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You're Not the Boss of Me!

When a person comes up against serious things in terms of what works and what does not in life: when faced with matters of usefulness and practicality: in those circumstances we can see a reemerging of an attitude which showed itself in free play earlier on.

Just think what this means.  We want to educate effectively and know: you observe a characteristic disposition in the play of a child: you guide and direct it now and this will bear fruit twenty years from now, when this person will be coming to terms with the world, a world which should be useful to him and in which he should find his proper place.  Just think what feelings arise in the soul of the early childhood educator, who realizes: what I accomplish with this child, I accomplish for the grown-up person in his twenties.

~Rudolf Steiner, as taken from You're Not the Boss of Me!

ReadingOh, those words struck me so keenly.  These days, these things, they matter.  These are the skills and experiences that will be called upon in the decades to come.  It seems, sometimes, that I am back in the blazing sun dropping the pink seed corn into the clay soil of my parents' garden, that I am watching my mother pick beans while sitting on a milk crate.  I make the peanut butter cookies over and over in my mind and I think about the significance of those hours I spent playing school by myself in my room.

Much of the time, the reading I do is about what is done in schools, schools that I have no access to or hope to send my children to.  Even the Enki materials are written toward teachers at a school a good part of the time, or they are written with the assumption that you have just one child.  Three isn't that many, but it's certainly different from one or two children.  For awhile, I operated on the idea that I was, in a roundabout way, running my own small-scale Lifeways center.  I had a baby, a three year old, and a six year old.  Days felt easier then--we were all singing the same songs and doing similar things.  The mood was warm and sleepy or happy and lively.  The time since Roan has turned five has been decidedly more awake.  It really is like he is beginning to wake up to the world (and it do it a little grumpily!).

Stacey sent me the book in the picture, along with several others.  I'm working through second grade planning, along with You're Not the Boss of Me! With a seven year old and a five year old, I feel this book is a good thing to read right now.  I always enjoy learning more about child development and I really appreciate the approach to living with children.  I can reflect on recent events and prepare for those to come.  There are even some articles about how the older kindergarten child relates to the younger ones.  It is perfect timing!  Being honest, this kind of homeschooling lends itself to loneliness.  There is not a group of people like me around.  I know of one other family, with older children and a farm to care for.  Our area has a new cooperative forming, but we're just not ready for that.  Books like this one, they are like sitting down with a a group of seasoned teachers and learning their ways.  I'm really enjoying it and always finding myself encouraged as I finish another section.

One thing that I have taken away from You're Not the Boss of Me! is work days on a year-long project.  I feel certain that a hour one day a week, at least, will be devoted to working at the Roland Estate on trimming back trees and brush and removing English ivy from trees and buildings.  It's not something we have to do, but I know it will be appreciated.  That property will have to sell next year and there are many jobs.  We are really part of a team of people trying to keep things going for the adult child still living on the property.  The children always feel so much more integrated and happy when they have some real work to do.  This is nothing new.  There is boredom that is praised for stoking creativity and then there is the kind of boredom that comes with modern living.  That's the kind I want to circumvent.

I'm about halfway through the book and I am looking forward to the rest of the sections: sailing our ship in fair or stormy weather, enticing the older child to intentional movement, jump rope rhymes, and parent resources and articles.  I am hoping that, after a lengthy period of disequilibrium, that we can find our way back with more determination and focus.  I've needed the more relaxed routine of Summer for some things, like all the canning, but I can see the benefits of a stronger routine, too.  It's been better than last year in some ways, and harder in others.  I soak up the feelings of others so much, that some people might find it silly.  It's just me and I'm trying to make the best of it.


( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )
Aug. 14th, 2016 06:10 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that you are enjoying the book so much. It is definitely one of my favorites - as I said on the phone, it is just so supportive, and makes you feel like you have these wise friends to help and guide you. We need so much more outdoor work to do - you have such a good plan there. That man is still working on our house, and his equipment and such are everywhere, and it has thrown a real damper on our ability to work in our own yard or even enjoy it. He *has* to finish soon. We did all get out and work out front today, and it was so good for the children! They had a lot of positive comments about it. It's hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close - I am ready for it, though. - Stacey
Aug. 14th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
I really love it, just so much good. I hope things are well on their way to getting back to normal there. :-)
( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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