Every few weeks on the blog, we spotlight a Waldorfish community family. You are a diverse and global group - We’re pretty sure you’d be bff’s in real life. Today, please enjoy our conversation with Jessica Richardson!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!
I'm Jessica Richardson, a wild & free mama, on a Waldorf inspired homeschooling journey with 4 adventure craving kids- ranging from teens to toddlers.
HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY START THE DAY?
We start the day with breakfast all together. After breakfast we set our intentions for the day, discuss the plans for the day, the weather, the moon phase, and recite the weekly verse, poem, or thought.
GIVE US A SNAPSHOT OF ANY MANAGEMENT/ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES THAT ARE HELPING YOU FLOW THROUGH YOUR HOMESCHOOLING DAYS.
I am homeschooling all 4 of my kids. The older two are 12 and 13.5 year old boys and we do the same lesson blocks for them. My almost 4 year old and nearly 2 year old girls are not doing any classical schooling. They join in on all the art and hands on activities we do, such as science experiments and baking. For the older boys, I use my lifetime membership to Earthschooling to plan out my grade blocks. I really like the plethora of info on there. I add to the math and science blocks with the books "Physics is Fun" and "Making Math Meaningful for Middle School", the guides from A Waldorf Journey, and the online courses from Waldorfish Geometry. The boys have been homeschooled for the last 4 full years.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCES? (HOMESCHOOL OR OTHERWISE)
I really enjoy the Youtube videos Pepper and Pine makes, as well as the blog called Parenting Passageway. These mamas have older sons and it really helps me to see how they are homeschooling, still using Waldorf, with the Middle School years and beyond.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Myself, I am currently reading "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown and "Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype" by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Our family read aloud for September was 'Kenny and the Dragon" by Tony DiTerlizzi. My sons are reading excerpts from "The Broken Spears" by Miguel Leon-Portilla currently, because we are in the Age of Exploration block for 7th grade and this book is an Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
When the kids get overwhelmed, we head for the hills... literally. Heading outside and up our local canyons, immediately helps clear our minds and hearts. If its just me who is stressed out, I make time for a 90 minute Bikram hot yoga class, I feel mentally and physically lighter afterwards.
PLEASE SHARE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM YOU'VE GLEANED OVER THE YEARS.
I've learned to let go of perfect, to not expect myself to be able to teach every subject, and to not go it alone. Allowing others, like using the Waldorfish Geometry, gives me a break from planning so I can place attention somewhere else. My best advice is to create a local Waldorf inspired group to meet with weekly for nature walks, festivals, and seasonal fun. Ours is finally thriving and my children and I are so happy when we meet!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW WALDORFISH COURSES ARE ADDING TO YOUR SCHOOL YEAR. READY....GO!
We have used Waldorfish Weekly Art for 2 years now and just starting in the Festival Art course. Everyone in my family loves the Waldorfish art classes, even the toddler! My 4 year old loves the chalk and watercolor lessons, she asks to do extra art all the time. My oldest son loves art already, but Brian has helped him create fuller pictures, by paying attention to things like mountains in the background, or how to place objects in the foreground verses in the background. We all look forward to Fridays with Waldorfish!
WHERE CAN WE CONNECT WITH YOU?