Eleven is a really interesting time in which to observe development; in many ways it is more akin to the six/seven year transformation and change. That same burst of complete restless energy is there, along with crying outbursts from both girls and boys, and a complete preview of adolescence to come. It is a different energy than children going through the nine year change, where the child is feeling lonely and separated.
Let’s take a closer look at the developmental qualities of an eleven-year old from a traditional perspective: Continue reading
I know everyone is focused on the holiday season right now, but it really is a wonderful time of year to take stock as to what has gone on in homeschooling…Really look at your child, look at what you have done so far, and look at what is essential to finish up this year.
Child Observation is such a strong key. This is a good article by Stephen Spitalny regarding the polarities of childhood development and starting points for balance: http://www.waldorflibrary.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=444:springsummer-2002-issue-42-characterizing-the-balancing-polarities&catid=15:gateways&Itemid=10 Continue reading
So, I have no research studies on this at all…this is from my own experience and observations in working with families who have had extremely shy and almost fearful children. I am not really talking about children who are more inward; all of us are on the continuum of extrovert to introvert if we look at personality. I am thinking hear of children who are rather socially anxious, fearful a bit… Many of these children whom I have observed were only truly comfortable with their mothers and no one else. Many of these children were first-born children, but not all of them, and many of them were girls, but again, not all of them. This is my special small population sample.
This is how I have personally observed this type of child’s progress into the world outside of his or her mother: Continue reading
(So, this is the kick in the fanny post that is a continuation of the post I just did about showing warmth and being a light for others this season, but from the polar opposite side of the issue. If you are not in the mood for this, feel free to return for the next post, which will be lighter! )
Part of parenting, and a huge part of Waldorf homeschooling, is the spiritual journey we should all be on to develop our spiritual lives. What we are is what we teach our children and what we show the world and how we interact with the world.
Fear and anger cannot drive a family life or a community without ripping it apart, even if you try to cover it up with other happier things. Continue reading
I talked a little about my experience with doing biographical work at my Foundation Studies course in this post: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2012/09/01/the-work-of-the-biography/ . If you have not done the preliminary work outlined in that post, you may want to start that first and then return here to deepen your work.
Based upon some of the ideas in my course regarding each seven year cycle, I have formulated some open-ended questions for you to answer in order to take a closer look at your own journey. Continue reading
The winters of 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 could be particularly frigid, according to some reports. (Here is one I was looking at: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/combination-of-factors-could-m/36990).
This is also the time of year when many mothers, especially homeschooling mothers, find themselves in the throws of trying to homeschool, bake, cook, craft, make gifts, visit family and travel…and essentially overextend themselves and get sick on top of all the holiday bustle! Many homeschooling mothers I know seem to have long-term health issues that affect their immune systems, which really doesn’t help as well!
One of the first things that I find helpful is to make sure warmth becomes a priority. I love Green Mountain Organics, and I notice they are having a 10 percent off sale on all their warm woolens. http://www.facebook.com/notes/green-mountain-organics/winter-woolen-sale/166623896683512. If you are unfamiliar with the importance of warmth, this back post may be helpful to you: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/12/06/warmth-strength-and-freedom-by-mary-kelly-sutton/
Rest is another huge priority; and I think rest extends even past going to bed every night at a decent hour. I think it also requires Continue reading
I absolutely love the book, “Connecting With Young Children: Educating The Will”, by Master Waldorf Kindergarten teacher Stephen Spitalny. (If you have not read this book, I really think you should. Here is the link for it: http://www.amazon.com/Connecting-With-Young-Children-Educating/dp/1105320820/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351371198&sr=8-1&keywords=connecting+with+young+children+educating+the+will. It is chock full of wonderful thoughts for the self development of the adult, how to guide small children, and yes, how to work with and shape the will forces of the young child.)
Mr. Spitalny begins his book with this paragraph: Continue reading
I talk to mothers every, every day who are just plain overwhelmed. They are single or their partners travel, they don’t have a community to lean on, their children are small, they are juggling so many things.
And when you are overwhelmed, you constantly feel scattered. Disorganized. Like there is not enough time. Perhaps you feel enmeshed with one particular child and out of balance in dealing with the needs of all of your multiple children.
I can only write these things as I have lived these things. Life is not perfect, and parenting small children is not for the faint of heart.
The place to start, is yourself. You are the key to your own overwhelm! Continue reading
We must love our children enough to do what is right for them. This includes our own ability to control ourselves, to display our own self-discipline, our own evenness in times of stress, our own self-equilibrium.
Working on your own emotional boundaries is so important. Continue reading
One of the other topics that I have sincerely thought and pondered during this move is that of the overwhelmed mother. Not the mother who is experiencing chronic anger (which I have written about before ), but the mother who is just overwhelmed. Continue reading