“Knowledge in respect of the human self — that is, self-knowledge — is one of the means of ensuring inner security and our true alignment in the order of life's development. The impulse to self-knowledge is found in every soul; it may be more or less unconscious, but it is always present. It may vent itself in quite indefinite feelings which, welling up from the depths of the soul, create an impression of dissatisfaction with life. Such feelings are often wrongly explained, and their alleviation sought in the outer circumstances of life. Though we are often unconscious of its nature, fear of these feelings obsesses us. If we could overcome this anxiety we should realize that no external measures, but only a thorough knowledge of the human being, can prove helpful. But this thorough knowledge requires that we should really feel the resistance of the two obstacles which human knowledge is liable to encounter when it would enter more deeply into the knowledge of the human being. They consist of two illusions, towering as two cliffs, between which we cannot advance in our pursuit of knowledge until we have experienced their true nature.” - Rudolf Steiner, Stuttgart in 1908, CW 35
I found this quote after my weekly talk with Christopher Bamford. I shared that six years ago my husband and I downsized into a family life where we all could be together and be ourselves, a life that feels like a favorite pair of jeans.
We opted out of Kindergarten with our boys to explore the world of homeschooling in 2014. We began with the support of the Treehouse Learning Community, a Waldorf-inspired class for homeschoolers in Georgetown, Texas and found a group of families who celebrated the freedom to guide their children according to their needs and to nurture them through nature, storytelling, and the arts.
We did not know why handcrafts and storytelling were so crucial in nurturing the spirit and minds of children. We did not realize that homeschooling with the indications of Rudolf Steiner nurtures the entire family.
We found a subtle gift that weaves into your life with new rhythms and seasonal festivals. We found a philosophy of life that allows each parent to take the ideas into their mind and spirit and decide for themselves what that means to them. It is never imposing, but rather encouraging and enriching in so many aspects of your life.
It changed how we see education.
We are still homeschooling, although earlier this year my husband took responsibility for the daily lessons. The boys are learning that to be guided in learning by someone that loves you and loves the subject matter has the most significant effect on your success. They are excited to share their latest math discovery or a tale of the middle ages. After a long spring Saturday outside, running from backyard to backyard with friends, they are ready to come in and share their new kitchen skills and their latest recipe - pad thai anyone?
“The soul has a natural trust in thinking. It feels that it would inevitably lose all certainty in life if it were unable to have this trust. Healthy soul life ceases when doubt in thinking begins.” - Rudolf Steiner, The Threshold of the Spiritual World: Aphoristic Contemplations (CW 17), Chadwick Library Edition
Our children come to us to teach us that to be happy, truly happy, we must pursue our self- knowledge to experience our true nature and push away the noisy modern world of doubt. It is they who show us that we once had that natural connection to certainty and will bring us by the hand back to ourselves.