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So in this post I went on at some length about how and why I would not be starting a cooperative homeschool. Apparently I was mistaken. For next year at least I’ll be doing exactly that, running a preschool out of my home and hosting ocassional classes and workshops for kids (and possibly adults) in the afternoons and evenings.

First Rio’s scholarship at Fayerweather fell through, and I noticed I was as relieved as I was disappointed. I thought more about what I wanted for her; something that was a blend of unschooling and Waldorf principles, that would let her continue to grow the way she has been this past year, that would give her enough structure to expand beyond her comfort zones and enough freedom to grow toward her own light. Rio needs other kids around, but she also needs a lot of time at home and consistency with her teacher/caregiver.

I taught preschool before I had kids, and loved it. I feel like I have a clear vision of what I want to offer in an education, and it’s something I think my kids, community and planet need. No one is doing it that I can find. So I’ll try. If at any point Rio needs something different, we’ll shift gears and do something else.

For this year, I’m sidestepping a lot of the complications I mentioned in my earlier post, like finding teachers and space. I’ll be the teacher – I’m attending Lifeways, a low-residency program for Waldorf-inspired early childhood education, so I can expand my toolkit of preschool teaching skills. I’m getting licensed to run preschool/childcare at my house and I’ll open the space up for various other activities as people seem interested.

This will either mushroom into the kind of thing that needs its own space and additional professional teachers, hit a level as a small, home-based program or fizzle.

If you’re interested in joining the fray or tossing your kids into it, you know where to find me. I’ll advertise more formally when I have more details straightened out.

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Rio has a plan for a community ritual. She just came in from playing in a thundershower and explained it to me thusly:

It will be a Cooperation Celebration. All the people will stand in a circle around the labyrinth, and dance and sing the cooperation song. Then we will put our stuff in a cooperation box at the center to share. When we are done, we will mail the stuff away in an envelope (I think this is her sense of how to give it away). She says the celebration will include a whole fan of people (by which I think she means a diverse gathering). By doing this ritual we will celebrate her birthday, the ocean, the earth and the state, she says.

I love my strange little girl, and I think this sounds like the perfect ritual for Mabon, when we celebrate the sharing of the Harvest.


active rio, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

Once upon a time, a small girl was born to a loving family, with whom she lived happily.

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Last night as I kissed Rio good-night we talked about how she was about to fall asleep for the last time as a three-year-old and wake up in the morning as a four-year-old. I said, “What was your favorite thing about being three?” and she jumped up, wrapped herself around me and said, “Being with you, Mom.”

“kitty” as the cat walks between me and the baby. Kitty was one of Rio’s first words too. I guess cat’s are just extremely interesting.

How had I forgotten that she would start to talk? Or how magical it would be to hear words come from my baby!

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and I have been idly entertaining the notion of getting a dog once we’re settled into our new place. We both grew up with dogs, and have a shared sense that dogs and kids go together. Our kids seem to confirm this. Rio in particular adores dogs.

However, as those of you know me at all well probably know, I don’t actually enjoy dogs much as an adult. With few exceptions I find them strange and off-putting. A little scary even. Also, Ian is allergic to dogs. The allergy seems to be lessening as he gets older, but it would suck to have a pet he could not live with. Duh.

So I did a little quizzy thing on-line today to see what type of dog a person like me should get. I said I wanted a dog that would not shed, would not smell bad, and would not trash my house. My dog would be docile with children, gentle with cats, and easy to train. S/he would also defend me if we were threatened. This dog must not jump on things or people in the house, must be satisfied with living indoors and going for one medium-length walk a day. On the other hand, the dog should be fun to play with. It should be long-lived and have few health problems. Also, it must be hypo-allergenic.

I assumed the answer would be “You do not want a dog, lady.”

Instead, to my very great amusement, it suggested I get a poodle.

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A little bird told me…

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