The little Waldorf coop we belong to was scheduled to go to a local Aviary this morning. It would have been fun and we love seeing our friends, but we needed a day out. Really out. In the mountains. We hadn’t seen the golden aspens nestled into the dark pines yet this year, and snow will soon fill up the canyons.
It was also a way for me to hit the reset button. I don’t know if you read Carrie’s post on The Parenting Passageway entitled How Old Are You? I have been feeling the way she described lately – although I love the home school lifestyle, I have been craving more time to myself. It may be the fact that the first block of seventh grade felt very uninspiring. Teal told me that ‘Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc’ by Mark Twain was the worst book I’ve ever made her read! Add to that the fact that I never got past the third chapter myself, and you see, it was just a recipe for disaster. I have also been feeling emotionally drained by activities I’m committed to, the responsibilities of a homemaker, and keeping up with plans my husband has. It feels like a big load to balance sometimes.
Even though we take a walk around our neighborhood every day, sometimes I’m desperate to get into nature; to drink the pine-scented air, to watch the squirrel wrangle a mushroom into the brush, to listen to the chatter of small mountain birds, to simply be with my children.
I found what I needed out there today. I will try not to wait so long next time.
How do you hit reset?
I consider myself a realist. In most situations I notice both the good and the bad, and I don’t get overly excited by the good or depressed because of the bad. I just notice.
This first week of school there was some good and some bad. In no particular order, here are some of the situations we encountered.
- One child, who felt like they were missing out on buses and lockers, was in tears one day and happy the next.
- There was getting used to a more school-like schedule.
- I entertained thoughts about whether I’m stifling their creativity by not “unschooling.”
- Every one completed their new additional chores without complaining.
- We spent a beautiful morning in the mountains with our little Waldorf preschool friends. Every week we will be getting out for at least one full morning and I’m really looking forward to those days. I may introduce some nature journaling for the two older kids.
- For foreign language studies this year, I’m speaking Spanish to the ducklings one day each week – the same day we get outside. I’m using the Waldorf resource Senderos as my overall guide and the book Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish to guide us into a more academic approach to language. Neither of these books is a “ready-to-go” curriculum for children (Madrigal’s is written for adults to teach themselves), so I have to plan our Spanish lessons each week.
- I decided to combine Teal’s first two blocks of seventh grade which will give us a full month to read Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and work on perspective drawing. This works much better because we can begin or finish a perspective drawing skill and read two chapters together as part of her main lesson. We will also be doing some modeling projects and drawings based on what we read in Joan of Arc.
- Pintail began a two-week form drawing block based on Marsha Johnson’s Grade 3-4 guide. The forms have been pretty fun, and a good preparation for more of the knotted forms we will try this year, but I always find that I must edit her stories a bit to feel authentic to me. He is also doing math review of regrouping, long division, long multiplication and the metric system measurement basics. We are using Jamie York’s free fact sheets for review of the basic times tables and functions.
- Wigeon gets songs and poems each day and we are using the story “The Autumn Blanket” found in Autumn by Wynstones Press.
- We baby sat my eleven-month-old nephew on Friday and the kids were all so helpful. It made me proud of them.
- One afternoon after everyone got grumpy, I took some time to sit and really think about the reasons I think it’s better to home school my kids. Sometimes, all those long-thought-out things get forgotten. It’s good to reevaluate.
- We have really enjoyed this cold and much wetter than usual August.
Thank you for reading! Have you started school? How are things going for your family?