Taking Stock: The Adult Role In Waldorf Homeschooling

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!


8 thoughts on “Taking Stock: The Adult Role In Waldorf Homeschooling

  1. I wake up way before my children and am ready for them each morning. I do much centering work. I’ve learned so much about myself and the workings of the human being. I’ve come a long way. I keep my patience way more often. However, my physical body is just so run down. I truly think there is. It a change I can make to help that. My husband works a lot and I have the three children under age 5. The 5 year old actually being the most challenging rather than most helpful. She is wonderful though, just tough. I’m thinking patience and forbearance with my chronic head and neck pain, catching one sicknesss after another, complete exhaustion, never being not at work, are what I must have. I pray to God. Sometimes I just get a bit frightened, like tonight when I read an old email I sent a friend describing my symptoms from a year ago and my trying to figure out why I felt so awful – and lo and behold; they ate the same symptoms and ideas I had about them a year ago. The truth is, I feel physically unwell all of the time. I also feel like I am running a marathon all day every day and not resting well at night (1 year old still nurses 1 or 2 times per night….hmm, maybe it’s time to night wean?)
    My only condolence is another mother of three close in age, a former Waldorf kindergarten teacher as well. When her kids were very young she tells me she had many symptoms, one of them was shaking hands (amongst many more). She had blood work done, tested for Lyme and etcetera. She was fine. It was simply the tax of having three little ones close in age. Her kids are a bit older now and she seems calm and balanced and at peace with no more physical symptoms. Pregnant with her fourth as a matter of fact 🙂
    I just needed to share that with someone. A part of me feels very guilty that I am finding my life to be such hard work right now because I know that God’s blessings are many and I don’t want to take them for granted. So I am not feeling sorry for myself but rather guilty for wishing to feel better. Guilty for wishing I had more time to be with my children and not always working on their food, naps, dress, bathroom, laundry, house are, bedtime and so on and so on nonstop. I hope I am meeting all of their needs. When something goes wrong with my oldest child I Immediatley feel guilt and imagine anything she does must stem from my failing her in not being able to hold the space for her more frequently throught the day as I tend to younger children and the home. I try. I try hard as I can.
    Sorry for the rant. Thank you for hearing me tonight when I needed to put this out their for another adult to hear.
    With love to Carrie and all the mommies,

  2. Carrie, I don’t know how you do it, but you always have the words I need to hear! I have 2 little ones — 4 1/2 and 8 months. They both wake up early and I struggle to find time for planning and inner work. I’m co-sleeping/nursing the baby, so I still never feel quite rested in the mornings — even when I sleep until my 4 year old wakes up (6:30-7) — so it’s been hard to get up at 5. Today I made it up by 5:30, though! Thank you for your encouragement!

  3. The airing of the beds is what sold me on the book Home Comforts. That was the first American book I found that mentioned that custom and thought it a good habit. We have big down comforters in the winter that live longer when you air them. Happy airing!

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