What If I Am Not Creative?

This is a big fear of mothers when first looking at Waldorf education for their homeschooling experience. Sometimes the singing, verses, storytelling  can seem daunting, let alone moving into wet-on-wet watercolor painting, modeling, drawing with block crayons!  Ack!!  What is a Not-Creative Mother to do in a Creative Waldorf World?

First of all, go back to the skill list I posted for the work of the mother in the Kindergarten here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/03/09/a-mothers-job-in-the-waldorf-homeschool-kindergarten/

Pick a skill and get started LEARNING it, DOING it, not just reading about it!

If circle time and stories are daunting to you, pick some pre-made ones with tunes you may know.  Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures has a number of circles written, including a Mother Goose Journey, and the book Let Us Form A Ring has many fairy tales and stories appropriate for the kindergarten crowd.  Familiar things from your own childhood may be a place to start. 

If the ability to read music is holding you back, look and see if  no one you know amidst all of your friends took high school band or orchestra and could help you.  (Sometimes if you go to a place of worship the musical people there may be able to lend a helping hand as well!).  If not, please consider a few lessons with a music teacher just to be able to read the notes.  This is helpful even if you have to write the name of the note above the note on the piece of paper.  My friend Jodie Mesler is working hard on a Waldorf Homeschool Music Curriculum for mothers who have no musical background.  See this post on her blog for her progress on this important work:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/03/03/waldorf-homeschool-music-curriculum/

The important thing is to start, start and start! Some circles and stories will be a flop.  Circle Time may not work in your house at all, and you may choose to work your daily verses around your practical work and start your morning with a walk outside and some fingerplays before a story.

If you cannot memorize the story, then write the story down in a beautiful book.  This lovely idea comes from Donna Simmons of Christopherus.  I personally think it is more important to start with the story, even with the story written down, then to wait until the perfect time to have the perfect story memorized in the perfect year!  Then it will never happen!!

Once you have started there, you can slowly but surely start working on other areas – a blowing instrument, wet-on-wet painting, modeling, drawing.  Get out a calendar and PLAN some time to do this.  Make arrangements to do it at night after your children go to bed, before your children get up, or have a family member take your kids out to the park for a few hours while you paint twice a month.

If you have no plan and you are just sitting around reading and wondering how Waldorf will look in your home, it will never happen.  Get your calendar out, and make plans.  Try it and adjust.  Sometimes we plan and the way we planned it didn’t fly in our house, and that is okay, but you will not know that until you start!

You would have to plan with ANY kind of curriculum you choose. If you were unschooling, you may have to have time to strew things about your house according to your child’s interest.  If you were doing Well-Trained Mind, you would still have to take the time to search for library books and supplies for hands-on projects to bring the Ancient times or Roman times  to life.  Being a good homeschooling teacher does require some degree of, well, teaching!

If you are doing Waldorf, you will need to open up your creative side to give your child what they desperately need in this phase of life.  If you feel the educational system you were part of stifled your own creativity to the point you  have none, do not perpetuate this with your own child!   If your child is very head-oriented and analytical, the Waldorf curriculum will make them better problem-solvers in the long run.  We need analytical people who can solve problems!  The goal of Waldorf is not to make every child  want to grow up to be an artist, but to be the best human and the best at their job they can be!

If you open up and start giving your own creativity some berth, you will be surprised how fast your creativity returns and flowers!

Get out there and DO,

Carrie

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6 thoughts on “What If I Am Not Creative?

  1. I just happened on this video tonight. It seemed to go right along with your post so well. We can all be creative.
    I loved your thoughts on this! The more we create, in anyway, the easier it is to be creative.

  2. This post was tailor-made for me. I am not creative at all and a great reader, but cannot make up a story to save my life!!! You are right though, I need to stop all of my reading and start doing something. I think the main reason that I am drawn to Waldorf is so that they have the opportunity to become what I am not and if I do not start doing something soon their childhood is just going to pass me by. Thanks for your words of wisdom!!!

  3. Great reminders, Carrie. It is daunting, especially when so many of us are “creativity deprived” in our culture, never doing much art or music at all.

    For circle songs and general singing I always recommend Mary Schunemann’s books (http://www.naturallyyoucansing.com/books/). She always promoted the idea that anyone can sing, and her songs are simple and beautiful. My kids love her music, and I was lucky enough to have sung with her in an adult classroom setting once. She had a beautiful, natural voice that is a wonderful model to imitate!

    I also recall someone saying once that the children respond most to the adult’s efforts, not the results. So seeing you strive and stretch yourself is the best thing. It also helps them see will forces in action!

  4. Pingback: It’s That Time Of Year!! Questions About Waldorf Homeschooling! « The Parenting Passageway

  5. At kindergarten level, you don’t have to worry about slpeling you don’t even have to worry about reading, really, if you’re child isn’t quite ready. If the child isn’t ready, then trying to teach him or her to read will only be frustrating for both of you.If he or she is ready and wants to learn how to read, a good book is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann. My youngest daughter went to K at the public school and they tried to teach her to read we had nothing but tears and battles over reading lessons all year long and she felt like a complete failure. Then we homeschooled in 1st grade and used that book she was reading on her own by Lesson 30 without a single tear shed! I highly recommend the book.Good luck..

    • HI there Dirceu,
      In Waldorf homeschooling, we don’t teach the letters until around the age of six and a half or seven years of age in the first grade…The letters are taught through stories and drawing. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that learning to decode those abstract letters is a frustrating enterprise for kindergarteners. Tracking of the eye is not even developed until around the age of 8. There are many posts on The Parenting Passageway about teachign the letters and how to read under the Homeschooling tab, first grade is a drop down under that.
      We are so glad you are here and reading this blog! Thank you for your comment.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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