I originally meant to make this one post-my top 10 reasons I love Waldorf Home Education. But it’s getting quite lengthy so it will come in a few portions. . .
I want to start with a little caveat. Because I have read blog posts that are very positive (and make things sound all magical and lovely ALL the time) and I think that perhaps this post might read that way. I DO love Waldorf. On some days though I do not. On the days when I stumble across an article about how media is the enemy of childhood WHILE MY CHILDREN ARE WATCHING SID THE SCIENCE GUY, I feel guilty and then angry! I also am not a straight up Waldorf style homeschooler. I have simply taken what I like (which is a lot) and am trying to find my way with it. Because at least once almost every day since finding this way of being with my children, I have the thought “this life is SO good.” And this morning, I’m having one of those moments. I’m smitten…
Oh, Waldorf Homeschooling, how I do love thee. Let me count the ways…
10. Warmth. I love how Waldorf has introduced this concept to me. And not just for my children. For myself as well. It has taken me until I’m 35 to realize that during the cooler months, I need to wear wool socks EVERY day! It makes me so much happier! And I love how willing my children are to bundle up in all their layers! And I love that they hardly ever have cold hands and feet anymore. I have no idea if there is any scientific proof that this will help them learn better, but I do know they have a cozy childhood filled with woolie undershirts and slippers. It just feels good!
9. Mother Nature. I feel like I’m rekindling a love affair with good ol’ dependable Mother Earth. After doing this for about 2 years, I’m now in a pretty good rhythm with getting us outside most days. Not always, but most times now, I can recognize how a good dose of some nature under our feet and wind on our cheeks can be energizing, healing, grounding or whatever we all NEED in the moment. And I am convinced that the sight of Mother Moon when she’s full, or a V of geese flying over head, or the smell of warm pine needles (my favorite smell in the whole world!) is indeed healing for all of us.
8. Warmth again. This time warmth in our hearts and emotions. I have the words “love and warmth” posted in my house in several places. Reminding myself to be a warm presence in my children’s lives has become the “work” of my mothering. It is hard in this world of fast-paced schedules, lots of stimulation and stress, computers, TV’s, etc, to stay calm and present with young children. Knowing that developing my warmth with them is benefitting not only them but our whole family, makes it all worth it.
7. Fairies and Magic. Just the other day, Big C was getting quite freaked out by some mighty gusts of wind. After two years of “practice” it is now in my repertoire to answer her in a more magical, story-telling way, rather than try to rationalize with her. Instead of saying “there is nothing to be afraid of” and trying to explain why, I said “Did you know that some of these trees still have a few leaves left? King Winter is on his way and the leaves need to come down. Maybe Brother Wind is giving a big gust to help those last leaves. Maybe we can help him.” And we, all three, proceeded to blow down leaves for the rest of our walk. And it really is magic, because she immediately stopped feeling scared and joined in with Mother Nature and all her lovely ways. I love that!
6. Talking in pictures. This took me a while to master. I’m still working on it, because some days (the eating chocolate with my head in the fridge days) I just don’t FEEL like talking in pictures to my children and it just doesn’t work if you don’t feel it. Or it doesn’t work as well. But I remember very clearly one day last winter, as we were getting all “coated” up for a walk outside. This was causing all sorts of drama for my then 4-year-old who was not liking all the different feelings of layers and layers of clothing. It was escalating to a point where I was ready to cancel the walk (like the getting dressed part was taking far longer than the actual walk was going to) and I just DID it. I said “oh little Bear, it’s winter and we must grow our winter coats. Do you know how we do that? We must eat lots of fish and berries.” I then pretended to catch a fish and feed it to her. I couldn’t believe it when she “ate” it. Then I fed her some blackberries. And then she put her coat on. Just like that. We went from crying, whining, throwing off mittens to happily putting on a coat within seconds. I was floored and have never doubted the truth to this whole talking in pictures to kids! It. Just. Plain. Works.
Stay tuned. . .5 more are on their way!