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.



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.



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!



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 – ( , 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: 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 ( 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 ( 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 (

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.