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Posts Tagged ‘waldorf homeschooling’

I just finished visiting Amber Hellewell’s blog, Hearth Magic – She is looking for magic, and she had a brilliant thought, in her latest post The Curse of the Main Lesson Book (MLB). It actually reminded me of several things Julie, from Bravewriter has said recently. Ok, I am going to say it. We have Main Lesson Book burnout. It may be more than burnout. We moved this year, as I have mentioned in recent posts. We have kept up as many lessons as we can on certain days of the week, dedicated to Main Lesson studies. But, my main goal is to stay essential, and reach the child in any creative way I can.

This past year with moving I will admit some of my burdens and stresses have been on the unknown. How this move will turn out? Will the boys eventually go to public school? And many more personal questions. There are wonderful things happening and being revealed to us each week, but we have been carrying other invisible burdens that have affected our daily lives. For one, we are All changing, and how we express ourselves is changing. This isn’t a burden, it’s actually a gift, but the change is taxing. We need more rest. We need to honor ourselves more in this part of the journey. Here’s how I really feel at the moment.

 

 

How well will I learn this lesson at the moment? Will I receive it? How open will I be in allowing myself to transform in the chrysalis, and how much will it hurt emerging through to the other side? Will I recognize myself? Is it me stepping toward my Truth and Real Self. I do believe that is part of it. As a teacher, mama, visionary, woman, warrior, healer, I recognize there is deep healing going on. In the Waldorf pedagogy, one begins to recognize head, hearts and hands as a healing philosophy. It’s a vehicle for healing. That’s what I love about it. The ultimate lesson for us is learning to create, manifest, dream and make those dreams real. Love, forgiveness, compassion, grace all happen to be part of the healing and manifesting.

I have always tried to honor my boys, when it comes to their gifts and challenges. But, lately this past year our struggle has been with the Main Lesson Book. Keeping up with it so rigorously is very stressful. Partly because of our temperaments. Partly because I need to find a process which allows the true writer within us to emerge. Our process needs to change right now. We need to enter into the intuitive writer within ourselves. If I do not do this right now for myself and our children, I pass the portal-the gateway that is being offered to us, and ceremoniously reflected (mirrored) to us in our struggles. Like Amber says of her oldest child, he loves retelling her the stories with excitement. And, he loves drawing his own stories. We each have our gifts, but this way is best for him at the moment. I honor Amber for Seeing this in her child.

My children have their strengths and vulnerabilities. One of my guys is a valiant storyteller and artist. He can write stories, but has struggled and grown, because he is unafraid to make mistakes, or to fail. One of my guys is much more reserved in his storytelling and writing. He has a rich inner world though. Part of my trickster-teacher-mama inner-work and guidance must figure out a way to get him to write fluidly, without overthinking the perfectionism, the mechanical. It makes a person frozen, and we have to figure out a way to unfreeze and allow that water to flow. I believe beginning grammar and mechanics too early will hinder some temperaments. Children need to be unafraid to write, without the distraction. I mean how many of you want to write a blog post/a book, but never start for fear of All the Things. Something I keep hearing over and over in many circles, and whispers in my ear, Journal. Journaling can be the gateway. It’s intuitive. Blogging is my way of journaling and communicating. Why, because I have a need within me to do so, and I want to share and serve my community in a way related to the Arts.

 

 

I added the above meditation for you and me. I can really Feel that many of you are experiencing an open third eye at this time, but it’s the throat chakra that is needing the clearing. Perhaps the throat chakra of our school, Eagle Tree needs clearing as well. Our school is an organism, and I at times must meditate, pray, and get out of my own way. This is what the Teacher does. Importantly, this is what Humans must do. Get out of our own way. I want to give you a practical list below on ways you can get out of your own way right now, and open up your throat chakra. Your communication chakra for yourself, and for the organism that is your homeschool and family!

1.Use your voice, or as my littlest one has recently been saying “boice.” Synchronicity. Over the past couple weeks my little guy has just been repeating or saying out loud the word “boice.” He is contemplating his own voice. Our voices. The yelling voices. The whispering voices. The singing voices. The storytelling voices. Use your voice in a fresh, creative way. Sing, chant, hum or whistle. Chant in the shower, whistle as you do your chores, hum to yourself as you cook. Use your pipes!

2. Use your mouth in other ways. Scream! It’s fun. Laugh! Yawn. Kiss. Groan. Sigh. Stick your tongue out far in Lion Pose.

3. Pick up a musical instrument. A kazoo. A flute. A harmonica!

4. Play some music! If playing a musical instrument is not your thing, crank some tunes next time you are cooking, gardening, running, driving or hanging out. Sing-along. Listen to whatever you enjoy!

5. Clean Food. I follow the tarot, because I believe it is a unique way to follow my intuition through artistic renderings of the archetypes. One has been popping up for me lately and that is Clean Food. It is meant for our whole family. Recently, loads of happy mail came from my mom and Amazon. A gluten-free artisan bread recipe book. I have seen examples of my friends success with it on IG. The Medical Medium book has had synchronicity in aiding the throat chakra/thyroid area. I am using Anthony Williams protocol, as a nice guide for healing the body all the way, deep, deep down to our tiny little cells and tissues. I’m aiming to transform. The butterfly will be here soon.

6. Journal. Expressing yourself on paper is one of the most cathartic things you can do to release your inner truth. Write letters to yourself. Write letters to your children. Write notes to your spouse or partner. Write a blog. Write a book! Write out your dreams, wishes, gratitudes, desires, and inner feelings.

One thing I am going to do today is listen to an audio and then write out my business/family vision in detail. I am going to give as much detail to it as I can and cover a range of 10 years. I am taking a Visionary Business Introductory Course, via Daily Om. Journaling is one of the best ways to invite spontaneous insight, understanding and growth into our lives. It is truly a way to dig deeper. And as I have mentioned in my Instagram Stories, it is truly a time of deep ancestral healing. How are we living our truth? How are we healing across time and space? We are the ones we have been waiting for mamas. I know you have heard that before. We are great healers and teachers. Now is the time to break those karmic contracts we did not sign up for. The ways we act, the limiting beliefs, the self-loathing, the inability to Slow down and walk in beauty, as my old teacher Grandmother Jeremie would say. Let’s walk in beauty and allow our children the space they need, the occasional push they need, the creative outlets that works for each of them. It is a hard job, it is a job for creatives. But, we signed up for it. As a matter of fact, we eagerly placed ourselves here and now, for This Job.

So, weeks back we tossed off the Main Lesson Books, and began to walk the Path of Peace. Well, not all days were peaceful. There were some fights, miscommunications, misunderstandings, hormones (teen and adult), tears, some laughter, some singing, loootttsss of breathing, as much sleep as possible. Super clean food, which is Loads of work. Exhausting some days. My life is messy, hard, and challenging. I have three free-spirited boys with different learning abilities. I have my own sensitivities, challenges and demands. It doesn’t make me a worse-case for the job, because of my stressors. It makes me the perfect person for the job, if I am willing to look darkness and change in the face. I may cry. I may need more sleep. I may look like a ragged warrior or even perhaps Shield Maiden coming off the field of battle, but I have never backed down from a job. I may Shift, or change footing, but I am up for this healing life I have been called to.

How’s that for expressing my throat chakra. (cackles like a witch.)

 

Artist Unknown.

 

Artist Unknown.

 

 

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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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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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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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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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