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I have come to learn alot about intuitive teaching and learning.  Of course, there is MUCH for me to learn, when mixing with Community.  In my sacred container, called home, we are safe and warm and happy and well fed, with breezes coming through the windows.  There is plenty of room for us to unfold.  In these moments we are able to learn.  Many, many times for children, from birth to around seven years old, we find ourselves as parents repeating our actions and words to the little people.  Parents are advised to have much patience and support in these years, as it can set the tone for the next 7 year cycle of the childs life.  Do not take many things young children say personal, but listen to them.  Make sure they have plenty of rest and a moderation of playing, laughing, imitating, imagining, nature and spirituality.  Actually, give me a dose of that too.  Ebb and flow.

Once children reach around 7 years of age, or in the transitioning time beforehand, they will begin to really test their owns theories in life.  They will begin to be more Self ~ Conscious.  Aware.  Becoming more self-aware means more analytical time.  Less time will be spent in Wonder.  So as a parent and a guardian of the little ones I find protecting these Early Years a large task of mine.  The only way for me to do it, is to give my children space, so I can Witness and watch Creator at work.  They are to be taught and guided in the Ways of your Walk, but most imortantly given the space, so that we may surround them with teachable moments in love and compassion.  Just as the Ancestors surround us every day, and if we are listening, we receive teachable moments and messages.  Let us mend the sacred hoop beginning with our children.

Aho.

Resource~Article

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I have been speaking to my husband lately the importance of our thoughts.  Our thoughts are very important, because they determine our quality of life in SO many ways.  If we have the 10,000 things running through our heads how can we listen to our Higher Selves and know what is right!?  It is important we quiet ourselves.  As much as I do think, I do know listening is important.  Clearing your head and making space is an art form almost.  I say this because the world is SOOO distracting.  We have many forms of media putting information in our faces, and very rapidly.  I am blessed in many ways to live in the country, where it is much quieter during daily life.  This provides me and my children with more access to quiet time.  By no means are my days actually quiet with two boys running around, BUT opportunity is there. 

Your thoughts are so powerful!  I can’t really stress this anymore than the fact that you Must know this.  If you are looping negative thoughts in your head, how can you live with a good quality of life.  Becoming Aware of these thoughts, or the 10,000 thoughts is Step One.  Shifting is Step Two.  You might ask me or yourself what you Shift the thought too?! 

GRATITUDE!  Then, maybe nothing-ness.  If you need help, shut off the TV, the radio, the dishwasher, the computer, the iPod, what else!?  I say it is possibly an art form, because it takes practice, like a mastery.  Life is a process, and so is Shifting your thoughts from 10,000 to nothing.  Or 10,000 thoughts to one single thought of Gratitude.

It is newly Spring.  A time of new beginnings.  The grass is newly sprouted.  Daffodils, clovers, buds on the trees, and cole crops are abound.
Think about (but not too much *grin*) letting go of the many things, the many responsibilities, the multi-media distractions, and give breathing with space in your head and heart a chance.

I have a wonderful blog, of which I was partially inspired to write this, here for you to view.  It is mainly geared towards parents, but it is a wonderful tangent to this post.

HAPPY HAPPY SPRING!  I wish for you New Beginnings!  I wish peace in your head and heart.  I wish for clean drinking water and food for all.   I wish for quick assistance to those in Japan who are suffering.  I pray for compassion to fill us, in our personal and community experiences.  I pray we all have support when we need it.  I pray we can purify ourselves enough to feel the flow of Creation.  I pray for the Standing Tall Nation (trees) to be healthy and to always be replanted when they sacrifice their lives for our needs.  I pray for plenty of play time for all, as life is not balanced if we work all the time.  I pray for us to continue connecting with our children in ways that promote education and the conservation of our Mother Earth, through respect and understanding.

May it be so, Aho!

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At Simple Homeschool, guest writer Mischa Thompson has taken the time to show us who is homeschooling these days.  Click here to know more.

Here are the boys, and sister-friends Asha and Kyra, at Kentucky Wool Festival.

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Please check out Little Acrorn Learning.  Owner Eileen Straiton encourages you to sign up for her monthly e-newsletter, all the while receving a FREE 23 page guide to March.  I cannot begin to describe all the books, wonderful ideas, crafts, menus and inspiration all piled into one.  Good stuff here for Spring!

Free guide here.

Sign up for newsletter here.

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You are in for a picture-rich post.  If you want more information on this Maple Syrup Festival, please visit here.  For homeschool or enrichment communities there seems to be a unit study on this very topic, right on the website.  My kids are not old enough to go into that amount of detail.  Also, click on the pictures that tell a story to enlarge and read.  Enjoy! 

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http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/nttidb/lessons/nh/plantnhw.html

Here we go nature enthusiasts!  The perfect activity to do this spring with your children, or for yourself.  How can you get in rhythm with the seasons of the year?  By watching nature; the animals and plants that inhabit where you live!  We have already begun our project of watching the Eastern Pine and Juniper (Red Cedar) in its winter phase!  Please see our Trees in Winter post .  I believe we are gonna pick the red-tailed hawk to follow through the year, as well.  It (boy or girl?) has a nest in our back yard.  We have gotten out the telescope to search into its nest.  But, it is going to take more time and patience on our part to discover more.  There are two trees with large nests very close together.  We are unsure who is in this other nest.  We love a great mystery though!  We also have some medicinal herbs we plan to keep a close eye on, in their transformation.

If you are an adult or kid that likes scientific investigation, and wouldn’t mind serving your Community, see the link, Citizen Scientist.  If your child would like to follow a story, and discover more about nature, click BudBurst Buddies!

Citizen Scientists

BudBurst Buddies

“Project BudBurst is a national phenology and climate change field campaign that uses scientifically approved protocols to collect data that is freely available for use by scientists and educators.”

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Spring Verse

In the heart of a seed,

Buried ever so deep

A dear little plant,

Lay fast asleep.

 

“Wake” said the sun

And come to the light.

“Wake” said the voices

Of raindrops so bright.

 

The little plant heard,

And pushed through the soil to see.

What wonders and beauty,

Of the world might there be.

(Source: Donna Simmons, Christopherus, Joyful Movement)

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Becoming a storyteller has found interest in my heart.  I have built a steady rhythm within my family~home.  Within this rhythm, space has been built for stories.  Stories can become part of daily ritual, as well as apart of any adventure.  Providing yourself with practice is the only way to learn.  Pick short stories to start.  Tell your kids the story on a Monday, and watercolor a scene from the story.  Re-tell the story the next day, or Wednesday (depending on the age) and bake bread.  You could even shape the bread to be something other than a loaf.  A letter of the week.  F is for Fish.  We read McElligots Pool, by Dr. Seuss, with fish for supporting characters.  The next time re-tell the story and do some modeling.  We have been using playdough for several years, and other doughs or modeling clay.  Recently we have gotten into beeswax modeling.  The wax melts and shapes in your hand, and the aroma is very uplifting.  Molding the beeswax strengthens the kids hands and prepares them for hand writing.  Kids need movement of the body to fuel learning.  I Witness this daily.  Doing these activites mentioned strengthen the memory experience, and the story goes along with it.  We will eventually add more structured (albeit loosely) theater play.  We have many props and fabrics for costuming.

Please take a look below at Marsha Johnson’s beautiful insight on becoming a storyteller, through rhythm.  Below is a picture of a beautiful Pendleton blanket that I have had my eye on;  maybe some day after much practice storytelling, I can receive this blanket.  Mrs. Marsha Johnson can be found below on Waldorfeducators yahoo group. 

Many younger parents today have difficulty with memory, this is most likely related to the arhythmic lifestyle of the past few decades, when it is the steady strong rhythm of life’s days, weeks, months, seasons, years, community, that build and strengthen our memory body (etheric or life body which is freed in the 7th year for use in memory and academic lessons…).

So you must begin to memorize and practice. Each day, for example, at a certain time, say 7 am, do some innocent activity, this does not need to be significant, just steady each day, say at 7 am, you will clap three times.

This can be at any time during the day.

If you forget, well, do it when you remember. And try again tomorrow.

Strengthen and grow your memory body in this way, for say, a period of 1 year perhaps. Yes, for 365 days, you can clap 3 times at 7 am or 12 noon or 6 pm or whenever you decide.

At the end of this period, we can speak again of this task and see how your memory is coming along. Also many other interesting things may happen along that tiny journey….

Now for the stories, you must read them first. For at least 3 nights in a row, just before sleeping. Take those stories and go into your sleep life with these tales, and by the 3 day, after the 3 nights, you will be able to tell that story. It will be there, living in you like that brilliant blue center of the warm candle flame…it is be inside you now, like an organ in your very center, that you can draw on and enjoy the process, too, as it passes out again into the world of spoken language, of sounds and tones, with hues and shades of colors and lives, that story will be in your very warm breath of life, as you tell your most precious children, these significant tales.

In this way, it becomes alive again! This is why some stories are like literal food, nourishing body and soul, past and future, healing illness and dysharmony, stories can carry deep magic and deep meaning, if told in this way.

Some stories are like cotton candy, hardly worth the effort to take into one self, they pass through with meaningless impact, and simply in a sense steal away time and space in our worlds…..

We must learn to recognize a good ‘story’ in the way we learn to know what good bread is….what is good soup….what is fresh water….clean air….clear thinking….balanced colors….. composition of self and other, awareness of what we are giving to the children and to ourselves at the same time.

This is the LEAST TRIVIAL work we will do. We plant the seeds of the future with our stories and their content will carry the children and humanity far into the future, streaming onwards in all direction, for those who listen nearby, invisiable, for those who snuggle warm selves into us, for those yet born, those who hover nearby, choosing the right time, the right place, the right family.

We use stories as medicine, friends, and this is why you need to make it one of your top priorities: memorize and learn the stories of the Waldorf Way, the critical pieces of knowledge, the golden keys that will unlock the Gate of Humankind and allow to flow forth, the River of Shalom.

Practice. Don’t look back, keep your face to the sun, and practice….begin with what you can do and be open to change. Sometimes stories take on a life of their own and that may be just what is needed. I have had times when I tell a story and the next day the children tell me new parts I did not say, and this story grew in them and took them into further details and I am glad.

I hope this helps. You can do it, I know you can.

Think in pictures and let go of your ‘intellect’. Tell the story from your heart self, not the head self.

Mrs M

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