Monday, July 29, 2019

Inner Work

Our days can be quite full of tasks. 

They're filled with caring for children, pets and the home, planning, preparing and serving wholesome meals, cleaning up afterwards, maintaining healthy rhythms and routines, ensuring time and space for free play and getting outside in the fresh air and being the chief cook, bottle washer, organizer and overseer of family life.

In addition, some of us work from home or have jobs outside of the home, and garden or farm.

Some of us are homeschoolers too. As homeschoolers we add to the daily tasks of preparing and presenting lessons. This is an even bigger task for a single parent, or a family in crisis. It’s big my friends, and full of opportunities for transformation and growth.

Each of us is our child's first teacher. We teach our child what it means to be human in this world through our own life, our words and gestures and deeds.

What does this have to do with inner work?
Our most important task as parents and educators is described in a quote I share in the description of my program, Celebrate the Rhythm of Life eGuides and eCourse ~ living curriculum. It’s from Rudolf Steiner and it is so meaningful in the context of inner work that I’ll share it here:

“Essentially, there is no education other than self- education, whatever the level may be. This is recognized in its full depth within Anthroposophy, which has conscious knowledge through spiritual investigation of repeated Earth lives. Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favorable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies. This is the attitude that teachers should have toward children, and such an attitude can be developed only through an ever- growing awareness of this fact.”


This “self-education” that Rudolf Steiner describes is not a memorization of dates or facts. He is talking about working on our self, on getting to who we are and what makes us tick.

Inner work is about getting to know ourselves, and through that process we are better able to see and get to know our children.

When we observe our children through our own pain and wounds, without knowing they are there, we tend to project our needs on to them. In getting to know ourselves, we can better recognize what’s our “stuff” from the past and who our child is, as separate from us, as the other. Inner work helps us come to a place of being present, so we are able to respond rather than react to our children, and whatever life throws at us.

Through this process of inner work, and with it comes inner growth, we are better able to meet our children and guide them along.

You may have thought that Waldorf education was about the material in the curriculum, yet it is about so much more. So many parents come to Waldorf education for the beauty and simplicity, and find themselves growing and stretching, getting to know themselves better, and feeling more clear, confident and connected to what they value most. Sometimes it comes as a surprise. I often hear, "I didn't expect it to change my life." Yet is does, if we are open to it.
It is through inner work, the ongoing and sometimes subtle and not so subtle work of getting to know ourselves and embracing the muck in our lives that transformation occurs. In becoming more clear about who we are, and what we are doing in this wild and precious life of ours, we become more present and more able to easily make decisions that resonate with our deepest and most heartfelt values. We open to creativity and often find answers coming to us, seemingly from out of blue, but really from our deep longing for getting to know ourself and our truth.

It’s exciting, no? To be spurred on with our own growth as human beings. Who would have thought that parenting brings so many hidden gifts.



Celebrate the Rhythm of Life 
Harmonious Rhythms ::   Soulful Parenting with the 3C's : Consciousness, Connection, Creativity
Waldorf Homeschooling + Homemaking

Saturday, July 27, 2019

True Reading Readiness

These guidelines by Dr. Susan Johnson are intended to help parents, caregivers and early childhood educators notice movement integration and development in the young child.

True reading readiness (as opposed to forced reading “readiness”) is a biological phenomenon* and requires that a child has passed a number of benchmarks of sensor-motor integration – which is an aspect of healthy brain development.  Many of these benchmarks have been passed when a child is able to do the following:

  • Pay attention and sit still in a chair for at least 20 minutes
  • Balance on one foot, without her knees touching, and in stillness, with both arms out to her sides – and count backwards without losing her balance
  • Stand on one foot, with arms out in front of him, palms facing up, with both eyes closed for 10 seconds without falling over
  • Reproduce various geometric shapes, numbers, or letters onto a piece of paper with a pencil while someone else traces these shapes, letters or numbers on her back
  • Walk on a balance beam
  • Jump rope by self
  • Skip

If children can’t do these tasks easily, their vestibular and proprioceptive (sensory-motor) neural systems are not yet well-integrated, and chances are they will have difficulty sitting still, listening, focusing their eyes, focusing their attention, and remembering letters and numbers in the classroom.

Support for sensory-motor integration comes not from flash cards or video games…but from the following activities:

Physical movements such as

• Skipping                                          • Running
• Hopping                                          • Walking and hiking
• Rolling down hills                         • Clapping games
• Playing catch with a ball              • Circle games
• Jumping rope                                 • Climbing in nature

…as well as fine motor activities to strengthen important motor pathways, such as

• Cutting with scissors                     • Beading
• Digging in the garden                    • Drawing
• Kneading dough                             • String games
• Pulling weeds                                  • Sewing
• Painting                                            • Finger knitting

By contrast, watching television or playing video or computer games are extremely poor sources of stimulation for sensory-motor development and actually interfere with the healthy integration of the young nervous system by keeping the child’s nervous system in a state of stress.  The “flight or fight” system is activated and maintained.

Children who have difficulties reading and writing often also have

• a poorly developed sense of balance
• difficulty making eye contact
• difficulty tracking or following with their eyes
• trouble distinguishing the right side of their body from the left
• difficulty sitting still in a chair
• difficulty locating their body in space
• poor muscle tone exemplified by a slumped posture
• a tense or fisted pencil grip
• “flat feet” (collapsed arches)
• oversensitivity to touch
• overactive sympathetic nervous system (“flight or fight”), thus have extra sensitivity to the stimulant effects of sugar, chocolate, lack of sleep, changes in routines, watching television, playing computer or video games.

Sometimes these children have difficulties in their peer relationships because they are using their mind and eyes to help their bodies navigate in space, and miss the non-verbal social cues from their playmates.

Dr. Johnson has seen children diagnosed with AD/HD or learning disabilities “miraculously” improve when they are taken out of an “academic” kindergarten or given an extra year in a developmental kindergarten that emphasizes movement, play, and the integration of their sensory-motor systems.

*On reading readiness as a biologically-based development: we would never label a child with a “disability” if they were slow to lose their first tooth, or begin menstruation…and reading is similarly linked to a child’s unfolding biology.  Relax!

Copyright Susan Johnson, M. D.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.  For more about Susan R. Johnson, MD, FAAP, and her practice in Colfax, California, go to You and Your Child’s Health.


Celebrate the Rhythm of Life 

Harmonious Rhythms ::   Soulful Parenting with the 3C's :: Waldorf Homeschooling

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Your Family Culture



July 22-August 17
4 Weeks

Join me for four weeks to explore your family culture and see how it shapes all aspects of parenting, family life and how you show up in the world. 
You'll focus on becoming more aware of family culture, more confident, and more intentional in making parenting decisions based on what's most important to YOU and your family values. 
You'll be inspired and supported to create a loving, rich, beautiful and nourishing home environment that is aligned with what is meaningful to you.
This course supports childhood, family life, strong relationships and celebrating the beauty that is Waldorf education.  Your Family Culture eCourse provides a  foundation for the early years of childhood and supports family life through the grade school years.
This course will help you create a strong foundation for a new school, homeschool or homemaking year!
I've deliberately kept the registration fee a low $25 to make it accessible to all!
I hope you'll join me.
With warm regards,
Lisa

Included with July or August's Celebrate the Rhythm of Life ~ living curriculum program membership: July is here and August is here. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Mom


My Mom ~ Veronica Ruby Vassar Boisvert

I want to let you know that I've been quiet here and on social media for a few weeks because I lost my mom two weeks ago today.

On Monday morning of June 17th, she went in to see her regular doctor for a check up. Her doctor sent her straight to the ER for testing, she was kept for observation and admitted a few days later. The plan was for her to go to rehab for two weeks and then return home. A few days before she died the conversation shifted from rehab to hospice care. She spent two and a half weeks in the hospital.

I stayed with her around the clock during her last days, and had time alone with her. She passed over peacefully surround by us: her immediate family, which consists of me, my brother and my dad as well as extended family members.

Even though my mom was 89 years old, I wasn't anticipating the end of her life. Her mind was sharp and her cheeks were rosy with vitality until the very end.

I miss her madly. She's the one I'd go to in a time like this.

Squeeze your loved ones a little tighter today.

Warmly,
Lisa


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...