september-3

We are settling into a really great homeschool flow this autumn, one I feel so pleased with because it it so much closer to how I imagined homeschooling would look for us. It looks waldorfy, artsy, hands-on, nature-based, seasonal. Which sounds a lot like how it looked a few years back. But it feels very different now.

The last couple eclectic, un-schooly,  years taught me a lot. That kids are natural learners and soak things up and can thrive in many different kinds of learning environments. That I can teach my kids and guide their learning in many different ways, but not all of them are fun for me, and flying by the seat of my pants doesn’t make me happy. That sometimes when things aren’t working it’s good to step back and take a break, try something new.

september-20

And taking a different route this last few years was essential to my sanity with a busy toddler and 2 school-aged kids and way too many rigid ideas about how Enki/Waldorf would have to look in our home. And after that break, I can see so much clearer.

It seems almost ridiculous, all those things I seemed to think I had to do. Somehow the world was going to end, or my children would be be damaged in some serious way if I didn’t manage all the form drawing and handwork and recorder lessons and eurythmy gestures for their letters and if I couldn’t memorize all the circle verses or  create a cultural mood for each set of developmentally appropriate stories (and I couldn’t let them ever hear each others stories-in our little tiny house!) and somehow manage to keep the toddler from munching on those delicious beeswax crayons while I was at it.

september-6

(She’s less inclined to eat the crayons these days, but she still likes to use them to draw on the furniture when we aren’t looking.)

So now you could say that we are back where we started with our homeschooling, or you could say that we are in an entirely new place, but either way it is good. We are taking a relaxed approach to it all, but I am feeling more organized and prepared and I really like how that feels. I’m choosing blocks I know my kids will love, and things I know I will love bringing to them. And still, there is a lot of time for unstructured projects and exploration, so I don’t know if they would even say that what we are doing this year is so different from what we did in the past couple “un-schoolish” ones.

And I don’t feel worried to “eclectify” my waldorfy homeschool by adding in things that probably wouldn’t fly in a waldorf classroom- I’ve gotten good now at seeing what works for my kids and going with it. It’s so simple, really. We are doing what works for us, in our own way. It just took 6, years to get here, that’s all.

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4 responses to “Finding Our Way”

  1. Heather Birch says:

    Oh sweet Taisa! Thank you for your offering here. It really is such a journey for the children and for us. Finding our way with homelearning while we are changing along the way, make for challenges and discovery. What a wonderful year we are going to have!

  2. Dimitra says:

    Thank you for writing this! I honestly do think -based on my experience as well- that a lot of Waldorf teachers would be better of taking this approach as well. Obviously, in a school setting there has to be some consistency between what goes on in different classes, but within that framework teachers would be better of working out what works for them and for each particular class, rather than what Steiner (supposedly or actually) said or what Waldorf tradition dictates. And I say this with a great deal of respect for Steiner and a great deal of appreciation for the wisdom of Waldorf tradition.

  3. Rachel says:

    I struggle with this too! I would love more details about how your balancing it all and your blocks etc!

  4. Heather says:

    Eclectic, unschooly, waldorfy, yes yes yes!! You’ve described so much of what we do at home too. What can we name this approach? Heart full learning sounds about right! Thank you for this beautiful blog.

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