A Primer For Waldorf Homeschooling Success

Now is the time of year to go over some quick tips for Waldorf homeschooling success.  I do this every year, and it always revitalizes my commitment to homeschooling using Waldorf pedagogy. 

Success lies in  reminding ourselves why we do what we do, and how we can plan and organize to make homeschooling life successful.  I believe homeschooling, especially homeschooling multiple children in multiple grades, can require and demand a large degree of organization to go smoothly

One suggestion I have is to re-visit the benefits of a Waldorf Education AND homeschooling.  Waldorf Education is an education that addresses the development of the child right where that child is.  It is an education that really provides for an almost Renaissance experience of well-roundedness, that respects the unfolding of development and abilities.  It is academically rigorous and progressive.  It makes art the vehicle for teaching and enlivens every subject.  If you need a further pep talk regarding this subject, I highly recommend you try reading Rudolf Steiner’s “A Modern Art of Education” for parents with children in the grades.  If your children are under seven, how about reading “Kingdom of Childhood”?

Why are you committed to homeschooling?  Homeschooling is first and foremost about family.  What is helping you keep your commitment to homeschool and what is hindering it all?  Head back and read the posts on this blog from the book “Hold On To Your Kids;  Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers” to inspire you again!

I think one thing to really focus on with homeschooling is to realize that we may SAY we are homeschooling because we want to put family first, but then if we treat every day in an angry, complaining, whining, “this is so difficult” kind of way, we are defeating the primary goal of homeschooling.   Just defeating the beauty of the whole thing. There will always be bad days when we homeschool, just like when you worked every day was not the perfect day, but we have to keep striving and moving forward.

What we need to fix this is an active life of personal development and prayer and meditation. 

What are you doing for your personal development as a parent?  What are you doing to work on your weaker or more challenging areas of being a parent?  May I humbly suggest this ever popular series on this blog: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/17/20-days-to-being-a-more-mindful-mother/

I recently started to keep a little journal.  I am writing down every single thing that I find irritating or upsetting during the day.  I had three things today that upset me.  (I know some of you are laughing right now because you may feel as if your list would have a hundred things on it!  You could still do this though – it may help whittle down what is major and what is really only minor).    I plan to do this for forty days, and pray and meditate during this time so I can meet the things that personally bother me (that probably wouldn’t bother other people at all) with a gentle spirit, a positive attitude, a closed mouth and an open heart. If you approach things with a hardness of heart sometimes, perhaps something like this would work for you as well. 

The other thing I think is very important is to understand where your child is developmentally.  Every age from birth through the nine year change is on this blog; “Soul Economy” by Rudolf Steiner goes through each age, and “Education for Adolescents” by Rudolf Steiner is excellent for those of you with the upper grades aged children/children in the high school years.

The third thing that will bring you success is to  get organized inside and out.  Are you organized in your house?  How many toys and clothes do your children have and can you de-clutter?  Do you need so many dishes and glasses and towels and sheets?  Can you open all the closets and drawers in your house without things falling out?  Could you make it a priority this summer to hire a mother’s helper from the neighborhood or arrange with family members to play with your children for a few hours each week so you can get your house under control in time for the new school year?

Things such as knowing what day you will shop for groceries, what day you will run other errands, when you will clean what and having a meal plan will go a long way toward keeping your homeschool from being buried under a mountain of laundry with no snacks.  

More about cleaning and children and homeschooling in my next post.

Love to all,

Carrie

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9 thoughts on “A Primer For Waldorf Homeschooling Success

  1. Carrie,

    I swear sometimes you can read my mind. Thank you once again for this very timely post.

    In our house we are currently reflecting on the (non-academic) reasons why we homeschool, to bring some perspective to the days when there is resistance or lack of enthusiasm. I realize that I often feel very demotivated when I am the only one saying, “Lets do this!”

    I like your idea of a journal of irritations. I think I’ll try that.

  2. Thank you, Carrie. I am seriously considering homeschooling for a number of reasons. I am afraid and yet nervously optimistic. Because I am unsure if I can do this without being cranky or failing my child academically, I am planning on doing a light dry run this summer. My son is six, so it would be kindergarten activities which we should be doing at home anyway this summer. If I can meet this with peace and joy than I think I will continue in september. Thank you for bringing “Hold On To Your Kids” to my attention. What an amazing book! It has really given our home some peace we were truly in need of. It forced me to look at my own crankiness which is often a result of feeling rushed an disorganized. I have been working on the organizing but the change in my own attitude has reaped the biggest rewards. I recommend this book all the time and your blog as well : )

    • Tina, I think the main thing with homeschooling is that YOU feel it is the right thing for your family or your children whether they protest or not. Many days are not met with happy, smiling children eager to sit down and work in the grades…so to be able to really hold that inner conviction with warmth and a positive attitude is very important…More about this in a post to come!
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  3. Thank you Carrie for putting a little series on preparing for a successful homeschooling year on your blog.
    This is so very much appreciated!

    Warmly,
    Maggie

  4. Hi Carrie. I’ve been reading this blog for a couple of months now and find it so inspirational.

    After applying to a local Waldorf school and being denied (kindergarten year), we’ve decided to homeschool through at least the next year if not beyond. Resources like your blog and my circle of homeschooling friends give me the gusto to do so! That and the love of my son of course, even though most days I want to pull my hair out! He’s almost 5 1/2 and I’m reading “You’re Not the Boss of Me”….I’m so hungry for suggestions on this tumultuous age, especially for a boy.

    Thanks again; I’ll keep reading. :)

    • Sarah – WORK. Work, hard physical work. Please put boys in the search engine, there are back posts specifically about parenting boys and also very specific posts to the five year old (try five year old in the search engine on this blog)
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  5. Thank you; that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. It’s a challenge since we live in a suburban apartment, but we have the opportunity to move in a few months: I’m hoping for a little garden/outdoor space this time. :)

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