Lisa over at Celebrate the Rhythm of Life wrote an incredibly important post about Waldorf School and Waldorf Homeschool, relaxed Waldorf Homeschooling, and the pillars of Waldorf Education whether in the home or school environment. It is an important read, and I suggest you don’t miss it. Here is the link: http://www.celebratetherhythmoflife.com/2011/12/as-person-who-has-straddled-worlds-of.html
She talks about including the other major pillars of Waldorf Education: speech, singing and musical instruments, drama, movement (oh yes! my major place of push on this blog!) and handwork.
Yes, yes, yes!
And what I realized is that I have addressed all of these components on this blog, with perhaps the exception of drama, but in a rather scattered manner – perhaps mentioned in with summary posts of what we did in a certain grade, or in conjunction with a book review or something else. I think parents are attracted to Waldorf homeschooling by all of these pieces, but then become at a bit of a loss as to how to integrate it all into their busy homeschooling lives. I hope in the future to have more organized posts on each of these pillars, and how to make this accessible for homeschoolers.
I think a major thrust of where I am headed personally is this education being about the future health of our children through using and engaging the twelve senses throughout the curriculum. I recently heard Douglas Gerwin speak, many of you probably have as well, but his drawing of the twelve senses as a lemniscate and where these senses fit into the curriculum across the grades set my wheels turning. How we use these eight pillars, as Lisa and other Waldorf trained teachers have described them, within the context of the twelve senses, is a major place of discovery for the child and the foundation of health, and a major piece of where I think I am headed in my life’s work. It is a slow unfolding for me.
The other counterpart to this within the home environment, I feel is PRACTICAL WORK. Steiner lectured and wrote about practical tasks for the students quite a bit. We have such an opportunity for this in the home environment, even more than in the school setting perhaps.
And underpinning all this, I think where the pillars rest in balance with practical work is with the personal development of the parent, the establishment of the family’s culture, and the family’s religious and spiritual life. That is lying underneath it all.
I have a visual representation in my mind of all of this and perhaps someday I will share it all with you. But I think I am on to something here.
Thank you Lisa for spurring more thoughts. And now, dear Waldorf homeschoolers, I would like to hear from you. If you have worked recently with one of these artistic pillars and have blogged about it, please leave a link in the comment section for others to find.