The Path to Now

IMG_2790

This post is a part of Waldorf Wednesday. See all the links here.

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.

  1. Know the child in front of you.
  2. Ask the angels for help.
  3. 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.

***

2013 curriculum fair flyer

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.

***

12 thoughts on “The Path to Now

    • Hey Siobhan,
      I wished I recorded our phone conversation the day I came back from the conference! I am still trying to get it all down. It has been two weeks of school since I heard Rainbow talk, and honestly, we have had the best MLs every!! Organic, yet structured. Vincent is really coming along with his drawing, and I am drawing right along side of him. Hope you guys are well.
      Sheila

      • That’s great about you & Vincent. I think everyone is an “artist.” Many of us just need more time, opportunity and encouragement to develop confidence in artistic expression.

        Organic yet structured sounds really balanced. I have notes from that rich conversation… Looking forward to talking more.
        xo

        • Yes. We have been drawing in our MLB ever since I returned from Atlanta. We sit side by side, and draw one of the 12 Olympians everyday. This is so hard!! My drawing skills leave much to be desired, but I think the bigger lesson is for both of us to do our best and complete our task.

          Have a great weekend.
          S

  1. 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.”

    I love this. I feel so the same way.

    I am new to your blog. This post was beautiful and thought-provoking. We are eclectic homeschoolers, we do a little bit of everything as it suits us, but one thing that resonated so much from your post was: know your child. They are all different We need to unplug and focus on our own world more. Thank you.

    • Hey Theresa,
      I think that is really what it comes down to: knowing yourself and knowing your child – really, the rest are just details.

      I’m glad your here.

      Sheila

    • Hey Tim,
      That’s quite a story. Personally, I try to parent from the philosophy, “Just because the CAN do something, doesn’t mean they SHOULD do something.” Vincent has a friend who is 11 – just turned 11 – and he is much taller than I am. (I know, this is not hard.) Physically, he is would be able to drive a car: can reach the pedals, can see over the steering wheel, can be taught the rules of the road. Should he be driving just because he can? I don’t know if that is an apt comparison, but it sums up how I guess I feel about sending kids to college at 12. And the one who is a military doctor at 22? I would not want someone who is 22 practicing medicine on me. (Doogie Houser/Neal Patrick Harris aside.)

      Hope you are well.
      Crazy week, huh?
      Love to you.
      Sheil

  2. Thanks so sharing this. I so appreciate you sharing your journey and reflections. I am with you on the essentials. I do wish for that sit down tea, because I don’t want to take up too much comment space, :)A huge shift is happening right now in my own life, so many things dropping off the radar that are just not important right now. My husband even noticed how “present” I have been at home as a result of small changes like drastically reducing the amount of time I spend on the computer. It feels really good. Thanks for the reminders and encouragement.

    • Same to you my friend.

      I think courage begets courage, don’t you? And I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand in the here and now. Distraction is all around us, all the time. Choosing to engage where we are and with whom we are with?? – not easy!!

      Yes, I’m putting “tea with Emmie” on my wish list.

      Love and light, today and always.
      Sheila

  3. Pingback: Monthly Link Up: Getting Started with Homeschooling | Sure as the World

Join the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s