Life As A Means

 

In the tradition of  Rudolf Steiner’s  inner work according to the rhythm of each day of the week, today (Wednesday) is the day of “Right Standpoint”.  It is this idea of ordering our lives with harmony.  Put our lives in harmony with our values.  Put our lives in harmony with nature.  Put our lives in harmony, I would say, with God and the purpose God has set you here on earth for.  (As a Christian, I see definite purposes for my life as laid out in the Bible and by the Early Church fathers).    Life is one of the means, a  tool, to our own inner development as a human being.

 

If this is important for us as adults to work on, how much more important is this for our children who are still developing?  And, because our children are developing, it is up to us to help order their lives in these ways.

 

We can say no to media and screens because it is “entertainment” that is often full of sarcasm, violence, hypocrisy, and fills time instead of having our children learn to create and order their own time.

 

We can say yes to Continue reading

What To Say?

 

Friends, we live in this world.

This world where 276  Nigerian girls are kidnapped out of their school and no government seems to be able to find them.

We live in a world where there can be the worst of humanity.
Wars.
Poverty.

Children with disabilities who are abandoned or neglected.

Children in our own society that we attempt to push through an educational system that is not geared to children.

We live in a world where everything seems to strive against families staying together and against children being connected to their families and their communities.

And then

I stand, on a beautiful biodynamic farm with the cows and chickens and bees and birds, looking at a sea of planted garlic in the sunshine…

And Organic Rose, the owner, says, “Isn’t all of this about loving each other?  We love and nurture the Earth, we take care  of Earth, we get food that is healing for the body, mind and soul.  It is here that the Earth loves us…..And in turn we love and nourish each other within our families and communities.”

Yes, isn’t that the point?

And the only thing that will change this world is to let your own light shine.  You may not be able to change something globally.  But, we can change things for our own communities.

I am certain you have heard the story of the young lady and the starfish.  A young lady was walking along the beach, picking up starfishes that had been brought in by the high tide and left behind as the tide went out.  An old man watched her and then said incredulously, “You cannot possibly make a difference for all these starfish.  There are just too many!”  The young lady looked at him, picked up a starfish and threw it back in and said, “Well, I made a difference for that one!”

Human freedom comes with it to make choices out of love.  What does love bring to you today?

 

Blessings,
Carrie

Children First, From the Start

 

 

With interest, I read this 35 paged report called “Putting Children First”  available here:  http://www.savechildhood.net/putting-children-first.html.  This is a United Kingdom publication, but the challenges these children are facing are similar to here in the United States:

 

Young children today are subject to a range of cultural pressures that were simply unknown to previous generations. Family life has significantly changed, they live in a rapidly advancing digital world, they are much less trusted and more controlled, they have fewer freedoms and significantly less access to nature, they are highly vulnerable
to the dangers of commercialisation and sexualisation and the quality and depth of their learning in the early years has moved from being intrinsically connected to family and community to become increasingly seen as primarily a preparation for later schooling. Child wellbeing in the UK has been the subject of increasing concern. Currently one
in ten children is being diagnosed with a mental health disorder,4 one in three is clinically obese,5 one in 12 of our adolescents deliberately harm themselves and nearly 80,000 children and young people currently suffer from severe depression including 8,000 children aged under 10 years of age. This is a deeply worrying situation that needs to be
tackled head on.

 

We are dealing with a pandemic crisis in childhood.  If this was bubonic plague attacking our children, the government and every citizen would be concerned.  But to hear of isolated cases of a mental health disorder in a teenager,  or isolated cutting and additive behaviors,  isolated cases of obesity within one area – no one seems to really be paying that much attention on a national level.   There have been different movements in the United States focusing on different aspects of children’s health and education, but no one movement that encompasses the many branches needed to bring healing to this generation has taken place.  I have not seen any public health campaigns for the things that I think would make the most lasting impressions upon helping our children.

 

What would it look like to really help our children get the best start?  Here some ideas, but there are certainly many more areas so feel free to add yours in the comment box below! Continue reading

Puberty Part One

Often on Waldorf lists and groups, I see threads regarding puberty.  These threads typically concern the outward signs of puberty, or perhaps issues not of puberty but of sexuality, such as a discussion on what to tell a six-year old or a nine-year old about sexual relationships.

I have already discussed in an earlier post how the development of the child during something such as the nine year change is viewed from a spiritual place that looks at the development of the soul, and how the curriculum and parenting in a Waldorf way meets the child during this point whether outward, physical signs of puberty are taking place or not.

This is one of the best articles I have read regarding puberty Continue reading

The Nine-Year-Change and Puberty

I have gotten some private emails lately regarding the nine-year-change and puberty, so I wanted to write something for this space for other parents searching for support and information during this time.

In the view of Waldorf Education, the soul is coming down into the body.  However, I think the outward manifestation of puberty (odors, even breasts budding or getting hair in private areas) doesn’t change the course of the curriculum, nor really the developmental level that you are parenting in.  A nine-year old is still a nine-year old, whether she has started her menstrual cycle or not.    Puberty is an outward manifestation of the body, but the nine-year change is more an inner crisis of the soul and of middle childhood.

I hear a lot from parents of eight year olds and they are sure they are in the nine-year change.  Well, the child could be, but what I often find is that Continue reading

The Rant: Development of the Whole Child, Part Three

In part two in this series, I made some observations about movement being the foundation for attention and focus; about movement being the foundation of learning and about movement leading to being comfortable in the body and therefore giving the child the ability to be comfortable in the world.  Every movement is one that involves not only the motor system, but all  of the sensory systems (mainstream sources consider five senses, Waldorf Education considers twelve senses and neurologic research considers hundreds).  Rolling, for example, is a motor experience that can involve a high degree of pelvic movement and weight shifting on a motor level,  but also a sensory one where the visual, vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems are highly engaged.  Obviously cognition and motivation play a part as well.

We always wonder about children who skip developmental stages that are considered normal or “neurotypical”.  I did mention before, and it deserves mention again,  that each child has a unique footprint to his or her own  movement patterns, and asked readers to consider just the simple act of getting from laying on your stomach to sitting on the edge of your bed; it can be done in many different ways!

However, what if whole stages are skipped? One of my readers brought up her child who never really rolled well from being on the back to another position, and other readers have brought up children who skipped crawling.

These are questions with answers that must be observed carefully from within the child with the background question in one’s mind of “what does this developmental stage or action offer to the child?” and by observing what the child is doing in a holistic way and with love and interest.

Part of a way to look at this means asking ourselves, “What does the child gain by rolling (or by crawling on all fours or whatever the activity is)?  What is the child gaining by the way the child is doing this now?”  Again, I have mentioned in previous posts that some children come with special gifts and will not progress through these typical stages and whatever they experience out of a developmental sequence can be beneficial for them where they are functioning upon this earth.

I would like to address a few points particularly  about rolling and crawling.  Rolling is one of the motor skills that is Continue reading