Planning, Planning, Get Your Planning Here! Part Two

Hello!  We are back today with Part Two regarding planning.  In our last post, we talked about planning the year out (and if you are in the early years, your work stops here after you plan a weekly and daily rhythm).  If you are in the grades, the seasonal changes of the year where you live is and your family culture are the foundation for your homeschooling, but now you add blocks of subjects in another layer.  As you are thinking about blocks, think about if you have multiple children of different ages in the grades.  My argument is that as a homeschooling family, the blocks from first through third grade (nine year change) could be done together, the blocks from ages 9 to 12 (sixth grade) could also be fluid, and then blocks for children after age 12 to age 16 could be combined in ways.

After laying out blocks in a flow for the year, including knowing how many blocks for each subject, estimate how long you think each block will take.  Then you can  start gathering resources for each subject.  There are some tried and true Waldorf resources available through Waldorf booksellers.  Be on the lookout for other resources, and ideas for music, art, movement, gardening and cooking.    Many mothers keep lists on Amazon, in a notebook, and on Pinterest for these types of resources.    There are many places, including Abe Books and Book Depository, to order resources from.  You may choose to order a curriculum, which you will need to sit down and read from start to finish.  Once you have read your resources, start compiling a general flow to your block.  How long is it working out to be? Is it like your original estimate?  You can go back and adjust your calendar.

When laying out blocks, I used to always hand write everything. Now I  usually hand write notes from a particular book or resource, and then use a computer  because what I need to present regarding history or science, for example, can be long and I can type faster than I can write.  I also need to compile not just a general flow but more of a presentation on a particular subject for middle school grades and that is often a separate file.  However,   for grades five and under I think you can plan things just by writing things on paper or index cards just fine.   Some mothers devise manila folders for each block or just a binder with plans in it.  If you plan on your computer, at some point, you need to print it out and memorize it, especially for the early grades!

When you are planning a block, it is important to remember that  parts of a block are review from the day before, but also PRACTICE.  How will you practice?  Do you have games, movement, songs, kinesthetic experiences?  The other piece is ARTISTIC.  You can gather  ideas and resources for art – drawing, painting, modeling – and try it yourself.  Try to create something yourself as well – don’t let everything be a canned image from Pinterest!  Leave  your samples in a folder.  You may have to sit down and draw or paint step by step with your child, but you will thank yourself that you tried it first!  Depending upon your grade, you may also think about things such as what read-aloud goes with a block, or songs, or handwork.  Will you put handwork, music, foreign language in with your block or before you start main lesson (Gasp!  Some homeschoolers don’t follow the head-heart- hands that the schools follow.  Some homeschoolers do not bring a foreign language at all either.  This is up to you.  Do NOT kill yourself trying to do it all.  Better to have the main lesson and a few essential areas  and a happy home life rather than trying to re-create a Waldorf School at home!)

 

Blessings on your homeschooling,

Carrie

Planning, Planning, Get Your Planning Here! Part One

This is a post for my homeschooling mothers today…

Welcome to Planning!  Now is a great time to start thinking about your planning for fall if you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

Here are the steps:

Know your laws of your state and your country – at what age do you need to start reporting?  I see a lot of mothers of small children completely stressed out about “homeschooling” their five year old and their state reporting laws says they don’t have to report until the child is 8 years of age.  Know your laws!  How many days do you have to homeschool, how many hours a day, what subjects, is there testing or a portfolio?  If you are Waldorf homeschooling, you still need to have the sense of the bigger picture of homeschooling in your area.  You are a HOMESCHOOLER.

Take out a calendar.  What are your start and end dates?  Your vacation times?  How many days a week will you be homeschooling and how many weeks of the year?  Most homeschooling mothers plan anywhere from 32 to 36 weeks total.

While you are looking at that calendar, get out a big piece of paper and divide it so you have six squares on one side and six squares on the other.  Write one month of the year in each square.  What does each month bring up for you?  What is going on seasonally? If you are religious, what is going on in your religion each month?  Write it all down. Any favorite traditions, songs, verses, crafts, activities by month?  If you are looking for resources for some of these things, I recommend A Child’s Seasonal Treasury, Earthways, the Wynstones books by season, and any number of the seasonal books such as All Year Round, Celebrating Irish Festivals, etc.

When thinking about the year, also think about yourself.  What will you do to learn this year and further your knowledge?  When will this happen?  When will you take care of yourself – when are the dentist and doctor appointments, time to exercise, time to plan without the children – start thinking about these areas and use this little planted seed as you look at the year, the week and the day.  Self-care is not selfish! 

LOOK at the child in front of you.  Where are they developmentally?  Are they at a transition point?  Are they in their body?  What sort of life skills are they able to do and assist you with in the home?  Have they had prior school experience that they need to come off of?  How and what in the curriculum and in Steiner’s indications would BEST meet your child?  During the first few early grades this may actually be difficult to discern, but it gets easier the more experience you have in teaching.

If you are teaching the grades, what blocks are you teaching?  If you are teaching upper grades, how far and where did you leave off in history (grades 6-8)?  If you are teaching the early grades, do you know what blocks you are teaching?  You can try sources such as the AWNSA chart or curriculums, but know that you need to adapt things for your seasons, your geographic area and YOUR CHILD.   Jot down what blocks you think you will do and how many of that block.  For example, in first grade how many language arts blocks, how many math blocks, how many form drawing and math blocks? In the upper grades, how many blocks of history or physics?  Do the blocks “make sense’’” for you, what you can do, your home environment?  This is especially important in the upper grades to think about.  This step may really take some time and thought and you may have several (or more) revisions.  I think I have switched around what blocks I am going to do in eighth grade and their order about twenty-five times right now, but I think I finally have it!

And a quick paradoxical note on the Waldorf World – it is always said to look at your child, your geographic location and adjust the curriculum for your circumstances. However, if you go too far off course, people will argue it is “not Waldorf”.  Conversely, if  you just follow along the pages of a curriculum, then some will deem that “not Waldorf”.  I have seen homeschoolers do really weird things and deem it “Waldorf” when it absolutely is not related to Waldorf education at all!.  I have seen homeschoolers really need to adapt things for their child or family and are afraid to do so.  Again, I think this is an area you get much more comfortable with over time and with experience.   Not everyone has the opportunity to do a Foundation Studies course or teacher training or even workshops, but those can help.  Reading Steiner is a must.  You have to understand why, developmentally,  why you are doing what you are doing and then you can choose to tweak it with that understanding! If you are inexperienced and need direction, you can talk to a Waldorf consultant.  Please just make sure it is a someone who has experience in Waldorf education!  Hopefully that someone has also had teacher training or at least Foundation Studies and subsequent workshops, and has had experience in actually not only homeschooling but also in  teaching groups of children that are not their own children for a length of time!

Tomorrow we will talk about what to do once you have decided what blocks you are teaching.

Many blessings,
Carrie

Easter Monday

There are many traditions that occur around the world on Easter Monday; some are religious and some are national holidays.  I personally love having a festive breakfast and a good hike or precious time at the lake on this special day!

This is a beautiful day in Eastertide and a time to think of those many spring and Easter crafts, spring recipes, spring songs and more!  I love to take this time to do some spring cleaning and re-set my ideas regarding rhythm now that the days are getting a bit longer and warmer.

Rhythm is an ongoing process of change and adjustment based upon the development of your children and the seasons.  In some ways, it doesn’t change very much from when children are little – it may be that meals are generally at the same time, the need to be outside and moving is there no matter what the age of children, the meal planning and errand running day is still there, the quiet time after lunch, the bedtimes can be adjusted up or down according to age and seasonal activities. 

If you are struggling with rhythm, I think there are two things that really can make a lot of difference for mothers.  One is just to step back and observe for a few days and write down what you are doing when.  Are mealtimes and bedtimes really all over the place or is that your perception because you feel scattered?  Are you really going out every single day which is making mealtimes and bedtimes later than they need to be?  These sorts of questions and answers lie within you, your own observations and your own goals.  What small step can you take with rhythm that would help the most right now?

I also find this is a great time for homeschooling mothers to take stock as to plans for fall (in the Northern Hemisphere).  What grades will you be doing, do you have start and end dates and vacation dates in mind yet based upon how this year went, what blocks will you be doing, what resources do you need to order?

I hope you are having a joyous week!

Blessings,
Carrie

Finding Stillness and Peace With Small Children

The other day I got to observe a very sweet, active little guy.  He was going in and out of a garage.  He was busy.  He was in the kitty litter.  He was in the not-for-children-not-organic bug spray.  He was dripping paint on things in the garage.   He was playing with a cat that didn’t want to be played with.  He was re-arranging all of the garden ornaments.  He needed supervision  by an adult every minute. His mother was awesome; patient and kind while responding to his needs and re-directing him.

This is so developmentally normal for some children who are small.  And yet, it can be so challenging from the perspective of a parent  to literally have to be on your toes all day long to save your child from danger or harm.  And so hard to never have a moment to sink into peace, quiet and stillness.

Peace, quietness and stillness. For just a moment.  To breathe.  To pray.  To just be.

As parents, how do we find this?  Time can be so hard to come by.

Without children:

Some parents like to get up before their children.  For some parents, this is more frustrating than not in terms that then their small children are also awake and up when they leave the bedroom or they just sense someone else in the house is up.  Gentle boundaries over time can help, and I have had parents say their children really did stay in their rooms at a fairly young age (5 or so) until the sun came up or a certain number was reached on the clock.    That type of child can exist!

Some parents swear by an early bedtime and then having time after the children go to sleep.  I myself am an “early bedtime” for children kind of person.  That can be hard in a world when many people are not into early  bedtimes, but that can work for some families.  Perhaps then those parents can garner some time in the morning if their child sleeps in later.

Some parents have an entire night to themselves each week when their spouse or partner will take the children and they go out of the house.  Or their spouse or partner will take their children out on a weekend afternoon or morning and leave mom home.  Figuring out when, where and how you will get some breaks is really important.  Some parents don’t seem to mind being home and with their children at all times, but most I have talked to, especially after their children are a bit more independent – ages five and up perhaps- feel comfortable enough to start thinking about this.

Some parents have the ability to exercise daily and consider that a peaceful, still time for their head even if their bodies are moving!  However, again, this  usually depends upon having someone else care for your children unless your child does exceptionally well in a sling or stroller for walks.

Some parents create a village.  It can be hard to find like-minded parents and entrust that parent with your child.  I think this can be so hard especially for mothers who consider themselves attachment parents – no one can do it like them!  That is true, but in this case no one is going to be mom except mom, but mothers can have a village help you so that mother can be the best she can be.  Often  children seem really ready to stay with a friend or neighbor on occasion around the age of four or five if it is within your neighborhood or a close family friend.   Around age 10 and up children may be ready for sleepovers.  (and yes, there is a specific reason I say age 10 and up, and I actually prefer the teenaged years for sleepovers,  but that is another post!)

With children:

Some mothers really can have time whilst their children play outside.  This can especially happen with groups of multiple children or children that are a bit older.    I think if you are home a lot and have a great rhythm in doing this, it can be so helpful.   If you have really small children and are just getting into the world of rhythm, please consider this.  Healthy play outside perhaps with you near but not on top of them, or as they are older, you inside and the children playing outside can work really well if it is part of your rhythm and routine to have your children create their own play and you not feel as if you have to fill up all their time with structured, adult-led activities.

For very small children, you will probably get the most peace and silence in just being outside together.  Many parents tell me their children have almost frenetic energy when they are inside and have a hard time leaving their parents alone, but outside things seem to slow down and children can get absorbed just poking in the mud with a stick, listening to the creek, watching insects and birds.  This is especially true of small children.

Have  a steady rhythm.    Just having a rhythm of in and out breath can be such a positive way to garner those few peaceful moments.

Know your child. If you have a child of higher energy, you probably will have to get that child’s energy out before you even try to  sit down.  If you can stop, observe and  think what makes your child peaceful or see when your child is most peaceful, that can be a big help in tailoring time and space for peace.

How do you model reverence? Part of being peaceful and silent is to feel reverent towards life.  Praying, reading sacred texts, gazing at beauty, wondering about the small and ordinary,  being able to be still without chattering comes from modeling and providing these opportunities. 

I would love to hear from you.  How do you gather a few moments for yourself in the midst of a busy world of small children?

Love,
Carrie

Wrap-Up of Week Twenty-Five, Week Twenty-Six and Week Twenty-Seven of Seventh and Fourth Grade

I am trying to post a little wrap-up of each week of grades seven, four and five year old kindergarten year throughout the 36 weeks I have planned for school this year.  I hope this will encourage mothers that are homeschooling multiple children (or who want to but are worried!), and  encourage mothers that even homeschooling children of multiple ages who are far apart in age is doable.  You can find week twenty-four here   and further in the back posts you can find a post pertaining to the first two days of school this year which gives insight to our general daily rhythm.

Living With The Seasons:   Spring has sprung here!  The first weeks I mention in this post included cold weather, but it certainly seems in this Holy Week that spring is here.

And with all the events of life and Holy Week, it seems as if things have been very busy outside of our home and not as much with school.  I feel as if we are swimming in molasses trying to get school done.  This third week covered in this post, Holy Week is a most important week.  I usually try to take some of this week off as there are many things at church to attend, but I feel as if almost every week has been days off as of late, so this week we went ahead and did four days of school.

Next week, the first week of Eastertide, we were supposed to take Spring Break but events did not conspire to have our whole family together doing something, so I imagine we will do at least a few days of school and I may work on planning some of the other days.

Homeschool Planning:  I have the block rotation for fifth grade planned out along with about three full blocks that still need tweaking. I hope to finish up fifth grade soon so I can get started on eighth grade.  That will be much more involved with a lot for me to read and digest!  I finally got the block rotation for eighth grade pretty much done, but I have revised it a hundred times I think.

Kindergarten:  We are back to Suzanne Down’s “Old Gnome Through The Year”.  We have been doing a “Springtime Circle” and the story of “Old Gnome and the Fairy Cradle”.  We have done some spring painting and nature crafts.  We have also been working hard on life skills – dressing oneself, good manners, cleaning one’s room and making one’s bed with help.

Fourth Grade:  We have spent a good amount of time looking at the reptiles and amphibians in our state.  Our state is particularly rich in this area.  We have over eighty species of amphibians, including over thirty kinds of salamanders.  Some of these salamanders are found no where else in the world.  We have five kinds of sea turtles, and our state reptile, the gopher tortoise is a keystone species.  The American Alligator found in the southern part in our state is another keystone species.  We modeled a sea turtle and did some beautiful paintings.  This week we have talked about mammals, including the opossum (a common sight in our state), the beaver, the sixteen kind of bats in our state, including the yellow bat and the Rafinesque Big-eared bat and coyotes.  The Rafinesque Big-Eared Bat really lends itself to a diorama, and we got into a discussion about tupelo trees in regards to the yellow bat.  Next week I hope to finish up mammals, review watersheds and  will talk about the oceans off our state’s coast and our state whale.    I am planning a math block and then a block on insects, bees and herbs as our very last block of the school year.

We finished reading “Thorkill of Iceland” and have been reading Isabel Wyatt’s “Norse Hero Tales” by Isabel Wyatt.

There has been a lot of musical and play practices for two plays, along with horseback riding.  Our fourth grader also took a “Climb and Clay” class where one week was pottery/clay and the next week was climbing trees (in harnesses to go up into the tree canopy).  It has been fun for her, and I think a good experiential foundation for Botany in fifth grade.  We have also been playing a lot and not doing very much in the way of handwork. 

Seventh Grade: Week twenty-five has seen us jump into the Renaissance – we started with building up a picture of the geography of China, Genghis Khan and Mongol ways of life, the Silk Road,  Kublai Khan and Marco Polo, and reviewing the Magna Charta is depth.  We have also talked about  the life of Chaucer, The Hundred Years War and Joan of Arc, and the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy through the biography of Lorenzo di Medici and some of the artists under his patronage.  It has been a busy time of painting and drawing.  I have assigned a project to pick artwork from a Renaissance artist and re-create it, so we shall see how that goes.  We finished “The Hidden Treasures of Glaston” . Our daughter is reading Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” by Geraldine McCreaghean and has “A Proud Taste For Scarlet and Miniver” next on tap to read (review of Eleanor of Aquitaine).  I am reading aloud the book “The Magna Charta” by James Daughtery.

We have been doing quite a bit of math as well – algebra mainly, along with review of fractions, decimals, percentages, and geometry.  We started the year with a combined algebra/geometry block, but I hope after Renaissance and then Latin America and explorers, we will have time to touch on algebra again.  Next week our daughter starts a physics class with a trained Waldorf teacher for a month, so that combined with the physics we did in the very beginning of the year should take care of our physics this year.

We are still busy with horseback riding, musical and choir practice at church, and this coming week our seventh grader will be doing a little camping with friends.  It has been such nice weather this week so we are all glad to go out and play.

Blessings,
Carrie

Monthly Anchor Points: April

Anchor:  a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.

When we work to become the author of own family life, we take on the authority to provide our spouse and children and ourselves stability.  An effective way to do this is through the use of rhythm.  If you have small children, it takes time to build a family rhythm that encompasses the year.  If you are homeschooling older children and also have younger children not ready for formal learning, the cycle of the year through the seasons and through your religious year becomes the number one tool you have for family unity, for family identity, for stability.

I know some of the United States still is seeing snow, but here in the Deep South, April can be such a beautiful month – birds chirping, nests and eggs, bunnies, daffodils and other flowering bulbs.  Yet, in this month we remember some of the starkest and most horrible moments in humanity. Vicki Black, in the book “Welcome to the Church Year” writes that “During this week (Holy Week) we focus on the suffering and death of the innocent and vulnerable, the failure to stand by someone in need, and wrenching farewell conversations at a final meal with beloved friends.  We also ponder moments of injustice, cruelty and arrogant “hardness of heart” – experiences that we know all too well in our own world.”   Holy Week can bring up our own feelings of sorrow, anger, fear, regret, sadness and loneliness.  It is such a polarity of darkness and light, goodness and love and evil.  If we look, we find the ultimate overcoming of  darkness with love to the entire world .  Hopefully we carry on to bring peace to all!

I like this quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions”:  “For more than fifteen hundred years, the feast of Easter, marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been the focal point of springtime for Christians around the world.  Yet the Easter season is not only a Christian story, but a promise of renewal for all.”

Passover is occurring now – for over three thousand years Jewish families have gathered around the world to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery.  Happy Passover, friends!

 

My month will be anchored by these festivals:

Wednesday, April 1st – Holy Wednesday – Tenebrae meaning “darkness” or “shadows” is usually offered on this day.  It is beautiful and sad. The book of Lamentation is chanted, and candles are extinguished in the church until only a single candle, symbolizing Christ, remains in the darkness.

Thursday April 2nd – Maundy Thursday   I often meditate on this day that this was the day Christ gave the commandment “to love one another”.  The Mass in the Anglican church on this night is haunting. I usually (always?) end up sobbing in a back corner.  How do we go out and love and serve people, how do we really love?   The feet of the people in the congregation is washed by the priests, the altar is stripped and bare, the church is darkened and every thing of beauty is removed down to the linens.  The extra bread and wine is carried to a space for the vigil in the night to come.  Usually a vigil is held throughout the night to stay awake and we contemplate our own failings and yet how this is not the final chapter of God’s redeeming love for us.

A very light meal, perhaps of green foods is traditional for this day.  “All Year Round” has a recipe for chervil soup. 

Friday, April 3rd – Good Friday  – In the book “Celebrating Irish Festivals”, the author mentions spring cleaning for the house and yard on this day, and also if you have chickens that lay eggs marking the eggs laid today with a cross and eating them on Easter Sunday!  Ruth Marshall, the author, also goes on to say:

Most people went to church on Good Friday and silence was encourage between  noon and 3 p.m., the time when Christ was upon the cross.  In Celtic Christianity, Christ was believed to be King of the Elements and the elements were thought to respond to his death.  The sky was expected to darken; and cold, wet weather was taken as a sign of nature’s mourning.

Hot cross buns are traditional for some Christians on this day, along with the trimming of an Easter Egg Tree.  This is also a traditional day to plant potatoes and seeds. This is especially important for children who are old enough to realize the significance of this day and who feel it is “Bad Friday!”  The transformation and new growth is symbolic and works deeply in the consciousness of children.

Saturday, April 4th – Holy Saturday   A day of stillness and waiting, but also a day of practical projects in preparation for Easter Sunday.  Making an Easter bread ring could be a wonderful project, or making egg shaped candles.    We often have an Easter Vigil Mass which is so very beautiful – some Anglican churches also hold this on Saturday night or on sunrise on Easter morning.  The Easter Vigil is the first celebration of Easter, and is among the most ancient of all liturgies.  We light the new fire and the paschal candle, we celebrate baptisms and the renewal of baptismal vows and the Holy Eucharist. 

Sunday, April 5th – Easter

And we will be celebrating  Easter Week and Eastertide!  Easter lasts for fifty days, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost!  The bonds of sin and death are broken!

Both the Holocaust and genocide in general is remembered this month with Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, April 16th and Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24th.  Our church is currently reading the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a light in the Holocaust.

My religious denomination celebrates many wonderful Saints and Holy Men and Holy Women this month.  One of my favorites is Saint Tikhon on April 7th.

There are also many secular things to celebrate from the signing of the American Civil Rights Act to Earth Day to William Shakespeare’s birthday.   Arbor Day is April 22nd, a wonderful day to give some love to the beautiful trees.  (It is also Earth Day). 

Ideas for Celebration:

  • So many crafts with Eastertide and spring themes!
  • Spring foods – dandelion greens, fiddlehead ferns, lighter spring fare
  • Observe nature – many of our birds are out and about building nests, and we have found many snails, lizards and turtles.   Snakes are out again.
  • Get out and hike
  • Spruce up the yard and think of ways to celebrate the wind – windchimes, yard pinwheels can be so fun!
  • Plant seeds if you can in your area – down here we can plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplants the second week in April!  Lovely flower seeds include candytuft, cornflower, nasturiums, marigolds, love in a mist. 
  • Storytelling – there are several lovely stories of the Easter Hare in the book “Festivals, Families and Food” by Diana Carey and Judy Large
  • Music is a glorious part of this month – in our family, we have Easter hymns for fifty days!  So much music to sing!
  • Depending upon where you live, kite flying may be a good option for this month.

The Domestic Life:

  • Spring Cleaning
  • Getting rid of all kinds of things to go into spring and  summer lighter and brighter than ever

Homeschooling:

  • This can be a harder time of year for homeschoolers…the end of the school year is coming, but has not yet arrived.  The children (and the teacher) may have spring fever!  This is always a good time of year to sit down and take stock as to what you have left to accomplish in the school year.
  • Planning for next year’s school – it is not too early to order supplies, plan block rotations, and get to work on plans for specific blocks.  If you plan now, it saves you so much trouble and anxiety during the school year.  Please do get started!

Many blessings,
Carrie

Empowering Children

Empowering children should always mean several things:  the dignity of the child is respected, the situation is set as right as possible if a party or an object has been damaged, and your relationship with your child is preserved. For a small child it isn’t really that they will “learn for next time” because a child’s memory begins to develop around ages six or seven.  Therefore, in many cases these scenarios that require empowerment will be re-played time and time again and as a parent one must be patient and guide.

A large part of this guiding and leading to empowerment is to be  “ho hum” .  “Ho hum” means different things to different parents but I think ideally it means holding the space,  listening and observing and being present.  Here is an article about what it means to “hold the space” from an adult perspective in palliative care; not all of it is applicable to parenting small children but it is helpful to read and to practice in your own life.  http://heatherplett.com/2015/03/hold-space/  The more you practice and are able to do this with adults, the better you will be at it with your children.   This is the most important step toward preserving the relationship and connection you have with your child, and in preserving the child’s dignity.

I think one of the differences between holding the space with an adult and then doing this  with a small child is that there may be a physical piece.  This could be holding the child even if the child is screaming and falling apart so they can press into this boundary.  Or, it may be as simple being present and humming whilst folding laundry  while a child is under a table and not wanting to be touched and then making restitution after the child has calmed down.  Only you can decide what is right then in the relationship with your child.

The action piece that occurs after the ho-hum and holding the space can be the oft-forgotten piece of empowering.  It empowers children to make things right.  This is probably the most important piece of guiding.  Once children are calm, especially for children ages nine and under, I like “doing together” as restitution.  We do things together to make the situation right, to bring restitution, we encourage.  This is empowering to small children.

Another situation regarding empowerment came to my mind yesterday. Sometime just loving boundaries and words of encouragement are enough to empower a child that is not in a conflict situation but working through being capable as part of growing up.  For example, yesterday my five year old wanted to get dressed and he had pants downstairs but he didn’t want to go upstairs to get his shirt and socks. He really wanted me  to do it for him.  I set a boundary that I would not do it for him as he was completely capable and I was in the middle of things in the kitchen.  Sometimes children need to hear that too, and to follow through.  This is also empowering and part of being capable as children grow.  We can be kind and thoughtful, but doing everything for our children that they can do for themselves actually takes away their power in the long run of life.

Please share with me your favorite ways to hold the space, be ho-hum and empower your children.

Blessings,

Carrie