Category Archives: Parenting

Wonderful Things

I sat down intending to write a summary of Pintail’s fiber block, but there is just something calling me to record some of the wonderful things that have been going on in our lives lately.

IMG_4602 IMG_4601 IMG_4599

First, Teal learned how to tie a quilt. Tying a quilt is wonderful, but even more wonderful is having a sisterhood in our church community that allows and encourages the young women to learn handwork skills and homemaking skills from the older women.

IMG_4711 IMG_4716 IMG_4714 IMG_4720 IMG_4752

Second, I have absolutely loved Pintail’s Waldorf third grade. It fits him so well and is so enjoyable for me! Every block has been terrific and the hands on nature and practicality of it all fits his development so well. We spent a lovely morning at the local botanical garden just a few days ago and it was wonderful! We have also got our garden in and Pintail is in charge of its care taking.

IMG_4687 IMG_4629

Third, I have been feeling more successful and on-top of all things pertaining to housework. It’s still a constant struggle to home school, feed everyone healthy meals and snacks, and keep the house tidy, but I have been approaching my tasks with more focus and love and trying to manage the older kids’ duties while including Wigeon in everything I can. I got some great ideas about managing a home from the book Large Family Logistics that I saw mentioned on the Little Home Blessings blog. The book is very Christian in nature and I like how the author starts out by examining the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Who wouldn’t want to be that woman?! Some phrases in the book have stuck with me as I try to manage everything. “Inspect what you expect.” “Don’t lay it down, put it away.”

What wonderful things have you been experiencing lately?

The Real Curriculum in a Waldorf Homeschool

It has been amazing to see the growing interest in Waldorf or Steiner homeschooling on Facebook over the past year. Parents are out there in droves wondering how to get started, how to implement the philosophies, and which is the best curriculum to use. There are truly so many wonderful resources that it is hard to pick with which ones to spend our time! I started with Waldorf a little over four years ago. I remember the excitement I felt in finding an educational philosophy that honored children as children. I wanted all the information right then, but, as with any skill, you learn and grow and arrive bit by bit. It is with that thought that I offer the following curriculum suggestion, a suggestion that I believe to be at the very root of your home school:

YOU ARE THE CURRICULUM in your Waldorf Homeschool!

And not just Waldorf homeschools, but in any type of homeschooling, or public schooling family; YOU ARE THE CURRICULUM!

Those that have studied early childhood know that children learn by imitation. This is stressed in every single Waldorf early childhood book I have read. Your young child learns by watching you! And not just watching by you, they “feel” you. They pick up on your moods, your stress, and your joy. Then, after they watch and feel you, they begin to play it all out. I’m sure you’ve overheard your child practicing something you’ve said in a tone you’ve used! This is how they learn.

Well, guess what, that doesn’t end when they start in the grades. Your sixth grader is still learning by watching you! Don’t believe me? Just wait until the morning you are in your ratty pajamas, with your make-up smeared on your face because you didn’t wash it the night before, your hair unbrushed and you decide to get mad at your sixth grader because they didn’t hop up and get completely ready for homeschool to begin.  You just might hear something muttered under their breath along the lines of “Yeah, like you got ready for school today…” You see, although your child is growing and may be entering the phase of rational thought and truth, they still learn by watching you!

If the truth that YOU ARE THE CURRICULUM feels unsettling, I want to offer this quote found in  Beyond the Rainbow Bridge:

The growing and developing in the child listens to the growing and developing in the teacher. Therefore, just as much as the teacher works on himself, so much can he work on his pupils and so he can teach them. Education and self-education are one and the same. This knowledge takes away the sense of inadequacy. The question is not how far I have come and how much I can accomplish, but rather that I must constantly struggle. I can give to the children to the same degree that I work on myself.

Your sense of inadequacy vanishes when you realize that you teach according to your own struggle and developing, NOT according to how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished!

So, allow yourself a deep breath. It really doesn’t matter which Waldorf curriculum you choose (if any!), there is good and bad in every curriculum. It really doesn’t matter how much knowledge or materials you have when you begin. What matters is how YOU are struggling, growing and developing. So just get busy doing with your children because  YOU ARE THE CURRICULUM!