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Hi Hannah, welcome to the forum. : )
Did you manage to get anything started?
I’ve yearned for some kind of coop for a years, 4H has become our closest resemblance of a group for my children.
My two oldest children tend to be how you are describing. It helps for us to slow down. So we might extend the block to move a little slower, or skip other lessons to allow more time for main lesson. I try to balance gently nudging them forward and finishing their work and skipping lessons to give them breathing space. I also try to be conscious of how I am feeling- if I start feeling rushed, they feel that rush and freeze up and then nothing gets done. : )
I agree with Ginger- listen to you heart. I will also say that it’s not always easy to listen and follow your heart. We are faced with so much fear in the world, it’s easy to be confused and wonder if we are making the right choices. We do the best we can and we can always change our mind.
Love and light,
Welcome Effie. So glad you found the forum. I hear you about feeling the loneliness, it’s so nice to have a forum to connect. I recently bought a set of Goddess Power oracle cards, love the guidance I’ve been receiving lately. : )
I have used a visual list that I hang on the wall. I’m not sure it helped my children so much, mostly it was for me to see what needs to be done. And yes over the years I find I don’t really need it because we know what needs to be done. It’s the same with the rhythm of the day it has become a part of our family. I feel like strong rhythms give strength and energy when I’m tired. It takes so much effort to get the rhythm of life and chores started but after putting that effort in over a few months and then years, I feel like the rhythm gives me strength and energy when I’m tired. Dishes are done after we eat- sometimes after supper I’m tired and don’t feel like doing dishes, but as soon as I get up I feel like I’m carried by our rhythm and clean up begins and my energy is renewed- and my children usually follow, maybe with a little “encouragement”. : )
And of course it’s not all blissful all the time, lol. The rhythm and chores are tied to me as a mother- yes, my husband helps- but I’m the one who keeps things flowing. I need to be organized and clear what my expectations are (and lower them if I need too ; )
There are plenty of beautiful rhythm charts and chore charts online and I have used some in the past- they look pretty on the wall- the thing is they only work if you carry it through. You could try a chart/list, maybe your daughter will enjoy having a little check list or maybe not.
Let me know how it goes.
This is a great topic! Practical life skills are an important part of our family. I’m not sure of any resources for guidance but I can share how we manage chores in our home.
For us chores are built into our rhythm. I have a list of daily chores:
Morning Barn Chores
Afternoon Household Chores
Evening Barn Chores.
And weekly chores (Monday- bathrooms, Tuesday- water plants etc.)
Morning chores include dishes, sweeping… since I have teens I am more of a supervisor. They might do dishes while I do the laundry with my 11 year old and 6 year old. My 11 year old does well with completing a task to my standards- this has been years of guidance and correction. I have learned to let go (somewhat! ; ) of what I think is the right way to do something. My teens have helped me see that there is more than one way to do things. And I remind myself of the importance of letting them learn how to do something and that they will find different ways of doing things and its ok if it’s not done how I want it. And things take longer! I can do the chores faster and better than my children but they wouldn’t benefit and I would burn out.
We have a large family and a farm to manage- I need to disperse the chores- I simply can’t do it all. So everyone is expected to help. When I see they have done a really good job on something I try to make sure I tell them. I think they feel valuable when their work is appreciated.
As far as what your daughter can manage, you’ll have try giving her chores to do and see how she makes out. She might like some chores better than others, try to find a balance. At her age you will be doing most of the chores with her, guiding as you go.
No clue! lol I would be interested to hear how others have gone about creating transcripts and portfolios.
Any Canadians on the forum? How does this work in Canada??August 20, 2018 at 1:45 pm in reply to: I am a former public school teacher struggling to shift gears. #11366
It can be overwhelming to take in all the various elements of waldorf. First, relax, take one piece at a time. Find what is inspiring to you and bring it to your children. Then keep adding things. It is much better to begin slowly and Homeschool sustainably rather than jumping in over your head and giving up. So maybe you love form drawing, practice it yourself and when you are confident with the form, introduce it to your children.
Waldorf pedagogy is based on the soul development of the child. The objective of the curriculum is to speak to the child on a soul level. So fairy tales for grade 1, saints stories for grade 2… the lesson highlights elements of the stories and weaves in language arts, history, math etc. Is it not so much splitting lessons into subjects and having objectives but that the subject matter arises from the story or lesson you have planned.
It can sometimes feel like your fumbling around in the dark, at least it does for me. And honestly I feel more prepared for a lesson after I teach it! lol
Inner work is an important part of waldorf education. Steiner said “You will not be good teachers if you focus only on what you do and not upon who you are.”
Maybe for you this means trying to understand why you need structure and objectives and how you can let go and trust yourself.
As you plan your lessons it can be helpful to keep in mind what kind of children your are aiming to raise. Is it important that your children have a good knowledge of history? Do you want your children to be athletic?
For me working with waldorf extends far beyond my children’s education, it’s about how we live our life and being conscious of our choices.
Does that help?
Hmmm, that’s a good point. I’m not sure how to go about this. I wonder how different Canada and US styles are. Or are they similar? My sense is there are close enough to not make a huge difference overall.
Would love to hear what others have to say. Any Canadians on the forum??
Welcome Morgan. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to know this forum can be a place we can be vulnerable share these sensitive issues.
It can be so hard when those around do not share the same beliefs and think that somehow we are ruining our children by protecting them from things like technology. You can do your best to try to help them understand what you are doing but I think the most important thing is for you to get really clear with yourself what your boundaries are for your family. These are your children and you are the one who decides how you would like to raise them. The same is true for your children. If you truly believe that no or low technology is the right thing then you need to find a way to push through and create those boundaries for your children. I believe the greatest gift we can give our children is boundaries. Your children might be angry with you but you are the mama and you know best.
It terms of your own use of technology, you will need to find your comfort zone. What is your relationship with technology? In my perfect world there would be no tech. But I would miss things like this forum and other sources of support for homeschooling and waldorf. I believe being an adult using tech is very different than children using it. I really like what Diane Poole Heller and Kim Payne have to say about technology. Here is a link:
It can be hard to find the time and energy to focus on inner work when you have young children. It’s not about spending hours in meditation. It can be simply pondering things like “why do I struggle to create boundaries…”, reciting a verse, handwork, going for a walk. Even working with rhythm can be healing. Creating rest time for you and the children. As mothers we need to find ways to fit in inner work.
I hear you about being a focused worker. This is a struggle for me too. I just want to get it done! haha.
It sounds like you doing your best to limit technology. I find if I’m tired that’s when I let go of my ideal. Making sure I am getting the rest and nourishment I need helps to keep me on my path.
It’s easy to know why we want to do these things for our children the real challenge is finding how to do it. Often the struggle to establish boundaries is the hardest but once everyone knows those boundaries it’s a matter of holding them. Be strong mama! Your certainly not the only one struggling with these is issues.
Ginger, your summer days sounded wonderful! I remember those beautiful days with my older three. PLAY! : )
These days life is a little different with older children (15, 13 and 11 years) My youngest son (6yrs next week) doesn’t have as much sibling playtime. It’s sad in a way but he also gets to do neat things with older siblings too. They often show him things they used to do…
Our summer so far has been plenty of outside time! Working in the garden, bush walks, playing by the river and discovering nature. We found the sweetest little Killdeer babies in the pasture the other day.
My two older children have been working at a neighbors guest ranch. It’s amazing how it changes the family dynamic. I see my two younger children happily playing together. And the older two have worked off that teenage energy! lol
I agree summer can be challenging! We are usually outside during the summer. The house very quickly turns upside down, with not a lot of time (want, lol) to clean up. We do our best to keep mealtimes regular which helps. For me, I just want to let go! Which sometimes leads to crazy children.
We had a family bed too. Sometimes my two younger children still come into the “big bed” when their dad is working away. I don’t have any sure fire ways to get your son moved to his own bed. The only thing I can say is if I am wanting my children to do something or change something usually a little encouragement helps “you know its time you started to sleep in your own bed” or ” Mama’s going to sleep alone (with dad) tonight… you can come for cuddles in the morning…” Ultimately they have to be ready. I wonder if you can make his bed a special place, new bedding? special lights? tenting his bed?
Kristin, I like your comment about the feeling of not being pure enough. It’s funny how we can lock ourselves into these feelings. Honestly over the past 15 years we have been “very waldorf” and “not so waldorf”. It can be so difficult in a world that often goes against our ideals. I can very quickly go to the place of guilt for things that I have done/allowed that are not my ideal. In my perfect world I would do everything right from the very beginning. But then I remember I’m human! It’s OK to make mistakes, and grow and learn and move forward.
We have missed blocks, projects, activities etc too. We have had unfinished handwork projects left in the closet for a couple years that we come back to and finish… And then there are the things that just don’t get done. It’s always a dilemma as to what to do. Often we have just read blocks like Norse Myth (since that was all the energy I had). It’s happened that we have combined blocks that my oldest had missed with my younger child that was currently doing said block. Life happens and you do the best you can. Finding ways to weave in lessons can be helpful. It’s beautiful when you can match the lessons to your children’s developmental stage but these stories are timeless they still have value even if they hear them at another age. The biggest thing that has help us get through blocks especially during upheaval is remembering that we don’t have to do it all. For example, I might think I would like to do all the projects, art work and plan out an amazing block but if we can’t make it happen all that I have planned feels like a waste. So I scale things back, often way back. I pick a few things maybe a painting, copying a poem and a project for the block and the rest is enjoying the story.
And then, let it go! There is no use holding onto guilt that you haven’t done what you think you should have. lol Hope that makes sense. : )
My name is Sabrina I live in British Columbia, Canada with my husband and our four children ages 15, 13, 11 and 5 years. We have been using Christopherus for many years. Donna’s work has been our guiding light through homeschooling, parenting and life. I am happy to be a part of this forum to help support and be supported by others traveling the same path.
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your work.
I'm finding the whole homeschool thing very challenging, and one downfall of all this waldorf stuff for me is that I now have such high standards of how I want things to be. When things get hard, and I yell at the children, act like a child myself and totally lose it,(which is daily) I come back to your books, your audios and this forum [Waldorf at Home]. And now, as I read the books, I can sort of hear your voice and your intonations. I really like your sense of humour, and combination of common sense and yet strong opinions. Anyway, I just wanted you to know. Thank you.
Carla from Australia
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