Sunday, December 22, 2013

Announcing a New eCourse on Rhythm!

When Less is More :: 31 Days to Rhythm Boot Camp

January 1st - January 31st
 31 days 
Now open for registration

Many of you have been asking me for a follow course up to the Get Organized :: Sketch it Out! Planning Session of last summer. Well, here it is…

When Less is More :: 31 Days to Rhythm is a 31 day eCourse that provides a place where we can gather with a cup of tea during these cozy days of winter, at this time in the year when we are most focused inward in our thinking, and reflect on the rhythm, routine and reverence in our lives and homes.

We'll look at family values, the needs of children and adults, mealtimes, bedtimes, play, fresh air and the spaces of time in-between. We'll reflect on what can help each of us bring more rhythm and spaciousness to daily life. With simple and practical ideas and suggestions.

With this new course, I will take you by the hand for the 31 days of January and help you become more  clear on your family values, more present in the moment and implement daily rhythm into your life. After that you can go back into the eCourse over and over again for it will be up indefinitely. Forever I am told.

The Schedule:
Now :: Gathering and Greeting
Week 1 :: January 1 -Nourish :: Eat
Week 2 :: January 8 - Renew :: Sleep
Week 3 :: January 15 - Make Magical Metamamorphosis :: Play
Week 4 :: January 22  - Weave :: Love and Connection

We'll work out of the 3 R's of Waldorf education: Rhythm, Repetition and Reverence. We'll find beauty in the simple and the ordinary, as well as incorporate simple and practical creative and artistic endeavors that make daily life more meaningful and pleasant. And easier too!

We'll look at different approaches to rhythm. Some of us are night birds and some of us are up with the birds and some of us are both! We'll explore how to find renewal and renewed energy to meet our children where they are at each day.

I am very excited about this eCourse because it is set up on a brand new private site that is lovely and easy to access and keep track of. Everything for the eCourse is there at the site.

Are you?
  • Curious about rhythm, wondering what it is beyond a schedule?
  • Wanting to bring more beauty and harmony into your life?
  • Wishing you had more peaceful mealtimes?
  • Seeking more meaningful bedtimes?
  • Wanting to ease transitions?
  • Wondering how breathing and rhythm are connected?
  • Desiring to feel more connected?
  • Longing for a deeper awareness of nature's rhythms?
  • Imagining a home that is more peaceful and harmonious?
If so, then join our group of rhythm making mamas! (and papas too if they should join.)

31 Days to Rhythm Includes:
* 31 days of rhythm reminders
* 4 weeks of focused practical activities
* 2 handwork projects (child's apron and a sleep time fairy)
*a wild, wise and wonderful community
*a round table discussion with homeschooling moms
*lots of enthusiastic support
Ready to Get Rhythm?

all new easy to access format

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Upon the Shelf

Ever wish you could just disappear for a bit?

Wouldn't it be nice to climb upon the shelf

and take a little nap

With no one hooting and hollering for you 

Wish I could at times. 


Friday, November 29, 2013


Day 11
such sweetness with gratitude for pie for breakfast

Friday, November 22, 2013


Day Seven
What's a mama to do when she finds herself in one of those rare moments of being alone at home with time on her hands? 

Declutter, of course.

With the cold days of winter and the celebrations of the holidays on the way, I found myself with some time alone, time alone at home, just perfect to sort through, pack up, pack off, polish and prepare to make room for the days ahead.

In gathering and dusting and sorting and polishing and remembering, there arises in me so much gratitude for the all the goodness our goods have brought to us and others and all the play along the way.

Gratitude for quiet moments.
Gratitude for memories.
Gratitude for possibility.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Day Six
grateful for the goodness of the earth and the sun and the rain

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Day Five
Oh dear. I've slipped off the wagon with the posting of my daily gratitude.
 I have been keeping up with the snapshots so little by little I will catch them up here.

~ this one is with gratitude for the morning my  furry buddy and our morning walks ~


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Day Four

Pop over here for The Basic Rules for Clotheslines as well as sweet musing on the social role of the clothesline. I have such fond memories of the clothesline. Did you grow up with a clothesline in the backyard?

Monday, November 18, 2013


Day Three
Quiche recipe here

Krista Tippet interviews Eve Ensler

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 Day Two 
from this...
 to this...

Earth who give to us this food
Sun who make it ripe and good
Dear Earth, 
Dear Sun
By you we live
Our loving thanks to you we give

~ Christian Morgenstern

Saturday, November 16, 2013

15 Days of Gratitude

 Day One 

As the days of November lose their golden glow and the last leaves dance from the trees, bare branches continue to reach up to the light, skeletal like. Perhaps it is the need for food, shelter and warmth, so necessary to survive the cold and snow that winter brings, that illuminates the abundance of the earth and goodness of its inhabitants, a need that draws people together to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for the abundance of life.

As this time of year is one of reflection on gratitude, I am challenging myself to post daily until the end of November something simple from daily life that arouses gratitude within me. Fifteen days of gratitude. I invite you to join me and leave a link with a note in the comments below.

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”  ~ Maya Angelou

Monday, November 11, 2013

Some Link Love

:: Free Range Kids blogger Lenore Skenazy objects to Fake Child Abduction Practice and tells us why. What are your thoughts?

:: A look at Staying Home and Loving It A Back to Basics gem from Carrie Dendtler over on The Parenting Passageway. How are you doing with the basics these days?

:: Explore Thanksgiving and Autumn Table Settings from Martha Stewart, some natural, simple and sweet ideas. Who can resist Martha?

:: Play A Fun Family Quiz Game during that after dinner chatty time with extend family at the holiday table by Marcie McGoldrick


Happy Monday~ing friends!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. a photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

joining SouleMama

Happy Weekend~ing!

Friday, October 25, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. a photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

joining Amanda over at SouleMama

Happy Weekending!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Putting it on the Table

When I was twenty-something, I lived in several different households in San Francisco with other young people. None of us had children. The households that are most vivid in my memory are the ones in which we shared meals, typically dinner and occasionally leisurely breakfasts on the weekends.

 In one household we shared shopping, cooking and cleaning responsibilities for the dinner meal among four or five of us. The housemates came and went but the rhythm of meal time and shopping remained pretty much the same.

Then I moved in with two guys and brought the shared meal time routine to that household. Well one housemate fled to England with his soon to be wife and the other endured. We formed a strong friendship and shared meals and conversation over a few years.

In another household we were vegetarian, or at least we all agreed to eat vegetarian at home. Each member of the household favored certain foods, one almost always cooked burdock root in some form  or another and added fresh basil to everything. Another could be relied upon for Indian food with basmati rice. We shopped at Rainbow Grocery and who ever took up the task to walk (or bike) to the store to do the shopping got to buy a shopper's treat and include its cost in the cost of groceries which we shared. One of my favorite shopper's treat was an oat cake, a dense chalky round oat delicacy with dried apricots, which I am still striving to replicate after all these years. Dense. Round. Chalky. Fruity.

Meals tended to be pretty simple and straightforward and everyone pitched in, in one way or another, with shopping, cooking, washing dishes and sweeping the floor. 

When my first child was born, I was living in our little nuclear family in Maine and I used to scramble to get dinner on the table on time for all of us to sit down and have a pleasant meal with conversation, before someone was too tired. I was on call for labor and birth at the time too. I guess I didn't know then how ambitious I was. You know what is said about hindsight...

I remember dinner taking what felt like all day to prepare, and struggling for hours with something as simple as burritos. The soaking of beans, cooking of beans and rice, grating cheese, slicing avocados. could take all day. My son spent a good deal of time on my back and often fed butter to the dog by the stick. Not long after, he began passing the dog wooden spoons to eat as well as the butter sticks. Butter and wooden spoons disappeared like never before!

I also recall the quick and easy moments, there were a few...coming home to toss together fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden with garlic and onions and tossing it over pasta, ready to go. Chicken pot pie bubbling from the oven or a steak on the grill with potatoes baked in cream and emmentaler cheese with bits of garlic tucked in.

We moved to the islands when this first born and then only child of ours was one year old. On one island we lived on, our house was on a "mountain" in the center of the island and looked out over the sea. The moon rose right out my back kitchen door and the sun set right in front of my kitchen window. Hibiscus bushes and coconut trees were dotted around the yard. It was quite a view.

Whenever I'd begin to feel overwhelmed with the dinner process, with bickering or frustration, I'd step out the door and look at this view. At dinner time the sun was headed down and it was not unusual to see a green flash as the sun was going over the horizon.
Well, who could be frustrated for long when the challenges of getting dinner on the table were put in perspective?

Behind the house, I tended a kitchen garden that grew what were to become the staple ingredients during our time in the islands: lemongrass, basil, wild chili peppers and kabocha squash. The trees provided calamansi, mango, papaya and coconuts.

In October's Odyssey of Warmth, I'll include some of the curry recipes I learned to make in the islands, one from our housekeeper and one from a Thai gal who decided to share her recipes with the community when she left the island. These have endured and remained favorites through the years among our family and friends and at potlucks.

On the fridge, held by a magnet was the wheel of the year I had sketched out for myself. You can see it here. It has a focus on the energy, both inner and outer, at each turn of the year. It dawned on me that I could sketch out a meal plan too. It came of out habit and necessity. Those beans and rice Monday Mexican evenings became so easy to organize, especially if I soaked the beans and rice on Sunday and knew when I went shopping that every Monday, dinner would include beans and rice and whatever vegetables were in season.   

When we returned to New England after living in the South Pacific, Monday became the day we ate tropical foods, avocado, mango, papaya and pineapple. My friend Danielle inspired me to try 

Sunday's roast could turn into Monday's bone broth that would be available for snacks and sipping and form the base for Soup day.

And so, you see, it just rolled along.

When I started The Children's Garden, the food themes rolled over into lunch for the children, beans and rice on Monday with avocado and tropical fruit. Soup on Tuesday. It made it easy for our home rhythm and the Morning Garden rhythm to overlap. I knew what to buy when shopping without a list. I was free to add seasonal and local foods when they were ripe and in season. It helped me become more sensitive to the earth's rhythms as well, with blossom time for the apple trees and months later, the harvest with fresh hard MacIntosh apples to eat and press, bake into pies and cook into applesauce. Summer brought fresh cucumbers from the garden and the herbs from three seasons we use in making our tea as well as spicing food.

Creating a meal plan rhythm also awoke in me a deep gratitude for the bounty of the earth and the renewal and transformation that comes in revisiting a season each year, each return brings new eyes.

I notice this too with mothering, with noticing the same child, yet a year later, a year older with the return of the birthday. I too have changed in that year.

Like any other aspect of rhythm, it needs tweaking on a regular basis. Sometimes it needs a big change, sometimes it needs an addition and at other times it needs a total re-haul. When I pay attention to our enthusiasm for meals and the changing availability of local foods, it tends to work really well.

As the wheel turns and leaves the warmth of summer behind, we now find warmth within. This month in the Celebrate the Rhythm of Life Program we'll explore warm meals, warm gestures and how we can kindle the warmth within as we move toward colder days and longer nights.

The turning of the wheel of the year is an inspiration to shift our meal planning toward local warming foods. Broths and stocks take on new meaning. Soups and stews edge out cold and raw salads. Curries and spices warm both tummy and heart as well the home.

In October we'll embark on an Odyssey of Warmth and take up Warmth of Head, Heart and Hands with four weeks of cooking lessons on both and stocks, soups and stews, curries and spices to warm the   body, heart and soul. Lynn Jericho will be a Guest Speaker and we'll have a Round Table Conversation on bringing warmth to the home.

Registration is now open and the class officially begins October 7th. In the meantime, we'll have Introductions and get to know our way around the materials and blog.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bedtime Stories for Wee Littles

once upon a time

Dear Lisa, I have heard that it is important to tell stories, especially fairytales and I have been thinking about telling them to my children at night. I am worried about frightening them with the scary parts and have been considering paring them down and sweetening them up for bedtime. Yet I am not sure if I can memorize such long stories and remember all the parts when I am tired in the evening. Do you have any advice for me or ideas for bedtime stories?

You are right on the mark as storytelling and fairytales are very important in Waldorf education and parenting. So much lives within the spoken word and the act of one person telling a story to another, in this case, the parent to the child, conveys so much more than reading from a book or listening to a recording. Stories can be healing and reassuring. Stories can help us make sense of life.

The bedtime story need not be same kind of story as the fairytale told in the light of day by the wise and enchanting storyteller. Here's the thing with "sweetened up" fairy tales - they can be unsettling at any time of day because we lose the archetypal context for the imagination. That's important to consider when we want to protect our children, quite naturally from scary images. The fairy tales cast a dreamy archetypal fairy cloud where things are possible that do not take place in daily life and in the end, good wins out. But this is for a separate conversation.

Children are so deeply nourished when we use our imagination and create something for them. In the olden days children were told simple household stories of house brownies and elves who get up to all  all sorts of merrymaking and mischief. 

We can do that too.

For the wee littles (under age five) simple nature and household stories that you make up that involve simple archetypal gestures of comfort and soothing, with actions from Mama and Papa, can send children off to dreamland feeling protected and secure. In our family we have had adventures of Mama and Papa Redbird for years (as we have cardinals who over winter each year.)

These animal family adventures are simple and nurturing, gathering twigs to build a nest, laying eggs, seeking food, waking, sleeping and caring for the young. Then the baby Redbirds, oh my, they can have great adventures, testing the boundaries of the nest and their world, all in the comfort and security of Mama and Papa.

We've also had little night time story adventures of Woody Woodchuck for we have had a big fat furry woodchuck around for a decade, well probably numerous woodchucks over the years, babies too. Boy do those mamas become bold when they are out with their young. You can intertwine characters from the animals you see outside your window and in your backyard, raccoons, birds, an owl, kangaroo, wallaby, fruit bat... what have you.

Sometimes it is just too much for us to be alert enough in the evenings to make up a story at bedtime. We are fortunate to have many simple picture stories with comforting text and repetitive language. Simple repetitive rhythmic stories "read" often become known by heart to the children. You know the day when the three year old says, "I can read!" and gleefully tells the beloved story that has become memorized and known by heart. Goodnight Moon is one that comes to mind. Oh and another is The Napping House, that was well loved here. Anything soothing and comforting and rhythmic will help the child settle into sleep. Those repetitive verses lull the child to sleep.

I have a piece on Storytelling with Young Children over on Rhythm of the Home that goes into more detail here

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Once upon a time...

Registration is now open for Celebrate the Rhythm of Life in September

This month's focus topic is Storytelling with Children and I am delighted to bring you a very special guest teacher.

My special guest is Connie Manson of Starlite Puppets. Connie is an early childhood teacher, a gifted storyteller and puppeteer and the founder of Starlite Puppets. Connie will join me for our four week focus topic eCourse of Storytelling with Children as part of the monthly program.
                                                                                                                 photograph courtesy of Sunbridge Institute
About Connie: Connie Manson, B.F.A, M.Ed. holds an undergraduate degree in Theater and a Master's degree in Waldorf early childhood education. Connie's first teaching experience was in a small private school one block from her apartment in New York City, where she assisted in teaching pre-school children using Bank Street curriculum and Montessori methods. During that time she was introduced to Waldorf education, and was immediately impressed with it's deep respect and understanding of childhood and child development! 

She was inspired to found Starlite Puppets and begin her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge College in New York. After graduation she taught kindergarten at Green Meadow Waldorf School nearby. She then moved to California, where she developed and taught the Parent-Child Program at the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara, where she also ran a Waldorf-inspired home nursery for five years. She then packed up a 15 foot moving truck and drove cross country to teach at Waldorf Sarasota in Flordia with her husband Peter Chin, who is also a Waldorf teacher. 

Connie has provided workshops in music, practical arts and artistic activities for parents and teachers of young children at Sunbridge, Sophia's Hearth, and other Waldorf educational centers. Her study of the RIE (Resource of Infant Educarers) approach has provided a powerful inspiration for being with the very young. Connie has been sharing puppetry and music with young children for over twenty years. She created the Tea 'n Puppets Story Time currently offered at Waldorf Sarasota, where she also teaches the Parent Child and Nursery Programs. Her lifelong love of the expressive arts has led her to teach music, drama and dance to grade school aged children at the Santa Barbara Waldorf School and Waldorf Sarasota.

This eCourse runs for four weeks, from September 9th until October 6th. Each week we'll bring a presentation on  specific aspects of Storytelling with Children as well as Exercises for you to do over the week, along with discussion of the material and presentations.

The Program includes Daily Messages, Weekly Rhythm Support and packets of Support Material for the month with stories, circle for nursery, circle for kindergarten, finger play, recipes, housework rhythm, and more, as well as a lively discussion group.

Storytelling is so enchanting for the young child. Have you ever watched your child's eyes go wide open and the jaw go slack and drop as you begin with "Once upon a time..." 

Magical. Have you ever been to a Waldorf school event and wished you too could tell stories in such a magical way?
  • Are you homeschooling and wanting to incorporate stories into your day?
  • Are you part of a playgroup and wishing you had storytelling skills?
  • Are you a child care provider who wants to tell stories?
  • Are you a teacher who would like a refresher?
  • Would you like to begin telling stories to your child? 
  • Are you seeking stories to tell?
  • Are you feeling adrift and wondering where to start? 
  • Would you like some support to get going and set the tone for this school?
Join us in September for four weeks of focus on Storytelling with Children
We'll explore:
Storytelling through the year, what stories for each season?
What kind of stories to tell? At what age?
How do stories serve children?
How does storytelling serve the adult?
How to approach storytelling with children?
Preparing the Self
Preparing the Space

Join us and receive all the Support Packets and Materials as well as a focused four week e-course on Storytelling with Children with a special guest teacher. More information on the Program here.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Being Sexy

be sexy
Ha, ha, I bet the title caught your attention! Sexy. I love this. Ashton Kutcher was just a name  to me  until I saw this video yesterday. Now he is an inspiration I want to share with you. Ashton Kutcher shares his insider's tips on life at this award event.

What he shares reflects the three soul capacities in anthroposophy or the thinking, feeling and willing aspects of the human being. I'm not going to say anymore about what he says until you have a chance to watch this short video.

Happy Thursday~ing!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Waldorf Education :: Where to Begin?

Oh my, this little Get Organized :: Sketch it Out Planning Session of mine has brought all of us, in this fabulous, wise, warm, tender, mighty, courageous, vulnerable, funny, supportive and generous group of women into so many places with real life questions, really good questions we are penetrating, the sort of questions that so many parents wrestle with at one time or another...
  • how to find rhythm? 
  • what is Waldorf education? 
  • how to find time? 
  • what is important? 
  • what can I let go of? 
  • how to let go?
  • what is getting in my way? 
  • where is support? 
  • who is community? 
  • how do I connect with the world? 
  • how do I respond to my child? 
  • what is the purpose of education? 
  • of parenting? 
  • how do parenting and homeschooling go with Waldorf? 
  • is Waldorf right for me? 
  • what is Waldorf at home? 
  • how do I homeschool?
  • how do I teach my child?
Waldorf education has been rapidly expanding around the world since the very first school, inspired by Rudolf Steiner and Emil Molt, opened its doors nearly 100 years ago, in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany. Waldorf schools are expanding to accommodate the requests of parents for programs for younger and younger children with nurseries, all day care of the child, parent child groups, even prenatal groups, as well as requests for older children with the opening of more high schools.

Waldorf education is taking new directions. Field, Farm and Forest programs are sprouting up all over the world. Semester expeditions provide a living education, going to the heart of Waldorf education, in bringing high school students opportunities to meet the world. Living Education series on farms are becoming more and more available to Waldorf homeschoolers. And it seems that more and more homeschoolers are turning to Waldorf education.

Some folks are attracted to the connection to nature. Some love the beauty and simplicity. Some love the simple toys of natural materials. Some are moved deeply upon entering a classroom. Others attend a festival, fair or puppet show at a Waldorf school and become smitten.

Yet what is it that is at the core of Waldorf education that makes Waldorf Waldorf and not a nature based program? What is the essence of Waldorf that makes it distinctly Waldorf and not other? This seems to me a living question today, especially among homeschoolers who want to know more.

Yet for anyone who has been involved with Waldorf education for any amount of time, we know that there is no easy answer or formula. There is no one size fits all curriculum. Yet there is something that is distinctly Waldorf. What does that essence look like in the home?

One of the questions I am asked most often is where to begin, how to understand Waldorf education?

Yet there is no simple and easy answer. Waldorf education is intertwined with the view of the child as a spiritual being as well as the view of all humans as spiritual beings with distinct phases of development. Yet the teacher looks to the child, through the lens of child development for understanding of the child's needs, not in following the child's whims and desires of the moment but in seeing the child from the position of authority: adult as artist, author and wise guide.  It is grounded in freedom and love. 

Just as no two artists will approach a creative project in the same way, no two teachers or parents will approach a child in the same way when working out of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. We do not apply equal portions of all the same life potions to every child, we look to the needs of the individual child and respond specifically to the child's need, always striving to provide what each child needs.

There is no one size fits all curriculum and no one size fits all behavior or way to be with a child or group of children, it is unique to the relationship. Just as seeking out curriculum support is unique to the relationship. A wise and seasoned classroom teacher may inspire me with his or her particular artistic flair. It need not be someone who homeschools to inspire the artistic. Fellow homeschoolers can help us with the nuts and bolts of organizing the day yet anyone can inspire us with the artistic elements.

Look to the artistic. When you are seeking help, look for the artistic flair of the curriculum writer or consultant. Do you see something unique to that person that inspires you? Trust that. For Waldorf is above all an artistic approach to development and education. Waldorf education is not just about providing certain stories each year. It is about our own work, our ability to take in the stories and really digest them first. Then we bring them out of our inner being, artistically, with our own flair, to the child it is about artistically inspiring an interest in the world that meets our child's developmental needs by doing the work ourselves first. This is where it gets rigorous.

Each of us comes on our own path and finds our own way that is unique to each of us. Waldorf education is very much a social one and one way to learn more is to connect with others. When we are in a group, magical things can come forth that do not emerge in our solitude. Reach out to others on this path. Gather together to knit, sew, preserve. Ask your Waldorf local school if it might be possible to participate in festival singing or festivities, plays, community chorus and the fifth grade Pentathalon as homeschoolers.

On the other hand is the path of inner development. Waldorf education is grounded in our own inner development. It is in pushing ourselves and developing our own artistic qualities that we inspire our children to do their best. When we go to the heart of discipline for our children, we find it within, within ourselves, within our hearts, it is our own self discipline that provides the path for providing the gentle and loving guidance our children need as they meet the world. 

Some paths to learning more:
:: For Inner Development, Lynn Jericho provides a year full of courses on inner development at her site Imagine Self with juicy, artistic, creative, inner exploration as well as one on one consultation. Work with Lynn is always freeing, inspiring and empowering.

:: For help with understanding the child and the curriculum out of anthroposophy, where they intersect, and how to work with the curriculum artistically to meet the needs of the child I love the Essential Waldorf Workshops provided by Eugene Schwartz with Raine Springer, Robert Trostli and Meg Chittenden.

:: For Parenting and Waldorf homeschooling support of all sorts, my friend Carrie over at The Parenting Passageway offers support and insight into the inner growth of the parent and development of the child with Waldorf homeschooling. This link is to a fine post on 5 things Carrie would like folks to know about Waldorf homeschooling.

:: For help with simplifying your life, consider Simplicity Parenting. This approach began as a book by Kim John Payne, and now can be experienced in groups and at talks. Simplicity Parenting helps families become aware of how our lives and homes may be over complicated and take stock of what is getting in the way of peaceful daily living and then make gradual, gentle and lasting changes to simplify life with children.

:: Don't forget my Program, going into its third year, Celebrate the Rhythm of Life in Caring for Children through the Year is grounded in the gentle art of mothering, we focus on our inner and outer experience of the seasons and the wonder of an ordinary day. Each month we take up a focus topic and make an in depth study at an element of early childhood with inner reflection and conversation in a warm and nourishing community. We also focus on tending the hearth and homeschooling from the deeply nourishing perspective of anthroposophy and Waldorf education.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Week

lazy days
warm and cosy spots
favorite places
new adventures

 looking forward

oh my, hard to believe it is nearly August! summer where have you gone?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Announcing a Planning E-Course!

something new

please note this planning session e-course will run again from August 19th until September 16th for four more weeks of sketching out the rhythm of the year with a plan for homemaking and homeschooling that reflects the seasons and the rhythm of the year where you live
Okay friends, it's that time of year. You know the phrase, it's time to fish or cut bait...? Well now is a great time to sketch out, delve into and firm up your homeschool and homemaking plans. There's still plenty of time to explore, chew on, and digest material and have a long leisurely summer with plenty of time for reading up on what interests you. The new moon that began on Monday lends the perfect oomph! energetically to start a project that involves commitment and intention and yet leaves plenty of time to to go slowly and to savor the work. 

savor: taste and enjoy it completely 

Isn't that what we all want of life, to savor it and enjoy it completely? Yet who has enough time with parenting, homeschooling and homemaking? We do! If we start now and go with the energy of the new moon, we'll have time to simmer our plans for fall and sketch out our program for winter and spring - and even next summer too, if you wish to go that far.

Let's ride the energy of this new moon and Get Organized!

"When the Moon is new, the Sun and Moon are aligned in the same sign, and a powerful energy portal is opened. New Moons are a great time to set intentions for things you'd like to create, develop, cultivate, make manifest. There are many ways to initiate this communion with the Universe from lighting a candle to elaborate rituals. What matters is that you're committing yourself to your vision, and open to receiving guidance, healing, support from Spirit."  ~ New Moon Magic 

  • Do you approach each new year with big plans and then grope for how to implement them?
  • Would you like to be organized so you'll feel fully ready and confident when September rolls around? 
  • Do you have too many resources and struggle with what to use?
  • Wondering where to start? What's out there? What's right for you? and how to pull it all together? 
 I am offering a planning session over the next four weeks from July 15th to August 11th to lead you in organizing a planner and sketching out your coming year for homemaking and homeschooling.

We'll focus on the rhythm of the year, work with the seasons and work into our weekly and daily rhythms.
We'll begin with a look at the rhythm of the year. How does it contract and expand? How does that work with our homeschooling and homemaking? How can we put the energy of the year to work in supporting us and our homemaking and homeschooling endeavors?

We'll look at seasonal activities and celebrations as well as Main Lessons for the 2013 - 2014 school year, including festivals, crafts and handwork from nursery age through eighth grade.

I am offering this special Get Organized! planning session for homemakers, homeschoolers, teachers, child care providers, and anyone else, for a small registration fee to keep it inclusive and affordable for all. It runs from Sunday July 14th (Jour de la Bastille or French Revolution Day!) to Sunday August 11th. No need to be "Waldorf." Anyone with an interest in planning with the seasons is welcome.

*By popular demand we will start anew on Monday August 19th and go for another four weeks to September 16th*

Each week in we'll look at a different element of "sketching it out" and by the end of the session you'll walk away with planner in place, full of what is nearest and dearest to your heart for the upcoming school year along with links and resources for supplies and supporting materials.

What are your family values?
How to align it with daily living?
What are the distinct characteristics of Waldorf education and how do they translate with homeschooling?
Daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal rhythms for main lesson, crafts, handwork and festivals
Domestic activities to support a rhythmic home life and get everyone on board
Singing and Musical Instrument
Handwork from Nursery through Grade 8

Guest speakers include Lynn Jericho on Tempermants, Rahima Baldwin on Homeschooling and Homemaking, Howard Schrader on A Strong Start, Christine Natale on storytelling and Nancy Parsons Whittaker on Resources for Homeschoolers.

This online course includes handouts (pdf form), blog posts, articles, resources, guest speakers, roundtable discussion and four weeks of guidance from experienced Waldorf homeschooling Mamas, grandmas and wise women!

First and foremost Waldorf education is an artistic endeavor in which the teacher as artist brings the material to the student through drawing, painting, modeling, speech, drama, puppetry, storytelling and more. As it is through our own artistic striving that our children benefit, we'll set off on the right artistic foot with a creative project of our own, our planner.

We'll ground our planning in the four seasons and the rhythm of the year.  I'll offer examples and templates for planning the day, weeks, months and year. We'll explore different strategies for organization and you'll  chose the one that suits your needs best and put it into your planner.

Next we'll take up planning the year through the year, the seasons, the months, the weeks and the daily rhythm of life, in the Waldorf home for nursery, kindergarten and grade school children. We'll fill in the planner.
This planning session supports families who school school yet want to have a Waldorf home life with a focus on seasonal living a well as families who wish to bring elements of Waldorf into their lives. We'll look at how and where you can integrate the Pillars of Waldorf Homeschooling with Rudolf Steiner's approach through "soul economy" to make for a rich, satisfying, rhythmic and energizing year.

You'll be encouraged to figure out what is important for your needs and your family. I'll share resources and tips to find the material you need to bring the kind of Main Lessons/Daily Activities that are important to you.  We can talk about what sort of Main Lesson to start and end the year with as well as the rhythm of main lessons, within the family day.

Most of all I can help you find the rhythm of the home that will carry you and your family through the days, weeks, months and seasons of the coming year. I can explain the whys of the Waldorf ways and help you discern the whys as to what is important developmentally and support you to explore what is important for your family.
There is no one way to homeschool with Waldorf education, there are many. I can support you to create imaginations and find the one that is right for you.

Join me, a Waldorf mom who first began Waldorf homeschooling in 1998 when we had no Waldorf homeschooling resources online. Today, I am preparing our homeschool year with a rising fifth grader and a twelfth grader who will be away on an adventure. I  have seen just about every english language Waldorf curriculum out there, I have made my own curriculum and have used others' curriculums, as well as worked in Waldorf schools, and observed Waldorf grade classrooms, in addition to work as an early childhood teacher, in the kindergarten and nursery along the way.

I love homeschooling with the Waldorf approach to life, it is truly a life shaping, life changing and growth full pathway for parent as well as child and family. Each time we return to material, something new emerges, understanding goes deeper. I'd like to help you find your way into this too. My own path has taken may turns in this endeavor and I'd be glad to share with you what I have learned along the way.

Join me on this adventure to sketch out the year ahead and remain well anchored in the day before us.

The program includes blog posts, conference calls, resource and support materials and a private discussion group devoted to Getting Organized ::  Sketch it Out!

In August I will offer a follow up online class as part of the Celebrating the Rhythm of Life in Caring for Children Program on Creating a Family Home :: Setting Up the Space ~ Handmade and Homemade Preparation (on a shoestring budget) for a year of creativity, wonder and rhythm, to ease us back into the homeschooling and homemaking year with strong daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal rhythms.

This planning session is free of charge for:
  • Year round members of Celebrating the Rhythm of Life with Children
  • Last Years Sketching it Out Members (June and July 2012) may return at no charge (kindky send me an email if you'd like to join in this year)
Otherwise the fee is $25.
Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie began homeschooling on a remote tropical island in the South Pacific nearly two decades ago at a time when materials were scarce and the only approach was a simple one. The gifts of homeschooling while living "miles from nowhere" have remained with me and I can share with you, how to slow down, how to live simply and how to figure out what it is that matters for you in your homeschooling and homemaking with Celebrate the Rhythm of Life with Children through the Year, a program/curriculum for homemaking and homeschooling.
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