So, now, it seems that everyone is on the mend. Finally. 🙂
It seems like we just took a week off from ‘real life’ while everyone was sick, helping sick ones, getting better, cleaning up. Of course being sick is part of real life…but it’s a life interrupted. You put things on the back burner to take care of the urgent needs at hand.
Over the weekend we were able to do some cleanup and chase some of the sickness smell out of the apartment. Would that the temps soar into the 50s and 60s for a few days…so that I could open the windows and really clear the air. But, no. It was 15 yesterday morning when I awoke…and 27 today. Just a little too cold.
This week, then, I’m working on establishing a better rhythm to our days.
I am deeply inspired by the Waldorf educational approach. It’s simplicity resonates within me. I feel that it is pretty respectful of the natural way of a child. And yet there are parts of it that don’t resonate. Circle time with verses and/or songs? That part just isn’t right for me. It feels contrived. (Not that it is for others. Just me. I’m the person who went to summer camp and hated all the singing around the circle or campfire. I’m just weird that way.)
So I’m working to integrate those parts of a Waldorf approach that do resonate with me. Oak Meadow is Waldorf-y. And I have the teachers’ materials and loads of supplies for that.
But, of course, it all passes through an unschooling filter. Sometimes I wonder if we’d be ‘school at home’ ers if the children were so inclined. There’s something really appealing about nice workbooks and children sitting together and learning quietly. But, that’s probably just a fantasy image anyway.
Regardless, these children are not those children in my fantasy. They are deeply independence oriented. And rightly so. Even though I might have some ideas about what skills, abilities and perspectives will lead them to an adulthood full of choices, I don’t know what’s right for them in every way. They came to this earth to BE the person they came to be. No amount of coercion or pressure or needling on my part will change that inherent sense of self.
So as I put together a simple rhythm schedule, what I seek is not routine or pattern, but an acknowledgement that their days (and my own) should have a natural flow. I see it like breathing. There’s a breathing in AND a breathing out. There’s a need to gather new information, and then there’s a need to pull back, reflect and integrate the new experiences.
So I endeavor to have days with ‘coming together time’ — which will be loosely organized or planned — and ‘do your own thing time’ which will allow them no specific structure, but a willing mama to participate as requested.
We’ll see how it goes. My goal is to be with them as much as they desire…but not encroach upon their alone time.
And through it all, I’ll be knitting.
PS – while I have been typing (at the activity table, btw) the attachlings have collected and are sharing a big mound of modeling clay. So, our ‘coming together time’ happened without a word of suggestion from me. Cool. 😉