Grieving & Planning

sunflowerchildren

tomatosoup

Like many, we’ve been grieving this week for Robin Williams.  Personally, I’m heartbroken not just by his death, but by how much suffering he must have felt during his life, amidst all that joy and laughter he was bringing.  I think for any of us who are touched by depression and mental illness – either ourselves, or someone we love – it’s a shocking reminder of the abyss, of how powerful illness can be, how little we can know about another’s life.  To me, it’s also a powerful call to remember to find something good in the day, to love something right here and now.  To keep stepping into the light, and sharing it whenever possible.

We got a lot of rain earlier this week, and cool weather followed.  We had our first bowls of tomato soup, which was a treat.

 

At home, I’m deep in the thick of planning lessons for homeschool this year.  I suppose it’s time I fessed up that while we started with the Christopherus 1st grade curriculum (and mostly loved the first half of it), we stopped doing “lessons” in January.  Or rather, lessons (we were on math at the time) started feeling really forced and gross.  At first, I tried changing up my approach (changed from the squirrel math story in Christopherus to math gnomes), which was a little better, but it still just felt like me forcing material on her.  We were also in the midst of deciding to close our cafe at the same time, so I’m sure that was part of it.

But in the end, we finished the year in a completely open unschooled style.  I have a lot of respect for unschoolers, and agree with them in a lot of ways  – I think learning happens naturally (hello, walking, talking, etc), and that given a rich environment most children will thrive.  But I also love the way Waldorf presents a lot of the materials, and think they offer a depth that wouldn’t happen by accident.

So this year, I am planning my own Waldorf curriculum for second grade.  I’m using the fabulous outlines given by Mrs. M of the yahoo waldorfhomeeducators group (available free!), and also using a lot of ideas pulled from Pinterest, plus some of my own.  Usually second grade is centered around using animal fables and also stories of saints – personally, I feel our culture is already inundated with enough Christian stories (which is helpful if you’re Christian), so the main difference in our second grade is that I’ll be using secular heroes.

That’s what’s happening here.  Blessings on your week.  I’ll leave you with this poem, which keeps tugging at my sleeve, and even more so this week.

Once More

Shekinah, grant me
this grace: let these hands
shape dough once more,
let me be the one to light
the morning fire, to stir the pot of soup
with the big silver ladle.
Let me seek the blessings
you have hidden all around us
in plain sight.
Let me bend down once more
to lift the snowy cover
and grasp the crisp lettuce
heads, let me feel that cold
shock, saying You
are alive – now kneel down
and give thanks.

(c) Adrie Lester 2011

4 Responses to “Grieving & Planning”

  1. 1
    Lisa

    My daughter attended a Waldorf preschool and I can honestly say it was the best beginning for her. Not only a good lesson plan but also a way to carry on the enchantment of being a child. I am so grateful for that little school high on a bluff near the Mystic River as I know she still utilizes talents and skills she explored during her time there. I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous year.

  2. 2

    Lisa,
    Thanks for those sweet thoughts :)
    Blessings,
    Adrie

  3. 3

    I’m been thinking very similar thoughts about Robin Williams throughout the week–bringing joy, but experiencing such suffering, “a shocking reminder of the abyss.” Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. Blessings to you and your family, Nancy

  4. 4

    Thank you nancy!
    Blessings,
    Adrie


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