This is a topic near and dear to my heart as there really does not seem to be a number of people blogging about using Waldorf homeschooling with their older children (especially middle school aged and up) anymore. I don’t know if this is really because there are so few of us left or just that the folks who are really doing it and in the trenches don’t have the time to blog! (And, as I head into sixth grade, third grade and four- year- old land this fall, I can totally understand that lack of time, so there is no judgment there, just an observation!)
Yet, I feel a need to point out that just because few of these blogs exist (which again, could mean there are more families out there doing this than we think!), this way of homeschooling does not have to lead to burn-out. It can become a long-term way of homeschooling, not just for for the “pink bubble” of the kindergarten years. In fact, I think one can see a real pulling together of the curriculum and how it all ties together starting especially in fifth grade and up and it is beautiful and amazing to see the connections and the way these subjects are so enlivened!
So, my theory is that in order for Waldorf homeschooling to continue beyond the ‘”pink bubble”, I think it is important to understand what Waldorf homeschooling really is. I think “burn-out” or being worn out with something often occurs when our expectations do not match the reality of what is at hand. Children are the text in Waldorf homeschooling, but the teacher is the leader in Waldorf homeschooling. We meditate on the child, we look at the development of the child in a holistic way, but we decide what we need to choose for stories and other things within the framework of the curriculum during the grades, how to work with these things on behalf of the child with help from the spiritual realm. Again, the teacher works with the child and on behalf of the child, but is the decided loving authority throughout grades one through eight. If this is uncomfortable to you, and there are of course degrees along this continuum, perhaps it is better to say Waldorf Education does not fit your family and to talk about what path is better suited to you. I personally find that a much more honest take than saying Waldorf homeschooling doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work for you, than I think that is okay, and BETTER than okay, because then you are on the path to finding what IS better for you and your family. Life is too short to not be happy!
Secondly, I think burn-out often has to do with lack of boundaries. I went through some experiences this year where Continue reading