The Christian Corner

Since I have readers from nearly every country, from Australia to India and Nepal to many  Middle Eastern countries, (thank you readers!) who all represent many different religious, I don’t write a lot about the spiritual component to our homeschooling. I have written several back posts about Episcopalian/Anglican homeschooling, so those are up if you use the search engine box.  This site is about child development, healthy families, and healthy education so other than to say that spirituality is an essential part of our humanity not to be ignored or cast aside, I generally don’t say too mcuh.  However, every now and then I put a post out about what we doing with our religious studies, or something I am thinking about and today is one of those days.

I got a new journaling Bible during quarantine – it is the The Message Canvas Bible (Peterson) and I have enjoyed the contemporary language and coloring in all the art. I wanted something I could just color in rather than blank pages to create art, because I find if I get into creating art within the pages of my Bible it actually distracts me from reading and focusing a bit. That’s just me.

Anyway, today I was reading 2 Peter talking about confirming God’s invitation to us to be His and I love this: “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.”

Sometimes we go through fallow periods where we are just getting by; our move to our farm four months ago threw us into a frenzy of doing things but we lost rhythm and many other things – we gained a lot of stress as there was just a lot to be done and there still is. Sometimes you have to go right back to basics and see where you are falling short and remember. Just remember who you are in the midst and what are the things that make up the foundation of your life.

Sending love to you, my friends.

Blessings,

Carrie

Fabulous Fifties

If we look at life in seven year cycles, we can see that development is both cyclical in a way and a spiral at the same time – hopefully we are taking our experiences and building on them in such a way that the years to come are better with what we have learned. The years of the thirties and forties are a great time of change, of growing, and of metamorphosis. Like all human development, there are individual journeys, but there are also pretty archetypal themes for different decades of aging.

Human beings continue to mature throughout their lifetime, so it is difficult to say, oh, our children are fully grown when they are 18 or 21 or oh, the brain fully develops around age 28…the reality is we are always growing, changing… we are always in need of encouragement and guidance, and if we do it right, hopefully we are always developing new capacities.

Maturity is that difference, that thing that stands in the gap so to speak. If 35 is a threshold for new insights, typically the late 30s and early 40s have a sort of loneliness to them. The beauty of this though, is that there is an awakening to community in the later 40’s into the 50’s. This community is made of the wonderful people who also are also set on growing wiser, finding truth.

I am almost 51 this year; 50 is a mystical number on many levels – in the Christian Bible, it signifies deliverance or freedom from a burden. I didn’t find 50 to be this for me personally as I am still in the thick of raising children and dealing with work and other matters. However, I do think it is the time to move from thinking into the realm of willing, and I think this is a time when many people feel the need to reach out beyond themselves or their family, into the world, and build community. I don’t think this is accidental, and I have experienced this this year: a true need and wanting to build community. I have seen it in the love for the community my children are building independent and separate from us as parents, but still intertwined. It’s quite lovely to experience.

In circles connected with Waldorf education and Rudolf Steiner’s study and insights into human development, 55 years and 10 months is seen as corresponding to the years of seven to fourteen but with increased health problems. While that doesn’t sound promising, it is a time when many report of a major surgery or major life-threatening illness. Is that always true? No, of course not. But it is this idea that the body eventually becomes a bit of hindrance and through that we can find new strength, new fortitude, new beginnings, newfound power so to speak, and this can lead up to a time of nearly never ending creativity at age 56 and beyond. And the time span of age 74 years and beyond can lead toward major works being published and projects created and finished because there this new creativity. A life’s work can be completed! Working on self development and self education is an important component of being able to do this work all the way into our 70s and beyond. I read an article in the New York Times that said by 2100, there will be 25 million centenarians. While very few people live past 115, there are a few who make it close to 120 years old. The question becomes, can these ages be a life well lived, a good quality?

I think the 50s are a good place to start.

Blessings,

Carrie

Book Review: “Colour Dynamics”

I was so excited to finally have this book! This was published way back in 2010 and then printed as a paperback in 2017/2018. I love the feel of the book and its landscape layout of the pages with color overlaying words and themes in the book. When I opened the pages, I realized it was as I had envisioned it in my head!

The contents include an introduction and materials needed to work with this book, and then it is divided into five parts ranging from one to three chapters. Part One is about exploring colors, painting the rainbow, combining colors. Part Two is about complementary colors, after-images (remember playing with light and color in physics in sixth grade in the Waldorf curriculum?) and other related topics, and Part Three is about the color circle and the polarity of red and blue.

Part Four is about sunrises and sunsets and using those archetypes as exploration for how we use an interplay of light and dark in creating atmosphere in our paintings (so valuable!) and how color plays a role in all that we see around us in nature. “How do we find our way into nature’s secrets?” the author asks on page 98. I love this and think this mood permeates throughout the entirety of the Waldorf curriculum. We can find polarities of color in nature, of course, but also in expanding and contracting, in and out breathing, polarities in size, active and passive and so on. So much of Waldorf education uses polarities to enliven the curriculum material we teach and in how we teach and guide children to find balance. In Part Five, there is a wonderful reference guide on page 121 regarding the thematic elements of each grade and corresponding help in this book. There is also an amazing glossary which is very helpful.

I encourage Waldorf homeschoolers, new and veteran alike, to set up a little painting station and just paint every morning. When my children were small, I set up an ironing board in the corner of my bedroom and when I awoke in the morning, I went and painted for five to ten minutes a day. It was very nourishing to me as the mother of small children, and it remains a wonderful practice. I can’t wait to use this book as inspiration for my own morning paintings.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!

Blessings,

Carrie

Resources for Homeschooling Ninth Grade

The Waldorf arts-based curriculum is very beautiful in that it is a spiral that keeps growing deeper as teenagers move into a new developmental phase. Age 14 and up in high school is about finding truth in the world and taking responsibility. When it comes to homeschooling this age, the materials for Waldorf homeschooling do become less generally but there are some gems out there!

Ninth graders are interested in “What?” and how they can jump into the modern world with both feet. Polarities in feelings is evident, and Waldorf education works with this through the polarity of comedy and tragedy in literature, in charcoal drawing, and in science. Another interesting perspective can be found here: Parzival and the Journey of Adolescence – Waldorf Library

Some of my favorite resources for ninth grade are:

Literature: Comedy and Tragedy: Christopherus Homeschool Resources » Comedy and Tragedy. Later on I did a block of African American literature, and we did a lot of poetry and short stories. We also used some of the books from Oak Meadow’s A Hero’s Journey.

History: Some Waldorf schools do Modern History (European), some do Modern American history (consider downloading the two ebooks here :BookLibrary Manager | | eBooks | Colloquium on World History – (waldorflibrary.org)) , some do other types of history depending upon the school, but one mainstay block is History Through Art. I found this article helpful: Arts and Their Relationship to Adolescent Development – Waldorf Library. For the content of the block itself, I used Rudolf Steiner’s lectures, an art history book I had in the house from college, and the book Modeling the Head in Clay: Creative Techniques for the Sculptor: Lucchesi, Bruno, Malmstrom, Margit: 9780823030996: Amazon.com: Books

Foreign Language: We ended up using Oak Meadow’s Spanish and paying the enrollment fee for correspondence with a teacher for one child and the other child took Spanish outside the home in a hybrid high school.

Science: Earth Science: BookLibrary Manager | | eBooks | Earth Science – eBook (waldorflibrary.org) plus varying examples I found online at different Waldorf Schools, Biology: I created a year long course even though that is typically just one block at a Waldorf School using Holt textbook, an Oak Meadow Syllabus, this article: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Teaching Biology in a Human Context – Waldorf Library and many resources from Bookstore — The Nature Institute and this compendium: BookLibrary Manager | | eBooks | Colloquium on Life Science and (waldorflibrary.org). Ninth grade is also a great grade for field trips and classes at varying nature centers, etc. Many schools will do a block on thermodynamics and a block on organic chemistry as well.

Math: We did math with an outside class, but also used blocks on combinations and permutations with resources I found on Teachers Pay Teachers and a block on statistics. I also found this book helpful: BookLibrary Manager | | Grade Level | High School | Topics in Mathematics (waldorflibrary.org)

Other fun stuff was music, handwork, gardening, and all kinds of art.

Ninth grade can be a fun year! I would love to hear about your ninth grade experience.

Blessings,

Carrie

Joyful July!

This summer is flying by for our family, and I am hopeful that this month will be the best month of this year yet! I think (knock on wood) that we have turned a little bit of a corner with everything on our farm breaking and hopefully we can breathe a sweet sigh of relief. We have done an awful lot in the almost eleven weeks we have been here, so I think we should get a little reprieve before we start working on renovating the barn. All we have right now are our dogs and bees, but hope to have our horses over here in August, and then to add chickens.( If I had my wish, I would also have two alpacas, but that is another story!).

I have been thinking a lot about development and developmental homeschooling lately. I try to have a good amount of my homeschool planning done by the end of July if it is possible, but I think the place to start is always with development. I encourage you to go back and read some of the back posts about development. I linked some of my favorites here, and in the spirit of beginning with the end in mind, I started with the older ages:

After The Fifteen/Sixteen Change | The Parenting Passageway

Development of the Tenth Grader | The Parenting Passageway (this is age 15 for many Waldorf schools)

How Is Planning Going For Ninth Grade? | The Parenting Passageway (this is age 14 for many Waldorf schools)

Still Waters Run Deep: The Fourteen Year Old | The Parenting Passageway (more 14)

Developmental Fridays: The Thirteen Year Old | The Parenting Passageway

The Twelve Year Old | The Parenting Passageway

The Uneven Eleven-Year Old: A Traditional Developmental View | The Parenting Passageway

The Terrific Ten-Year-Old: A Developmental View | The Parenting Passageway

The Nine-Year-Old: A Traditional View | The Parenting Passageway

The Eight-Year-Old: A Traditional View | The Parenting Passageway

Peaceful Living with Your Super Seven-Year-Old | The Parenting Passageway

The Angry, Aggressive Six Year Old | The Parenting Passageway

The Fabulous Five –Year -Old! | The Parenting Passageway

Fantastic Four Year Old! | The Parenting Passageway

Peaceful Life with a Three-Year-Old | The Parenting Passageway

The Two-Year-Old: A Traditional Perspective | The Parenting Passageway

The One-Year -Old | The Parenting Passageway

In July we are also celebrating! Here are the things we are celebrating:

4- Independence Day

26- Feast Day of St. Anne and St. Joachim, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I am looking forward to sunflower festivals, catching fireflies, being in the pool and lake and at the beach and of course, being at the farm! Our nearly 20 year old and I have a little girls weekend planned as well, since I don’t get to see her as much during the school year as she is away!

Ideas for Things to Do With Children:

  • Fourth of July decorating; patriotic crafts
  • Find traditional patriotic American music to listen to!
  • Go to Independence Day parades!
  • Sunflower crafts
  • Drying herbs and making things from herbs
  • Picking produce; canning and preserving
  • Earth looms and weaving could be lovely; see my summer Pinterest board for even more craft ideas

Ideas for the Home:

  • Going through the school room or school area and cleaning out
  • Ordering art supplies and new resources for the next school year
  • Making new seasonal things for the home
  • Changing out toys if you are on a toy rotation for smaller children
  • Gardening – planting rounds of corn, green beans and peas, zinnias, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes right now!
  • Getting ready for a new school year with new art supplies

Homeschooling/ Planning:

I posted our plan for our sixth grader in June, but here it is again in case you missed it! (Our oldest is at university and our high schooler is going to be attending high school in some form, so I am down to homeschooling one child!)

Fall: August – Greek History (Most likely will base on Live Ed’s booklet), Nature Study in the afternoon; September – Mineralogy; October – Roman History to include European geography; November – Physics; December – Geometry.

Spring: January – Medieval History; February – Business Math; March – Medieval Africa and African Heroes, African Geography; April – Zoology; May- Botany

We have some confounding factors as I am working and our sixth grader will be doing math/science out and two days of a middle school only boys experiential program, which leaves us about two and a half days at home to do the things we want! However, I am rolling with it and I think it will be ok. With this being our third child, I have a good idea where we are headed, which makes middle school planning easier!

I would love to hear what you are up to. Happy Summer (Or Winter, Down Under friends) vibes!

Blessings and love,

Carrie

Making Memories in June

June is a beautiful month here in the Deep South. School has been out for a few weeks, the lake is ready and waiting, it’s hot but not too terrible. We are knee deep in renovations at the farm – I can’t even list it all here but we have had to do things like run water lines, put in heat on the second floor, fix the A/C, replace garage door panels and fix the mechanics, renovate bathrooms, renovate a barn, put up fencing….with more to come. Our bees are coming in next week, and we have chickens coming as soon as we get the chicken coop done. Hopefully our horses will be here in August or September.

But in the midst of scurrying around, and work, there are memories to be made this June. Some of the things we are looking forward to:

Boating on the lake

Going to the beach on the lake

Kayaking and camping

Berry picking and making jam

This month we will be celebrating:

The Slow Summer – think lakes and pools, tubing, horseback riding, camping, spending time with family and friends. All of my favorite things in one month!  Here is a wonderful guest post by Christine Natale, Master Waldorf Teacher and author about creating the magical summer

14- Flag Day

20 – Father’s Day AND – Summer Solstice

24 – The Nativity of St. John the Baptist/ St. John’s Tide (see this back post for festival help!)

29- The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

Summer Homeschooling and Development:

I am in the midst of beginning planning for our sixth grade blocks to begin in August! I cannot believe our third and last child is old enough to go to sixth grade. Sixth grade is one of my favorites and I have a few thoughts regarding fifth grade that we just finished as well, so stay tuned for those posts.

We also will have a junior in high school who will be doing online school because she will be working in horse training and needs the flexibility, and our oldest will be a sophomore at an out of state university. She had a fantastic freshman year, so don’t let anyone tell you that kids who were homeschooled cannot enter any arena where they want to go. The sky is the limit!

I am running back to basics this summer – it’s been a crazy time with getting our old house ready to sell, finding a new house, moving, renovating. So I need the basics in my life back, beginning with Gratitude: Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture | The Parenting Passageway and Finding Rhythm With Grades-Aged Children | The Parenting Passageway. If you have littles under the age of 7, you might like this back post: Finding Rhythm With Littles | The Parenting Passageway

I would love to hear what you are up to and how you are re-charging!

Blessings,

Carrie

Planning for Sixth Grade

Our last child will be in sixth grade in the fall. This will be my third time teaching sixth grade, and I really enjoy the content of this grade that is so well suited to the twelve year old! We were in the process of moving and renovating a farmhouse the past few months and at varying points life took over fifth grade as we were trying to stay afloat and fix the major things like water and heating. We are still renovating, but things seem a bit more stable now as the school year here in the South is over (of course that’s how the timing worked out). I am a firm believer in summer downtime, so I doubt we will get much catch up this summer. So I am planning sixth grade with an eye towards some of the things we didn’t finish. We also have the added challenge of outside classes several days a week for math and outdoor school when I work, so limited time.

So these are my ideas for my current plan. We will be doing math daily and doing extra writing practice weekly.

August – Greek History (Most likely will base on Live Ed’s booklet), Nature Study in the afternoon.

September – Mineralogy

October – Roman History to include European geography

November – Physics

December – Geometry

January – Medieval History

February – Business Math

March – Medieval Africa and African Heroes, African Geography

April – Zoology

May- Botany

It’s going to be a fun year! I have a few field trips planned to the coast of our state and to a large canyon in our state for mineralogy and to our local museum that specializes in minerals and gems. We will also be busy getting our bees, chickens, horses and gardens settled, so that will be fun and busy as well.

Our other children right now are at an out of state university after being homeschooled through 11th grade at home and senior year was all outside classes, and our 16 year old has chosen an online school for her last two years of high school as she will be working and wants to start her own business.

If you are homeschool planning, I would love to hear what you are up to!

Blessings,

Carrie

The Wonder of Development

Thinking about stages of development is a little like thinking of a wave within a spiral. The waves are like the ebb and flow of each year and half year, and the spiral represents development as children ascend into adulthood. Despite differences in culture, personality of the child, familial environment, there is something very predictable about the course of development.

If this is new to you, this is a general course of development from age two until 17/18:

Two: Usually easier to live with than an 18 month old, likes to watch the household and participate in little errands or jobs around the house

Two and a half: Often an insecure age – often seen as bossy, rigid, demanding – but really feeling insecure. An age of “I want”, “Me do” and our favorite, “No!” Great vocabulary development at this age and much better motor skills.

Three to three and a half: A big age! Some parents say this age is actually the hardest, not two. Some things three year olds can do:
**Can distinguish between a bowel movement and urination; around three and a half may or may not go to the bathroom at regular intervals
**Can turn off water in bathroom when you ask; may be able to put toothpaste on toothbrush and wet the toothbrush; can put comb or brush in hair; can pull pants up; can get clothing out and put it on by around three and a half, although the average age for complete dressing is age 5. Can pull off shoes and unzip and unsnap clothing.
**May be able to play a game with another person, such as rolling a ball back and forth; they can usually talk about a game that just finished and start a new game; can take turns in a game at least 25 percent of the time
**Can sit quietly for at least one minute; this moves up to five minutes at three and a half

Four: Can be joyous and exuberant and ready for anything, but also can have extreme emotions; very speedy – does things and moves on to the next thing!

Four and a half: Usually a bit more self-motivated, better able to stand frustration, may be less easily shifted with distraction, some four and a half year olds can be very demanding and impatient

Five: Typically enjoys life and looks on the sunny side, typically loves his house, his street, his neighborhood, often doesn’t care to have something different, is often an age of childhood development where the child is in a state of harmony

Five and a half: Typically will have a readiness to go Usually has a great readiness to go against what is asked or expected of him, can often be combative or hesitant, dawdling, indecisive or at the opposite extreme, demanding and explosive. May be sick quite a bit, have a lot of tensional outlets like biting nails, fidgeting, etc.

Six: Six year olds can be ambivalent, stubborn and hard to make up his or her mind, but once his or her mind is made up it is difficult to get child to change his mind, the child is now the center of their own universe, they often want to win and want many things. Can be violent, loud demanding, insecure. High emotional needs!

Seven: Seven-year-olds are more contained, quiet, and tend to cry easily “at any, every, or even no provocation.”  Be careful becoming irritable or critical of the people a seven-year-old says is picking on them or hates them….Sevens rather like being gloomy and complaining.  Try not to take it too seriously, unless you really do think it is a bullying issue at school or something else more serious. 

Eight: Eight year olds are often expansive, high energy, speedy; may completely overestimate their own abilities. They try to measure themselves against adult standards rather than his own demands, and often are interested in fairness.

Nine: Nine year olds tend toward worrying, complaining, a bit tender (but not as complaining and moody as age seven!) , often have increased maturity. Many nine year olds generally like to do a lot and don’t want to give up any activities! Individual characteristics come to the forefront.  Friends are very, very important.

Ten: Ten year olds really love their family and family life.  They love to play in their neighborhood, if they live in a neighborhood, and sometimes even get along with their siblings (sometimes not!). They tend to respect their teacher and work hard in school. They tend to be more happy than they were at nine, and ten is typically an age of harmony.

Eleven: An energetic age, but also a year for a high number of colds, flu, ear infections, pneumonia. Moods can come and go rapidly, and eleven year olds can be rather egocentric and not cooperative with family life but away from home can be full of good manners and quite delightful!

Twelve: Solely based in neuroscience, the brain changes the most between the ages of 13 and 17.  Neuronal sprouting and pruning of neurons does begin around age 11 in girls and age 12 in boys, but the majority of changes are still ahead.  Twelve can be a fun age in that the child may now set goals, especially in learning, and may work at activities to really conquer something in the outside world that they are interested in intently.  The social element awakens;  there can be a  grouping off, especially after grade six. Girls may start banding together socially, and the boys can be brimming with activity!

Thirteen: Thirteen year olds are often withdrawn physically and emotionally, can be standoffish, tends to be critical – they are protecting their budding separate thoughts and personality!

Fourteen: A fourteen year old may be very energetic and want life to be full, but this can also be a period for some fourteen year olds of waiting, almost like a cocoon. Can be a time where fourteen year olds can be critical of their family.

Fifteen: Is actually an early stage of adolescence! Separation is often occurs – the adolescent may fantasize having a new family, a new school, having adventures, they may not distinguish  fantasy from reality too well (believe it or not!), they express growing independence in clothing, gestures, attitude, behavior…Through thinking they can begin to awaken to this new consciousness. They have very little tolerance for hypocrisy or  inconsistency and are often hypersensitive to how they are treated, but often do not treat others well. They have to learn how to consciously relate to others.

Sixteen: Usually there is  reduction in mood swings, irritability, and greater ability to manage anger. They often no longer feel as connected to their classmates, teachers, parents and feel a bit vulnerable or lonely. Often expanding out into the world but may feel a bit unsure.

Seventeen and Eighteen: After The Fifteen/Sixteen Change | The Parenting Passageway

I often found a good way to look at development for myself, and maybe this will help you, was to think in seven year stages that go throughout the lifetime, including adulthood all the way until death. This is very standard for Waldorf Education, but I just found it a useful and satisfying developmental framework. So, in that mode,

Birth – Age 7: The idea of using our hands, our will to work, movement more than lecturing or expecting a child to sit still. Using rhythm to anchor the days and to show that life around the home and within work is a place of ordinary but sacred wonder and goodness. Using our imagination to help in family life with discipline – speaking in pictures.

Age 7-14: The idea of using beauty, showing inspiration. Not snuffing the wonder out of things! I still think in American education this idea of “middle school” takes the wonder out of things far too quickly for children under the age of 14. Why are we in such a rush to have middle schoolers grow up?

Ages 14-21: The time for intellect, analyzing, finding the essential truths in life and being able to handle those lessons without becoming completely jaded and bitter.

There are over TEN YEARS worth of developmental posts on this blog! Try them out if you feel stuck at a particular age/habit with your child – I probably have a back post on it!

Much love and many blessings,

Carrie

Glorious March!

Spring is in the air where I live – I see little daffodils beginning to show, some days are warmer, and it is staying lighter longer each day. The mercurial weather is matching my changing moods, but mainly I am feeling joyful with spring and the new beginnings this season brings!

This month, we are celebrating:

Lent (Try this back post Observing Lent | The Parenting Passageway that has many links in it to even more back posts!)

March 1- Feast of St. David (here is a wet on wet painting idea: First Grade Wet On Wet Painting For Saint David’s Day | The Parenting Passageway)

March 20- Spring Equinox (Try this back post: Celebrations of Spring in the Waldorf Home | The Parenting Passageway)

March 25- Feast of The Annunciation

March 28- Palm Sunday

I am hunting ideas for Ideas for Easter Baskets | The Parenting Passageway – Easter is Sunday, April 4th this year! I will be sending my oldest her Easter basket at university!

The Ever Shifting Homeschool Round Up-

Child #1 – is at an out of state university. No more homeschooling!

Child #2 – is technically and legally a homeschool student but is enrolled at a four day a week hybrid program for this 10th grade year, so I don’t feel like I am doing much there.

Child #3 – homeschooled fifth grader! We are in our North American Geography Block, and still have a Greek Myths block and Botany to go. We hope to end our school year in May! It has been a nice year together at home.

One thing I often think about is that original idea of Waldorf Education – goodness, beauty, truth (and yes, I put it that way because it corresponds to ages 0-7, 7-14, and 14-21) or to think about hands, heart, and head (yes, put in that order on purpose). Ralph Waldo Emerson is probably the best American representative for this model with his ideas of imagination, inspiration, and intellect. These simple, aligned ideas can help guide so much of the way we educate and parent our children. There are times and seasons for all things.

Planning ahead for homeschooling: In the fall, we will have an 11th grader and a 6th grader. I am not certain what this will look like for sure yet, but I have some ideas percolating for sixth grade.

Fun Around the Home

Well, packing, packing and more packing. More to come on that in April! Something beautiful is coming.

Spring is the time of letting go of the material objects in our home that don’t serve us any longer, and for spring cleaner and eating in accordance with that impulse of spring with lighter and brighter foods.

Springtime Renewal –

Some ideas for Renewal, looking back when my children were younger. If you have young children, you will enjoy this series!

Renewal: Staying Home | The Parenting Passageway

Renewal: Mission Statements | The Parenting Passageway

Renewal: Personal Development | The Parenting Passageway (as a parent)

Renewal: Relationship With Your Spouse | The Parenting Passageway

Renewal: Computer Time | The Parenting Passageway

Renewal: Commit Yourself to Gentle Discipline | The Parenting Passageway

Renewal: Rhythm | The Parenting Passageway

I hope you find those as fun to re-read as I did. It’s so fun to look back and see that snapshot of where life was, and to commit myself to renewal in these areas again.

How is March going for you?

Much love and many blessings,

Carrie

Celebrating Lent As A Family

Lent will be starting next week. It feels more important to me than ever to celebrate this as our church is still mainly online with a few outdoor services, and because this past year has just been a combination of {{hard-do new things- different}}. It feels good that something can be the same!

Lent can be a time for true change, and it can be a time to strengthen our faith. It’s an annual spiritual check in – who am I? What have I done? What needs to happen moving forward? Am I stagnant? Do I need to give up something or do I need to take something on? I set forth a vision of “Build” for myself in January, and I am now looking into ways to make this vision come true, with very specific goals.

I think the simple focus of Lent can work so well in the home as a theme – simplicity. Work around the home is the most basic and therapeutic thing we can do with small children, and also can be so beneficial for older children and teens (and us as adults!). The arts that we include – painting, drawing, modeling, choral and instrumental music, drama, dance, speech recitation, handwork – all lead to renewed strength in facing life. Combining these two areas leads to good health for the family and provides a mirror of the awakening that occurs during Lent as we come out of the winter slumber. There is a children’s verse in the Wynstones Spring book I am reminded of that echoes this:

Little by little, the acorn said,
As it slowly sank in its mossy bed,

I am improving every day,

Hidden deep in the earth away. Little by little, each day it grew,

Little by little, it sipped the dew,

Downward it send out a tiny root,

Up in the air sprang a tiny shoot,

Day after day and year after year,

Little by little the leaves appear.

The slender branches spread far and wide,

Till the mighty oak is the forest’s pride.

So, this Lenten season, I encourage you to fast or grow or give up as you need to and with the advisement of your spiritual director. It is going to be a great season of growth! I would love to hear what you will be doing to celebrate Lent in your family, and if you have any personal goals for fasting, denial, or adding and growth.

Many blessings during this sacred season,

Carrie