Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | September 26, 2013

Happy Fall!

Don't Look Down, Girls!!  Ready!  Set!  Homeschool!!

Don’t Look Down, Girls!! Ready! Set! Homeschool!!

Hello loyal OFF KLTR readers!!  I hope that you had a wonderful summer!  I am back from my summer hiatus!  With LOTS and LOTS and LOTS to blog about!!

First, I know many of you are wondering:  how does it feel to NOT go back to school?  The truth?  IT FEELS AWESOME!  Now don’t get me wrong.  It’s been a process!  I thought that I had a permanent cranioelectrical for a couple of weeks!  But, it turned out that not just my head and my soul had disconnected, rather, my whole body had suffered a dis-integration!!  Luckily for me, healer extraordinaire, Joy fixed me up in one quick session!!  But the two weeks before that session really, really sucked!

Why the dis-integration??  Because I wasn’t listening to my gut.  I was trying to act just from my head.  Don’t try that at home because as I mentioned above, the end result – the pesky dis-integration – really, really sucks!  The whole dis-integration was about our participation in a Waldorf inspired homeschool coop.  We had this AMAZING offer, from this AMAZING group of homeschooling families to join their AMAZING coop.  How could I NOT take them up on their invitation to join their community?  Community is what I have been longing for, isn’t it?  But as I came to understand the coop’s intense structure (which would involve long days and hours of driving each week) and its deep commitment to a rigorous Waldorf curriculum, my body was screaming, “TRACY!!  YOU TOOK KEIRA OUT OF SCHOOL SO THAT YOU COULD SLOW THINGS DOWN!!  THIS WOULD SPEED THEM RIGHT BACK UP!!  AT THE END OF THE KINDERGARTEN DAY, ONLY KEIRA WAS EXHAUSTED.  ONLY KEIRA MELTED DOWN FOR HOURS.  BUT IF YOU JOIN THE COOP, YOU AND LAUREN WILL BE BOARDING THE ROLLER COASTER WITH KEIRA.  ALL THREE OF US WILL BE TANTRUMING ALL AFTERNOON!!”.  And so, I dis-integrated at that first coop parent meeting.

After my session with Joy, and with my head hanging low, I told the wonderful coop that we couldn’t join this year.  I needed to hold the girls closer – to me and to home.  And do you know what they said?  We think that you are making the right decision.  Please join us when you are ready.  It felt like a Christmas miracle!!  These ladies have their sh*t together and run a rich, wonderful program for their children cooperatively.  And not only were they not angry at me for backing out, they were supportive and welcomed us to join their community when we are ready.  I told you, they are AMAZING!

And so, here we are…Keira, Lauren, and me…beginning our journey into home education, on our own – but supported by many wonderful veteran homeschoolers, some new to homeschooling, kindred Waldorf School defectors, and lots and lots of homeschool programming in the area.  And amazingly, I am not afraid.  I don’t know what this year will hold…but I am excited to watch our family evolve – as individuals and as a unit.

The first day of school at the Lexington Waldorf School (on what could have been Keira’s first day in first grade at the school), Lauren had an appointment at Children’s Hospital in Boston to have a lot of blood drawn.  I took both girls to the appointment.  Lauren sat on my lap and Keira held her hand as three really big vials of blood were drawn from her little arm.  Lauren didn’t flinch and both girls kept their eyes glued to those vials as they were filled.  After the blood was drawn, we got lunch and played on the playground at the hospital.  It was a surprisingly good day!  That night, before Keira went to bed, she told me, “Mama, I want to be brave like Lauren”.  That day Keira was exactly where she needed to be.  Not at a desk in Lexington.  At Children’s Hospital, holding her little sister’s hand, learning empathy and compassion AND feeling inspired by her sister’s bravery.  And so…I am feeling incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to educate my children at home.  So…yeah, I guess that all in all, it’s going pretty well!!

Happy fall, friends!  I’ve missed you!!  xo, Tracy

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Responses

  1. Awesome. And exactly what I thought was happening! We all think you did the right thing and I’m jealous!

    • Oh thank you, sweet Heather! Holding a space for you and your kiddos for next year. xoxo

  2. Sounds like you are doing the right thing!!! Why did Lauren need so much blood drawn? Poor kid!!!

    • Hi Jean!! So good to hear from you!! How was your summer?? Lauren is well – it’s just round two of the home-from-China blood testing. Round one happened right when she got home and somehow round two got quite dragged out. But Lauren had her physical last week so I HAD to get the blood done before that appointment or I would have been in even bigger trouble with the pediatrician. Ha!!! xoxo

  3. Nailed it on your statement about empathy. I am reading “How children succeed : grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character” by Paul Tough supports some of your ideas.

    • I just added “How children succeed : grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character” to my book list. I can’t wait to read it!! Thanks, Jeff!!


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