This is a question that NEVER comes up with other homeschooling methods. You never hear another homeschooling mother say, “Gosh, I don’t think I am Montessori enough.” or “Gosh, I wonder if I am Classical enough.”
What is it about Waldorf homeschooling that brings out this guilt?
I think it is because no one other form of homeschooling is so tied into the universal picture of child development and how the development of the human being impacts parenting and education. I don’t know as any other form of education has such a strong idea about what leads to good adult health in the future. It is also more teacher led, than say opening a textbook or workbook and reading that. It involves a certain initiative.
So, because of that it is natural to wonder if one’s efforts measure up.
“One’s efforts.” I think that is the first thing we need to ask ourselves when we are wondering if we “measure up” is:
Am I making an effort? What is my effort toward? I think almost more than any physical piece, like do I have a rhythm to my home, or do I teach Greek mythology to my 11 year old, the answer to this question lies in what initiation am I taking in adult education and learning about this subject? What are the why’s beneath the “Rhythm would be good” or “Greek mythology would be good around fifth grade”? Am I interested in learning more about how a subject that I am teaching would be approached by Steiner himself or by a teacher who really has studied Steiner? Do I care about the developing human being and do my thoughts on this leave open some room for what Steiner or other secondary Waldorf education literature/pedagogy have to say according to what age my child is? Does that resonate with me?
There is no “check-off” list for what is “Waldorf enough”. It is a subjective experience. So, when you ask yourself about “Waldorf enough”, I think all you can do is look at where you are, and where you want to go. How do you get there? Where are you on this walk, and is this actually the path you want to walk on to an extent?
Sometimes we hear in Waldorf Education that we have to digest things and then bring them to our children. I think that is why so many teachers are reluctant to endorse or write a homeschool “curriculum”, because Continue reading