March 2021
Hello friends,
 
Welcome to the March 2021 issue of Christopherus’ The Homeschool Journey newsletter.
 
As announced last month, from this issue onward we will have a main topic for each newsletter: instead of a random collection of bits and pieces, there will be a theme! And the important random things will come at the end.
 
The theme for this month is ‘Children and Technology.’
 
The theme for April will be ‘Food’ and ‘Music’ for May.
 
Any email ‘letters’ from homeschoolers sharing their family’s experiences with food (for the April issue) and with music (for the May issue) are excitedly and warmly and joyously welcome! How wonderful it would be if this newsletter could reflect the experiences of our Christopherus families!
 
And, as always, feel free to forward this newsletter on to whomever might find it useful. And if it has been forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
Children and Computers
To start things off, here is a recording I have made about this month’s topic. It is slightly rough and a bit on the long side...but hopefully useful. Please do comment and share feedback!
 
A few months ago I published a couple of articles about the unbelievably fast transition by Waldorf schools to zoom classes. While this was, of course, in response to lockdown, there was precious little effort in way too many schools to offer non computer-based alternatives to parents. Indeed, a number of boards and teacher’s groups felt moved to declare that zoom and computers are ‘the new face of Waldorf.’
 
While computer-based learning might have been (and could continue to be) necessary for some families as they scrambled for ways to survive in the face of lockdown, the fact that so few Waldorf schools and teachers were able to articulate the extreme drawbacks of computer-based ‘learning’ and just ‘went with the flow’ is simply unbelievable.
 
 
As parents struggle to articulate and think through their concerns about the use of computers by children, a possibly unexpected resource has come to the fore—the wonderful Children’s Heath Defense group. (If you try to find this group on FB and other social media platforms you will not succeed as they have been heavily censored by powerful interests who find their work threatening.) While the Children’s Health Defense group is best known for being articulate and outspoken critics of vaccination, they are concerned with all aspects of children’s health—and thus the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the roll-out of 5G are of concern to them. They are also very ‘on it’ with regard to food-related health issues for children (GMOs, synthetic foods and so on) (more next issue of The Homeschool Journey newsletter). Have a good browse around their website to find articles, videos and podcasts about the effects of EMFs on children.
 
The EMF Safety Network does really important work on this subject—here is a link to their website and a ‘breakthrough’ study by the state of New Hampshire about the bad effects of 5G.

Now, you might say –hey, I thought the topic of this issue was children and computers, not 5G. But….the main justification for 5G is that it will make our computers faster. And we all need fast computers, including our children, right? Well, no—wrong. The con regarding 5G is that it is so fast that human beings are unable to be aware of its speed. 5G has nothing to do with making better connections for people—it has to do with enabling computers to communicate with computers. This has to do with the Internet of Things (IOT). And this has everything to do with our children and the world they will inherit from us when they are grown. The development of the IOT and of artificial intelligence is an important topic, well worth investigating.
 
However, what perhaps concerns us now is the question of increased dependence upon electricity and the internet. Is this a healthy trend—on a physical, spiritual, soul level? Is this the world we want to bequeath to our children? As the articles above show, there are serious health implications for us as human beings—and there is a growing body of research showing the ill effects of EMFs and 5G on bees, bats and other delicate creatures. Our health and the health of the animals around us is, of course, intrinsically connected. Those whose concerns about the Earth are of vital importance to them might wish to question the electric future that is being proposed as a panacea for the troubles of our society. Neither electricity nor computers are ‘green’ or sustainable—whether one is looking at the effects of EMFs on living beings or at the terrible destruction to the environment from the mined minerals necessary to create computers and cell phones (and, unfortunately, solar panels) one can rapidly see that we need another solution.
 
And while we’re on that topic, here is a seriously scary article from the NY Times. This is for-real—we need to think about the issues raised in this article in the light of a question’ what does it mean to be a human being?’ What does it therefore mean to be a child? If one has no idea what the wholeness of a human being is, if one is completely divorced from its spiritual foundations, can one actually have anything meaningful to say about health?

Here’s a good article on how the tech industry purposefully creates cell phones and similar devices to tap right into the addictive tendencies all human beings possess—and which are wide open to exploitation in children:
 
The above article is a good one when trying to talk to friends and family members concerned or amazed by your no-tech for children stance (assuming that is your stance!) Here’s another.
So there are our articles on this month’s topic. It would be wonderful if folks replied to what they find here—I’d love to be able to publish feedback and questions from readers of this newsletter in the following newsletter and respond to them. And, as I said earlier, do leave feedback on my blog where you’ll find my talk. Or reply to this newsletter.
I was on a bit of a roll the other day so I also recorded a talk called ‘Your Story is My Story, My Story is Your Story’ which you can find here. An education founded in universalism is one founded in cultural appreciation and the valuing of learning from one another, across race, nationality, culture and religion.

Homeschool support group

Despite our unease with the internet, Christopherus does have an online support group---for now, I am comfortable with this and we will just see how things develop into the future.
 
Our group is coming along slowly and the platform itself is a work in progress---soon (not quite sure when) we will have the possibility of scheduling video/chat sessions where I talk...participants type in questions and I respond to those questions then and there. It should be a bit like the facebook live sessions I had from time to time.
 
 
And by the way...I am starting to investigate how to have real, in-person, face to face conferences, family camps and teen offerings...all being well, some of my efforts from a couple of years ago might just come to fruit starting this summer. Stay tuned and cross fingers!
Want to deepen your experience of Christopherus, of Waldorf homeschooling, of artistic and inner work? Want guidance on self-development as a parent? Do consider purchasing our Self Study Course.
Upcoming Publications
 
Hurrah---new from Christopherus, seventh grade language arts and eighth grade language arts!

Each grade’s materials will consist of a Student Workbook and a shared 7th and 8th grade Teacher’s Guide. We are working hard on these publications as I speak...or write….and the 7th grade materials should be available early this summer, shortly followed by the 8th grade materials.
 
 
There are plans for further seventh, eighth and ninth grade materials…. as these materials come close to publication, we will make announcements here!
 
Til April,
Blessings on your homeschool journey,
Donna