Accessibility and Responsibility

You can only give people the amount of access to you that they have proven to be responsible with.

Read that again.

If someone is very irresponsible with your feelings, with your time, with your memories and stories, with how they treat your character and what they say about you when you are not together, then their access to you should be limited (or completely cut off).

If someone is truly caring and responsible with you, your feelings, your time, your memories and stories, with how they treat your character and what they say about you when you are not together, then their access to you is completely warranted.

Too many times we give away our power, our feelings, to people who really don’t deserve as much access to us as we thought they did. It is important to recognize that people are uniquely complicated, and they may have underlying motives that you know nothing about. This can include acquaintances and friends, but also family members.

Do not keep giving access of yourself to someone who makes you miserable, who makes you feel small, who makes you feel unworthy.

Find and surround yourself with people who love you, who understand you, who care about you, who lift you up and help you strive to be an even better version of yourself.

Accessibility and responsibility are equivalent. You deserve the very best, and it is out there for you.

Blessings and love,


Beginning Homeschooling

Beginning homeschooling can be exciting, scary, nerve-wracking, wonderful – all of the emotions!

If you are in the United States, homeschooling laws and requirements are set forth by your individual state, so you can look those up online. Pay attention to the compulsory age of beginning school. In many states, requirements to submit is generally at a later age than you may think. So, if you have a three or four year old, you may not have to submit anything to the state or worry about homeschooling to satisfy the needs of your state for those ages.

If you have younger children where you have to submit something to your state, please do take a cue from our unschooler friends – all of life is learning and if your state has specific requirements, please see how your everyday life can meet those requirements. Health, civics requirements for young people are some that come to mind. Visiting community places, washing hands and being clean and learning hygiene can often satisfy these sorts of requirements.

Arrange your homeschooling to fit your life, not the other way around. Homeschooling is part of your life, and being a homeschooling parent is just another facet to your role as parent. You are not in a public school classroom, so don’t treat your homeschool as such unless you and your family really enjoy that!

There is no perfect curriculum! I look at curriculum within the Waldorf world and within more mainstream homeschooling and there is no perfect curriculum. You need to see what your child needs, and when they are older and getting closer to high school, you can tailor more for what children want to do with their lives. In the meantime, the foundational skills of reading, writing, mathematics, reasoning are all there.

I have had parents of third and fourth graders ask me how they should handle transcript keeping for later college entrance. You really don’t have to keep records like that until eighth or ninth grade and at that point, 120 hours is one credit hour and 150 hours is one science with lab credit hour. Keep track at that point, but before that, just enjoy being together.

Because ultimately, what homeschooling buys you is time with your children including the ability to lay a strong moral foundation, a strong sense of family, freedom to pursue interests. These are the reasons most veteran homeschoolers say they appreciate homeschooling so much.

When you are in the trenches, the days seem so long but truly the years are short. Before you know it, your children will be ready to graduate and head out on their own. It comes quickly, and when that times come, please let them go knowing that you gave them the strongest foundation you could provide. I have heard of parents moving close to their student’s college or trying to get involved in emailing professors at colleges on behalf of their young adult. I hope these are minor incidences because that is such a disservice to our young adults. Let’s trust them to make their lives the way they want, and that they will come to us for guidance when they need us. I see the young adults of this generation that are 18-25 years old, not only my children’s friends but also my own friends who are in their 20s, and I am so excited for the future with these intelligent, sensitive, compassionate young people. Homeschooling is one way to set a foundation in motion, and although it certainly isn’t the only way, it can be amazing.



Eighth Grade Planning 2023

Our third and last child is entering eighth grade and has plans to enter an academically oriented high school hybrid. It is definitely not an arts-focused program, and our focus right now is really getting math and writing at a good level this year so he can feel successful in high school. This is driving our eighth grade as an addition to the important elements that Waldorf Education brings to our homeschooling experience as we endeavor to develop the whole person.

From a Waldorf perspective, eighth grade seems to me one of the years with the least amount of “must do” soul material.  Yes, there is a Revolutions block, but some schools put that in ninth.  There is an idea of “modern” and getting children up to present-day, but again, many schools also spread that into ninth grade if they have a high school program.   The AWNSA chart for the Waldorf School curriculum includes The Industrial Revolution to the Modern Day; American History; Shakespeare and poetry; stories about different people of the world and their folklore and poetry; reviewing all grammar; writing including newspaper reporting, business writing, writing a short play and spelling; Latin and Greek and vocabulary building exercises; World Geography and geography of Asia, Australia and Antarctica; Chemistry, Physiology, Physics  including aerodynamics and meteorology; Three Dimensional Geometry.  “Making Math Meaningful” by Jamie York for Grade 8 includes geometry and platonic solids as a block (which I did the first time around in eighth grade but did not do the second time around);  and number bases and loci as another block.

When I begin planning for the upper grades, I usually begin by looking through at least six to eight websites of Waldorf Schools around the country to see what their description of the curriculum for eighth grade is at their school. If you are also interested in resources to look at, something like this from a Waldorf homeschooling perspective, you can see back posts as to how I planned for the first time around in eighth grade, or how I planned high school American History between eighth and ninth grade in order to earn a high school credit in American History (this is something that would happen in homeschooling, not a Waldorf School setting). You can see my post about Eighth Grade Chemistry here, and  I went through each week of eighth grade beginning here, with weeks one and two.

So, my tentative –  totally subject to change-  plans right now include:

August and September – Aerodynamics, Physics and Meteorology/Oceanography

October – Revolutions (mainly Industrial and Simon Bolivar because our student will be getting American Revolution as part of his hybrid homeschool program this coming school year)

November – Math

December – Chemistry

January – Modern History

February – Physiology

March – Math

April/ May -Energy,  Carbon, Climate, and the Environment

At this point, we will be doing a daily math program in order to prepare for high school. Geography will be 2 times a week. Our son also wants to learn French and to play guitar, so I will coordinate that (but not teach those things).

Our student’s main activities include an all boys adventure/outdoor middle school hybrid program two days a week, riding horses, 4H and helping on our farm. I am looking forward to involving him more in gardening and beekeeping on our land.

I will begin planning week by week plans this weekend for the fall. I like to get a bit ahead as May will be very busy for us with our middle child graduating from high school, and summer will be busy!

What are you planning for fall?



Jpyful April!

April can be such a lovely month in the Deep South.  We have tulips blooming, everything is turning green, and the weather, whilst at times unpredictable, is generally heading toward warm.  It is also a lovely time to explore the mountains and the seaside and to revel in all of nature awakening.

This month, we are celebrating Eastertide in its fullest glory.  The calendar of the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church include an amazing array of Saints this month; so many wonderful people.   Our main festival dates in our family this month include:

23- St. George

25- St. Mark

29- St. Catherine of Siena

and I am looking ahead to Ascension Day (Thursday, May 18th) and the Rogation Days that precede Ascension Day ( the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday prior to Ascension Day).  There is also a Novena of 9 days that begins on Ascension Day and ends on the Eve of Pentecost.  So I am really thinking about how to mark that.

These are a few of my favorite things this month for my family:

  • Since we are still in Eastertide here,  dyeing of eggs,  thinking of the Paschal candle and light in our home, indoor dish Easter gardens, Easter carols (yes, they are real!) and attending church are in my heart, This is growing my own garden in my heart.
  • Gardens outside as well – especially leading up to Rogation Days which is a wonderful time to have seeds, gardening tools and homesteads blessed. My seedlings are getting tall and I will be planting them outside this weekend.
  • Spring cleaning, decluttering, and moving ahead with some simple decorating I have wanted to do in our home. We are re-doing our laundry room, which is something small that we can afford, but it will be nice to have that done. Other projects coming up include building a dry lot behind the barn for the horses in inclement weather, and painting thousands of feet of fencing!

These are a few of my favorite things for small children:

  • Ramping up all kinds of physical activity since the weather is generally nice…hiking, kayaking, roller blading, walking, never disappeared these past months, but I feel so drawn to these activities now. My teenage son’s outside homeschool program really pushes physical fitness and he has been working diligently on pull ups, push ups, sit ups, running but small children will enjoy all kinds of outside free play
  • Incorporating more and more loose parts play and re-arranging indoor and outdoor play areas.

P.S. — For those of you who are using any form of screens with your small children, how about looking at rhythm, play and outside time in preparation for Screen Free Week?  Screen Free Week 2023 is coming May 1-7! You can see for more details. 🙂

These are a few of my favorite things for grades-age children:

  • Spring handwork – wet felting, making beautiful spring crafts
  • Movement outside and exploring nature
  • Adjusting our rhythm to the seasons, but sticking to strong awake, rest and bedtimes, along with regular nourishing whole foods mealtimes.

These are a few of my favorite things for teens:

**Exploring new interests and possibilities for summer. Our son wants to learn guitar this summer.

**There are many wonderful camps for the summer. Sometimes by age thirteen or fourteen, the appeal of going to camp dissipates and sometimes it doesn’t, so you can carefully observe your child. It can be hard to know how hard to push. Our teen will be involved with our local youth parish activities this summer, including a three-day day camp of service, and helping at a horseback riding camp, but he isn’t so sure about going away for a week.

** Sleep! A lot of teens really need sleep over the summer.

These are a few of my favorite things for my own inner work:

  • In the past I had created a Sacred Hour – half to be spent in personal study, and half to be spent with our children in sharing the Saints, the Bible and Anglican traditions. This Eastertide, I am devoting some time to Anglican Studies and also using the Venite App for daily readings.  I am feeling very happy about this.
  •  I have been looking closely at boundaries on my own time and what truly makes me feel comfortable and happy in the way I use time. With the farm and work and homeschooling this is super practical.

These are a few of my favorite things for my own self-care and health:

  • Continuing to get up and work out before my day starts with the family.
  • Drinking water.

These are a few of my favorite things for homeschooling:

  • I love to get the vast bulk of my planning done over the summer. I will be posting plans for eighth grade as we go along. I am using several outside resources to shore up our teenager’s academic challenges, so that includes All About Spelling, Oak Meadow English 8 which we have already started, and a daily math program on top of blocks. He needs this to be able to enter a rather academic high school homeschooling hybrid so he won’t be behind. I have never shied away from combining blocks from traditional Waldorf resources with whatever my children have needed to be successful in high school and college. I know what works for our children at this stage based on how I teach, and what things are a weakness for me in teaching.

In the family:

** One young adult is graduating in December and will be in class through the summer.

**One young adult is graduating high school in May and will be off to an out of state university this fall.

Please share with me what is inspiring you this month!



Eastertide: 50 Days of Joy

Happy Eastertide!  I love the season of Eastertide, which began on Easter Sunday and will last until  Pentecost Sunday (which is on Sunday, May 28 this year).

I find it comforting that the spiritual journey of Lent, often hard and arduous, gives way to an even longer period of joy and yes, even fun.  There are forty days in Lent, and fifty in Eastertide, which to me signifies and marks the very adult needs of beauty, fun, and play.

Oh yes, to play.  Adults need to play.  Play is not only the realm of children.  Play is often the creative wellspring of adults as well.  I am also convinced it a the key to adult  mental wellness.   We often seem to forget this in our drudgery of work, traffic, children’s activities, cooking meals and changing diapers and cleaning the house over and over, but  our need to play (and rest and relax) is every bit as real as our need to work and help each other.  The child inside of us is never far down if only we reach for him or her.

In this fifty days of Eastertide, I challenge you to play, to rest and relax and notice beauty, and to find and take your joy in the ordinary moments.  They are there, even amongst the chores of housekeeping or holding tiny children.  They are there, even in the times of your teenager dealing with end of semester tests and finals.  They are there, even with your children who are feeling the call of spring and nature to be wild and untamed.   They are there, even in traffic and whizzing cars.  Find those moments and hold onto them for what they are; the seeds of creativity and relaxing love.

I am using this Eastertide to do fifty days of physical activity that nourishes me – walking and exercising, hopefully horseback riding. I would love to sneak some camping in there as well! Maybe this speaks to you for your fifty days of joy and fun.

Or, if you would like to do something with your children to celebrate Eastertide, here is a list I shared in 2018 and am sharing again for family activities:

  1. Visit a sheep farm where the sheep are being shorn and then wash, card, and dye some fleece.
  2. Make projects having to do with sheep – I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to to wool and knitting here
  3. Spring clean your house (deep clean)
  4. Get rid of things you no longer use; paring down in the spring feels so good!
  5. Re-vamp your diet to include even more fruits and vegetables and meatless meals.
  6. Take great care of your skin
  7. Cleanse your rhythm from things outside the home that are no longer serving you or your family
  8. Look at our bee and butterfly friends in the garden, in books, and in crafts.  There are some ideas on my spring Pinterest board
  9.  Clear your life from people who bring you negative energy
  10. Make time to spend with those you love and trust – family and friends
  11. Think carefully about new endeavors.  What are you growing for this season?
  12. Find a wonderful new book to read!
  13. Go hiking.
  14. Go camping. If your spouse doesn’t like to camp, gather a moms and childrens group to go.
  15. Spend time in nature every day.
  16. Add some puppetry to your life
  17. Try journaling 50 days of gratitude
  18. Change your priorities so you have time for self-care.
  19. Slow down and rest
  20. Learn some beautiful new songs for spring for circle time or to sing as a family
  21.  Carefully investigate your spiritual path and find a way to deepen your inner work
  22. Go easy on yourself and give yourself space
  23. Find an app to help you meditate or visualize
  24. Go swimming
  25. Get a massage or sit in a sauna.
  26. Spend time with animals.
  27. Get to know your local farmers and enjoy local foods.
  28. Create art
  29. Plan ahead…or not. Whichever brings you joy in your homeschooling!  Here is some inspiration for planning high school and here is some inspiration for planning the grades.  Also, here is  a whole Pinterest board devoted to the  Early Years
  30. Learn some new Waldorf verses
  31. Pick fruit
  32. Plant a garden
  33. Create something beautiful for your outdoor space
  34. Plan new adventures in travel –
  35. Have a May Day festival shared with friends
  36. Plan for Ascension Day
  37. Plan for Pentecost through these musings
  38. Make some rock art
  39. Create, cook, and sing for Pentecost
  40. If you celebrate Pentecost as a family, consider a gathering for Pentecost
  41. Encourage someone or become someone’s mentor.
  42. Drink more water
  43. Set up a new exercise plan
  44. Catch up on your doctor and dentist appointments
  45. Take naps
  46. Walk in nature
  47. Watch a sunrise
  48. Go slow and enjoy spending time with your children.  If you are homeschooling, less books and more play.
  49. Have a picnic
  50. Dye eggs and try your hand at some spring crafts

Happy Eastertide, friends!