Welcome to the May 2020 edition of the Christopherus Homeschool Journey newsletter!
The last two newsletters have been focused on the current world crisis. In our March newsletter I wrote about the importance of staying calm and not embracing fear. New subscribers can
read that piece here
Last newsletter I was more focused on my concern about how readily people are taking up technology as a substitute for being with others or, far worse, to educate children or to work with spiritual substance. I have never written a newsletter that got so much positive feedback, with most folks applauding its content. Two readers were upset, one because of what she referred to as ‘politics’ and the other because I had spoken out against Facebook acting as a self-elected censor.
Over the more than 17 years of Christopherus’ existence, I have been struck by how many people write saying they feel ‘validated’ by my work. What a wonderful gift people have given me, letting me know how my words and what I do has struck a chord. But to be validated is even deeper than that—people have felt able to listen to that voice within that tells them what is right and what is wrong. My words—on why home is the best place for young children, why 5G technology should be shunned, why we need to remember that 12 year olds are still children—these simply stem from common-sense. There is no mystery here. But if I can help by jiggling folks so that they remember to listen to what they actually think and feel—well, I can feel the great sense of joy that comes when one’s heart’s work is needed in the world. I am deeply grateful for that privilege.
The following was written in response to last month’s newsletter:
I just wanted to extend my gratefulness for your words from your latest newsletter at this time. I have been homeschooling my children with your curriculum since 1st grade (now 12 and 15), and I have always gathered great solace from your words and your work, and I have never properly thanked you for the positive influence, support, and solidarity I have felt from your insights. I have felt that you have always been there, providing guidance, and I am deeply grateful.
I, as well, am very concerned, and truly offended that the authorities in institutions are sending a damaging message to our children (and adults) that says we can only feel whole and social and connected by the use of digital and virtual technology. And the pressure it puts on children and parents to follow this path is so sad. In our family, we feel blessed for this time of adrenal reset. I have a 12 year old who is feeling better than ever at this time to not have to get carted around for athletic practices and music lessons. He has built a beautiful woods shelter, has been making fires, armor from plant pots, and middle age weapons (our middle ages main lesson is so perfect for this time!) and is truly happy. I can feel his freedom and lightness return from not having to commit to obligations. My 15 year old does not have a phone, nor instagram or FB, and is somewhat struggling with the messages he gets from his coaches and some teachers that preach the message that says that we can only be human and make it through this time with social media. So, we have a lot of conversations around that, and I can feel his pull and struggle. But at his core, I feel his freedom blossom as well, and feel that this time and space is a beautiful gift for him to truly discover what he loves. Do what you love is the mantra right now.
It is hard to witness friends with children in school who are needing to follow the curriculum involving virtual schooling, and their struggles. It is truly making children feel worse, more isolated, irritated, and amped up.
So, we needed your words to validate our thoughts and feelings....Onward, ho!
Wishing you a vibrant Spring.
Interestingly, at the same time I got a number of emails from customers grateful for Christopherus’ work. I thought I’d include a few here:
Before my husband and I had children, I taught as a Class Teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School for five years. Once our two girls came along, I began working part-time at Sunbridge Institute as the Director of Education. Last spring, swift changes in New York State laws pertaining to vaccination requirements turned our world inside out practically overnight. As reluctant homeschool parents, the thing we did have going for us was familiarity and experience with Waldorf education. But after some time trying to navigate the terrain of homeschooling a second grader and a fifth grader, I recognized that I needed help and I turned to Christopherus.
After working with the Christopherus curriculula for much of this school year, I can reflect that it helped me in so many practical ways. I completely trust the content, which is rooted in the ideas and ideals of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. The materials are extremely well-written, the selection of stories and suggested resources has saved me many hours of preparation, and the helpful advice and considerations for shaping time together allowed me to relax and enjoy the manifold gifts that come with homeschooling. Beyond the practical support, my experience with Christopherus has enabled our family to thrive in new and unexpected ways by changing something that seemed overwhelming into a rich experience for all of us.
Anna Silber, NY