May 20, 2011

Just Thinking



I have been absent a lot. I know, sorry....you all understand though.

You know there are times when you are filled to overflowing with stuff to talk about and need to get it out. Then there are times when you are busy pondering and thinking and praying about things that you keep hidden inside for awhile before it's ready to come out.

That's where I've been.

The last few weeks I've been introduced to some ideas that just seemed weird at first, but the more I looked into it, the more it really resonated with me. So I've been using my computer time to research it and think about it, talk with my husband about it and pray about it.

Also, I had a major injury last Saturday. I did not break my foot, but a shelf from a bookcase fell on it and it has been BADLY swollen and bruised all week. I have not been able to do much at all. We have had a major lowering of standards :) But this has taught me something; for one, I am not so tired when I am spending more time doing things slowly, doing less things and resting more. Duh.

The other thing is that some things really aren't that important. I may have only 5 things on my to do list, but it is a challenge to actually do them. I am so slow! Working in the kitchen and making the bed is difficult!

This brings me back to the interesting ideas I've been pondering. For the past year I've been so drawn to the blog SouleMama. Their way of life looks so meaningful and simple, and while I don't know if they are Christians, their life is one to be modeled. So I started searching some of the things they do which brought me to something called Waldorf.


Not the hotel :) But a method of teaching children and a way of living. The man who created it has some beliefs that I don't agree with, but he spent his life studying children and how they learn. What he developed is that children are spiritual beings (duh) and should be treated as such. Of course I don't believe in reincarnation or anything at all, but the truth is we are spirits that live in physical bodies.

So the way a child is handled and taught is a lot different than mainstream society. Not only that, but the people I've been reading talk a lot about rhythms, like routines, that construct the day and week and year. The idea is that little ones depend on a daily rhythm or flow to learn and grow and be at peace. Seasons and marking special days during the changing of seasons helps to differentiate the year to them.


There is also an emphasis on natural things. Natural simple and few toys, natural fibers for clothes, no screen time at all (tv or computer etc.) and simple whole foods diet is recommended. In fact, if you send your children to a Waldorf school, you have to agree that there will be no TV watching for them or loud rock music at home. Thought that was sort of funny since rock was the only thing that calmed my second daughter.

There is much much more to it, but that's the basics. I have found a lot of Christians who also use this method of education and home life and that really helps me see it from that perspective. What are some things I want to do?

Well, I've been really deeply purging out stuff. Most of the girls' toys will be leaving. These will be replaced with handmade and more natural toys from various online shops and from Etsy.com There are some really neat things out there. My girls just don't play with loads of toys anyways and it sure makes cleaning difficult. We are keeping the Barbies, although they will be pared down. Sarah just loves them too much :)


I plan to work in a lot of nature into our rooms including a nature table, which is the norm for Waldorf families/schools. I sort of already do this anyways.



Mainly though, is creating a family rhythm that flows well and accomplishes all it needs to. Waldorf education emphasizes the need for children to do practical work, called meaningful work. But it is not done in a hurried or grudging way. It is taken slowly, to enjoy the process. My goal for the beginning of the summer is to teach the girls how to wash dishes after each meal, how to make their beds pretty, how to lovingly take care of everyone's clothes and things and how to do some cooking. This likely will take a lot of time. We have other things coming that will be worked in, such as swimming lessons, a family vacation at some point, fun outings, ball games, I will have a few cakes to make and so on.


But, I also want to work in lots of crafts and projects, such as dying yarn, watercolor painting, trying something called needlefelting and a little hand sewing.

It is my personal belief that time is very short before Jesus comes. I want to quit messing around and do what I a called to do. I don't want to part of the herd, but willing to do something different to accomplish eternal work. That first work is my children. So what if things are left undone and messy? I want them to know that they are the most important, and that I love them enough to teach them.

This does not mean we are going to homeschool. At this point that is not the right path for us. Mixing all of these things should be interesting, but that's ok. The point is we do what we are led to do.

I am sure I will be talking more about this soon, there's just so much floating around in the head right now. I have pages and pages of thoughts written in my notebook on it!

Today I will be working on the Angry Birds cake for a little boy. Angry birds is an iphone game that is quite popular. It consists of slingshotting some angry birds to hit some green pigs inside a structure. Here's a picture :


I am making a cake to look like the iphone- flat rectangle- with the stuff standing on top in a 3d look. You'll just have to see it later! I can't explain it well.

3 comments:

Becky said...

The Waldorf style of education sounds really interesting! Glad you're blogging again...I enjoyed reading your blog before! :)

Jan said...

Great post.
I have been home schooling for a long time and have 31/2 years left. It is hard sometimes, but the rewards are great. You have to be ready to do it, but if and when you do, you sound like the type of person who would excel.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that you've found some of the good in Waldorf (and there is much!) but please be wary, from one Christian sister to another. :)
My eldest went to a Waldorf school for a year (at 5) and I regret it to this day. She was told (at 5!!) that because she saw *some* (and I mean a very little bit) of TV it would be "bad" for her soul development and I was also told to stop letting her read (which she loved!) as it would hinder her emotional/spiritual development too. They also pushed reincarnation on her birthday despite me saying I would rather they not as well as other occult leanings which I'm still correcting 2 years later.
Although it doesn't seem like it on the outset it is a VERY religious environment and all the teachers have to take part and agree to religious studies (Anthroposophy) throughout their time there. If you haven't already (which I'm sure you may have!) it might be a good idea to visit a site such as waldorfcritics.org which is info from an ex-waldorf point of view.
There is lots of good I found through it (the handwork and the nature study especially) but I now do both of those with a Charlotte Mason Christian POV.
I say all this just for you to keep in consideration since our children are our greatest blessing from Him! :) I hope you take it in the spirit of love that I offer it. :)

P.S. Soulemama is Buddhist. Just FYI. :)