The Minimalist Journey

Sometimes as mothers, we aspire to minimalism because things in our own lives seem complicated.  I recently started a thread on a  Facebook group I am on, about paring things down for the school year, especially for those of us who are are homeschooling older teens who have to be places but can’t yet drive, and for those of us who are homeschooling larger families (way larger than mine) and having the activities of the older teens impact the family all the way down to the littlest ones.

Can you really have simplicity and minimalism with homeschooling and parenting older children and teens, with multiple children of large age ranges?  Some families make a very conscious decision to roadschool or wildschool and have the work flexibility to do that, and I think many of us think that is what minimalism looks like.  However, many of us don’t have that kind of lifestyle, and I think we need to remember that minimalism can look different to each family because each family is different! 

So, as many of us are planning for the fall, I wanted to throw out some ideas I am toying with.  Last year was our absolutely most complicated year ever, largely not due to anything within our control, so those years happen, but for a “normal” year… here are some ideas!  Share yours!

  1.  What are your values and your most valued communities?  Pare things down around that.  You don’t have to do all things.  There are often all kinds of things that look great for homeschooling families or even when children attend school.  There can be pressure to keep up.  The more we rebel as this generation of parents and say that our children don’t need 20 activities during the school year to “keep up” or “get ahead” or “get into a great college” (when they are 10 years old!), the easier this will become over time.  In the meantime, be a rebel and pare down to your most valued things.  Find out what your children value!  Our girls value being home and with us, church choir and that community,  and their horses.  Our littlest guy values being home and playing!  As parents we value being outside, our community of friends, music and yes, learning!  So making priorities around those things makes sense for us.  Minimalism begins with priorities!
  2. If you live in a community where the driving factor is high, you are going to have to say no just on the basis on the drive sometimes. I went through a phase where I was done driving, and chose everything to be within a 15 to 20 minute drive (because in our area, driving forty-five minutes to an hour for something isn’t unheard of).  This year, we will be branching out a little in driving to a homeschool enrichment program  one day a week that is 40 minutes away, but this is the first time in several years we have had a drive like that.
  3. Figure out what you need – does it bother you to go out daily?  Can you homeschool in the morning and go out in the afternoon and feel fine or do you need days where you don’t leave the house?  How many days?  If this is what it is, then you have to have a schedule that reflects that you need to be home three days in a row or whatever it is that makes you feel good!  If you need to be home, cross days off on your weekly calendar so you don’t normally schedule things on those days!
  4.   Streamline your stuff.  We spend a huge amount of time in the United States managing things like a home, the stuff in a home, a car, etc.  Pare down!  Summer is a great time to do this!  You can’t organize a mountain of stuff.  Just get rid of it!
  5. Enlist help in cleaning and cooking.  Everyone in the family can help in some way!
  6. Plan margin.  Margin during the day, the week, and the year.  Plan 32-34 weeks of school knowing it will stretch out into the full number of school weeks you need.  Plan four days a week knowing that is enough.  Plan margin for the day – rest times, down times.  That is just as important as learning times.
  7. One way to get down times during the school day is to COMBINE children in lessons.  See my back post about some ideas regarding the Waldorf Curriculum.
  8. If you have appointments for health care, try to get as much done in the summer as possible. That is what most of the families  I know whose children go to public school do.  I know so many homeschoolers who feel like we should be super accommodating to appointments and things because we have potentially have that flexibility (and then we feel stressed we aren’t getting enough done!)  Use summers, breaks, one day a week once a month that is planned ahead for appointments, errands, etc as much as possible.
  9. Make the mail  your friend.  There are so many things you can order on-line. See how many groceries you can get on-line and if you can’t get the rest at your local farmer’s market.
  10. There are seasons for things.  Don’t feel badly about what you can or can’t do right now.  Parenting is a season!

Please share your favorite minimalist tips!

Blessings and love,
Carrie

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Waldorf Homeschooling: Combining Grades

One of the most asked question on ANY Waldorf homeschooling list or Facebook group is , “How do I teach my 1st grader and 3rd grader?  My 7th grader and my 11th grader?”

We are so lucky as Waldorf homeschoolers!  If we understand Steiner’s picture of the developing human being and really meditate on the children in front of us, the answers of how to combine and bring things will come.   If you already know the WHAT’s and the  WHY’s behind why you are bringing things for a particular age, then you start to be able to unravel the HOW’s.  If you want to know what the iconic blocks are as I see it for the American Waldorf homeschooler, try  this post regarding American Waldorf homeschooling.

Here are just some suggestions from me.  I have homeschooled three children of very different ages over 11 years now.  This year the children will be in 11th grade, 8th grade, and 2nd grade.  Remember, this is about HOMEschooling, not re-creating a Waldorf school in your kitchen.  We need to not only meet the developmental needs of the children in front of us, we must teach with even more soul economy than a teacher in a Waldorf School due to multiple ages and the need to create loving homes and loving family life on top of teaching.  It is a tall order, and I think combining is how to do it!

These are my suggestions for combining, with more ideas to come soon:

For the Early Grades, combining children in Grades 1-3:

  • Consider that the foundational experiences of the Early Grades are things that are in the home environment all the time, and are things everyone can participate in on some level – cooking, gardening, cleaning, handwork, chores, farm work if you are on a farm, canning and preserving food.
  • The foundation of Grade 1 is fairy tales, Native American Tales and Nature Tales.  These stories  can be done with all children ages 7-9 (1st through 3rd grade).   Third grade can be a wonderful grade for Russian fairy tales, folktales, African folktales – and these can be brought to first graders as well.  At the end of the year you could put in an Old Testament block for your third grader or bring the stories through painting or modeling for your third grader.  Or teach the first grader their letters through the Old Testament stories.  Yes, the Old Testament stories speak most strongly to the third grader, but the first graders can grasp the stories too on a different level.
  • Bring the important component of PRACTICE of skills through games! Lots of games! Together!
  • Get everyone outside – movement and nature are fundamental to reading, writing, and math in these grades.

For Combining Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-5:

  • Coordinate  the blocks – everyone is on a math block at the same time, everyone is on a language arts block at the same time.
  • Blocks that can correlate in my mind:
  • Scandinavian folk tales – Norse myths – cooking, handwork, painting
  • African tales and scenes from Ancient Africa
  • Latin American folk tales and studies of the Maya and the Popol Vuh
  • Ocean studies – animals and botany for 4-5th graders, animals and exploring the ocean for 1st and 2nd grade. Drawing, painting, modeling.  Could do this with any biome, the biome that you live in!
  • American Tall Tales for the 2nd-3rd grader and North American geography for the 5th grader (or 7th grader if you are studing First Peoples of the world).
  • Native American stories and local geography for all American homeschoolers
  • Weather for all ages – hands on, not heady – poetry, nature studies, observations, tied into gardening and preserving
  • Blocks of math games
  • Nature studies and stories to go with Man and Animal in fourth grade and Botany in fifth grade

For Combining Grades 1-3 and Grades 6-8:

  • Coordinate your blocks.
  • Have your middle schooler help you with practical work and games for skill practice for the 1-3 grader
  • Coordinate fairy tales/folktales/First People Tales with such things as Han China (could be good 6th grade parallel to Roman Empire); with Exploration studies/Renaissance Studies; with American history; with geography of South America, Europe, Asia, Africa
  • Coordinate building in third grade with shelters around the world/studies of First Peoples and tribes in 7th grade
  • Coordinate general nature studies of ocean, sky with exploration, navigation, astronomy in upper grades.
  • Coordinate  textiles block of third grade with an economics-based geography block in eighth grade such as tracing cotton and its impact around the world.
  • Tales from First Peoples for younger grades with Earth Science for older grades.

For Combining Grades 4-5 and Grades 6-8:

  • Everyone is on the same block type at the same time.
  • Hero tales from any land and geography of that land for the 6-8th grader.
  • First people studies for all grades
  • Ancient Africa in 4th or 5th or 6th grade to Medieval Africa in 6th or 7th grade to studies of African tribes in 7th grade to modern Africa in 8th grade
  • Waterways of the world – could encompass geograpy, exploration, navigation, astronomy, inventions
  • Great inventors
  • North American geography and Colonial America including diverse Colonial figures in 7th or 8th grade
  • Revolutions in 8th grade (Simon Bolivar) and Latin American geography of 6th or 7th grade, combined with First Peoples studies of those areas.
  • Book studies for mamas who need a break!  I like the book studies over at Magic Hearth.
  • Four Elements block for 4th-5th graders and physics for grades 6-8
  • Cooking for younger grades, write out recipes and make a book – combine  with chemistry for grades 7-8
  • Man and animal block with any geography studies for upper grades
  • Weather in the lower grades and the meteorology block of 8th grade

These are just a few ideas.   We could go through the whole curriculum like this.  I think as Waldorf homeschoolers we need to stop trying to separate our children in little boxes, figure out the iconic things we really want to separate out and bring for the particular age, and then figure out how to combine!  There are so many neat ways to do it that makes homeschooling so much easier!

If you need to talk more about finding the shared spot between grades and ages, DM me  at admin@theparentingpassageway.com for ideas.  This is one of my favorite subjects.

Blessings,
Carrie

 

 

 

 

The Essentials of American Waldorf Homeschooling….According to Carrie

People have asked for a minimalist sort of guide to Waldorf homeschooling. What is really essential and what is not?  How can I really break this down and begin?  So I have pondered  this quite a bit, and this is what is essential, at least to me  from my knowledge of anthroposophy and my years of Waldorf homeschooling.

The General Ideas:

  • Know yourself, understand the developing spiritual human being, do your inner work, and teach to the child in front of you.
  • Work from whole to parts; experience things first.
  • Work simply and build up over time – high school is for the real analytical thinking.  Youngers should be doing, middles should be doing and feeling deeply, high schoolers should be doing, feeling, and thinking.  The whole curriculum is a spiral that culminates in high school.
  • Connect to your local place – the local flora and fauna, culture, topography.  
  • Teach through the arts – drama, music, handwork, movement and games, modeling, painting, drawing, speech
  • Use sleep as your teaching aid

What’s Essential?  I am talking about the super, really bare bones and the really iconic blocks.  You can add lots of things, and there are great examples out there from varying Waldorf Schools and homeschoolers.  Of course you need math and geography and science if those things aren’t mentioned (see the expanded lists); I am just talking about what I think really cuts to the essence for certain ages, especially for American homeschoolers.

When the children are younger, it is easier to plan more blocks. However, I think around fourth grade there is a shift and depth is always better than more blocks.  In sixth and up, there are MANY blocks to choose from and I  talk to mothers all day long who are trying to do All The Things. You cannot do All The Things.  Pick and choose the essential for the child in front of you.  So, this is my list that hopefully points toward some essentials but ultimately you choose what is essential. 

First and Second Grade:

  • Fairy Tales and folk tales of animals
  • Nature Studies/animal tales/ First Peoples tales
  • Math with concrete objects.
  • Festival Life; Curriculum of the family and what family life values/boundaries

Third and Fourth Grade:

  • Old Testament/Hebrew Stories of dealing with separation and authority and the authority that comes from LOVE for those in the nine year change
  • Studies of First Peoples for the child’s locality – how do we live on the land and in our bodies?  – to encompass fibers, shelters, food, perhaps measurement   Local Geography.  Birchbark Tales and the Children of the Longhouse as literature.  First Peoples Tales.
  • Norse Mythology for those past the nine year change; Hero Tales that are legendary.  Possibly the Popul Vuh.
  • Human Being for those past the nine year change as the role changes from “I am one with the world” to “I am steward of the world around me.”
  •  Fractions and musical notation for those past the nine year change!
  • Curriculum of the Family – values and boundaries; growth mindset

(Expanded Ideas depending upon your family culture:  Measurement; African Tales; continue with fairy and folk tales from different cultures).

Fifth and Sixth Grade:  It starts to get tricky as there are so many blocks!

  • Tracing human consciousness through those Ancient Civilizations;  Greek myths and history; I would argue for Ancient and Medieval Africa and the Maya civiliation for the development of American consciousness – specifically Sundiata and the Popul Vuh.
  • Rome and Julius Caesar; possibly the Han empire studies for the sixth grader; the lives of Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and  Muhammad (and the Golden Age of Islam).  Writing.
  • Geometry and physics for the twelve year old.
  • Mineralogy for the twelve year old
  • Black and white drawing
  • I have been thinking about the way American Waldorf schools place a North American Geography block here as the extension after local geography.  I think it might be more natural to study the geography of Central America in conjunction with the Maya and then branch into First Peoples of the Americans and geography in Seventh Grade as the precursor to Exploration and more modern ways of looking at North American Geography in seventh and eighth grade with history studies.
  • Curriculum of the Family; dealing with friends; boundaries; positivity; growth mindset

(Expanded ideas:  Medieval studies;  botany and continued zoology studies; ecology; decimals; business math with percents and ratios; astronomy with the naked eye)

Seventh and Eighth Grade:

  • Renaissance and Explorers (see note above about First Peoples and Geography – dont forget the First Peoples of Canada and South America if you are from the United States)
  • Epic tales of people’s bravery into new frontiers of not just physically conquering land but medicine and inventions
  • Literature and writing
  • Revolutions (American, French, Simon Bolivar, Industrial) and Modern  History  for American homeschoolers through contrasts) for the eighth graders right up through the War on Terror and digitality
  • The ideas of sea and sky through meteorology and oceanography and geography
  • Pre- Algebra for stretching thinking
  • Healthy living; boundaries; dealing with friends; what do good friendships look like

(Expanded ideas:  More World Geography through contrasts; Writing traditionally done through wish, wonder, surprise block in seventh grade in Waldorf Schools and short stories in eighth grade; geography; continued zoology studies; continued botany studies, continued astronomy studies; modern history of varying parts of the world, peacemakers; physiology; chemistry; more physics;  more geometry and nature; platonic solids of eighth grade)

Ninth and Tenth Grade:

  • Art History including American art for Americans as a way of tracing the consicousness of the world and specifically of our country; (Steiner’s indications covered mainly Greek through Renaissance in Western Art)
  • Comedy and Tragedy for the ninth graders
  • Black and white drawing for the ninth graders
  • The biological sciences for both grades; tenth grade embryology; ecology
  • Tenth grade back to the geography and history of those Ancient River civilizations
  • Epics for the tenth grader but the inclusion of modern epics in addition to ancient ones; the Greeks and modern civics for tenth graders.
  •  Outdoor and service experiences.
  •  Algebra and Trigonometry for the development of thinking.
  • Tools for healthy communication, self-care, and healthy intimate relationships

(Expanded ideas:  earth science throughout both grades, physics throughout both grades, chemistry throughout both grades; computer science; Inventions; Shakespeare; )

Eleventh and Twelfth Grade:  

  • Parsifal and Hamlet for the eleventh graders
  • World religions;  I like the ideas of social justice and topics regarding minority rights  for Americans for the twelfth graders – modern history from a modern perspective
  • Faust for the twelfth graders.
  • Logic
  • Self portraits.
  • Outdoor and service experiences, social activism.
  • Possibly calculus and atomic theory for really stretching thinking depending upon the child
  • Child development.   Development through the lifespan.
  • Ecology.
  • In place of transcendentalist writers in twelfth grade, I might actually choose Faulkner and Thomas Pynchon.  I need to think on that more.
  • Tools for healthy communication, self-care, and intimate relationships
  • Tools of good leading and being part of a team

(Expanded ideas:  Roman and Medieval History; Chaucer and Dante: Modern European Literature;  Transcendentalist writers; Chemistry; Biochemistry; physics; zoology; botany usually brought in eleventh grade; earth science; world geography; computer science)

I think this list could be a good start for American homeschoolers anyway.  What’s on your list of essentials?

Love,
carrie

 

Planning Eleventh Grade

We are getting ready for eleventh grade!  I think every homeschooled high schooler has a high school course that looks slightly different due to the interests and goals of that particular child, so I am uncertain if you really can follow what any homeschooled high schooler is doing as a particular template.

Homeschooling high school  also looks different from state to state within the the United States because homeschoolers may have different opportunities available to them depending upon what state they live in.  In our state, we don’t receive any money from the government toward homeschooling supplies or classes, and we cannot participate in anything the public school has to offer.  Because of the lack of ability to participate in public school classes or activities, homeschoolers here have brought it all together with outside classes for high school available a la carte, homeschool high school sports teams, homeschool proms and senior banquets and more.  I think the main problem in my area is finding secular classes for high school, as much of it tends to be based upon curriculums such as Abeka or Bob Jones or Apologia, let alone something that knows about Steiner education at the high school level.  However, there is one place not too far from me that does have some secular offerings.

So far, this is what we have done for high school for our college bound teen, organized loosely into credit hours based upon experiential offerings (lots of field trips) and living books and more.

Foreign Language – Spanish I and Spanish II (Oak Meadow)

Social Studies — American History that I put together; working our way through American Government (Oak Meadow and lots of living books we added to fit in with the theme of Greeks and civics found in Waldorf Schools tenth grade blocks), working our way through World History over three years (I put together and it includes a lot of social justice ideas that tie in with our literature blocks).

Science – Honors Biology with lab (I used Oak Meadow but added quite a bit of my own to it); AP Environmental Science with lab (outside class); this year will be Chemistry with lab at home and Botany will probably stretch between this eleventh grade year and next year.

Languague Arts – Literature and Composition I and II (I put together); this year will be World Literature outside the home and we will be doing Parsifal and Hamlet  plus some more African-American literature at home – this year in tenth grade we focused on ancient epics and contemporary post-Harlem Renaissance African-American literature.

Mathematics – Algebra I,  Geometry, Algebra II (all outside classes).  This year is Pre-Calculus.  Our student took both Geometry and Algebra II in tenth grade concurrently because she wanted to be able to hit Pre-Calculus in eleventh grade and Calculus in twelfth grade.

Electives: Music Theory and Performance I, II, this year will be III; Equine Medicine and Rehabilitation, Health (I pieced together with Oak Meadow but added many more resources).  Our daughter has an interest in psychology and medicine,  specifically infectious diseases, so trying to see what electives we can work around those interests.

As a recap, in homeschooling high school we can garner credits just through number of hours (roughly 120 hours for a credit in social sciences, language arts and 180 for science credits with lab; through getting through a textbook (probably least used in our house and definitely not used in Waldorf Education in a school setting)  or testing for credit. For example, some homeschoolers garner credits by studying for a CLEP exam.

My biggest piece of advice for homeschooling high school, especially for those who are college-bound,  is to know it  will all come together over the course of four years and you will have all the things you need, so don’t panic!  Be creative in your ways of looking at the basic ideas of math, science, etc.  There are many ways of doing this and then labeling what you have done in the “educate- ese” language that colleges understand. 🙂

Blessings and love,
Carrie

 

 

 

Choleric Children

Temperaments of children can be some of the most interesting and misunderstood parts of parenting and teaching children.  Choleric children can be challenging in the home environment!   Sometimes I feel as if in the home environment, we provide a plus to the choleric as it can cut down some of the frustration level.  This back blog post from Waldorf Parents talks about how choleric children often don’t like clothes; crayons melt in their hands; they dive into things.  These things are  easily accommodated at home.  Cholerics often need alone time and indepedence, which are also accommodated well at home.

The harder part of being at home with a choleric child is that I think unless other family members are choleric, it is harder for the “edges” to be rubbed off  so to speak.  In the classroom in a Waldorf School, children are often grouped by temperament.  Cholerics do the best job softening  each other just in the way they all act together.  What I often find in the home environment is that the choleric enters and sometimes is the only one of that temperament in the whole family.  Sometimes the parents have no idea how to meet the choleric, and things that work with other temperaments often don’t work well  with choleric children.

Choleric children, like all children, take patience.  They will blow up, fall apart, scream, be physical – and the best thing you can do is  be calm.  Firm, calm boundaries and expectations  are a true necessity to help this child learn to be the master of him or herself.  Speaking less words and not getting in the middle of a meltdown is best.   Make sure the child is safe, and that you are safe, but cholerics usually blow through their anger and frustration fast and explosively.  With time they  learn how to control their emotions better so it doesn’t come out in such a bodily tornado!  After they have come down off of their moment, gentle connection is key.  Older children may even be embarrassed.  Humor, connection and then restitution, firm boundaries,  and expectations are a must.  You must become an adult balanced choleric yourself in a way to model and show that.   And that takes a lot of time, energy, and persistence on the part of the parent. You have to run the race next to a choleric!

After a large physical outburst, having a choleric child make restitution physically is the best way to help them.  Long speeches about their behavior rarely seems to help “prevent a next time” – what prevents a “next time” is to make sure this child has plenty of physical exertion and exercise and work, a way to fix what they have done wrong, and a short sentence or two about their reaction after they have calmed down.

Meaningful work is so important for this temperament, along with encouraging following through and finishing. Sometimes choleric children have the best ideas, the best start, can really rally people around, the best leadership   – but lose heart somewhere along the way to the concluding outcome unless they have a bit of phlegmatic in them.  Helping them see things through when they are younger can be helpful, along with activities that have a steady in-breath and out-breath to them.  These types of things can help an individual develop into a balanced choleric.

Choleric children are needed.  They are our future leaders and can develop into fair and equitable adults who have hearts of gold for all kinds of wonderful causes.  Help them steady themselves through their storms.

Blessings,
Carrie

 

 

Upper Grades: Getting To The Essence of A Waldorf Block

The concept of “soul economy,” teaching in such as way as to succinctly represent themes and polarities in the world and then letting that knowledge sink down into the subconscious through sleep as an educational aid, is a concept in Waldorf homeschooling that sounds wonderful but  often feels like a mystery to attain without a lot of experience or teacher training!  For example, when I first started homeschooling the upper grades, about fifth grade and up, I realized I was trying to cram a lot of information into the blocks.  It was a feeling, perhaps from my own public school education, that I needed to pick out the most important things to represent the essence of a time period but also I *needed* to get through most of the book of Greek myths or most of the biographies of famous people in Rome or most of the timeline of American History or most of the experiments for different concepts in physics or whatever it was.  Yes, I tried to pick the most pertinent tales or biographies for the child in front of me, so in that sense it was personalized, but it was still that feeling in my head that we had to get through *all the things*.

Something shifted for me going through the fifth grade and up material a second time, and I think also combined with going through now the first two grades of homeschooling high school, which gives you a much better perspective on these upper grades.  I got much better about really narrowing down the pertinent points and choosing for my child what they needed to hear.  We really have this as such a luxury in the home environment!

I think in order to get at an essence of a block though, you have to know the material.  This actually can be problematic for us as homeschooling mothers when we approach new material because we may be looking at new material across several grades.  For example from my own time through sixth grade – there I was,  two college degrees, and I knew very little about the Roman History covered in sixth grade!  Not really enough to pick what were the watershed moments of this time period and also to choose what really my daughter and her temperament and development needed to hear.  Again, I did much better with this the second time around as I was familiar with the material!

So, what can you do if it is your first time through a block of material? How do you find the essence?

Honestly, I think pick 4-6 “things” out of that block that you really want to bring to life for that time period, block of physics or chemistry, concepts of grammar or  tales of mythology.  I wouldn’t pick more than that.   You really can’t do it justice. Find the broad arc and themes, or the broad polarities in science, and pick things that illustrate that. Arcs, themes, polarities, should be your mantra. Then you can pick what really speaks and stands out to you for your child.

Check out the suggestions in the book “Towards Creative Teaching: Notes to an Evolving Curriculum for Steiner Waldorf Class Teachers” edited by Rawson and Avison.  I think their suggestions at least helped me think about what I really wanted to economically bring.  This book says things such as, “One of the three great discoverers – Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus – might be taken to represent the time of the great discoveries.” (Page 153).  That is just one example of many suggestions as to how to pair things down and gather the essence of a particular block.

Think what and how concepts can be integrated across blocks. By that I mean, can the themes and polarities of one block be reinforced in another block?  For example, history, math, science, world religions, and handwork can all overlap.  Botany and mineralogy often overlap into geography and how people lived, and vice versa.  Many of the  concepts of sciences overlap. What overlaps personally to your child because of where you live in the world? What is reinforced by living where you live and how you live or the people in the child’s environment?  That is another part of homeschooling.

Use art with drawing, painting, modeling, poems, songs,  drama, and recitation of poetry in order to tie it all together.  These arts are so wonderful and what makes a Waldorf Education different from anything else.

Just a few musings.

Many blessings,
Carrie

 

 

Balance

We work with the idea of polarities in Waldorf Education – things of attraction, and things of repulsion.  We see this in the universe and  in the human body at work, and we see it in homeschooling and parenting.

In general we have an idea of –

Balance of inside and outside the home – too much outside of the home and we feel stretched and thin and weary.  Too much inside the home and we may feel isolated and alone.

Balance of structure and unstructured – too much structure and we lose the cozy, relaxing feeling of home.  Too much unstructured time and we lose forward momentum toward progress or goals or even toward balance. Sometimes it takes structure both as a homemaker, student, and teacher to tackle something we don’t like or we don’t want to do.

Balance of being part of the whole family and being an individual person – the older I get the more important it is to me to have a little individuality, a little bit apart that is me.  I am part of the family and enjoy that, but that is not my only thing to enjoy anymore. I think this may be part of the seven year cycles of adult development and may change as one ages.

Balance of  adult-led teaching and child-led teaching. As a Waldorf homeschooler, I look to the time and place in which we live, the child in front of me and his or her interests and the ideas that come from a place of developmental health.

Balance of rest and activity.  So many mothers feel as if they are running on all cylinders, running crazy all the time but is that true activity towards health?  What is the balance of the spiritual, physical, and emotional?

Please share with me your ideas about balance.

Blessings and love,

Carrie