Thursday, June 22, 2006

Christopherus Recorded Lectures

I went ahead and bought and downloaded the first of a series of lectures which Donna Simmons is offering on her site. I must first say that WOW do I love the format!! I literally have a pile of books next to my bed which is taller than my nightstand and I try so hard to read as much as I can, but reading is a solo effort, I cant be doing my dishes, or folding laundry or vacuuming while I read. BUT, I can put on my trusty iPod and listen to an hour of Donna talking about slings, or reading to preschoolers, or how important order is to a kindergartener! I felt efficient, satisfied and down right excited by being able to be getting my stuff done WHILE learning something to help out my family.

So on to the lectures...

The first is on the pre-school child, so basically birth to kindergarten, but not including kindergarten. She touched a bit on how Waldorf and AP styles are similar and how they differ, giving her opinions on things like the Family Bed and the sling, extended breast feeding etc. AP has been a style I have strived for since before GM was born, although after listening to the points that Donna made I can see how even with all my research and my striving for a fully attached style, I definitely missed a few important points. She did a good job of really explaining the need to wear the baby as often as possible, starting from first in the morning. GM is our autistic child (at this point he was much more highly affected by his autistic symptoms) and basically screamed when held. So that changed things from my plan a bit. However in listening to Donna I wonder if I could have tried a bit harder to get him through that and tried to hold him more. He did LOVE the baby backpack and literally would stay in there for an entire day, Without making a peep. However, it was difficult to where him there all the time, especially because of how you couldn't really bend forward. So what have I learned, well, basically to keep trying. In retrospect, I can see how maybe changing from a store bought sling thingie to more of an Asian style sling which would allow me to get him firmly on my back. It certainly may not have worked, but there are a lot of ways to achieve the same result, and I, at the time, just wasnt aware of all my options. Which if any of you knew me before and during my pregnancy you will be laughing, because I was a researching fool!! From college straight through until today. So geez, it is wild how much you only learn from experience.

On to the kindergarten; this was a nice talk on some of the how and why's of a Waldorf kindergarten classroom. I would have liked a bit more on translating the essence of the things a Waldorf teacher would do or set up in a classroom, into the home environment. She does do this on a lot of things, such as order, transitions and choices of playthings. I think I was just really interested in how she addressed these things and wanted more. So again, it wasn't a shortcoming, but I was just really interested in the topic. She touches on rhythm and even hinted to an entire lecture on it in the future. I would love that. She does a good job of talking about how to keep it simple and start with little steps. Also she makes a point to say that an unnatural rhythm will exhaust rather than support a family. I took this in, and I think I will digest that a bit to see where I am trying to achieve an unnatural rhythm. I do feel supported by our rhythm, however it does often feel sort of like "here we go" kind of thing. I will reread my foundation guides (in that big stack of books) on rhythm, I loved how Beth addressed it and gave a solid process for how to achieve it, I just need to refresh with new eyes.

So basically I really enjoyed the lectures and I'm REALLY looking forward to the rest of them. There is an ABUNDANCE of info out there about birth through age 7 in Waldorf literature and resources. But not so much after that. I'm excited about her moving up into the later elementary years and the nine-year change. :-)

I would give them a 9 out of 10 score. I really loved listening, the format rocked, and the content was terrific. I would almost love more like three lectures per level, so each thing can really be examined. It seemed like Donna had more to share than she had time to do it in. So being able to delve into things like rhythm, setting up a Waldorf home and nurturing the Mother would be terrific.

In the end I must say I kept thinking to myself, Geez, by the time I get really good at all this, my kids will be all grown up. LOL, I may need to have that one more baby in my 40's just to get it right! (kidding)


Anonymous said...

Hi, there. I just had to say that after listening to Donna's lectures I thought about having another baby, too! Not in a "I did it all wrong" way, but in the excitement of starting over with more knowledge.

I've been thinking of getting the Enki Teaching Guide just for more reading material (wish it was cheaper). But your blog is the next best thing.



kate said...

I just downloaded these too - and haven't finished them. I LOVE the format too. It's a great idea. And I can see how it feels like there is more donna could share - maybe more per section.