Last week I left my little birds in a waldorf kindergarten room and gathered with the other mamas upstairs for the Shining Star Waldorf Homeschooling Conference. It was a full week of presentations and discussions, with many hands on activities to support homeschooling, specifically inspired by waldorf education. We worked in main lesson books, took notes on temperaments, block planning, festivals, storytelling and more. We sang, played games, used bean bags and balance beams, clapping games and circles. We worked directly on weaving, wet on wet watercolor, form drawing and coloring, playing the pentatonic flute. We connected on parenting issues, homeschooling journeys, tasks and rhythms. So much was packed into the daylight hours. It was a delightfully full week and the warmth generated between the mothers and teachers has left much inspiration in my heart.
My children of course were both excited and overstimulated by the full days down in the kindergarten room, with so many children and so much noise. There was the silliest bit of conflict with the children held together in such a large group away from home, while we soaked in as much as we could, as quick as we could upstairs, before gathering up our baskets to head home. Home. And it looks as if home is where we will be staying.
I've always planned to homeschool at some point I was just never sure when. I'm fairly passionate about homeschooling in many forms (including unschooling.) And yet, I really love love loved the waldorf farmschool that Jbird attended last year. We were considering going back for kindergarten, but for now all arrows are pointing towards staying home. After realizing how much sweeter our days were without being framed by the drop off and pick up at school, it feels like the right decision to keep Jbird at home. Waldorf Kindergarten doesn't require any specific curriculum or planning, but there are structures and rhythms I'm hoping to build into place to support the future grades. For now, it feels like the right direction and I feel lucky that I have so many options nearby if we change steps.
As I expected, things have come together. Rooster is back at work full time and all the pieces are falling into place. The weather is already feeling a bit "fall-ish" and I can sense a season of strength and courage coming towards us.