Faithful readers of this blog will probably know what I am going to say: there is no Waldorf preschool. Waldorf Kindergarten used to start after age 4, and now the age has dropped to age 3 with “Morning Garden” classes for toddlers to age 3 in many schools. Both Donna Simmons and I have a strong dislike of where the Waldorf schools are headed in terms of taking younger and younger children out of the home. Waldorf Kindergartens work to emulate a loving home, and this is something that we obviously can work on at home for far less cost and for far more personal development than perhaps would occur if our child was at Waldorf school. Having your children with you 24/7 forces your own spiritual growth! Ask any homeschooling mother!
So, if we are thinking about “preschool” we are thinking about the ages before age 4, or perhaps I would even argue before the age of 5 or 6. I think in the home environment really we need to do “Waldorf Kindergarten” around the five-year-old year and the six-year-old year. These are the ages for increased attention, increased ability to do artistic and creative work in a focused fashion. It is just a thought; I know some will disagree.
Here are a few things to work on in the years before starting Waldorf Kindergarten in your home:
- Work on your own ability to nurture and enfold your child into life on Earth.
- Establish a rhythm for your child, your family, your life. If you are still struggling with rhythm when you hit homeschooling for the grades, it will be difficult to focus on teaching. Remember though, rhythm is not a schedule but a flow.
- Establish health of your child through protection of the 12 senses, use of warmth, establishing rhythm.
- Repetition! It is what little people need!
- Play, singing, interaction
- Including your child in household chores
- Outside and sensory experiences
- Fostering the imagination through oral storytelling
If you need more information regarding the very Early Years, try the Waldorf Baby tag and Rhythm tags. If you need more information regarding Waldorf Kindergarten, please try that tag.
Less is more in the Waldorf Home. Please remember the differences between the Waldorf Home with a six-year-old versus a three-year old. There should be a difference!