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.
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.
(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.