I'm at an interesting point in my life: my sons are grown and have left home and now live back in the UK where they were born; my husband is about to be ordained as a Christian Community priest (the Church inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner); and we are moving. And me? Well, aside from adjusting to these dramatic changes, I will turn 50 this year and feel that life is changing - not just for those near and dear to me, but for me as well.
This year was the first year in about 25 years that I haven't taught - either as a homeschooler, teaching my own children or classes for other homeschooled children or teaching high school or middle grades children. Or leading parent education groups. It felt strange at first, a real loss. But as the year progressed, I realized how tired I am, how in need of renewal. I see the need for a complete break.
And so for these next 6 - or maybe a few more - months I am officially taking a sabbatical. Just as a Waldorf teacher is meant to take a sabbatical after graduating his or her eighth grade class, after being with them for eight long years, I too need to step back from my "growing child" - Christopherus. And, just as a 14 year old going into high school continues to need guidance, she is at a different place than she was just a few short years earlier. So it is with Christopherus. In Christopherus' last few years we have taken on a full time employee (who has been joined recently by a part time employee); I have stepped back from consulting work; we no longer have a yahoo group or forum; and we are completing our curriculum. Our company supports two families economically. Big changes and new possibilities!
Christopherus has been in business since 2003 - in the years since then I have written - what? - twenty books plus plays plus enormous great tomes called syllabuses? Plus all the content on the website. And worked with clients over the phone. And held conferences. Oh yes - and taught my children and other children (did anyone mention raising a family and running a household too?!). I think I deserve a rest! And at what better time than during this juncture of so many life changes?
What does this mean practically? Well, one thing is that I will not be doing any writing. For all intents and purposes I will be incommunicado. Instead, dear Leigh (Leigh-in-the-Office as I often call her - hmmm...I like that, it makes her sound like an exotic flower!) will be at the helm, doing what she has been doing anyway for these past couple of years: answering all your inquiries, sending out orders, and generally keeping Christopherus running smoothly. In this regard, you all will notice no change. Where you will notice a change most obviously is in the newsletter and blog. Leigh will take these over while I am having my rest. And of course there will be no new publications during this time.
This is an exciting time - not just for me, but for Christopherus! For it is an opportunity for Leigh - and possibly a few others we have up our sleeves - to find her own voice, her own leadership position within Christopherus. If only I am able to set the agenda for Christopherus then the company surely has no future - if it is to thrive and grow, others must find their roles.
And what will I be doing during this time? A major part of my time will be devoted to finding my place within the Christian Community. I feel called to work within the Church. Work with children in one way or another is one possibility. Or perhaps something completely different. We shall see. I am also looking forward to Just Relaxing a bit - taking a real break from the day to day running of a company (and of looking after teens and also a husband who has been a student). I look forward to a new relationship with my sons and to a new relationship with my husband. How exciting to build a home with him that is not centered on the needs of children!
So, for now, I bid you all good bye. I look forward to my rest and to my life changes - and I also look forward to once again, in time, picking up the reins of Christopherus and seeing what new directions have opened during my absence.
Many blessings to you all on your homeschool journey!