My mother and I have had an ongoing conversation about spirals for more than half my life. We talk about the image of a spiral representing something you come up against again and again, but with every repeated encounter, your perspective changes. I’ve never asked my mother if she sees the spiral getting bigger or smaller (both would be valid), but in my mind, the spiral definitely gets bigger. The wider I picture the circling lines, the easier it is for me to see what is at the center.
I was reminded of this image after returning home from the Peach Cobblers’ Curriculum Fair in Atlanta. Hearing Rainbow Rosenbloom speak about homeschooling with Waldorf inspired methods simultaneously (and somewhat paradoxically) broadened my vision and sharpened my focus. I don’t think I could overstate the impact of his words, however trying to convey exactly what I took away from his presentations has proven difficult. I’ve been sitting with it for a week and a half and words are just beginning to form coherent and cohesive thoughts. One day last week in an effort to not stare at a blank screen, I scrolled through some old posts I had written. Certain parts of those posts formed a progression of thought and let me discern a path: a path to where I find myself now.
It is all still slightly jumbled in my head, but below you will find those excerpts I have come to see as points on this spiraling and expanding journey of homeschooling with Waldorf. (If you want to read the entire post, click the photo or the caption.)
I can honestly say, homeschooling with Waldorf has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, yet it continues to expand my understanding, express my deepest desires and exhort my better angels. For me, it has been a path to living more fully engaged in my parenting, my spirituality and my everyday life.
Returning home from Taproot, I realized if I wanted to homeschool with Waldorf in any meaningful way, I needed to do some serious reading and some serious inner work. For me, this was not going to happen online. So I dropped out of all the yahoo groups, cleaned out a bunch of stuff I didn’t need, and began to follow 3 rules I was given at Taproot.
- Know the child in front of you.
- Ask the angels for help.
- Be aware of the world around you.
I don’t know if these dicta are direct from Steiner or a distillation from his lectures, all I know is they shifted the center of my universe and connected me to all that is essential: my children, the heavens and the earth. The rest is really just fluff. Big Lesson.
I also love the stories, the art, the methodical progression of the curriculum and the emphasis on beauty and reverence. I have seen first-hand the healing possible with this kind of education. I think it is holy and true and right.
Silencing that inner critic has let me see our days holistically, with a renewed sense of appreciation for what it is we are trying to do here everyday. Extending this kinder and broader vision to both my boys and myself has also become part of my inner work practice: envisioning one another with a sense of wholeness; gently doing the best we can with all the knowledge we have right now. Not easy, but ultimately I think, a worthy spiritual practice.
See bigger. Go deeper. Do Less.
Homeschooling and homemaking feed my soul. They remind me of who I always was and help me to become more of who I want to be.
Hopefully, I will have some words for you about this soon. If you want to read about Carrie’s experience at the Curriculum Fair, click here to visit her post “What are we doing??” on The Parenting Passageway.