Friday, November 19, 2010

No more posts

We will be transitioning to another format of homeschooling in the internet, so unfortunately there would be no more posts here.

warm thanks to all and best wishes!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Still Reading


We had a rocky start of the year with math, so i took some time to figure out how to approach it better, it seems to me right now that i have to use more outdoor games and jumping for math with my oldest daughter.

She, on the contrary does very fast in language, started reading readers just this last summer, but yesterday She took a great leap and read 250 pages of Pinocchio in one day! i thought i will leave this spurt of reading go for a while, and come back to language lessons shortafter. Meanwhile we will also do jumping rope and all the math we can outdoors....


warmly,

raquel

Friday, September 17, 2010

Reading and playing

Some of the things that we are enjoying most is reading and playing.

The book that accompanied us during summer was Heidi, lovingly chapters and very well written, after that we are finishing a compillation of stories and legends from Leo Tolstoy, a delight to the ears and our hearts, especially the stories of the Godson and the one based on the story of Saint Martin. I am so glad the year is ahead where we will be discovering other jewels in literacy!

The playing of course still is at its high, and especially now that the homeschool co-op has started, we are getting plenty time to play in our morning program The Children of The Forest.

blessings,

raquel

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Start of the year

Well, we have had a lovely summer, and we are very excited to start the classes again next week!

I am looking forward to the surprises and learnings of this year, blessings to all of you in your journey,

raquel

Monday, June 28, 2010

Biodynamics

We are very happy that we are starting to form a group with other homeschoolers, going out in nature and learning about plants and life in a very lively way. we will do some biodynamic preparations with the group, following the lead of nearby biodynamic farmers whom we like a lot.

The name of the group is still to decide but, somehow it will reflect the picture book of The Children of the Forest.

Call us of you want to know more details about it, we will be blessed to have you on board for the adventures.

raquel
It is almost one year since we started and we are joyful of what have happened.

we are also planning for the next year, and besides the ongoing celebration of festivals, with puppets shows, potlucks and songs, we are thinking about a workshop on the temperaments, how to recognize them in you and in your children.

Besides that we are open to ideas on nurturing families in all levels, we are intending on a group for marriage building, and another group of gatherings for homemaking in general, with some talks by specialists in the area ( the first one we are considering is one about discipline and child development).

Call us if you would like to have something offered or have ideas to share. 608 637 8446

Joyful summer!!!!

raquel

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saint John


We have decided on a party and story for Saint John. We will do a puppet play of the Seven Ravens story, by Grimm, and a celebration afterwards with fire outdoors and a traditional dessert.
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This story seems very important to us, and forgive me all those who know the meaning of it by a book, I may be wrong, but I think that it is a story of the opposite that is happening by the summer solstice.
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By Saint John, the forces of nature are in their strongest state, and our healthier bodies give also proof of that, is a time though for our consciousness to sleep, and be more under the dreamy summer.
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On the other hand the story reflects the journey of the consciouness ( daughter) regaining the mastering of the different bodies or fields, (finding the lost brothers).
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It is then an opposite story and I think this is appropiate as a counterpart, to what is going on.
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We will meet consecutive Thursday mornings to do some preparation of the puppet play, we intend on doing clay one morning for plates, cups and the well, and felt another day for the ravens, and the children will help with this.

On Saint John's eve then we will perform the play and have friends over to share this special time of the year.
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call us if you are interested in coming! we welcome guests! 608 637 8446
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raquel

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hymns


We recently found a little book of Hymns, that follows the year and has, besides the music and the explanation of the author and when he wrote it, a painting in the next page with a story about it too. I love these special books, and in this occasion we made a commitment to learn all the songs of the book throughout the next year.

I am not very good at reading music, so this would be the perfect scenario for me, to practice the piano following the melody and thus teach my children the song and some piano along the side.

We are finishing this year's lessons and looking at all that we managed to accomplish; immediately after these considerations new horizons appear to our sight, as to what to do for the next year.

We will have a party in two weeks, family and friends are coming to visit, and we will dedicate time to review the year's work, the main lessons books, etc.. besides that, Pentecost Sunday will be there too, and we will take the festivity to celebrate also our family and the Holy Spirit.

We have been meeting on Thursdays for watercolor with another family, and we are thinking what is what we will do in the weeks of June, leading to Saint John.

I think we will continue to have school in summertime, just a little in the morning, I am very happy at the rhythm established during the year, and I think about the joy of continuing with this first setting in the morning, in our schoolroom, where we sing a song, verse, and do some work. I will probably dedicate this time for reinforcing form drawing, as is the subject that my daughter and I need most!!! after that I am planning on spending plenty of time outdoor, taking care of our yard and small garden, and once a week we are going to a forest nearby, now that the homeschool co-op is over, for a picnic day and refreshing adventures.

A friend of mine yesterday reminded me of how lucky I was, she is an old friend of mine and I used to live in her patio upstairs from her appartment, this was in my bohemian days. She told me : "You are living your dream"!. I was surprised, am I? I asked myself. Pondering about it I realized that many times I am not grateful of what it is that we are living, and it takes a friend from across the ocean to take the blindness of my eyes. Thank you Monica!

Blessings to all of you in this last part of the school-year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mother Holle


It has been a very beautiful season. The stories that we have followed in our main lesson languages block were just perfect for the holidays and one after another builded up in crescendo filling our hearts with the message of Easter, many thanks to the Christopherus homeschool lesson books!

Besides that we always loved the story of Mother Holle, and that is how we finished this time of the year, with a puppet play of that story with a mother from the homeschool co-op.

Now we are looking forward to May and to what the month will teach us, and also getting ready for the last lessons and the big celebration for Saint John.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Crown in the forest


A little story and craft for these days, to bring the concept of work as a team in the family and the community.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the Easter Hare


We are getting together this Easter with three homeschooling mothers to do the puppet show. It is a sweet short story that I was told at the waldorf training in Spain and lived in my heart throughout that year. It is about the right measure and has a lot of meaning for me.
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The starting time is ten o'clock with an Easter song, then the puppet play and after a light snack, the mothers get to talk about the Van Duin's book; we will continue right through Easter and the last day we will have a hunting egg game in the garden, if the weather wants to suit it...

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here is the script of the play and please forgive any mistakes in the translation,

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THE EASTER HARE


Once upon a time there lived a family of hares, the mother hare, the father hare, and seven little hares. One day mother and father were talking about which one would be the Easter hare for that year. they decided they will choose with a quest and they brought a basket with seven eggs to their offspring. each one of them must chose one egg from the basket and go through the forest, pass the bridge on the river, get into the garden of the human children and let the egg for the children to discover.

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the oldest hare had his turn first, he choose a golden egg, put it in his little basket, and started running through the forest, he passed the bridge on the river and upon seeing the gate of the garden of the children house, he jumped as high as he could, with such a luck, that his golden egg fell to the floor and broke. the oldest hare could not be the Easter hare for that year...

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the second one choose a silver egg. he too crossed the forest and the brifdge on the river, but a black bird called on him: give me your egg and i will give you a coin in return! in no time after he had voiced this words that the blackbird pecked the egg from the basket and took it flying with him to his nest. the second hare could not be the Easter hare for that year....

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now it came the turn for the third hare who choose a chocolate egg, and started his trip along the forest, a squirrel he found on his way, who asked for a little licking of that delicious looking chocolate egg. lick by lick, the squirrel almost finished the egg and left just crumbs for the children house. this third hare could not be the Easter hare for that year.

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the fourth one choose a spotted egg, and kept walking through the forest peacefully, but alas, when arriving at the river, she looked herself at the reflection of the waters for a while, admiring her pose and making faces, with such luck that the egg fell into the river and got lost of sight. this fourth hare could not be the Easter hare for that year.

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it came upon the turn for the fifth hare, who choose a yellow egg form the basket. a mother fox he met in the forest who asked him for that bright shiny egg. the fox pledged the hare to come to her den and show his little babies that sparkling egg and the hare went on to the very door of the den and played with all of the fox babies and the yellow egg. in a little while the yellow egg was broken, leaving behind thousand of pieces of it on the grass. this fifth hare could not be the Easter hare for that year.

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when it was turn for the sixth hare there were just two eggs left, and he choose the red one. on he went, away from his home and throughthe forest, when upon arriving at the bridge he saw another hare from another family at the opposite end of it. they look at each other and none will let the other pass first, so they started discussing and then fighting, and the egg broke in half. this sixth hare could not be the Easter hare for that year.

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lastly it was the turn for the youngest hare, and she took the blue egg form the basket. crossing the forest she let the blackbird behind fast, and let the squirrel behind without convincing her of anything, she did not see the mother fox, and at the bridge she let the other hare go first at once and she did not look at the water for her image. when she arrived at the gate of the children's garden, she jumped the fence, not too high, not too low, just a right one, and she left the blue egg in a special space destined to it.

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This hare was the Easter hare for that year.




Sweet Spring Gift


We are still in snow season here, but we had a surprising gift of spring weather for a week, the children have delighted in playing outside and wearing summer clothes.
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This reminds me of how to await for gifts, and to expect the unexpected sometimes, because if not i am set on my fixed routines, and on what i think it will happen next. This also extends on how we look at the world, because even though we all look through our own colored glasses, we can also take them out and try to see what the other person really is or is really saying.
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With my children I have developed over the years a sense of who they are, and that is good, but also it gives them no free space to give another picture of themselves. I was lucky the other day to peek through the door seeing my five year old daughter in a class situation without me, and it was amazing to discover this other side of her, more in charge of the situation, and more sassy! I think my thinking of her as the middle one, and the sweet and innocent one, is right as far as she is playing within our family dynamics, outside of it, she is displaying other traits.
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I could use this gift of spring in our town to consider other points of view from the ones I am standing usually, and breaking the routines or our weather expectations can bring great discoveries and amazement,
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blessings,
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raquel

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemaking


We bought these little miniature dolls, ressembling the characters of the "Little house on the prairie". I loved the series of books for many reasons but one of them is the homemaking ability of the parents. In those days the community or soul group was very engaged in raising families, but those first settlers displayed the signs of independence and freedom from the village, and thus paved our way for the task of homemaking today.

Veronika Van Duin ( in her book Homemaking and Personal Development) stresses the importance of the choice of homemaking as being a very crucial one, and I can experience the shift that happens whenever I am tired or burdened by housework and think about this job of mine being a choice, immediately the tasks at hands lighten up.

These last weeks many people are asking what is my profession, to whom I answer: I am a homemaker. Just pondering about the meaning of these words is amazing, the fact that we can create as humans, that home is not about the house itself but about a supersensible reality that we weave continuously, homemaking equals us with a spiritual creator.

in Catalan, my native language, the homemakers are called "Mestressa de casa", which is to say the master of the house, but also has the same root as the teacher, so to be the boss and the teacher, the one who has authority per se and not by force.

Yet in Spanish you would say "Ama de casa", which beyond the meaning of being the boss of the house it has also far reaching consequences, because "Ama" has the same root as love, so being the one who loves the house, then becomes its owner.

Just pondering about what the names call forth for me is enough to set me free and gay in my homemaking roles; nowadays, to be a homemaker, is a free decision, freedom in choice which is much uplifting in itself alone, and in exploring what the job really is about i can´t but be amazed and thankful for the special chance i am given.
Another fact that I can see derived from the ones above, is that homemaking is a full-time job. It is very difficult for me to be out in the world doing other things and then come back home and pick up my homemaking job; it is as if the weaving would have been interrupted, and like a spider web, it would have collapsed and then I have to start again the thread from the beginning: the children are more rebellious, the rythm of the tasks is lost, the air itself seems crispier and charged, etc....
That does not mean that I am a slave at homemaking without any outlets for my personal welfare, but rather that my personal welfare has to include the homemaking calling, and not try to break with it, so I am a slave, but again, by choice. I do not know how the people who work part-time can juggle with both tasks, I admire you if you are doing so, but I think for me the stress that would bring is not justifiable.

PS: If you have any recommendations of books like the little house on the prairie, and if you have the meaning of homemaker in another language, please let me know. raquelgeiger@hotmail.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Normalcy?


Last week i was at the doctor´s office in Barcelona, Spain, where i am visiting family and checking my health; but that day the visit was for my children and i experienced something very interesting.

The doctors called us up, one child at a time with me, to do the visit; then he started asking questions directly at the child and expecting polite replies. My children, aged three, five and seven were silent and upon his insistency in getting a reply from them, they started getting angry faces, defensive and crying; the doctor was not expecting any of this behaviour and after we finish the whole visit he called me apart and asked me: Do you think this is normal behaviour? children not responding to an adult?

i replied: no this does not look like normal behaviour. And we left.

Coming home i was reflecting upon what have happened, and i realized how lucky i was that my children were not normal indeed! normal here is to be apart from parents at 4 months of age and put in daycare from 8am til 6pm, or at best to enroll in institutionalized care at one year old; and besides other things, this reflects in children being "socialized", expected to answer questions of intimidating strangers, like that doctor, at first call.

I am reminded of the amish children, which run under the skirts of the mother when a person not usual for them comes by, and i am honored that even though my children do not run under my skirts literally, they do still somehow, and this is an indication of them having been protected and cared with an envolture of an etheric sac, that has not been broken yet.

On the other hand i am willing to look for other signs that would tell me my children are actually not developping normally, in my idea of what is normal, and this it is difficult for families that raise their children different from mainstream families do; there is a tendency to either compare ourselves with the majority, and feel that we have to come closer to them, or the opposite, we feel that we have to run away even further from them.

We are walking a lot these days in the old part of this romantic and beautiful city, along narrow streets and middle age stone palaces, and as we walk along, the oldest daughter distances from us and walks almost alone at 20 feet away; this tells me that she is disconnecting healthily from the etheric that protected her in her first seven years of life, and tells me too that each case is unique and is very important to asses normalcy with individual and insightful eyes.

i would like to know any experiences that you have had with comparing normalcy levels in mainstream parenting or in any other way,

lovingly,
raquel

Monday, January 18, 2010

Creation


Maria, my oldest daughter has designed and knitted a purse for her wool work by herself, and she is learning to read. I am at awe at being a witness of this process of learning, we started first grade more or les officially on August last summer, and I can see many fruits blossoming every day.

From my behalf I started the painting about initiation, based on the Gospel of Saint John, where the first step is the miracle at the wedding of Canna.

Winter wonderland













These last days the mornings have surprised us with a beautiful frost, covering every surface with long crystals of snow flakes.

The children have been enjoying the winter play and the temperature is pleasant to accompany outdoor games.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Kings and Children's Observations


After the break of the holidays we are back on our Thursdays mornings. We are doing a play of the Three Kings for small children, and every week the children can take a different role from the one taken in the last performance, and we will do so until the week of February the 2nd.


After the play and a light snack, the mothers take time to do an exercise of observation of children, following the guidelines from waldorf teacher's training.


Observation is a very special task, which can represent significant changes in the relationship with your children, and help you understand them in another light. It is an exercise that strengthen the spiritual bonds between the angels and us, and allow us to discover the child that is in front of us and the needs that the child might have. As a powerful tool in teaching and parenting, I give a special attention to it and take care of the exercise in a delicate, gentle and honoring way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year's eve


We had a beautiful celebration with meme and Eva, who were visiting from Barcelona.