For the last week and a half Edie has been going to town every morning to take swimming lessons. It’s a bit of haul (40 minutes each way) but she has had the swimming bug all summer long and now she’s eager to “learn how to be a better swimmer”.
I was reluctant to sign her up for swimming classes when she was smaller.
I knew it would be wise to have her swimming laps sooner than later due to our favourite swimming hole being, at times, a raging river but, inspired by Steiner teachings and then going by my intuition, I became an advocate for her to spend the first few years exploring water in her own terms and have fun splashing with no level attaining agenda for as long as possible.
But this year she declared she wanted to be ‘a better’ swimmer and is excited to wake up super early each morning to make it to her 25 minute class on time. I don’t think she would have been this courageous if we had gone this route even just last year. Oh, wait a minute, we did try lessons at the lake last year in which she dolefully spent the majority of the five lessons pouting on the shore. She has come along way this magical year of hole-y smiles
After her swimming class, we then scoop up a steamed rice milk for her, a (nother) latte for me and drive home for lunch, pack a snack and head straight straight on over to our favourite watering hole/raging river so she can play with her friends and little brother and once in while practice a few of the moves she picked up from the morning adventure. Mostly play, splashing and dog paddling though.
The rhythm of this past week and a half of formal lesson and then playing lessons had me thinking about the upcoming school year and how my thoughts were recently echoed in this timely blog post about Waldorf After schooling .
Like everyone’s decision around education choices this one has many layers and components to it. Lately I’ve been feeling compelled to make some shifts to make room for me to follow my calling outside of parenting and home educating. Edie, in turn, has been displaying signs of being ready for group learning. She is rip, roaring and ready as much as Edie can possibly get (it’s very, very subtle) and I’m excited to put my coaching services and new Simplicity Parenting Virtual workshops out to the world (soon to be announced!) that will help mamas all over the world connect to what uniquely matters most to their families and illuminate where life isn’t serving them or their kids (ooooo, smells like new tagline!).
Homeschooling has served us well over the past three years.
The Waldorf principles rang a deep donging bell in me on the importance of allowing the time, rhythm and other energetic allowances to hold the space for the child’s soulful unfolding of self. Especially a child that is as quiet, sensitive and reserved as Edie. I have to admit that for a bit there I was worried that after five years of diving deep in the pedagogy of Waldorf education my Waldorf tendencies will make me hyper-critical of what my hand-knitted vest wearing flower will be exposed to.
This article brought much comfort that I’m not alone in this concern. Ideally, Edie would be going to the Waldorf school but that’s a 45 minute drive away; not something in alignment with our values of living sustainably and peak oil freaking. We considered moving closer to town but that would mean giving up our sweet little set up here.
We decided that this is indeed where we want to stay and prosper all Little House and Star Trek like.
We signed up for the alternative school in this alternative community and view it as an opportunity to be more involved with our beloved locals (remember my hermit like tendencies?), provide Edie with some experiences that she appears to be ready and even yearning for and will help lighten my load a little bit so I can hunker down and launch these products and services waiting to bust out of me. I’m cramping right now as I type.
Like in the The Little Acorn article, I too plan on keeping the Waldorf home fires burning as I will be offering a low-tech, wholesome, natural home environment that will serve as an oasis of retreat if God forbid there hasn’t happen to be a hand-dyed silk puppet show on any particular day.
It feels like things might get a little more simple. Or maybe more complicated. That’s the fun part of a grand adventure; you just don’t know until you try.
But we are moving in the direction of our values of community, adventure and right livelihood.
And with that I give this decision, and simplicity celebration, a huge thumbs up (which, by the way, is what the kids do at this school instead of raising their hands. Isn’t that cool in a totally Fonz way?)
How’s the approaching fall providing you with an opportunity to celebrate a little more simplicity in your lives?