the same time is a challenge, but with self care, time management, organization and Love as the centerpiece, it can be done.

If you are interested in speaking with me about my experience with Waldorf Essentials, I am now a (TFW) Thinking, Feeling, Willing Leader. Please comment below or contact me healingoneself@gmail.com. TFW is a blessing and gives you access to organized, essential mama lessons. Not only will Melisa hold your hand, if you are willing to do the inner work, but I will be nearby local, in Kentucky. It helps to have community.

Follow me over on IG @nurturing_spirit  for daily Waldorfy goodness.

If I have already referred you to Melisa and WE and you would like to be added to my secret Facebook group, just message me. I will add you. I plan to post videos, links to songs I sing for Circle Time or the Seasons and personal wisdom on homeschooling, mothering, marriage, and being self-employed (see www.coydogstudios.com and on IG @coydog~studios).

I also have a secret Facebook group for Handwork, if you wish to message me, I will add you there as well.

I have also organized homeschooling resources and other lifestyle pursuits over on Pinterest.

We have been using Waldorf Essentials curriculum for a number of years. I have taught both Kindy through Third twice, as well as Fourth and Fifth once through. I have had the honor to hold space for the preschool years three times, with my three sons, ages 11, 9 and now 3. Join me, if you wish and I will do my best to guide you as I can. Life is a journey, and we can take it day by day together.

 

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If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening my ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln

We have made it to the weekend, Saturday morning. I have been working from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. most days. When I do my planning the flow and momentum hold us up, even when we have an event, or disruption, we are still able to mostly maintain a rhythm.  Yesterday, I asked a friend over who paints and actually makes a little money at it in the Waldorf world. After chatting a bunch and getting stuff off our hearts and minds, we settled down to paint a seasonal scene. I paint slow and really do not feel a need to finish quickly, so I got as far as my first subject in the scene, which was a fox. He still needs one more layer to be finished, then I can move on to his surroundings. I have been working to build my painting skills for several years now, by painting with the boys on Monday’s. At first we began drawing in our nature journal, but two years ago we switched to watercolor painting. There were some little hints that I was missing a dimension in my painting, which I knew. After beginning I realized it had to do with my layering. I am not talking about wet on wet painting, which I definitely need more practice at doing. I am talking about painting gentle nature scenes. I don’t necessarily want a lot of hard lines either. I am glad I took Friday to refresh and evolve my skills, and I appreciate my friend coming over.

This weekend I have quite a few loose ends to tie up, so we can begin. I need to do a chalk drawing for our pre k theme. Squirrels and Nuts. I’ve created a Pinterest board for September, and will continue to do so for each month, saving chalk and watercolor themes to draw from. I need to finish writing down the exact things we will be doing next week and many weeks after, so it is out of my head and on paper. I do not physically write out many weeks at a time for my older kids, because a day may not go as planned, then we have to continue our work the next day. I find that once a week I sit down and write it out and that works best for us. Even though I do not write out a physical page of each week, till the week arrives, I do have a notebook on each child and what we must cover along with the resources. That is how I am able to maintain writing out the schedule on a weekly basis. Now, I take a majority of my time pouring over the materials, and digesting them. Aside from that, tons of administrative work must be done. Printing, laminating, organizing, cleaning out of the old and making space for the new. I had to dig out my fall flag banners, re organize the toy area, meditate on the children and make space to develop better habits, or new habits that will benefit us.

While I am So busy doing all my teacher preparation work, I decided to make a list for the boys to pull activities from that would be more on the quiet scale, well, sort of. Music practice with ukulele and violin. Reading. Audio books. Card and board games, of which I joined in, when it was tea/coffee time. And a little bit of hand work. We are going to be starting a kids Cooking Class next week as well, so I wanted the big boys to familiarize themselves with a new list posted, table chores and a night time check list. Once a day, during our break, I had them read the lists and digest it all. We have always had the boys help with chores that we try to call Home Blessings, so it is not a new concept. But, I always try to find a way for it to go smoother. Conscious Kitchen is a new keynote phrase around here, especially with my decision to go vegetarian for heart health reasons. Heart disease runs in my family and after a considerable amount of time listening to my body to ditch meat, I have finally acted. I have been meat free for a month. A couple time this week I did taste some of the meat I cooked for kids, but that is it.

Well, it’s time to be off and engage  my will in doing. Front loading my day works best for me. I promise to stop, stretch, breathe and draw myself into peace as much as possible. Tomorrow when I wake, I will be 39.

 

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In the bear’s cave of winter bubbles start to rise and pop in the dream space. The abyss is close by. The bear is sleepy, yet awake.  The mind has dials set to meditate and welcomes symbols and messages that will give directional guidance. That bear is me, and the symbol that came was the Makara Mudra, as I set intention on India, and the spiritual practice of the body.  As a teacher and a parent I have married the seasons, nature, Creator, my Self and the subjects in right-relationship. Our children came through me, so being a hollow bone during this time for them, as well as working on how I get in my own way is paramount.  It’s contradictory, and the struggle is real.

I try to remain open to the messages that become my teachings. Mudra’s are hand gestures that can influence the energy of the body. The Makara Mudra is a blessing, as it activates a resevoir of energy.  Winter is a time when we may activate that reservoir of energy to pull through a time of low energy, depression or overburdened tasks.  Makara is the name of a crocodile in Indian mythology. Crocodiles are known for their strength, which can be mobilized very quickly. Sometimes, many times I need access quickly to a reservoir of strength or energy as a mama.  Don’t you?!

January and February, as well as a few months into the school year are times when I have spread myself thin, or perhaps have not received the proper rest it takes to teach and parent and own a business.  When I looked into the Mudra that I intuitively chose I knew immediately Creator wished for me to know the gesture. I am learning so much, and in doing so I am planning out the year for the boys.  We are starting to embrace yoga more daily and I am researching some dancing, so we may bring our teachings to the body.  The whole child.

Here is a link if you would like to look further into the Makara Mudra.

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After weeks of hard work and memorizing lines, we culminate tonight and tomorrow watching Robin Hood!  Little Eagle plays Will Scarlett, a very Merry Man.

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