Fantastic February!

Today is one of my favorite times of the year – the night before Candlemas. Traditionally, Candlemas is a day to celebrate the very beginning stirrings of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is Groundhog Day, also the day of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord for some of us. Old is yielding to new! In some countries, the first snowdrops, a beautiful little white flower, are emerging from beneath snow.

We think of the first beginnings of light, and a beautiful candle festival helps mark the occasion.  There are so many ways to make candles, including rolling beeswax sheets, dipping candles, pouring beeswax into half of a walnut shell (and you can push in a little candle in order to have little floating lights, which are always fun for children), and you can make earth candles where you pour a candle and place a wick directly into a hole into the earth.

This is a wonderful time to change over your nature table if you have one to mark the seasons.  Flower fairies, branches in water that are budding,  a single candle, perhaps leading up to the markings of St. Valentine’s Day and then a little Lenten Garden (dish garden)  are all appropriate. All winter greenery is taken down.

This month we are celebrating:

Black History Month – Of course Black History IS World history and American history and should be in every subject we teach EVERY month, but it’s also wonderful to take a renewed look at wonderful books and biographies this month.  Watch @theparentingpassageway IG and The Parenting Passageway Facebook page for our library hauls this month!

February – Mardi Gras! (until Lent, of course)

February 2 – Candlemas

February 14 – St. Valentine’s Day (you can see this post about Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Waldorf Home

February 17- Presidents Day AND Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent  (try this post about Lent with lots of links and ideas:  Lent – Pilgrimage of the Soul ) I am also planning on reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Lenten book pick: Living His Story: Revealing the extraordinary love of God in ordinary ways: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2021 – Kindle edition by STEELE, HANNAH. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. And the Join the Journey through Lent Gift Item – Jay Sidebotham : Forward Movement – A coloring calendar for Lent.

Lovely things to do with children this month:

Make Valentine’s Day cards ; plan little treats and crafts for Valentine’s Day; make window transparencies; dip candles; roll candles; play board games or card games with your children;  draw, paint, model; whittle wood; make popcorn together; bake together; play in the snow – build snow forts; have snowball fights; snowshoe; downhill or cross country ski;  ice skate on a pond; read and tell stories; build forts inside; take a walk outside in the cold – look for animal tracks or berries or birds or all of the above; knit, crochet, cross stitch, finger knit, spin, sew; sing and make music together – learn some new songs; clean, scrub, dust, work around the house – rearrange furniture; go bowling or find an indoor swimming pool to swim in; write letters to family and friends; write stories together; snuggle on the coach with hot chocolate and marshmellows; cook for a neighbor; find a place of worship to attend and get involved; throw a party; clicker train your dog, cat, or other animal; take care of plants; start seeds indoors when it it is time, grow sprouts in the kitchen or a little microgarden.

Homeschooling –

This is usually a hard month for most homeschoolers. The gray weather in many parts of the country can seem endless! This is actually a great month to get outside if you can – hike, ski, snowshoe, skate. I find this really helps take the edge off!

Plan some awesome things to look forward to for the rest of the year. I will be doing some planning this weekend. Like many homeschoolers around this time of year, I realize we probably won’t get to everything I planned so it’s important to go with what is feasible and not so stressful Children and teenagers are learning all the time and it really does all work out!

February is such a great time to re-assess what is working and what is not.  I have had conversations these past few weeks with several different homeschooling families about when to “do school” during the day.  I don’t think there is a “right” answer; every family is different.  And, because we are also (usually) the chef, driver, housekeeper, keeper of the tone of the home, and hopefully taking care of ourselves (and many of us also hold down an  outside or from  the home job while homeschooling!), we have a lot to consider when crafting a rhythm that works for the family.  Because, really, the homeschooling rhythm cannot be separate from the home rhythm.  

Right now our days look like Wednesday/Friday – homeschooling farm program and me at work outside the home; Monday/Tuesday/Thursday – Homeschooling, horseback riding lessons, 4H on Zoom, sometimes more outside the home work for me. It’s sort of fluid, but it works out okay. But the basic structure on the home days is the same, and I think that is a big help. We haven’t been busy on the weekends, so that also helps to have time to regroup and prepare.

What will you all be doing in February?

Blessings,
Carrie

Making Winter Memories

Winter is a wonderful time to be together as a family and enjoy each other’s company and the great outdoors. With small children, sometimes it can seem difficult to get everyone bundled up and out the door (only to have someone need to use the bathroom), but I assure you the beauty of winter is gorgeous and well worth getting everyone out of the house.

If you are looking for other activities, here are a few ideas for you and your family that cover most ages:

  • Cut out paper snowflakes, including really cool 3-D snowflakes
  • Dip or roll candles
  • Play board games or card games with your children
  • Draw, paint, or model
  • Whittle wood
  • Make popcorn together
  • Bake together
  • Play in the snow – build snow forts; have snowball fights
  • More outside fun: snowshoe; downhill or cross country ski, ice skate
  • Go outside and look at the night sky and see what you can identify
  • Set up bird feeders and watch the birds that come
  • Take a walk outside and look for animal tracks
  • Nature journal
  • Read and tell stories
  • Build forts inside
  • Knit, crochet, cross stitch, finger knit, spin, sew
  • Sing and make music together – learn some new songs
  • Clean, scrub, dust, and work around the house – rearrange furniture
  • Go bowling or find an indoor swimming pool to swim in (when we are not in a pandemic)
  • Write letters to family and friends
  • Write stories together; read fantastic books like The Hobbit, Heidi, or any other classic
  • Snuggle on the coach with hot chocolate and marshmallows
  • Cook for a neighbor
  • Clicker train your dog, cat, or other animal
  • Take care of plants; start seeds indoors when it it is time

Many blessings creating warmth and fun with your children,

Carrie

Peaceful Advent

This is the last week of Advent, the week in which we look with anticipation towards the renewal and hope brought to us through Christmas, and through the ideals that we carry peace and goodwill within our own hearts to share with all of mankind.

Tomorrow is also the Winter Solstice, the time celebrated for being the shortest day and the longest night. It marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but I like to think of it instead of marking the darkest and longest days of acknowledging that each day from here on the daylight is lengthening and the darkness is shortening. In this year of 2020, a year of tumult and sadness for many, may we see the sunlight coming. If you are planning on marking solstice this year, I have some ideas for you Winter Solstice | The Parenting Passageway and Celebrating the Winter Solstice | The Parenting Passageway. We will be cutting up some oranges to dry out and make a garland, and make some Sun Bread as found in the book of the same title.

This week is a wonderful time to think about the Twelve Days (and Holy Nights) of Christmas that begin on Christmas Day. This is one of my favorite introspective times of the year. We all come to this Earth with gifts, with hopes, with our own thoughts and ideals and the ability to do good deeds for all of humankind and for the least among us. It is our gift to help and encourage and to provide the goodness and beauty we wish to see in this world.  We are here to love and serve others. This week is a perfect week to think about how to bring peace and light into all aspects of your life. What is serving you right now and what is not? Are you helping others in your life? Can you help encourage and bring peace to others? In the realm of homeschooling, is what you are doing serving you? How could you change things to live and learn even more deeply? That, to me, is the purest and truest form of homeschooling.

I usually pick a word for the upcoming year during this time. This year, my word for 2021 came early. And it’s the word “BUILD.” I have some exciting projects planned and ways to build up myself. my family, and those around me. My word last year was “RADIANT” and I felt like despite the events of 2020, we had a pretty radiant year – two new jobs and an advanced degree and specialty certification for me, a new sport for our older two children, one child starting at an out of state university and loving it – so blessed and yes, a radiant life despite the turbulence of the year. If you want to hear more about that word and how I work with the word of the year during Christmastide, please look Word of the Year | The Parenting Passageway.

Peaceful blessings for this week, may your light continue to shine,

Carrie

Making Advent Memories

The time leading up to the holidays, particularly if you celebrate Solstice, Hanukkah, or Christmas as your major feast for this season, can feel like a whirlwind of decorating, baking, wrapping, giving, end of semester recitals and plays and finals (maybe not this year with Covid-19, but every state and school seems to be different!) …leading up to the major holiday and it can feel exhausting! Maybe if you are like my family, you celebrate several smaller festivals in this month such as St. Nicholas Day, Santa Lucia, an Advent Spiral (which is a walk around a spiral of evergreens) or more, which can sometimes feel like too much if all of it is elaborate!

In this time, slowing down and being together is the thing that really matters the most. Take time to read together, to make window stars and straw stars, to dry orange slices for a garland for the tree, to string popcorn and dip candles, and to otherwise bring the pace as a spiral inward and inward and inward. We can do this by being gentle in our actions towards ourselves and others and setting time aside for our own self care and to relax and enjoy this season of light, love, and generosity. Relaxing during this month should be a given, yet how many mothers actually relax in the midst of all the whirlwind of things to be done? Take heart, you don’t need that many “things” to create family memories for Advent.

This week we are working on a few small projects that I will be highlighting on FB/IG, including making window stars and dipping candles. These are very doable projects with children. Window stars are a simple folding of a square of kite paper (held up like a diamond shape), fold in half and unfold, and then bring the sides of the paper to that crease. Glue the corners down and do this for enough points to make your star! Candles are also easy with melted beeswax (a garage sale crockpot works well for this), and a simple wick and a nearby pitcher of cold water. Dipping takes time, but children are often fascinated watching their candle be built up, flattening the bottom as they go along, and doing that over and over. You can flatten the bottom when it is still warm onto a little round of wood for the holder. Simple and satisfying.

St. Nicholas Day is on Sunday, and we can bring to this day a gentle, easy, and nourishing time with tea, special foods, and perhaps a little gift (or not) if this is not your main time of gift giving (for some families it is the major time of gift giving). When our children were younger, St. Nicholas Day was perhaps bigger than we celebrate it now. We never did a lot with the idea of Santa Claus (one unwrapped smaller gift was from “Santa”). However, perhaps more importantly than “getting” is children learning how to give and how to have the spirit of St. Nicholas in them at all times. Have you been getting into “good trouble” as John Lewis would say, helping others without them knowing, with a twinkle in your eye? Are you generous and kind all year round? This is the spirit of Advent and Christmas. What can your children give? What can they do to be generous and helpful and kind? Is there someone your family can help in a tangible, secret way? Those are the amazing opportunities that this month opens up into our hearts and souls.

Blessings,

Carrie

Glorious First Week of Advent

Advent is a time of doing. We experience the wonderous light of Advent with all of our senses. I love this quote by Joan Almon, master teacher of Waldorf Early Years, from “An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten”: “Within the Waldorf Kindergarten the festivals are  not meant to be “taught” but are offered in a light manner, much like telling a fairy tale, which allows the children great freedom to come to the festival as they will.  When offered in a spirit of gratitude and with a sense of wonder and awe, something of the essence of the festival can speak to the children.” I think this is something to consider for all family members, from the early years all the way through to the teenager who is unsure of participating in family or community festivals. We offer, we model, we have gratitude and wonder ourselves.

I think the approach that the Waldorf Schools have can work for a variety of families during this sacred time, but only you and your family can discern what festivals you want to celebrate and what resonates with you. In a Waldorf School, Advent is not to be made into church, but rather a time of preparation for the Christ Child which is a singular event that will never come again. Every week, each kingdom on earth is preparing (mineral kingdom, plants, animals, mankind). If you would like to learn more, please refer to this back post Advent and Other Winter Celebrations Within The Waldorf Home | The Parenting Passageway which includes the Advent Spiral and the many smaller festivals often seen in a Steiner tradition, including St. Nicholas Day, Santa Lucia, Solstice, and more. If you want a new approach to your holidays that is less materialistic, try this wonderful back guest post: Christine Natale’s Musings On Saint Nicholas Day and Starting New Holiday Traditions | The Parenting Passageway

This is our plan for this week and how we celebrate. Please keep in mind that as a practicing Christian, I am looking forward with anticipation to celebrate the coming of Christ in His incarnation, and looking even further into the future when Christ resides over death, Heaven, Hell, judgment. The prayer for our family during this time is “Our Lord, Come.” You may find things to take here that work for your family. We are part of the Episcopalian denomination and use Episcopalian/Anglican resources, including the Advent Word of the Day (#AdventWord – A Global Advent Calendar) for the adults and older teens and They Way of Love Advent Calendar (Journeying the Way of Love Advent Calendar | Episcopal Church) for the family.

Today, Sunday the 29th- Happy New Year to the Church and the First Sunday in Advent. Today we set up our Advent wreath. This is very simple with four small candles in holders that have been covered with pink and blue tissue paper and painted on with glue and glitter sitting inside a small grapevine wreath that we weave fresh fir boughs into. It isn’t fancy but the fun part comes in making it! We have hung up our outside lights, and have our Nativity set up (without the baby Jesus, who comes on Christmas morning). In many Waldorf classrooms there are lovely handmade ways of representing Spirit to Earth for this time.

Monday the 30th – Today we are setting out our representations of the mineral kingdom and all of our St. Nicholas decorations, and reading our St. Nicholas Day books (you will find a picture this week on FB/IG of these titles). We also have many poems and songs about St. Nicholas, which I will share on FB/IG as well.

Tuesdays December 1 – Today we will be gathering our things to dip candles, which is lovely at any point in Advent. We also will make beeswax ornaments, which always smell so heavenly on the tree.

Wednesday December 2 through December 5 – Prepare for St. Nicholas Day on the 6th! Baking, crafts, getting our Christmas Tree!

Sunday, December 6 – St Nicholas Day is here! Children leave out their wooden clogs, shoes, a boot or even a sack on the Eve  of Saint Nicholas.  Saint Nicholas comes to earth on his snowy white steed, and leaves behind apples, tangerines, clementines, walnuts, hazelnuts and sometimes a little toy or book.   In many stories, Saint Nicholas is the forerunner that reminds children the Child of Light is coming.  Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, is loved in many countries, including Russia, where there are many churches dedicated to Saint Nicholas.   It is a major day for my friends in the Netherlands (the 5th) and in Germany (the 6th).  Saint Nicholas music, crafts, cookie cutters and recipes and more can be found at the wonderful website www.stnicholascenter.org.  There are also some wonderful handouts regarding the relationship between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus.

I am looking forward to hearing about all of your plans!

Blessings,

Carrie 

Week of Gratitude

As I write this, we are almost done quarantining for the second time this year. It may not be the last time we have to do this, because now only three out of the five of us have had Covid-19. I have a great deal of gratitude that none of us were extremely ill, that we took precautions that probably made the course of our illness better and certainly better for our community, and that we have a warm house and plenty of food while we are home.

This year, however uneven and trying at times, has offered up its own brand of blessings and promises. I am finishing my clinical doctorate in December should all things go well. I started working at two new jobs. This year has been so hard for so many, but it can become a foundation to build up from. Many people spent more time at home with their families than they ever had. School situations changed and parents were more aware than ever as to what went on at school, or decided to change schooling and be all in with whatever way they choose to educate their child. People cut back expenses, cut back on driving, cooked more at home, gardened and canned more, and overall found joy in things that before may have been in the category of “I will do that if I have time.” Hopefully this foundation of the family and the home will bring a stability and a place to build sustainability for the future.

So, in this time leading up to American Thanksgiving on Thursday, may your blessings be many. May you acknowledge the atrocities of the past and the land you stand on at your dinner, if you do that on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a place to find what First Peoples to remember where you live: https://native-land.ca/. May we never gloss over nor forget. I wrote a post in 2015 with these words about the act of giving thanks and it seems true today:

In a world that often seems shattered, broken, and perhaps beyond repair….

Let us give thanks in our hearts for the light we and others can bring to the world.

Let us give thanks for our best attempts to be kind, compassionate and caring to ourselves, our children and the world.

Let us give thanks for all the good things we model for our children.

Let us give thanks for all the helpers in the world.  There are many.

Let us give thanks for all that we have, and all the ways in which we can help others.

Let us give thanks for the beauty of the earth and skies and seas.

Let us give thanks for the animals and plants and the diversity of all human beings and cultures around the world.

Let us give thanks for peace and show the world love.

May your gratitude be great as we bring even more light into the world during this season. May your acts of kindness be bold.

Blessings and peace,

Carrie

Healing In The Peaceful Home

We live in a world rife with anxiety, depression, and turmoil. Individual circumstances placed upon a backdrop of COVID-19, different schooling situations, and political tensions has made 2020 a tumultuous year for many. I have received many emails about helping our families defuse some of the tension and stress surrounding this year, so I wanted to share a few ideas with you all today.

One of the first and basic things that I find helpful is to shore up any kind of loose rhythm that works for your family. This provides structure and stability even if we don’t feel as if we have it in us to give. A simple rhythm could be a warm breakfast, school with breaks or work around the home, a reading or art time, a warm lunch, rest time, outside time and movement, warm dinner and a warm bath, turning lights off and “putting the house” to sleep and bedtime.

Warmth is an important consideration in these times, both physically in warming foods and clothing appropriate for your area, but also in emotional tone. A peaceful, attentive, and loving tone can be difficult to transmit to children when we ourselves are feeling completely stressed and depleted. Coming up with our own rhythm of self care is vitally important during these times. This can be as simple as remembering to eat, and going to bed at a normal hour. It can be stepped up with a walk outside, yoga or stretching, listening to music that makes you smile, connecting with people in whatever way you can safely, setting a timer on your phone to drink water or meditate or pray.

Trying to keep tension away from children in the home can be very difficult, but one thing to consider is cutting down the negative influences streaming into your home, whether this is on the news, social media, people who stress more than bless, etc. Trying to protect yourself so you can be all that your family needs is okay! It is okay to have boundaries and be selective as to what things honestly give you energy and what people and things drain you.

In times like this, working with the hands is often soothing. Gardening, even in containers, is satisfying, as is making bread by hand, fermenting foods, cleaning and polishing, setting up bird feeders and making suet or pine cone bird feeders. Handwork can be helpful – small children can roll balls of yarn and finger knit, older children can knit, crochet, sew. There are always things like window stars to make or window transparencies which can be a lot of fun for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Stories for small children that have a protective element to them in the vein as The Mitten by Jan Brett are very healing, or finding a wonderful story that the entire family can listen in on is also helpful.

The small things that seem the most ordinary can be the most healing for this time and place. Holding warmth and stability can heal our families, one by one in our own homes and then we can then send that love out into the world.

Blessings and peace,

Carrie

Golden October

October is my favorite month of the year. Here in the Deep South, the days can still be so warm, the nights can be so cool in comparison( and much to my consternation in trying to determine what my horses need to deal with the weather), and the leaves are starting to turn to the beautiful golds and yellows and even brown. I have that poem by Robert Frost in my head in October:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

But October is surely that golden period where all things are suspended in autumnal glory. I start thinking about flannel sheets, elderberry syrup, what to make for Christmas, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins, lanterns and lights. It’s the best!

These are the festivals that are our anchors this month:

October 4th- Blessing of the Animals and the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

October 31 – Halloween is my least-favorite holiday of the entire year (Ba! Humbug! LOL), but I love All Saints Day and All Souls Day and those are very important feast days in the liturgical year, so I am looking forward to those days and preparing for those days at the end of this month. 

The little things that make ordinary October days magic:

Playing in the leaves

Apple picking

Pumpkin farm visits

Making pumpkin muffins and breads

Longer nights with deeper and later sleep

Warming foods

Fuzzy flannel sheets

Warm teas

Lantern making for Martinmas

Finding ideas to make for holiday gifts

Things going on – Homeschooling fifth grade! We are a bit behind (of course) and finishing Ancient Civilizations and working through some Geometry. We will be ready to start North American Geography in two weeks or so, so that will be a fun approach. The stories of Ancient Civilizations have been a hit so far, and math through Jamie York’s Math Academy, while perhaps not ideal with online lectures, has also been a hit and a needed help for this working mama to help hold things together this year while I am scrambling to get the last classes in my clinical doctorate completed. We still do the math practice I set up daily and the math practice assigned by the math academy, but meeting in a small group two days a week over zoom has become a highlight for my son to connect with other boys his age being Waldorf homeschooled. We are finally getting some fraction work and long division solidified, and still working on writing and spelling (frustration). 4H has also been a hit for fifth grade this year so far, in a year where nothing is really meeting in person and things haven’t been too fun for a little 11 year old. Our homeschool enrichment days are still meeting twice a week, so that has been helpful (it’s all outside). Our high schooler is in a hybrid high school for outside classes. Our college student is still at college, and getting Covid tested weekly at her university. Other than that, work is busy for me despite Covid-19. I work two days a week in a clinic and see some private patients on the other days and that has been something helpful for our family right now.

In the dwindling days of sunlight, I am also holding on fast to time with friends we can see outside for a walk. I am a bit worried about the social isolation that will go with the inability to meet outside as much due to the weather this winter, and the impending flu season that will hit on top of Covid. We shall see what the future holds. I am thinking of working in some skiing days in a neighboring state, as that could be something different and fun for this year.

What are you up to this glorious October?
Blessings and love,

Carrie

Exhaustedly Fine

We so often try to pretend everything is fine. We aren’t thriving, we aren’t feeling fantastic, maybe we are on the edge of literal exhaustion, but you know, overall we are fine. Even though we know we really aren’t. We really could be better. True exhaustion is a hard thing to climb out of, like being stuck in a deep ravine with steep walls on all sides. But yet, as parents and as human beings, we deserve more and to thrive in our lives with joyfulness.

Moving from exhaustion to thriving requires something more than being fine. It requires figuring out what is really and truly essential and nourishing, and moving toward that. I especially enjoy embracing this task as we move into the darker days of winter. There is something special about all the festivals of light that occur in these months of dwindling sunlight such as Martinmas with its lanterns (November 11), Diwali with its lights (November 14), Advent (which begins November 29) and Hanukkah which begins on December 10. I still cling to these traditions, even if we celebrate in a more low key way with older children at this point because those traditions give me nourishment. The creativity nurtured in these ways nurtures me.

Another way I find that helps me climb out of the exhaustedly fine stage is to block out days to be home. Even with working part time and homeschooling, I still try to do this. Some weeks are more successful than others just because teenagers need to be places and if they can’t drive, their schedule becomes your schedule, but I do try. I also block out blocks of time and carve self care into those blocks. So today looked like-

8-10 Homeschooling (Laundry, dishes)

10-10:30 walk outside in the beautiful air

10:30-11:30 More homeschooling (Prepare lunch)

11:30 get ready for work/drive

1-4 work

4-5 Self Care

Dinner

Errands

Schoolwork for myself and my teenager, look at calendar for tomorrow

Pray and Bed

Each day looks a little different, but I find I am most successful with combatting that sense of being exhausted if things have a rhythmical order that includes me and not just me being in the state of doing for everyone else. It’s a tough thing to learn and try, but yet rather than having the days and hours slip away and out of our hands, especially with older children where we can be pulled by so many directions, it is helpful to think of the anchors of the year and of our days.

What are you doing to combat your exhaustion? I would love to hear!

Blessings and love,

Carrie

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