(CARRIE”S NOTE: I regret to say that as of 6/2010 this link no longer is working. Sorry about that!)
Lovey over at Lovey-land wrote a post that should be at the top of all Waldorf homeschooling mama’s reading lists:
This post is essentially the heart of the Waldorf curriculum. Handwork and enjoying being outside in nature does not a Waldorf homeschooler make. Incorporating stories does not a Waldorf homeschooler make. Being media-free does not a Waldorf homeschooler make.
The heart of Waldorf education is understanding and believing and trusting in the seven-year cycles of childhood development and understanding how each and every subject is laid out at the proper time for the holistic development of the child within the curriculum. It is trusting that even though a child is interested in something, they are interested in lots of things, and that the things laid out in the curriculum of Waldorf education really provides the subject at the best possible time for the child to learn, grow and take this material into themselves. For example, we could look at rock layers as we camp near a canyon and our child is interested, but the curriculum will delve into geology in depth in the sixth grade in a response and deepening to the fact that a sixth grader is becoming more solidified in their position on Earth. The entire curriculum works as stepping stones, building upon each layer, year after year. It assists us, a society who can’t seem to find a clue about what a child needs when or how a child develops anymore, to be better educators and parents.
Waldorf education is academically rigorous, and we have so many advantages in homeschooling using Waldorf. But the key is still to know what comes in the curriculum and WHY it comes there. We can tailor things to our own family, but we must know and understand the big picture of what comes when in order to do this.
The heart of Waldorf is not natural toys, and the pink bubble of Kindergarten that people think exists and lasts forever. Kindergarten and delayed academics is a short part of the entire scholarly career. While practical skills such as handwork, cooking or woodworking are important, that is not the heart and soul of it all. What IS the heart and soul is the way that Waldorf teaches the right thing, at the right time, in the most concise way possible – a method Steiner himself called “soul economy.”
Thanks to Lovely over at Lovey-land. You read my mind today,