Striving for a Waldorf Rhythm That Fits

Rhythm is like the rise and fall of the tides in its dependability, its presence, its calming nature. Rhythm can work like that in the home as well, and it doesn’t have to be hard or stressful.

I think this is often a time of year where people feel dismayed about rhythm. I think it is the weather, winter hanging on, a little cabin fever, that prompts us to think we are not doing enough or holding enough. We are so hard on ourselves!

If you have small children, rhythm is very important but there are many more distractions and ways in which rhythm derails compared to when you have older children. The under 9 land is really just the days of trying to make it to the end of the day with everyone safe and sound. Part of the rhythm in this time frame of having children is making your home and space work for you, not against you. Have the things you do not want children in to up and out of reach. Use a baby gate to keep things contained so children are not running through the house without you. Plan a bit ahead as to what space matches with what you are trying to accomplish. This is a very tangible way to help rhythm along.

Rhythm for tiny people can be as simple as breakfast, clean up, bathroom, play outside, bathroom, snack and clean up, fingerplays and/or story, bathroom, lunch and clean up, nap/ rest, bathroom, perhaps your own festival or handwork which you can do prior to or during outside play, work of the day, bathroom, dinner, bath time and bed time. It needs to be broad and probably less detailed than you think. Build up your traditions slowly and carefully.

All children, even toddlers, need meaningful work. This is a guest post on this subject: and the follow up here: They are not hyperlinking, but please feel free to copy and paste into your browser. I also have many back posts about Waldorf in the home with one and two year olds, three and four year olds, etc. The back posts may be very helpful to you!

When we begin with proper school in first grade, then we need a slightly different rhythm. This simply could be breakfast and clean up, work within the house, a walk, the warm up to a main lesson and the main lesson, bathroom and outside play, lunch and rest, and either more activity in the afternoon such as preparing for a festival, more outside play, dinner and clean up, bath time, bed time. This is a precious, unhurried time of life that I can confidently say having two out of my three children in/heading to college, that you will never get back. It may feel monotonous in some ways, to you as the adult, but it is so nourishing to those under that 15/16 change.

Teens past the 15/16 change tend to be juniors and seniors in high school and at this point generally have their own schedules. I don’t know too many teens in this age bracket in my area that are not utilizing outside classes and who have many outside activities at this point, plus jobs and driving themselves around may be involved as well. The years of 16-18 is a springboard towards launching into future plans, whatever those may be. The relationship and rhythm of the house in many ways stays the same in terms of rising, meals, household work, rest, sleep, but changes in terms that you are the anchor at home and they are doing the things required to get to something that is next and around the corner. they are out into the world, to a certain extent. This only increases after high school graduation!

Your steadiness in rhythm helps provide the neurological and physiological stability so your children can be stable, functional adults. Rhythm is a huge piece of this, whether you homeschool or not.

Thinking of rhythm with you today,


March, The Month of Changing Tides

March has had such strange weather – hot temperatures, freezing cold, rain, sunshine. March has a little bit of sunshine and a little bit of wild, much like all of us. Maybe March is the ultimate human experience personified in weather!

The daffodils and tulips are blooming where I live, and things are greening up. In farm life, we are busy starting seedlings, grading our arena for riding, thinking about other house projects (it’s such a long journey there! So much of what we have done no one can see – things like plumbing, roofing, heat, hot water heater, A/C,etc). Our next project is going to be our laundry room and then we will be working outside to create a dry lot for the animals to go on when it is so muddy and rainy, which seems par for the course throughout the winter.

Most of all though, spring is a time of renewal. I find myself drawn to the spring greens to eat, the ideas of new beginnings and fresh starts, and craving the sunshine. My mood is one of checking in with my word of the year (#bold for this year) and seeing where my intentions lie. Have you checked in with your word of the year? How are things coming?

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

Are you hunting ideas for Easter? You might already be preparing: Ideas for Easter Baskets | The Parenting Passageway –

The Ever Shifting Homeschool Round Up-

Child #1 – is a junior at an out of state university and is graduating college in December. No more homeschooling, but intentionally forging close bonds with our adult child – new facets and new discoveries to our relationship. There are still important milestones to be had and all the connection and understanding your child’s temperament and personality really pays off when they are in their 20s!

Child #2 – is technically and legally a homeschool student but is enrolled at a four day a week hybrid program for this 12th grade year. She will be graduating in May and attending an out of state university in the fall (different university than child #1).

Child #3 – homeschooled seventh grader! I feel like this year has been a year of gaining skills, but also uneven in terms of work produced. We don’t have a lot of pretty main lesson books for sure. We have done a lot of math and spelling as those were catch up areas, but also more geography and cultures of the world, which is a subject Rudolf Steiner suggested and usually is seen in seventh grade.

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 only have an eighth grader at home, but I am starting to prepare and see what will best work for him.

Fun Around the Home

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! I hope you enjoy reading back through these as much as I did!

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

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?



1 Votes

Lent: Guarding Time

Lent has begun for millions of Christians around the world. I arrived at my place of worship on Ash Wednesday to remember that I am insignificant in many ways; dust returning to dust. However, the impact that I can make while I am here can be as mighty as I dream it to be. The hopes, the dreams, the fears, the doubts – all of humanity wrapped up inside me.

In order to make the really needful things happen, I have had to learn to guard my time. I think sometimes when we hear this idea of guarding time, we think this means we can’t waste time and therefore we have to be busy every second of every day.

In this season of life, I have learned the opposite.

I need the rest.
I need the relaxation.
I need the fun.

I need the time in spiritual endeavors.

I need and crave the time with my husband and our children to just be together (not always working around the farm).

I need the time to take care of my physical body.

Then I can work and treat patients, then I can take care of the horses and animals, then I can help others, then I can homeschool.

But guarding time is important. The average person spends over 2 hours a day on social media. All that little checking in throughout the day adds up!

So, this Lenten season, I am challenging you to do the smallest spring cleaning ever as you examine your time. What would you change, and what would help you the most in the area of time?

Pursuing with you,


Family Life In Lent

Lent in the Western Church is rapidly approaching and this year will run from Wednesday, February 22 until (depending upon how you include certain days of Holy Week) until Saturday, April 8 with Easter being on Sunday, April 9.

Lent is a solemnity of joy, a bright sadness as my Orthodox friends say, and a time for fasting, praying, service, devotion and renewing ourselves for the time ahead.

Here are some brief suggestions for celebrating Lent and Holy Week:

  • Attend church.  As believers in Christ, we are designed to be in community with one another so church attendance should have a priority in this season.  Attend church on Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, any of the services available for celebrating Saints, and attending the liturgies available during Holy Week all lead to a meaningful and beautiful Easter celebration.  Children learn by doing and modeling what we are doing.
  • In the Anglican Communion, some of my favorite and special Saint days and feasts during Lent  include St. David on March 1 (eat leek and potato soup, daffodil crafts, and see the story about St. David at; St. Patrick on March 17th, St. Joseph on March 19th, The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 25th, and Innocent of Alaska on March 30th. 
  • Establish a Lenten mood by doing something small, such as taking the time to listen to the birds sing every morning during Lent or watching the sunset every night.  This small act of breathing into the world and work of our Creator is so meaningful.
  • At the beginning of Lent, use wooden letters available and “bury” the alleluia that is not said during Lenten liturgies. 
  • Create a Lenten calendar. You can see several examples on my Pinterest board:
  • Collect alms for your particular religious denomination or a monastery or convent.  During Lent many Episcopal parishes collect for the United Thank Offering or for Episcopal Relief and Development.
  • Daily prayer is so important.  In the Episcopalian tradition, The Book of Common Prayer has many places to start with prayer. I think this year I will also use an app to help myself. I am not Roman Catholic, but I am thinking of using the Hallow App since this app will be celebrating the Lenten season.
  • Fasting and confession are integral parts of Lent. Please discuss with your parish priest or spiritual advisor what is right for your family.
  • My favorite books for Lent include “Kevin and the Blackbird’s Nest”, “Ravens of Farne”, “Rechenka’s Eggs”, “Petook” and “The Legend of the Three Trees”.  We have many books for Lent and Eastertide, and continue to build up our collection over the years.
  • With older children especially, I think one can really get into meaningful conversations about prayer, the role of prayer, and about what God is doing in their lives.
  • Gratitude lists
  • Make pretzels together.
  • Crafts for young ones include wind rings and wind wands, walnut boats to sale, God’s eyes
  • Lenten spring cleaning!

How are you planning on marking the season of Lent?


The Kingdom Of Childhood – Introduction

As Amanda Evans and I get ready for our workshop “Protecting Childhood: Waldorf At Home For the First Seven Years” being held in the Greenville SC area February 17 and 18th, we thought it only fitting to re-read the source of so much inspiration: Steiner’s lectures compiled in “The Kingdom of Childhood.”

These lectures were given in August of 1924 in England as part of Steiner’s last trip (he died on March 30, 1925). Christopher Bamford writes in the introduction that Rudolf Steiner always adapted what he had to say to the audience in front of him. These lectures were given to a small group of English educators, and for that reason I find them practical and calling for those of us in English-speaking countries trying to work with Waldorf Education as he tried to adapt his thoughts for that particular audience.

The introduction points out the very unique features of Waldorf Education:

*Subjects are taught in the light of the knowledge of the child (the human being) as having roles to play on both earthly and spiritual planes

*It affirms that a child is an eternal being in the spiritual world before birth and childhood becomes a process of gradually coming down to earth

Teaching methods – In teaching, Steiner felt teachers should observe well, be careful about stressing a child’s intellect before the child would be ready (which he felt would be at adolescence), that the teacher should use the concrete and pictorial as well as wonder and reverence, and that we should teach whole to parts. He also encouraged his audience to form larger schools for England, and for them to be modern and well thought out and able to be “conversant with other contemporary educational ideas. For they were not to be dilettantish.”

Steiner always wanted children educated out of the knowledge of the human being (developmentally appropriate), “in accordance with the demands of life.” He remarked some things were obliged to be placed into the curriculum of the Waldorf Schools because they were demanded to fit into educational models. He felt strongly children should learn the practical arts. Christopher Bamford brings up the example at the end of the introduction that Steiner really wanted a shoemaker in the Waldorf School because it was something so “in accordance with real life.” The idea of being a practical worker was never far from Steiner’s mind.

For homeschoolers working with Steiner’s thoughts, I think we are in a good position as we can connect our children with the daily, practical parts of life and provide the academic levels that best suit our knowledge of human development and how children learn best.



Wonderful Waldorf: The Gifts That Waldorf Brings

I have been studying the works of Dr. Steiner, Steiner education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophic medicine, and human development for 20 years now. It has been a fruitful adventure, with gifts I never anticipated. I found the idea of “Waldorf homeschooling” in a book from the library when my oldest, who is now 21, was three years old. It was a book that gave a brief description of each type of homeschooling – classical, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, etc. Waldorf homeschooling was in there, and what was said was enough to pique my interest. I gathered copies of Steiner’s lectures on education and stated there. This quickly morphed into beginning to celebrate the festivals of the year and into learning all that I could from Waldorf educators. I found other people in my area who also were excited about Waldorf parenting and education and we formed a homeschool group.

Waldorf Education and parenting has brought as many gifts to me as it has our children. It led us to de-mechanize our home and do things by hand in order to involve our children in work. It led to being outside and celebrating the seasons and festivals. It led to wonder and imagination and beauty in the arts. It led to simplifying the way we parented.

Waldorf education has so much to give in the home environment and so much healing potential for families. It’s been a lovely journey and one that I am still on as a developing adult – always growing and learning. The seasons, the festivals, the spiritual human being, the arts all hold as much joy and promise for me as when we held all of that for our children.

Who doesn’t need more goodness, beauty, and truth in their lives? Stay beautiful, friends!

Many blessings,


Happy 2023!

 I love the prospect of a New Year, of new beginnings and bright shiny pages in my planner, the feeling of being able to begin again, fresh and new.  I hope this New Year feels like a welcome new beginning to you and your family.

This is the beautiful blessing I often share on the New Year:

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.

-From an Old Irish Blessing, author unknown

May this year be the one in which you are ENOUGH just the way you are.

May this year be the one in which you are content.

May this year be the one where you are loved as richly as you deserve.

May this year be one of bountiful and deep friendships, beautiful family memories, and love.

May this year be the year that you help someone else, the year of your generous spirit blossoming.

May this year be the one that is perfect for you and where you are in life and may you enjoy it abundantly.

Many blessings for a peaceful New Year with new beginnings of nourishment and love.

With love to all, thank you for fifteen years of marvelous readership and I hope to have much to offer you in 2023.


The First Holy Night

Today is a day of celebration for many Christians in the Western World – Christmas Day culminates weeks of planning, giving gifts, fasting – into a festive day of celebrating light coming into the world. The Council of Tours in 567 AD proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany as a sacred and festive time, contrasted with the preparation of Advent.

This is a time seen as a thin veil perhaps between the spiritual and earthly planes, and a time to divine inner wisdom and listening as we look forward to the year ahead. Within the darkness of winter, a bit of light is emerging if only we care to find it. Energetically, we are wrapping up the year and looking ahead to what will serve us and humanity best. This experience of Christmastide is to examine the depths of our own soul.

Today is about Light in its many forms. My favorite is the beginning of the Book of John, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (ESV version). I also enjoy the beautiful version of this passage in The Message translation.

Every night during the 12 Holy Nights I am journaling. My questions for tonight to myself are:

How am I (are we) a light to others?

How am I (are we) a light in the darkness?

How will I (will we) hang onto light in a tenacious way through the ups and downs of the year? This, to me, is the intertwining of a more anthroposophical look into the Holy Nights on this day as we look at this Holy Night representing the month of January and with that the planetary influences we see in January.

How do I (will we) become self confident, practical in our goals for the year and sustain meeting these goals in a patient way?

On this note of goals, I chose a word for 2023, “BOLD”. Then I took this word and thought of ways I would like to live my life more boldly than before. This came down to areas of personal health, family and relationships, faith, work and finances, our farm. This made it easier to see a vision in each area and how to break down these ideals into smaller and not overwhelming goals.

You might ask why there isn’t a homeschool goal listed? This is simply because homeschooling is to me an extension of the health of our family and the health of our relationships. So homeschooling is in those categories.

The last thing about this day is that perhaps this is a day of community, family, joy, relaxation, laughter – how will this play out in the year? How can we include more of these qualities in our year to come?

Thinking and pondering with you,


Finding Peace In Our Homes

The idea of light and festivals of light during this season is perhaps as old as mankind. Making light in the darkness and the union of light all over the world to carry goodness is a picture I have in my head of this time of year.

It begins in our homes. If our homes are not peaceful, we cannot peacefully connect as a family.

What is stealing your peace?

Is it the physical environment of your home? Are you a visual person who needs a peaceful place for your eye to rest? I think social media is overrrated and has lulled us into thinking people have beautiful, perfect, barely lived in homes but there is something to be said for a clean, comfortable, organized place to rest and rejuvenate.

Is it sniping at each other, side comments, yelling? Some personalities or temperaments love to have the last word, or love to bicker. You can stop it in your tracks by not participating! Set down the rules of how you would like to communicate as a family.

Is there no peace because everyone is running off in different directions? Are you never together? Can you plan for being together for meals or for a family night? Can you include your teen’s friends or your young adult’s significant others?

Is your lack of peace due to finances? That is hard, because the price of everything is high right now in the United States. I have an entire pinterest board devoted to saving money. Let’s prioritize the simplicity of being together over things. And let’s not limit ourselves in terms of beliefs surrounding money or what we can do with our time. Many of work and homeschool, and many of us have teens who are working. The teens in our family always work outside the home, so something to consider is how money and employment fit into your family structure when you have older children.

Is there no peace because you are anxious or depressed? Counseling is for everyone! Taking care of our health is imperative. Hydration, sleep, whole food nutrition, exercise, sunshine, nature. We cannot lead our families if we are drowning. Do what you need to – find a sliding scale counselor, talk to someone, work with a life coach or a health coach. It is worth your peace!

Are you anxious because you have no community? It is a lot of work, but you can form a homeschool group or a book club or a hiking club or whatever it is that would bring you some joy!

This season of light, let’s get “unstuck” so we can face 2023 in a bold way!

Blessings and so much love,


PS. I have had a few questions about parenting and homeschooling consults. I am not taking any consults until after January 6th, but do feel free to reach out and get on my schedule. Blessings!