This is the road that leads to Barbara Dewey’s farm, Taproot. It reminds me so much of the road I live on, that the first time I attended Taproot (you know, the time Andrea sent me ALONE) I had a vague, disconcerting feeling that I had just driven 8 hours and gone in a perfect circle. Over the past few years, I have grown to appreciate that visual familiarity and find it more than comforting. It reminds me of that quotation by TS Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” Taproot is a safe place to explore where I am going on this crazy ride of Waldorf-inspired homeschooling. It also provides time to strengthen my resolve, deepen my commitment and remember why I choose to homeschool this way in the first place.
I don’t seem to write at length about Taproot, even though I mention it frequently in my posts throughout the year. For me, those four days in August are difficult to capture and render into words. They have the feeling of summer camp mixed with the energy of a women’s dormitory. What I can tell you is this: Without Taproot, I would not be the same person I am now. I have had life-changing conversations with friends who frankly, I couldn’t imagine life without. I have laughed so hard I thought I was either going to have asthma attack or wet my pants. Invariably, I have found connection, community and continuity at Taproot and that is why I make the trip to Ohio every August. Plus, now that Andrea drives, it’s a piece of cake.
Yes, there are classes in the grades, special sessions on Waldorf-specific art forms, panel discussions on planning, organization and homeschooling multiple children which give the days a solid structure and provide a grounding in the nuts and bolts of actually homeschooling with Waldorf-inspired methods. However, the pockets of times in between are my real reason for traveling all that way: the soulful conversations, the morning eurythmy, the group singing, the communal meals, the long walks on the gravel road, and the laughs – the laughs have a lot to do with it. It is in these moments where I am convinced again and again that it is not about special crayons, sanctioned resources or if Steiner really said this or that. It is a validation that this is a way to homeschool from a place that goes deeper than the trappings of curriculum and methodology and gets to what I believe is the heart of the matter: goodness, soul connection, spiritual awakening, balance and grounding. It helps me to come to my children from a place of wholeness and mirror that possibility for them.
So mark your calendars: Thursday July 31 – Sunday August 3, 2014. And although no information for this year’s teacher training has been posted yet, you can check out Barbara’s website, Waldorf Without Walls or read the back posts listed below for some more information. Think about it. I would love, love, love to see you there.