Monday, March 31, 2014

Some wonderful articles written by the Waldorf Association of North America




The main goal for any Waldorf Inspired parent teacher is to develop the capacities (physical, mental,emotional and spiritual) which will serve your child throughout his or her life.Before you can truly achieve this,you need to:


1. have a real understanding of how a child develops at each stage and what the child needs while passing through each stage.

2.offer creative methods which stimulate your child and engage him/her in an integrated approach.

3.have the skills and practice to model and lead the children, yourself. If you are teaching a movement exercise, you need to practice it until you have down the correct movement because the child imitates... If you are reading a story or reciting a poem, you need to be so familiar with it that they are a part of your speech and not just word being read aloud...you need to master the art of beeswax, wet on wet, etc... the key is to learn these skills alone before introducing them to your child.

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You must also be familiar with INTEGRATED form of study. This means simply, that subjects which are "normally" presented separately be presented in the same lesson so that they are integrated to one another. The more related they are, the more meaning they will have for the child.

The ultimate reward is a child who is fully involved in each lesson Their THINKING is stimulated, their FEELINGS really connect to the subject matter and they become ACTIVE in the lesson. This is the key to the Waldorf Approach.When a child is fully integrated, s/he has a deepened sense of understanding and a better grasp of the material presented. This goes way beyond traditional methods of memorizing or learning.



Young Children Today - Understanding Them and Helping Them


For the past 20 or more years we have watched a decline in the health and well-being of children in
North America. We have been concerned and, at times, preoccupied with the growing problems the
children present. Now it seems we have overlooked something that is just as strong as the problems:
this is a remarkable generation of children and young adults who have brought new levels of
awareness to the earth with them. They need our protection and help, but they also need our
recognition of the gifts they have brought. To read more click the link below.

 Early Childhood and the Consciousness Soul

What is particularly important for modern human beings is the development of the consciousness soul.
This is the newest aspect of the human soul, for the two lower soul forces were developed in earlier
epochs. It is our current epoch, beginning with the Renaissance and continuing for about 2000 years, that
provides the conditions with which humanity as a whole can develop this higher soul capacity. It is the
consciousness soul that carries a full awareness of the soul nature of the human being and also serves as a
bridge to an understanding of the spiritual. In the future, humanity as a whole will be able to develop
spiritual capacities in a much fuller way than is possible today. Nevertheless, each human being is able to
develop soul and spiritual capacities to a large extent, if they so will, especially if their upbringing and
education are supportive of it. To read more click the link below.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Flower Children and Fairies...


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Children are so connected to living things in the garden. Below are a few of my absolute favorite flower fairies/children storybooks...
My name is Maginary the Fairy,
My life is joyful and oh, so merry:
If you want to be happy all the day,
Learn about living the fairy way.
We are gentle nature spirits you can trust.
Flowers and wishes bloom because of us.
We have a warm heart that shines so bright,
When you believe in us, you'll see the light.
We are really just tiny versions of you,
But our eyes shimmer with a magical view:
We try to be good, at least most of the time--
If I make a mistake, I admit that it's mine
Next time you hear the wind, listen well:
Soft whispers and secret laughter will tell
That fairy friends and magic are near
To help you with the things you hold dear!
The above taken from Fairy Fun by Marla Schram Schwartz. This is a great little book. It has instruction for projects, games, ways to bring fairies into your life. 


Sprinkle a little fairy dust in your world! These marvelous crafts, fantastic party ideas, wonderful games, and enchanting stories twinkle across the pages ready to delight the young and young at heart. Bring the realm of the fairies into your own home with a series of glittering decorative items: a pretty, soft-bodied doll; a gilded castle, shining brightly; and a sparkling wand so you can cast some spells. Carry your stardust in a velvet and lame bag with a gold cord threaded through. Create a delicate fairytale scene in an old book; a large wish box or a small one with glimmer wings; and picture frames. And, because the fairy magic will catch you, give a very special party. Wear the fairy or wizard outfit that you've stitched up yourself; eat small chocolate star-shaped fairy cakes; and play Fairy Statues and Pin the Star on the Wand. There's so much to make and do! (all in color)


Does your child love the special make-believe magic of Fairyland? If she does--and most do!--Fairy Fun will delight with all kinds of wonderful, creative, and easy fairy crafts and activities. Using simple items found around the house and garden, your child can make fairy dust, a magic wand, fairy wings, and a fairy house. She'll make a pretty flower doll, grow a magic garden, and play with a fantasy sun catcher. She'll learn the best way to make wishes come true, how to do a fairy dance, and how to discover fairies outside. She'll find easy magic tricks, fairy riddles, tongue twisters, lots of fun ideas for playing with friends, and games for fairy parties and sleep-overs. With its wondrous color illustrations and imaginative projects, Fairy Fun will win the heart of every child who knows just how real fairies are.


When Adele finds a tiny letter among the strawberries in her garden, she discovers that there really are fairies living nearby! As she pulls each letter from its hidden place, she learns all about these magical creatures. The storybook will delight every little girl. There is also a special foldout section that includes note cards, envelopes, a pencil, and fairy stars for composing one's own letters to fairies!


Little Fia is the youngest fairy in a family of eight sisters; her sisters have lovely wings, she has none. Fia's seven sisters have compassion for her lack of wings, but they disapprove of her earthly behavior and the animals she has befriended, which are a frog, a rat, and a crow. It's time for the May Dance, and the fairies will be showing off their wings in the reflection of Puffers Pond near Troll's Wood. Fia has reconciled to being left out again. While sharing a new creation with rat, Fia runs into a boy fairy named Kip. He invites her to the dance, and she accepts. Will she be brave enough to follow through? Will the May Dance be safe near Troll's Wood where the wing-collecting Troll lives? Fairy Wings is a creatively written, artistically illustrated tale. The story is memorable, and little Fia, delicate in appearance, is valiant in thought and deed. She is a great role model. Fairy Wings is enjoyable for all ages, including adults. Getting through this 30-page wonder will take longer than you think; each illustration is wonderfully done, and will demand ample attention before you can turn to the next.


Wow! Finally you can have the step-by-step instructions you need to create wonderful ting fairy folk... This lovely book, entitled Fairies: Petal People You Make Yourself Rachel Haab presents Fairies: Petal People You Make Yourself, with a tiny spiral bound guide featuring illustrations, photographs and easy-to-follow instructions for making the wee creatures. A handy craft kit contains all the necessary materials including fake flower petals, colored wire and embroidery floss. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Being a better parent



Want to be a better parent? Be more selfish!
by Gregory Ramey, PhD, child psychologist at Dayton Children's and Dayton Daily News columnist


At a workshop for parents of older teenagers, I asked the group “What was the biggest mistake you made when your children were younger?”

I expected the typical answers about the need for consistency, limit setting, and positive feedback. Instead, one parent bluntly responded, “I think I spent too much time with my children. I made them the center of my world. That wasn’t good for them, me or my husband.”

There was an awkward silence for a few moments. This candid response evoked a strong and supportive reaction from the other parents, most of whom were mothers.

One mom remarked that, “Our lives centered around our children’s needs when they were infants. However, I don’t think I did a good job in adjusting as they got older. My 14-year-old still thinks the world revolves around her. When she needs something, she expects me to stop whatever I’m doing and take her somewhere. What about my life? I must admit I’ve inadvertently raised her to think that she is the most important person in our family.”

Another parent, recently divorced, lamented the effects this parenting style had on her marriage. “I wish I had been more selfish. I gave up too much for my children. I stopped working out, gave up my interest in pottery, and didn’t spend much time with my husband. Now, I’m divorced and my kids are getting ready to go off to college. I’m not sure what’s left in my life.”

This approach to child rearing, making kids the center of the family, is so very different than the way children have historically been raised in this country and elsewhere. What’s going on with this generation of parents?

One parent volunteered, “I have great kids. I enjoyed being with them and getting involved in their activities. I always tried to build up their self-concept and tell them how special and important they were. I think I went too far. I don’t think I prepared them for the real world.”

Another parent offered a different perspective. “I’ve always been successful in everything I’ve done. My children are an extension and reflection of me. Since I quit my job to raise them, I wanted to be as successful with them as I was in my profession.”

As I carefully listened to this group, I realized that this child-centered approach was due to a number of cultural changes in the past several decades. One of the factors had to do with people in my profession. We preached the wrong message about children.

Professionals like myself have made a serious mistake in communicating that the needs of children should come first in the family. We’ve focused on children’s needs, not what’s best for the family. We’ve talked about the importance of helping children feel good about themselves rather than act properly. We’ve focused on self-concept and individual growth rather than the importance of sacrifice and contributing to others. When kids misbehave, we blamed parents rather than acknowledge what every professional knows but is afraid to say. Some kids are just bad, in spite of and not because of their parents.

Parents of very young children can learn a lot from the mistakes of the “children first” generation. Keep the focus on the needs of the family, not the wishes of your child. The way to be a good parent is to maintain your own interests and individuality. Spend time with your spouse, nurturing and developing that relationship.

Enjoy, love, and stay involved with your kids. Just don’t forget about the rest of the family—you and your spouse!
Gregory Ramey, PhD, is a child psychologist at The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton and a columnist for the Dayton Daily News.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Goddess

Consider the word Mother. She gives us substance, matter, and the experience of Nurturing. She does Matter as much as Earth and Sky and Water. And as you read these words you know that Mother is more more than a word!

To the Celts the Goddess comes first for we are all born of the ever constant flowing river of Life. This Idea of Flowing, Creativity and the Mother goes deep. Earth is not seen as that which is solid and fixed but that with flows with the Endless possibilities of creativity.

 "If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." ~Thich Nhat Hanh~
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