Relationships – Common Ground and Steiner

partnering Jul 21, 2024

One of my biggest aims in supporting homeschooling families is helping husbands and wives communicate and relate to each other.  By finding common ground, gaps can be bridged and partners can build some depth in their relationship - depth that meets the needs of both Mom and Dad.  Most of the time when a mom tells me that Dad isn't supportive of Steiner/Waldorf/homeschooling, it is just a symptom of a much larger problem.  There is a big hole in how they communicate and Steiner just makes that gap seem bigger than ever.

My husband, Erik, is a huge film buff.  He's your average man who loves to see things blowing up (that's the 10 year-old boy that lives inside most men), but he's also got a desire to understand where the filmmaker was coming from.  What we found is how Steiner's indications are alive and well in many of the films that he enjoys.  This morning I was relating to him an excerpt from "Handwork Indications" in...

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Waldorf is Age Appropriate Learning that Meets Your Child's Age

waldorf education Jul 07, 2024

WHY do we teach what we do for each grade?
WHEN do we place children for their ages?
WHAT about moving ahead and holding back?

Waldorf is much different than anything you have ever experienced.
You must suspend all you know about how the mainstream education system. All you know about grades, what age your child should go to school and whether or not they are gifted (or delayed) EVERYTHING. It is only when you do this that you can be fully ready to understand Waldorf. Ready?

Suppose that you can look beyond the physical being standing before you and really understand your child's development - more than that, suppose you can learn to understand what they need at each stage of your child's development. Many of us are attracted to Waldorf because of early childhood and how gentle it is, how it seems to meet the child just where they are...we stay in love with this model until our neighbor or sister in law gets ready to send their child to preschool at age four...then we...

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Family History Study

history inner work Jun 23, 2024

Family history is one of those things that Steiner didn't really talk about in the lectures given to the first teachers.  In his time, many extended families still lived near each other and children had aunts, uncles, cousins all about. Today we are a much more fragmented society.  There are times in our lives where as adults, we relish in that "buffer zone" we have created, some of us because we don't get along with our families and others because jobs or necessity has pulled us away from the place we grew up. 

As a child, my birth father was in the Army and I moved a lot, I missed grandparents and other extended family and then as my parents divorced when I was young, my mother and I lived in a place that was 1000 miles from my nearest relative.  I craved family.  I wanted to sit at the feet of my grandmother and hear stories of her childhood, listen to my grandfather talk about "courting" my grandmother and the early years of their marriage.  He told...

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Creating Boundaries to Protect Your Child

parenting steiner Jun 09, 2024

I have been studying anthroposophy for many years, both in its application to education, as well as spirituality and human nature as a whole. 

In “Gratitude, Love, and Duty,” Steiner mentions:

"Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favorable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies.”

Steiner, is very clear about us providing the favorable conditions. These are young children we are talking about. Many parents, even some on the Waldorf path have a fairly mainstream protocol when it comes to friends and neighbors… kids are playing, seem to be having fun, they are leaving me alone, all must be well. This is a very common attitude and is easy to fall into. I have always held the practice that neighborhood children should play at my home, this allows me to keep a watchful eye on...
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The Waldorf 9 Year Change

changes temperaments May 26, 2024

The changes at age 9 are very different from those at any other stage. I found the changes at 6 (traversed it personally 5 times) much easier, but it does give you some prep for 9. The changes at 12, 14, 16 are way easier than age 9 (at least in my experience.) I sort of think of some of the changes like this... If 6 is leaving Eden, the changes at 6 are often sadness and frustration at the loss of being small, the changes at 9, are a follow up to that. At 9, they are smacked with some of the horror of the world, they are mad about their new found independent feelings but they can't do a ton (in their eyes) about their surroundings.

I HAVE found that parents who struggle have kids that struggle more, but that being said MOST kids struggle to some degree. Most get mad, frustrated, irritable, self righteous, indignant and just plain rude at times during the change. The outbursts have a lot to do with home life, exposure to negative people AND in my opinion, temperament.

My melancholic...

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I want to do Waldorf homeschooling but it is so hard!

homeschooling May 12, 2024

I have heard this from many over the years. I try hard to not chuckle because when I started down this path there really was very little in the way of support. Eric Fairman's guides were about the only guides out there unless you wanted to spend hundreds of dollars on one of the two big companies. 

That money was never in my budget so I would each summer buy Fairman's newest book and write what we would do for the school year - it would take me a good two months to get it all in place but then I was set. I remember being so thankful for what was there. I also took this time to really get to know me, I was on a spiritual journey and I realized that Waldorf was as much about healing myself as it was about educating my children. I took the time to read Steiner and to formulate what would later become our books.

Waldorf isn't supposed to be easy, but it is WORTH IT. 

With anything in our lives that is worth having, it is worth working for. 

You were drawn to Waldorf...

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Waldorf Homeschooling "I just don't have time for handwork!"

handwork Apr 28, 2024

I often get objections of "I just don't have time for handwork!"

Sure you do!  

We are super busy people.  
We have been a family of five children, homeschool and run our business... we are full on, full time... BUSY people.

While I have Erik here to help, he is often doing his end of our business and hours will go by with him tucked in his office. I find little nuggets of time to knit and plan out afternoons for sewing. It can be done.

Aside from Steiner's indications of handwork being appropriate for developing children, I feel like it really enriches our home, it brings us together. We don't fight about handwork, the children see me creating and they have the impulse to create along side me, I have set the tone.

Getting the whole family involved in projects and working together is so rewarding and is a wonderful way to bring you all to one spot... a hard thing with teen age kids that have their own schedules. I love our handwork time, it is a priority for us....

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Menus and Chores for Parenting and Homeschooling

home keeping Apr 21, 2024

"Things in space
Speak to the senses,
Changing in time.
The human soul in cognizing...
Unlimited by space,
Untouched by time...
Reaches into the Kingdom of Eternity"

I take criticism now and then that I am too organized, too rigid, on the contrary! I am fully aware and continually balancing the realms of Lucifer and Ahriman - the one that loves chaos and the one that binds. We have to find the Christ in the center - the balancing.

Over the last several years, I have a saying from our church that I ponder extensively.

"Organize yourselves;
prepare every needful thing;
and establish a house,
even a house of prayer,
a house of fasting,
a house of faith,
a house of learning,
a house of glory,
a house of order,
a house of God."
 ~ These are the things I seek.
This peace, this balance.

So with that here I am posting about menus and chores!

First menus! Now these can be CRAZY detailed or fairly lax.(Do NOT get lost on Pinterest!) I really think this depends a lot on who you are, how...

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Finishing the Homeschool Year

homeschooling Apr 14, 2024

I tend to get a fair amount of emails this time of year that sound a little frantic.

"We got off track and there is no way I will finish!"

"I am stuck!  We all just want to play and we are not finished."

Sound familiar at all? Or maybe you just didn't intend to have as many sick bugs as you were struck with...or maybe you have a little one that gave you more fits than you expected? So many reasons that we get off track.  The important thing isn't to sit and dwell on the WHY. Now is the time to take stock and think about how you can spend the next 6-8 weeks getting finished up.

Something I always do is look at my original plan, exactly how far off am I?

a week?

a month?

WHAT? You didn't make a plan?

ok, that means you need to email me and set up a consult! I can't fix that in a blog post. I can help you fix a week or a month though. GET SUPPORT HERE

Grade 1: What are you behind on? Letter introduction  How is the process of learning going?  Remember that it is a...

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I Want to Get Up But My Kids Are Early Risers

parenting sleep Apr 07, 2024

Here are my thoughts on early risers... they may not be popular, but they are still something to think about.

My kids are good sleepers now, but they have been all over the place with their sleep and we have struggled at times. Harry, my oldest, is an early riser, always has been, he used to have a knack for waking everyone in the house up... like a bull in a china shop!  So when he was 6 I told him if he woke people up then he would have to help entertain them! It really doesn't come down to much more than parenting... learning how to be the authority and helping children understand what is acceptable behavior and what isn't.

Clothing Tip: Look at how children are dressed at night, many that wake up early wake because they are cold, it brings them out of a deep sleep as the body cools in the wee hours of the morning. Dressing them warmly helps a lot. We lived in negative temps and Sam did not like covers. He slept in his bed if we dressed him...

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