The Rhythms of Reverence in Homeschooling Daily Life

By Barbara Benson

The Rhythms of Reverence in Homeschooling Daily Life
Why is it important to instill a sense of reverence into our homeschooling daily life?  Reverence is a fundamental ” mood of the soul”, a sense of love and devotion to knowledge and learning. As Rudolf Steiner noted in lecture 1 of the book, The World of Senses and the World of Spirit, without a feeling of first wonder and then reverence for the universe, our thinking cannot “penetrate to reality.”

The young child is naturally reverent. A parent’s ability to nurture and enhance this capacity for wonder and reverence is a  key factor in the child’s developing ability to lead a productive, harmonious everyday life. As a family, instilling a sense of reverence  into our homeschooling and our family life allows all of us to  express a harmonious daily rhythm and to develop our deeper sense of spiritual purpose as citizens of the universe.

Here are a few simple guidelines for developing a daily rhythm of reverence:

  • As we awaken to a new day, how we pass from sleeping to waking helps frame our day. As adults, we can do a brief meditation to greet the day and visualize our child and family moving harmoniously through the day. With our children, we can develop a conscious song or poem to help our child greet the day, or begin homeschooling.
  • In our daily household work life with our children, instilling an “attitude of gratitude” for  our daily responsibilities is also important. Listening to, and relating to nature in a thoughtful and quiet way on daily walks also inspires reverence. Saying some form of grace or blessing at meals helps to instill reverence for the earth and gratitude for the food.
  • Of course, the more we can instill a sense of wonder and reverence for what we are working to teach our children in homeschooling, the more we will draw forth from them an enthusiastic response and a reverent attitude towards learning.
  • Most Waldorf inspired families know the importance of a smooth transition to a good night’s sleep. Lighting a candle prior to telling a bedtime story instills a sense of calm and security to the child. A brief verse or prayer enhances the feeling of reverence for a day completed: ” Goodnight Goodnight;  far flies the light; But still God’s love does shine above, making all bright; Goodnight, Goodnight.” As we adults prepare for sleep, it is so helpful to visualize and bless our children, ask for guidance in nurturing them, and surround them with love. Let go of any sense of upset or inadequacy from the day, express gratitude for the day just past, and let sleep renew and revitalize you.

Posted on November 15, 2015 in Barbara, Family Life and Parenting, Personal Growth

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