Navigating homeschooling with a sensitive child

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When my sensitive child was small, it was T-shirt labels and sock seams. Little things were a very big deal, and created a lot of stress for all of us.

But as that child grew, I realized that sensitivity could also mean that handwriting practice was really intense, and math was frustrating if a concept didn’t come instantly.

We were luck to discover Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Although not a homeschooling book, it has been a guide for a family as we navigate homeschooling with a sensitive child.

I have a guest post about that very topic over at Simple Homeschool today. Click over to read the rest!

Live your season.

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Sometimes, as I writer, I don’t know what I’m thinking until it comes out on paper or on the screen, and this was one of those times.

I just wrote something for a project that I’m working on (and I hope to share soon!):

Sometimes it’s a good time to make pizza from scratch, and sometimes it’s a good time to make a frozen pizza and sometimes, thank goodness for delivery.

It turns out we’re in the midst of one of those delivery times right now. The end of summer has pushed us toward a level of busyness that I don’t love.

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I have several deadlines, we just finished two weeks of camp, and we’re heading 9 hours away to see my sister, and her family, including her new baby.

All good things — but all at once, they have left me feeling scattered and a little out of control. (And very grateful for people who want to cook for me and bring the food right to my house.)

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But we aren’t really delivery people. This homeschool, work-from-home life of ours means that we are do-it-yourselfers, as long as the do-it-yourselfering can save us a few dollars. We make laundry detergent, hand soap and household cleaners. We grow a garden. We pick, can and freeze.

It’s hard for me to know right now that my friend is overrun with wild raspberries, and that we are welcome to as many as we can pick, but frankly, we just don’t have time to drive 45 minutes each way and pick them.

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Last year, we froze several trays and made a dozen jars of delicious jam.

But I know what would happen if we went now to pick them — we would feel rushed and antsy. No one would enjoy it and the gentle stings of the thorns would drive us all nuts instead of reminding us of the price of free organic fruit goodness.

This just isn’t a season for us to go berry picking.

And I’m all about trying to live each season.

I wasn’t always. There was a time when all days felt the same to me, regardless of sunshine or snow — my desk was always a comfy 77 degrees.

When we moved to the country, I began to feel the physical seasons again, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I noticed the other seasons — the season of new motherhood; the season of teething or potty training. The season of returning to work. The season of raising two …

And so it’s clear to me that we’re simply in a season of end of summer busyness.

Most likely, it will be followed by a season of frantic homeschool planning. (I mean, it always is.)

But then it will be followed by one of my favorite seasons, the start of a new school year, when everything seems fresh and possible.

(Remind me of that in February, when I have hit my season of slump, won’t you?)

But for now, I am going to do my best to live this season. I am going to order pizza without guilt, knowing that in time, I’ll feel the dough in my hands again.

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I’m going to leave the berries for the birds. I can’t imagine they’ll taste very good tainted by negative energy anyway.

And I am going to enjoy this time with my family — the opportunity to meet my sweet new nephew, and hug his big brother.

Because sometimes, a little busyness is OK. Sometimes, it it means extra fun, and a little much-needed adventure.

My little-bit Waldorfy homeschool book list

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During the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be sharing some homeschooling planning posts here. I’m so excited about the year ahead, and I am definitely in Crazy Planning Mode. This first post is actually a bit “bigger picture,” but I promise to get to the nitty-gritty soon!

This post contains affiliate links.

Some of you know that we’re what I like to think of as “a little bit Waldorfy.”

I used to want to be a lot more Waldorfy until what I’ll call The Pinecone/Block Crayon Revolt.

Since that time, I’ve found that certain things about Waldorf are a very natural fit for us — things like having a rhythm, a slower approach to academics, limiting media, sharing good stories, a focus on art, etc.

Other Waldorfy stuff, just isn’t for us. And that’s OK.

That’s homeschooling for you — you get to pick what works, and anyone who won’t let you into their special club because of your choices probably isn’t any fun anyway.

I wanted to share today a few books that seem to be my constant companions this time of year as I begin planning for the school year ahead.

They aren’t curriculum books — instead, they are the books that help me feel warm and fuzzy about doing Waldorf our way:

Mitten Strings for God. I always have this book close. I read it when I need a reminder of how to slow down, how to enjoy these days with my kids an how to let some worries go. It is simply one of my favorite parenting books, homeschooling books and life books.

Simplicity Parenting. I like to think of this book as my guide, a how-to manual for prioritizing calm in our family life. This book helps me navigate the world with my kids in a way that feels good.

Heaven on Earth. This book is such a beautiful handbook for bringing Waldorf ideas and principles into your home. Waldorf can seem as hard to grasp as a house gnome sometimes, but this book is both practical and inspiring.

Making a Family Home. This is a wonderful guide of another sort, packed full of beautiful pictures that illustrate how to make your home calm, comforting and inviting — a peaceful refuge for your family.

The Waldorf Student Reading List. In my quest to bring my kids good books, I reference this little guide each year for ideas.

A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme. I’ve said before that we don’t sing songs when it’s time to mop the floor, BUT, I do like pulling verses from this book for our morning meeting time.

These books bring lots of inspiration, and bring me back to my Waldorf Happy Place.

Do you have a favorite Waldorf book that you reference often