Golden September

September feels like new beginnings and fresh starts, even here in the South where the temperatures are still sweltering, everything is still green at this moment, school already started in August – but it still holds that harvest promise and the intimate feeling that the autumnal equinox is coming soon.

What my family is celebrating this month in great gratitude:

Labor Day – September 7  I have talked about attending parades on this day in the past, and of course, this year I imagine most will be canceled with COVID19. Perhaps you have had builders or workers in your family that made important contributions to tell your children.

The Nativity of St. Mary – September 8

Holy Cross Day – September 14

Autumn Equinox – September 22 – You can see my Autumn Pinterest Board for ideas!

The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels – September 29.  This is one of my favorite celebrations in the church and at home!  You can see my MIchaelmas Pinterest Board for some ideas!

The Home Mood:

To me, the fall becomes a time of turning inward; a time of gratitude and reflection.  How do my words, my actions, reflect my gratitude toward my Creator and toward my life?  How do I interact with others in order to show this?  There is a quote I often think about from Dr. Rudolf Steiner that talks about this. He says;

The cultivation of this universal gratitude toward the world is of paramount importance.  It does not always need to be in one’s consciousness, but may simply live in the background of the feeling life, so that, at the end of a strenuous day, one can experience gratitude, for example, when entering a beautiful meadow full of flowers……And if we only act properly in front of the children, a corresponding increase in gratitude will develop within them for all that comes to them from the people living around them, from the way they speak or smile, or the way such people treat them.”  Rudolf Steiner from “A Child’s Changing Consciousness As The Basis of Pedagogical Practice”

Gratitude is such an important mood to create in the home. I think this creation can be tangible,  like those gratitude jars or going around the table at night and sharing something we have gratitude for…those are wonderful in their own way, but I think creating a  true mood of gratitude in the home actually is a much harder and deeper task.  How to  really permeate this mood and carry it, even when things are overwhelming, is for this season of overcoming and courage as we head toward the longer nights of Winter.

Menu planning:  we are warming up to oatmeal, chilis, stews, soups, fresh baked bread.

Homeschooling:

  • Our oldest graduated in May and is off to an out of state college!
  • Tenth Grader – Our tenth grader is in a hybrid school (four days a week, modified schedule)  so by law we are homeschooling, but I honestly don’t feel as if I have much to do other than help with homework and organizing assignments.
  • Fifth Grader – our fifth grader is still traditionally homeschooling.   We began with Ancient India and will be moving into Ancient Persia this week.  We are busy with math and spelling practice, main lesson, some physical fitness activities, chores, and barn life with our horses.  Our days at home look like reading aloud, math practice, main lesson, a break,  art, spelling practice, chores, and in the later afternoons physical movement. On the two days I work at a clinic, our fifth grader attends an outdoor homeschool enrichment program that is for boys only and involves a lot of work, team building, and physical fitness.
  • Me – I am still working on my clinical doctorate and working two days a week at a clinic and seeing some private patients. It is a juggle some weeks and can be overwhelming but honestly I really enjoy my patients and am glad to be working a little in my field.

I would love to hear what and how you are celebrating in September!

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Hello, Amazing August!

I am so excited that amazing August is almost here!  It’s my birthday month, and I will be celebrating my 50th!  Half a century of living and I know the 50s are going to be great!  Fifty brings a sense of peace in knowing yourself and what you have to offer the world, a grace that you extend to yourself and to others.  I can balance some different areas in my life probably better than at any other time in the past, because I have better boundaries so my own school, homeschooling, working part time, and having my own little business doesn’t seem as daunting (and my children are 10 and up!).  But most of all, I think the 50s as a decade are about having fun and really seizing all the moments!  I feel so fortunate to have my children be 18, 15, 10 – such fun ages as they grow up and go out into the world and I am so glad I am here to love them and help them, and  also to enjoy being with my husband and deepening our relationship of over 30 years while having a great time together.   So, yup, I am definitely celebrating my birthday week and this month!  Please go do something fun on my behalf in  your own life! ❤

The things we are celebrating:

August 6th- The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

August 8th- My Birthday!

August 10- School starts!

August 15- The Dormition of St. Mary

Ideas for Celebration:

  • Making a  beautiful triptych to celebrate the life of St. Mary.  There are many wonderful ideas regarding this on the Internet.
  • We have about another month of tubing, swimming and water park availability to us, so we hope to take advantage!
  • Camping
  • Gazing at the stars
  • Horses!  The kids picked up polo during quarantine thanks to a friend who has a bunch of ponies, and we still have horse shows and maybe a hunter pace or something fun outside with the horses.
  • Walking in the mornings
  • Working out.  Move!  During quarantine, I have been using Beach Body (no affiliation at all, just happy to have it when I can’t go to the gym!)  Come work out with me!

The Domestic Life:

This a good time to take stock of needs for fall/winter in clothing, shoes, outside gear, school supplies, art supplies

I also think this a great time to go back to manners.  Children are often in an expansive place with summer weather and may need some help in remembering school behavior, work ethics and manners!   Rhythm is a huge help with that!  It’s a key word for this month and the structure of the rhythm of school does us all good!

Meal planning gets us through because I am too busy to have to spend a lot of time every day planning.  So, I like to plan 2-4 weeks of meals and shop in bulk!  Everyone has daily chores to help, laundry gets done and put away daily. When the margins of life are tighter and I would rather spend my free time having fun out with family and friends, then we all have to do our part each day!

Homeschooling:

We are jumping into fifth grade (for my third time!).  I am looking forward to it, and pretty much decided to start with Ancient Civilizations because that’s pretty open and go for me since I have done it before.  Our fifth grader also has a two day a week outdoor program, and I will be working those days and seeing a few private patients on some of the other days.

Our tenth grader is in an outside program, so mainly I am helping with homework there!

Our high school graduate will be starting online and at home, and then hopefully be moving into her university as COVID cases drop.

I have school work to do as well, so we will all have a time to do our homework! 🙂

Self-Care:

So, my main homework days for my own school are Monday- Thursday. I now take Friday nights and Saturdays for RELAXING.  This is a switch for me, but one thing I realized during quarantine was how little I relaxed and just hung out and puttered around and I am aiming to change that! Sundays are church days and typically busy (although we are still virtual here) getting ready for Monday and school.

My other huge piece of self care is  my supplements, eating right, and exercising daily!

I want to hear what you have learned during quarantine, how August is shaping up for you, how is school looking?  If anyone needs help with homeschool planning or planning for family life, please email me at admin@theparentingpassageway.  My rates for a half hour phone call are super reasonable and I have helped lots of moms this month!  I also answer fast questions via email for free, and always give my single moms free help.

Lots of love,
carrie

Newbies! Listen!

Y’all are too worried about what curriculum you are going to use.

Read that again.

Homeschooling little people under the age of 9, which is most of the mail and messages I have been receiving lately regarding coming to homeschooling in place of using a school district’s online school, actually isn’t as much about curriculum as you think.

It’s about rhythm.

It’s about being outside, and movement that develops the gross and fine motor skills and hand eye coordination and eye tracking needing for academics.

It’s about being together and reading great books (yes, there are book lists by grade on this blog).

It’s about cooking together and doing chores together and gardening and singing together.

So, we kind of all know the popular mainstream choices for this age group – probably the ones I hear most includes Blossom and Root, Torchlight, Build Your Library, Moving Beyond the Page.  People find All About Reading and All About Spelling, and Beast Academy for math helpful.  You need a program, there is one out there for you! IEveryone has their personal favorites. If you are into Waldorf homeschooling, there aren’t actually too many options; the major ones have been around for years – Earthschooling, Christopherus, Live Education, Waldorf Essentials.  And of course, you can always put together a line of study from your library or used bookstore!

But don’t mistake curriculum only for homeschooling.  Homeschooling is about forging a family identity as a team, about learning to work together, about being able to know each other intimately and joyfully.  It shouldn’t be about just cramming in that last workbook page.

Establish a rhythm that involves warm meals you prepare together and clean up together, outside time, daily work like gardening, bread baking with kneading, arts and crafts with cutting and modeling, free play,  singing and creating music, free reading and reading together.  That’s what it is about.  Have the wonderful conversations and also know when to turn those wonderful conversations off and go have fun together.

Whatever curriculum y’all choose will be fine and if it’s not, you can change it.  What is much more important is the beautiful family legacy you are creating together.  Your first grader will grow up and be able to do what they want; our oldest is off to college at her top choice.  It happens, and it happens beyond the pages of any curriculum you pull out.

Love one another and find the joy,

Carrie

 

Developmental Homeschooling

We are in a unique position as parents and as homeschooling parents in that we get to work with the development of the unique child in front of us daily. It’s a large task to be able to see a larger picture of development, and the very unique, personal development of the child in front of us and to be able to weave this into the fabric of family life.

After many years of parenting and homeschooling, I have a few suggestions when you start to lose the forest for the trees.  The first one is to look at rhythm.  Rhythm is very important in sustaining family life in a healthy way and in sustaining development in a healthy way.  A recent example in my own life is that our  ten year old had been quite cranky as of late, and I realized today how much his behavior improved when his audio books were cut off.  His mood improved dramatically, and he become engaged and involved in other things.  This is an example of something you think you know after raising a certain number of children, but we still have to stop and think. Are we keeping consistent rising and bed times and rest times?  Are we having healthy meals?  Are we all getting outside enough and moving enough?  Are we connecting? Am I gently leading and guiding in a way that is appropriate for the child’s age?  Rhythm provides that ebb and flow of work and play, rest and activity, caring for ourselves and caring for others that helps us be strong and flexible for the every day life we face.

My second suggestion is to truly understand human development.  If you do, you will understand the stages that are fairly typical and be able to keep your ho hum attitude.   You will know there are profound changes generally around the three year mark, the 6/7 mark, at 9 years, 12 years, and at ages 15/16.  We also know some ages are louder, more aggressive, brasher like age four and age eight, and some ages can be more inward and anxious like at age nine. This is where I started this blog, with the concept of childhood development and how that fits into parenting and homeschooling, and ten years later I am more convinced of its importance than even when I was starting out.

Lastly, the third suggestion is that love and connection is what makes the family go round.  Having times of rest, play, ordinary rituals, sharing a spiritual life and purpose together all make things ready to grow and bloom.

Many blessings and love,

Carrie

The Revolution of July

For those of you who have been reading for the past ten plus years,  you know July sometimes was not my favorite month.  The heat of July can be oppressive here in the Deep South, the air can feel still, time can seem to stand still when you have small children with endless days of trying to beat the heat.  I even wrote posts about July Doldrums and More July Doldrums. Eventually June and July  turned into my months to do homeschooling consultations with to parents all over the United States so that cheered this ambivert up considerably! (Jubuliant July!)  I no longer dread July!

This time of #covid and history-making change has made me think this July is going to be revolutionary.  I hope it doesn’t retreat into status quo, stillness, and a dead end. We must not give up the fight  for peace, for unity, for justice, for change within ourselves and our communities.  We must embrace these times we are living in and help move things forward for the better.

We can use social media to amplify voices, we can write to our local representatives, donate, we can speak up to the people we know even if it’s hard, and  we can prepare to vote and get involved.  The place to begin a revolutionary change lies within ourselves.  What are our hearts telling us we should be doing in this month?  Our inner work matters because now more than ever, our homes and families must stand for safety and community and love. How can become more generous, more loving, more kind, more aware, more longing for justice?  How can we become people of reconciliation in our communities and in the world?  We are being called to important work in this day and time; let us not neglect what our calling  and part may be, however small.  What sparks of peace are you lighting in your own family and community?  How are we helping the very least amongst us?

On a different note, July in the ordinary time of the homeschooling family is also a month to plan, plan, and plan for homeschooling.  To that end,  veteran homeschooler Amanda Evans and I are planning a FREE Zoom call for grades 5/6 THIS SUNDAY  July 5 EST 7-8:30 and Tuesday, July  7 from 7-8:30 for grades 7/8/9.  Please email coastalwaldorf@gmail.com in order to register.

Hold fast to the true, the right, the real, the love, the promise of hope.

Blessings in hope,

Carrie

 

Waldorf Homeschooling? Read This!

In the book, “Assessment for Learning in Waldorf Classrooms: How Waldorf Teachers Measure Student Progress Toward Lifelong Teaching Goals” by Ciborski and Ireland, the authors point out that: “Waldorf curriculum and pedagogy are flexible.  A College of Teachers governs the pedagogy in every Waldorf School, and has the authority to approve changes and innovations to enable the school to meet the needs of its students and families…..Most schools include community service projects in the curriculum.  Some schools have changed the foreign  languages to reflect offered to reflect the ethnicities of the student body or surrounding community; some have increased time allotted to physical education and competitive sports popular in neighboring schools; most schools have incorporated environmental issues into science, geography, and other subjects.  The curriculum is a guideline and is meant to be appropriate to the times and to the place as well as the age of the children.”

So, with this in mind you should feel FREEDOM to work within the curriculum.The curriculum itself is a spiral where if you cover grades 1-12,  you will cover subjects and skills in greater and greater depth.  Whilst the indications are based upon the indication of Rudolf Steiner and the many Waldorf teachers who have worked in Steiner Schools for 100 years, each teacher is charged with meeting the child in front of them and the needs of child within community. 

The constants within this include:

  • Seeing the child as a spiritual being that has an individual and community-centered destiny to fulfill – how does the human being relate to the cosmos, the earth, the time we are living in?
  • An encouragement of  the capactities of each individual child to become healthy, purposeful and one who values all of life; one who does what is right in a situation; one who can think independently, creatively.  A well-rounded individual

In developmental stages of 0-7 (doing), 7-14 (feeling but not emotions all over but rather eliciting a connection to the material that draws forth an experience and helps develop compassion and morality), 14 and above in high school (thinking), we generally teach:

  • Knitting in the early grades moving into more complex handwork
  • Music (singing and playing instruments), games, dancing, festival celebrations are important and included
  • The use of the arts to increase cognitive capactities
  • Form drawing to increase the neural connections of the brain, practice for writing, moves into geometry
  • Math – developing logic and math skills through games, recitation, practical life work, skill progression in all grades;
  • The history blocks – myths and legends moving into proper history; all cultures and religious traditions are explored, turning points of history, great contrasts, great biographies, hope in strife
  • Science – nature stories moving into phenomenological science involving all branches of all science.
  • Language arts – reading, writing, speaking; great poetry and literature; stories from every culture and religion

Subjects are taught in blocks (one subject in a main lesson period of two hours a day for 3-6 weeks being typical) with practice sessions for math and language arts skills depending on the block being covered.  This main lesson includes a rhythm of new work on one day, deepening of the material, reviewing practice the second day and the third day involves reinforced learning with collaborations in the classroom setting or writing or illustrations.  Outcomes include  projects, performances, projects, diagrams, drawings, written assignments, homework, tests, quizzes. The teacher is constantly developing themself through collaboration and nightly reflection.

I have heavily focused our homeschooling experience around service,  the different stories of the peoples of the world, social and racial justice, and science, especially focusing on marine science, ecology, biology, sustainability.  This is not to say we didn’t do math or  sing or do handwork or read wonderful literature or do chemistry.  I just think those were more our overarching themes perhaps. Your homeschool will look different!  There are not many “Waldorf” curriculums to pick from on the market and honestly almost any material can be “Waldorf.”  I use mainly used books and the library and yes pieces of varying curriculums (some Waldorf, some not Waldorf) to create my own experiences that intersect my family’s needs, where we live, and our religious beliefs as Episcopalians. I have used a variety of materials and at this point am rather eclectic within a developmental framework from my studies  that makes sense to me.  You can do this too!  I have over 10 years of posts on this blog covering birth through mainly grade 10, with general posts about grades 11 and 12 and high school overall.  We just graduated our first graduate this spring and she is off to a four year out of state university.  You can do this!

If you are interested in homeschooling this way and not sure how to adapt it for you and your family, please feel free to email me at admin@theparentingpassageway.com or to set up a phone consultation.

This is within your reach and grasp!  I feel homeschooling will be growing this year due to the uncertainty of #covid19, and now is the perfect time to start planning your year, and what you envision your children will need out of their education as results.

Many blessings and much love,

Carrie

 

“Your Guide To A Happier Family”

Have you ever thought of your family as the love story that never ends, the story that will go on after you are gone, the story you are planting the seeds for?

This book, “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children:  Your Guide To A Happier Family” first published in 1974 and then re-published in a more up to date version, was one of my first lifelines as a parent in creating a happy and cohesive, connected family.  Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, who also wrote “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” wrote this book to share the principles of child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott.  The dedication always makes me smile as the books says, “To any parent, anywhere, who’s every muttered to himself, “There HAS to be a better way!”

This is the book we will be exploring this next month if you would like to read along!

The first chapter, entitled, “In The Beginning Were The Words,” the authors as a composite character write:  “If what I was doing was right, then why was so much going wrong?”   Why does my child…have low self-esteem…fight me at every turn….cling…whine….  and why does it make us crazy?

Dr. Ginott stated that the language he used with children was devoid of evaluation. In other words, he describes what he sees or feels.  Descriptive words can often invite a child to work out their own solutions to things.   For example, if a child spills milk we don’t yell at that child that the child is stupid and clumsy; instead we say, “I see the milk spilled,” and hand the child a sponge for clean up.

Love is important. Love is everything. But so is action.  And love involves words that do not tear people down, but instead build them up.  We cannot destroy our children or our family members with our words and expect a happy family.  Anger, which I have written extensively about on this blog, can be a catalyst for change, but it has to be the RIGHT kind of anger – we never attack personally.  Dr. Ginott gives the example of the messy room, “The sight of this room does not give me pleasure!” or “Clothes and books and toys belong on the shelf!”

No one will love your child more than you do!  Use your love, and your words for good.  Accept your child’s feelings, and help guide them towards the RIGHT ACTION.

Come follow along with me,

Much love to you all,

Carrie

 

June

Normally I love June – beaches, lakes, and pools.  Puffy and fluffly clouds sitting on blue skies. Glowing fireflies, campfires, and friends.  June is a wonderful month.

This year, I have loved being outside in June, but I don’t feel joyful.  There is so much work to do regarding anti-racism, and we absolutely, must must must as parents be a part of this work if you aren’t already.  So, while I have a list of some typical things that we do this month, I want to encourage you this month to

#vote- this may have already happened in your state, but primaries in my state are being held today.

#educateyourself – 

For Homeschoolers (or any other parent wanting to add to their child’s learning): Back Post tracing Africa through the curriculum: This is how I extended Africa through every grade in the curriculum (from 2017, so not up to date for recent events, but still good . Hope to write an updated post soon.) Don’t forget I also have lists like this for Indigenous Studies and for Latin American Studies. All on this blog.

Our African American literature block for high schoolers: Tenth Grade Literature. One of our biggest reads for high school, which we read in both 9th grade and then again in 12th grade was “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”  Some of our other favorites for middle school/high school:

Poetry: 

  • “Fundamentalism” – Naomi Shihab Nye
  • “Still I Rise” -Maya Angelou
  • “We Real Cool” – Gwendolyn Brooks
  • “Eventide” – Gwendolyn Brooks
  • “Georgia Dusk” – Jean Toomer
  • “Dream Deferred” -Langston Hughes
  • “Haiku” – Sonia Sanchez
  • Music Lyrics as Poetry: “Get It Together” by India Arie and “The Evil That Men Do” by Queen Latifah; “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac Shakur
  • “Ego Tripping” -Nikki Giovanni
  • “American Hero” – Essex Hemphill
  • “To Some Supposed Brothers” -Essex Hemphill

Literature:   

  • “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation” – Toni Morrison (essay)
  • “The Sky Is Grey” -Ernest Gaines (short story)
  • “The Burden of Race” – Arthur Ashe (nonfiction excerpt)

Nonfiction, tied into American Government

  • “Just Mercy” – Bryan Stephenson

Assigned Reading between 10th and 11th Grades:

  • “Beloved” – Toni Morrison
  • “Invisible Man”  –  Ralph Ellison (probably will end up doing together as first book in fall)
  • “Dear Martin” – Nic Stone
  • “All American Boys” – Jason Reynolds
  • “Piecing Me Together” – Watson

Also, if you look at the back posts for seventh and eighth grade, you can see how I personally traced African American history in our country.  There are so many posts I can’t link them all here.

Book List:

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Stamped  both the kid and adult version and How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi
  • I’m Still Here by Austin Channing
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

#talktoyourkids – start early and often.  I think this can be a lot harder if you live in an area with little diversity.  We have  a very multicultural group of friends, neighborhood, and city, so I personally found these conversations easy to initiate, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone.  Start simple.  If you have a school aged child and you have never addressed these issues, I think you can always start with the idea that we stand up for what is right, we stand up for people who are being “picked on” – something every child can identify with, and then move into how sometimes people are not liked or hated just because of the color of their skin, and then you can talk further about where we are here and now and then how we got here and why it is so important to stand up for what is right.  I don’t know if that helps.  Just an idea.

#donate – Black Mamas Matter Alliance, 

What we actually will be celebrating this month:

14- Flag Day

20 – Summer Solstice

21- Father’s Day

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

 

How to Celebrate:

  • I am enjoying decluttering many homeschool books.
  • Blueberry Picking
  • Kayaking, boating, going to the lake
  • Enjoying time on the farm with horses; my big kids picked up polo through a friend that has a bunch of polo ponies at her house so they have been going there to play
  • Being together – game nights; movie nights with our older teens
  • Slip and slide for our rising fifth grader
  • No pool this summer due to #covid19

The teaching fun:

  • Last year, I was teaching a group of teachers at a local Waldorf homeschooling enrichment program this month.  That was fun!  There is a lot of uncertainty about school in the fall, so I will be waiting to see what is needed!
  • I finished my pelvic floor health certification and launched a business!  Flourish Pelvic PT, Lactation, and Wellness LLC on FB and @flourishwellnesspt on IG.
  • And, I have homeschool planning to do for fifth grade.  Our senior graduated and will be off to out of state university in the fall, and our tenth grader is at our local hybrid high school that runs four days a week.   I have been posting about homeschool planning on FB and IG, so go on over and check out all the photos and ideas there!

Inner Work:

  • Prayer and lots of it!
  • Exercising daily and walking over 10,000 steps daily because that helps focus my mind.

I would love to hear what you are up to and how you are coping during these sad and often overwhelming times.

I’ve Got This Parenting Thing Down!

I don’t think anyone in the history of mankind has ever said this.

From being a parent of a colicky baby up all day and all night screaming…

To being a parent of the toddler who is running around the house naked, crayon in hand from cheerfully writing on the walls, exiting the bathroom from stuffing a shirt down the toilet…

To being the parent of an  elementary-aged child who is convinced  that all their friends are “mean” or that they are “not smart” or “everyone is better at things than I am”

To being  the parent of a pre-teen who is bored and more bored

To being the parent of a teenager who has slammed their door for the hundreth time and told you how much they hate life …

No parent has probably  ever said they had it together! (If you do have it all together, awesome! But most of us don’t!)

I don’t know about you, but my children are awesome, and they also have all the feelings, all the dreams, all the ideas.  Somehow we have been led to believe all the “bigness” is somehow wrong – instead it should all be figured out in little checked off boxes. I don’t find parenting to be like that.

I think we should talk about being “normal”  in family life more often.  Being “normal” doesn’t mean the “perfect” children were everything goes absolutely right!  It isn’t us, as parents, bending over backward to create a perfect world for them!  So what is it then?

It is showing them how to be calm in the face of chaos, courageous in the face of adversity, and to see humor in the things life throws at us.

It is showing them that life is getting back up again and again, and it’s pulling ourselves together after we have fallen apart.

It is standing together hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder and being ready for whatever needs to be done to get ahead, because a family is the very first team your child will ever play on!

It is teaching our children to stand up for what is absolutely right and true, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

It is living life in the most vibrant, beautiful, and sometimes messiest way possible!

So, give yourself a hug.  None of us have this figured out; we all have different experiences that are tragic, beautiful, funny, absurd, thoughtful, meaningful, shallow, serene in parenting and family life.  Life is about that entire spectrum of being human!

Go and love it and own it.  That’s how you get this parenting thing down!

Lots of love,
carrie

Beautiful Month of May

It’s the beautiful month of May out there and despite #covid19 and #socialdistancing (#shelterinplace has been lifted in my state with the exception of the medically fragile), the weather is gorgeous, the sunshine is bright, temperatures are in the 60’s-70’s (Fahrenheit), and we are verging on being ready to swim.  It will be very sad for us if the pools don’t open this summer, but hopeful the large lake near us will still be an option!

We are celebrating this month:

Eastertide

May 1- May Day

May 10 – U.S. Mother’s Day

May 14 – High School Graduation for our oldest!  Homeschooling is done!

May 18, 19, 20 – Rogation Days

May 21- The Feast of Ascension

May 25 – U.S. Memorial Day

May 31 – The Feast of Pentecost – you can see some beautiful cross-cultural images for inspiration

Ways to Celebrate:

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

  • Hiking on The Feast of Ascension, watching clouds
  • Making Pentecost crafts
  • Gathering for May Day and dancing around a May Pole!
  • Making crafts for Memorial Day, this year decorating our own front porch and walking in the neighborhood since I doubt there will be parades of any kind!
  • Pedal toys – trikes and bikes!

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

  • Seting up playing in the water and sand – we ordered a slip n slide for the backyard and are awaiting its arrival and a pool for our dogs
  • Observing all the dragonflies, bees, and butterflies
  • Calming rituals for rest times and the end of the day.  I strongly believe that children ages 8-13 still need earlier bedtimes and I work very hard to make that happen. Calming rituals and rhythm are soothing for sleep!

These are a few of my favorite things for teens:

  • Spring cleaning and spring decorating of the home, gardening tasks
  • Spring cooking, making special treats for The Feast of Ascension and Memorial Day
  • Planning surprise May Day baskets for neighbors, and doing things to serve others.
  • Picnics at the lake or park with #socialdistancing
  • Later night walks in the warm air – great time to talk after the smaller children have gone to bed

These are a few of my favorite things for myself:

  • Celebrating our family with family meetings and family game night.
  • Celebrating our marriage with a night out on our anniversary – this year it might just be a drive together to celebrate our 28 years!
  • Vigorously moving 5 to 6 days a week, whether that is through yoga, hiking, at the gym, or whatever I choose.
  • Drinking lots of water and herbal teas.
  • Daily Compline from The Book of Common Prayer
  • I made notes for who I am praying for in my phone with One Note and it has helped me immensely to stay on track and not forget!

These are a few of my favorite things for homeschool planning:

I am starting to work on Botany as our first block for fifth grade in the fall!  Stay tuned, as I may put it out to be able to be purchased when I am done since it’s my third time going through fifth grade.

I would love to hear what you all are up to!

Many blessings and deep peace to you, stay safe,

Carrie