I’ve heard these sentences a hundred times this summer. The summer is long.
We dread these sentences. They make us feel bad, don’t they. They make us feel guilty, like we are not doing a good enough job of entertaining our children. Like we are letting our children down by letting them experience ‘bored’.
They make us feel like we are neglecting our children. This is when we wish we’d signed them up for those expensive summer camps… or art classes or when we wish that the summer wasn’t so long.
DON’T feel guilty or bad or dread the ‘bored’ word.
We have it wrong. Being bored is GOOD for our children.
We are NOT being good parents by making sure our children are constantly busy.
We are, in fact, doing our kids a disservice. We are keeping something really amazing FROM them.
For, it is AFTER these dreaded declarations of boredom that our children tap into something magical.
It is after they’ve traveled through the discomfort of having nothing to do, after they have flopped onto the couch in dismay and stared out of the window at the rustling leaves.
It is after this emptying of their minds that wonderful imaginings come to them. Beautiful unique thoughts and ideas.
THIS is when they find their creativity… and imagination and inspiration. It’s AMAZING to watch.
Being bored is infinitely good for our children.
So, next time our children say that they are bored, let’s smile inwardly and say ‘YES’ to our selves.
Next time our children say they are bored, let’s NOT jump to their rescue but let’s rather let them experience their boredom, travel through it and find the seam of magic that is waiting for them on the other side.
I love it when I rediscover something beautiful, something that moved me years ago… and find that it moves me still, just the same. Such is how I feel about this Discovering Waldorf Education post I stumbled upon a few days ago. In fact, it was the very first article in the Discovering Waldorf series, written four years ago! There have been 180 Discovering Waldorf Education articles since and this is the one that started it all off. Very fitting.
Donna, from The Waldorf Connection is here to share an article on how homeschooling can fit into our busy lives.
How can homeschooling fit into my busy life?
These days everyone seems busier than ever and if you
have one or more young children, you can feel like a juggler
with too many spinning plates.
The thought of adding homeschooling to the mix could give
visions of plates crashing to the ground (and you with them.)
But, it can work.
If homeschooling with Waldorf education is tugging at your heart strings,
there is hope. You can weave all your activities into a daily rhythm that works
for your lifestyle and gives your child an excellent education.
If you have a 6 year old, a toddler and a baby then your free time is already
at nil. You may not be able to make felted toys, dye your own silks or
host a festival, but there are many simple ways to bring Waldorf into your life.
Opt for a “done for you” curriculum rather than choosing to create it all yourself.
Understand the commitment.
There is a commitment when you decide to become your child’s educator..
It is an important responsibility you are undertaking. That being said, it is
also a joyful, exciting journey. Commit to being your best for your child.
If that means take-out instead of a home-cooked meal due to extreme
tiredness- it’s ok. The love and passion that comes through you is the most
A teacher doesn’t show up to her class without training. An employee doesn’t
start a new job by figuring it out alone. Why do homeschool moms feel we should be able to
do this by “winging it”? Find someone who is a bit further along to answer your questions
and concerns. In the beginning, confidence is the biggest obstacle. Getting guidance and
support from mentors, other homeschooling friends and family goes a long way.
Lay your daily rhythm foundation.
Your day can be a whirlwind of trying to stay one step ahead and
not collapse or you can set up your main rhythms of the day as your foundation.
A rhythm is something you do each day like meals, dressing, naps, diaper changes,
and bedtime. Use meal planners, and establish solid routines that can put those
things you do each day on auto pilot. It becomes just ‘what you do” instead of
you wondering “what do I do?!”
Hold you head high.
You have made a decision that feels right for you and your family, but others
may not understand or may question whether you can do it. Keep your spouse and
family in the loop. If they understand what you are doing, it will be easier for them to
support and help you. Waldorf can be different for many families, so give them
some information on what and why and be patient.
Even the best laid out day can go awry. Things happen because your are homeschooling.
There is no dividing it from the real life happening all around you. The beauty of this is
that you can always catch up or change directions to meet your child’s needs and your
own. It’s ok to cancel school and do a park day or field trip. It’s ok to rethink your main
lesson block if it’s not working.
Bring the magic to your child through you
The main thing your child needs is a joyful, grounded teacher to
glean from. You don’t have to be an expert wet-on-wet painter or a
super knitter. Your unique gifts, talents and passions are what will be
the spark in your homeschool. Bringing your own spin on teaching will
make all the difference and make it sustainable for you.
There is no one size fits all formula to this which is what makes it a bit
challenging and also extremely rewarding.
Just be yourself on an exciting homeschool adventure.
Its a journey.. a new path you are creating.
We are very sad. On Saturday, a gentle giant in our small community passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. He leaves behind his beautiful wife and three young children. We held a meditation/prayer meeting at our school last night so that we could come together as a community to grieve, support each other and discuss ways to support this beautiful family thorough their dreadful tragedy. Our teachers gave us guidelines on how to support our own children through the shock of one of their classmates loosing a parent.
I want to share the story one of our teachers read to us last night. It is a beautiful story to help children at all levels of development and comprehension (and adults too) through a difficult time like this.
Donn Ashton from The Waldorf Connection is here to answer our questions on getting started with Waldorf Homeschooling.
Getting Started with Waldorf Homeschooling.
If you have decided to homeschool using Waldorf-inspired methods, you
may be at a common cross roads- Where do I start?
Checking online resources and blogs of others can leave you feeling overwhelmed or intimidated with what is expected.
There can be quite a learning curve for you, the teacher.
I suggest starting from where you are right now.
Take a look at several things like your child’s age, your level of knowledge of upcoming curriculum and your own skills. Look at where you are currently, and take the 1st step.
For those starting kindergarten or pre-school, know that you don’t need to learn everything right away. You have a few years before you need to start academic lessons in 1st grade.
A Waldorf morning garden/kindergarten setting is play oriented, not learning letters and numbers. It more about creating a rhythmic foundation in which you and your child flow through the day. It’s singing songs, verses, short fingerplays and puppet shows.
You can spend an afternoon knitting in front of your child and have them help you wind the yarn or learn to fingerknit if around age 5.
You can practice painting slowly and then bring it to your child when you feel comfortable with it. Or create a few handmade toys/props to use for storytelling, then weave a story about your child’s favorite animal.
The idea is to chunk it down into small steps. Once you get a few concepts under your belt, you can move on. Your confidence will increase with your level of comfort and skills.
The same applies if you are starting the grades. Start with what you know and what you need to know right now. Then build on that knowledge by adding new projects like knitting, wet-on-wet painting or recorder. You only have to be one step ahead of your child.
Take it slow and enjoy :)
Love Donna Ashton
For more info on Waldorf Education, please visit my Waldorf page.
Discovering Waldorf is a weekly series of articles written by ‘everyday’ Waldorf families. The contributors to this series share their ‘real-life’ insights and inspirations on all kinds of Waldorf topics. This series is not meant to be Waldorf philosophy in its purest form, but rather a snapshot of how we can all incorporate Waldorf ideas into our lives to help nurture and encourage the magic that is in our children. If you have a topic you wish to learn more about (or want to share) on Discovering Waldorf please contact me