Why the Tree of Life?



Home Education Magazine had a great article this month titled, Strengthening Families Through Homeschooling.


No Ears

We were visiting some homeschooling friend's goats last week. The particular breed that they have are called La Mancha and they appear to have no ears. Anyway, D was petting them and said, "Goats forgot put ears on."

New Pace

...as in slower. After having lots of time to really focus on our family during the conference, I came back home to realize that we were really stretched too thin. The boys and I were doing something every day of the week. K is only 4 and a half! I'm not even sure how our week evolved to be that busy. I've always nodded in agreement when people talk about how children need lots of time at home and space/time to play. But I think part of why we were doing something every day was that I wanted that adult interaction; another part was because I wanted to form some social ties early for the boys in the local homeschooling community. I wanted to make sure they had friends and weren't lonely because they were homeschooled. I wanted homeschooling to be the norm in their world. But after the conference where I saw the difference between 4, 5, 6, and 7 year olds, and preceded by a long conversation with my mother the week before, I no longer feel like the clock is ticking. In all honesty, the friends I chose for them now may or may not be the friends they choose for themselves at age 7, when they really begin to want to socialize. And as my mother said, "When I was four, I only went to the grocery store." And you know, when I was four, I only went to the grocery store, too, really. So, why am I pushing, especially when it has always been a push, and the only one having a good time is me? The boys have always done much better one on one with another family, so that is what we are going to do: just invite friends over to play on a regular basis.

So! We are no longer doing Monday Friends, we are no longer going to the library story time (although we'll visit the library in the afternoon once a month), Enki co-op is on hold, and we will not be doing Eurythmy on Fridays with the Waldorf Homeschooling group. We *will be going to the grocery store on Wednesdays. But if a full-blown online grocery delivery service ever stays in business long enough for me to find them, you can bet we aren't going to the grocery store either.

Our mornings are now completely free. We haven't gone anywhere in the last week, and it has been great. And we have the afternoons for adventures, maybe an errand, maybe visiting friends or family. We even had friends over today that we hadn't seen in months.

Photos-Enki Conference

Inside our cabin; we had an entire half to ourselves and shared the community bath at the back with another family. Notice the bunk beds. Also notice the stacks of extra mattresses? Good thing we had those. They were great crash pads for jumps from the 'airplane'.

Our view from our cabin porch.

Painting 'Color Dancers' (wet-on-wet watercolor). This day we did Kindergarten painting, and D happened to need some mommy time at the same time. But he really enjoyed getting to paint with me.

The beach. D's favorite place. If they had brought a pillow and blanket, he would have spent the night here. K is holding a mussel that had been found in the sand.

Daddy Long Legs

K going down the zip line, top speed and tucked.

D, too, with a little help from another mom (Polly).

D playing with the wood blocks.

K's shirt is on the left, D's on the right. K loves his, D will not come with in 3 feet of his.

Here's one of the dads, Mark, starting our solstice fire with a bow-drill.

This is one of the candles the older children made for Summer Solstice and that we floated on the lake at sunset.

We met in the chapel for our sessions. The children were free to come in to touch base with the moms. D didn't really need to come in much until the very last day or so.