Quick: what makes the difference between a “bad” homeschooling day and a “good” one (bar catastrophic events?) The answer, is, of course YOU.
I was thinking about this today. This Monday was not a good day for us; many Mondays are generally not a great-flowing school day for us. ( I think this happens in a lot of homeschooling families, don’t you?). And then this Tuesday came along and was beautiful- circle and singing, two main lessons done by noon, tea and read alouds about Saint Nicholas by the fire, productive, everyone getting along…and I was thinking, what made the difference between those two days? Was it really the behavior of the children or was it me?
I think it was me. If I can start the day being centered, no matter whether it is Monday or Thursday, then whatever is thrown at me I can take it and juggle it in the air like a ball. If I am not centered, then the ball hits me on the head and I fall over.
It not just about getting up earlier than your children. I think it is about getting up and getting into the shower and getting dressed and being ready by when it is time for breakfast. It is the grades-aged children taking responsibility for themselves and their rooms. My morning routine for the children looks exactly like Eva’s here: http://untroddenpaths.blogspot.com/2012/11/morning-choresmorgenaufgaben.html , and the older children have tasks about the house as well.
It is about having a plan and the supplies you need for the school day. It is about taking that moment to really go into your school space, whether that is the kitchen table or a school room,and taking a moment to set that space, and then having the children come in to gather as a family and to really look with love into each other’s eyes.
The longer I homeschool, the more I understand it is a centering journey for me; to be so intimate and loving with my own. I say the same prayer in my school space every morning, and it helps settle me for the day. If someone starts falling apart as they are entering that space, I know I can help and acknowledge and still hold onto that place of peace.
Your children will act differently with you than they will an “outside” teacher. How you pick up and kindly carry and project that responsibility of setting the tone for school and how it will roll, how you will react when your children balk, refuse, cry, or complain stems from where you are.
Being organized, being prepared, being able to relax into the fact that school is very different than home and that Waldorf homeschooling is very different than other forms of homeschooling, accepting and carrying that you are indeed the teacher is what makes a good day of school every time.
Talk to other loving homeschooling mothers; you can do this!