What a Doll

Hello Friends! I have been renewing energy and I am feeling much better. However, I am taking the time I need to do as I need for me and mine.

All is spring and flowers around us! I trust and hope you are enjoying spring as well!

Bella and I have been talking about making a doll for a while now. We finally managed to do it! All pictures are posted below. I’ve also added a few pictures at the end of this blog post of our recent family outing to see the beauty of spring.

Wishing you all continued good health, happiness and peace. x

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Currently Smelling the Flowers

Short post today as we’ve had a tricky week. I will post our Valentine’s Day fun next week! Meanwhile, wishing you all a Valentine’s Day well celebrated by loving yourself so that you can love others.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Shades of Waldorf

“The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day, the soul with spirit power gives strength unto my limbs. In sunlight shining clear I revere, Oh God, the strength of humankind, which thou has planted in my soul, that I may with all my might, may love to work and learn. From thee stream light and strength to thee rise love and thanks.”

Rudolf Steiner

Bella reads this passage each morning before we begin our school day. It is a prayer of sorts that fills the air with love and gratitude.

Following the reading, Bella and I do basic Eurythmy (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurythmy) movement with accompanying vowels, “a,e,i,o,u.” Each vowel holds specific energy and communicates a deeper meaning through the movement.

We are still learning about this aspect of the Waldorf curriculum. Rudolf Steiner had a strong conviction of its importance. Bella seems to love it, and therefore, we continue on.

I write about Rudolf Steiner today as I continue to feel the importance of his beliefs, and his message for both teachers and the children they influence. It is wisdom for all of humanity.

As I move through each day as Bella’s mother, friend and active caregiver, I realize that the greatest teaching / learning is actually taking place for her (..and for me) in the spaces of love, laughter and experiential lessons around and in between the formal curriculum of school work.

Rudolf Steiner wrote, “The heart of the Waldorf method is that education is an art, it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as the mind.” I observe this to be so, and see how important the moments of play are, the moments of doing simple tasks, and the moments of just being.

You will not be good teachers if you focus only on what you do and not upon who you are.” These words written by Rudolf Steiner play like a beautiful refrain in my mind. They strengthen my motivation for self discovery and provide the basis for more meaningful work, and connection with Bella during our homeschool experience.

Each day, we talk about having a “happy heart.” I observe that with a happy heart, this imperfect world, shines with moments of perfection.

“In sunlight shining clear…” I see the beauty of what Rudolf Steiner saw. The gift he has given this world is immeasurable.

Even if you only embrace various shades of the Waldorf curriculum into your experience as a parent, teacher, or being, it cannot help but open up windows of insight into who you really are, and give you glimpses of otherworldly perfection.

…And a Happy New Year!

Even though we’ve had a sweet Christmas, and family here to help us ring in the new year, the house feels comfortably quiet and peacefully still.

I am unapologetically late with the blog this week as a symptom of burnout. Anyone relate? Renewing energy is primordial, especially for those actively caring for special needs children. So, here I am, …battery is charging.

Bella typically has very little interest in the world outside of her routine, with the exception of our adventures to the cinema a few times per month. However, I sense this is slowly shifting.

Bella made the cutest posters to welcome her cousin’s visit for the New Year holiday (..see below).

Unfortunately, her cousin wasn’t completely enthusiastic about connecting, and Bella has been disappointed. Still, they did share some good moments. They had a makeup party, made crafts together, and we all went to a movie together downtown. Bella was grateful for the interaction, and it was wonderful for me to witness.

Here is a picture of Bella with her cousin and friend, Coline.

And the lovely butterfly makeup kit they used for their makeup party!

We took down the Christmas tree and declarations yesterday. All that remains are the memories made, and the sweet feeling of promise in the new year ahead.

Bella has found joy in doing some small mosaic, art projects the last few days after finishing some glitter fairies with her cousin. Here is one of the sticker mosaics she has completed.

Now then, I hereby give you all permission to unashamedly charge your energetic, soul batteries, and to celebrate every moment! Even when you are asked to go it alone, or you are disappointed with outcomes you held fixed expectations about. I observe that kids (..on the spectrum or not) can teach us how to roll with the punches.

By all means, have a wonder filled 2019!

Building Blocks

This week we built fall themed, silly story and sentence blocks to keep our homeschool, writing practice a bit more creative and fun. We built five separate boxes; 1 box each for adjectives, subjects, settings, nouns and verbs. Once the boxes are made, you roll each one, write down the words each box shows on the top after it lands, and then build a sentence, or story from the words. It is nonsensical and silly most of the time which provides a bit of thinking “outside the box” as to what would actually make sense.

Here is a video and a picture of Bella preparing the boxes.

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We’ve been enjoying some fall roses and other happy, yellow flowers from the garden. We know their days are numbered, and are cherishing their beauty.

Rose Close Up
Rose Close Up
Happy Yellow Flowers in the Garden
Happy Yellow Flowers in the Garden

We are simultaneously in a review time and a step forward time regarding math. This week Bella has been reviewing counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s, and is also continuing forward with her daily multiplication work sheets. She is doing very well with this, and is steady on with her daily reading, reading comprehension, and time ordering (..putting pictures in order based on the story she reads). This is in addition to the silly stories and sentences activity we’ve added for fall, which is primarily for learning sentence structure and practicing handwriting.

Here is Bella working on her math and language arts sheets.

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2, 4, 6, 8, ..who do we appreciate.
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Yay! I’m finished! 🙂

If this blog makes life on the spectrum and facilitating homeschool look easy peasy, please know it isn’t. It is a choice to focus on the good, without giving too much reality to difficult situations that arise. They roll in and they roll out as the clouds that roll by. I see Bella’s effort, her heart and baby steps of progress. Somehow, that is enough to keep me rolling forward, and ready to face each day, whatever comes.

It isn’t all about silly stories and fun, but it is about building blocks and keeping things interesting. It is also about staying open, curious and allowing creative answers to emerge from present moment awareness.

Rose
Rose

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

As I mentioned last week, the change of season has been challenging for Bella. This week we’ve observed additional rough edges. The change of season has brought up past pain for  Bella to process, and therefore, additional energy and presence on the part of Phil and I to help her manage.

We are assisting Bella to review social stories that reinforce good breathing and relaxation techniques, we continue to do yoga each morning, and we continue to help Bella review her behavioral green choice vs. red choice list. Our Noodle Jar (I’ll be blogging about the Noodle Jar soon) hasn’t been needed for a while, but we’ve added that back into the mix as well.

After a few days of choppy waters, Bella is self regulating more smoothly today, and seems much happier. Way to go Bella!

Last night, she wanted to see Ferdinand. She has found it challenging to say the titles of books, movies and brands lately. So, ..we’ve made a deal with Bella. If she can say the title, she can watch the movie. Here is a short clip of her finally saying, “Let’s watch Ferdinand!” Woot!

It was a cute movie. Bella enjoyed it immensely, even without the sound.

–<3

Today, while Bella was finishing her sight word papers, I was sitting at the end of the table making curtains for her bedroom. Bella loves the little, multi-colored heart print. It’s a work in progress…we’ll be adding some pink touches, a bit of magic glitter sparkle here and there, and some loo roll unicorns per Bella’s request. I’ve suggested these, and Bella likes these.

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–<3

After tea party today (..a daily ritual here in France..ours is at 5:30pm), we walked down the path to the letter box. Bella has been less than excited to do so the past several days for the reasons I’ve explained above. However, she made it happen today. She did hold onto her headphones halfway down the path, but hey! She made it outside! We praised her for her effort.

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–<3

While Bella is needing additional support, I am staying centered and rested with meditation and morning walks before the day begins…

Until next week…Happy trails…<3