Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Eclectic Quilt

After doing the self-analysis about our homeschool style and realizing how much I like Waldorf I purchased an e-book from

The author is the moderator of one of the Yahoo Groups I joined to learn more, and I am so impressed with her! The e-book is a Kindergarten curriculum (so to speak- since Waldorf Kindy is not very structured it is more like guidelines) and I am excited to incorporate the simple traditions and concepts into our daily rhythm.

I know that we will never be Waldorf "purists"- for one we are just to eclectic, and of course there is that 61" monstrosity that my husband loves so dearly, which sits so perfectly squared to our sectional couch (Ok I admit I am often quite fond of it myself). I AM proud of how we've allowed the broadcast programs to re-enter our lives, and how we've all cut down on our usage of the Digital Versatile Discs- but our media exposure is not quite what most Waldorfians would approve of, and I haven't even mentioned our 3 computers- each with it's own desk to support and cradle it's magical portal to other worlds of wonder, information and entertainment.

Of course electronics aren't the only reason! Overall we could never be purists of any method- "totally committed" is just not how we live our lives. I am all about change, variety, diversity- and exploration. I'd like to think that on the sliding scale of commercialism vs naturalism we are constantly drawing closer to the natural side of things, but being Thoroughly Modern Millee means that I am always tempted to jump on (and start a blog about) the bandwagon with the big banner that reads "Latest Trend"!

We are forever changed by the fervor with which I jump into something new (raw foods, veganism, green living, homeschooling, respectful parenting, earth spirituality, etc) and the footprints of these "trends" are left scattered across our formerly fast-food, consumer-driven, dumbed-down lives. We eat at home more often, and the meals are more frequently organic and raw- but our eating habits are by no means inspiring. We are more ecologically conscious- we compost and have a worm bin- but we still buy water in plastic bottles (we recycle them!) and use straws. We have an unschooling approach, while we incorporate other methods to see what they are like. We have a lot in common with Attachment Parenters, although we never co-slept and have more rules and expectations than most true APers.

I piece together ideas & philosophies much like patchwork- my values are the rotary cutter, facts & opinions (books, blogs, research) are the layered blocks, our family's personality is the batting, our past experiences are the stitching, and our environment the backing- and the result is very much like a cozy quilt. Warm, familiar, imperfect and ultimately a personal work of art.

Some day I am going to make a real quilt, too. I'm sure I'll be quite obsessed with it, as I am with everything new thing I learn about. I hope that Grace inherits my passion for learning... and Shawn's habitual persistence. And maybe there is a fairy godmother waiting to bestow self disciplined consistency.

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Shawn last finished Da Vinci's Last Supper in Nov! No time for puzzles this fall- can't wait until we are in our own place again!!
Are you a puzzler? Want to trade?