(Carrie here: I am so grateful to Stephanie for sharing her experiences and journey here. I think those of you who have children with differing abilities and who are wondering what to do with Waldorf Education at home will be very inspired! Stephanie writes:)
Carrie invited me to share some of the interesting ideas we’ve learned so far on our special needs path with our micropreemie daughter, who is now eight years old. When our daughter was born on the borderline of viability, we knew that learning and developmental problems were likely to arise. When we met in the office of a preemie researcher at Harvard, Heidi Als, we asked what we could do to support our daughter’s healthy development. One of Dr. Als’ first suggestions to us was to use Waldorf Education. At the time, I had no idea what that was.
In retrospect, I consider our time before finding out about Waldorf Education to be our Dark Ages! I say this because our daughter is a child for whom living a Waldorf lifestyle and using the Waldorf School curriculum makes all the difference in her emotional stability and her ability to function in life. As a parent, it has been one of the hardest things to know that children like her need Waldorf Education the most and yet there are so few Waldorf resources available to families like ours. We took up the challenge in our family and started with making the changes suggested in the book “Simplicity Parenting,” by Kim John Payne.
In looking for further ideas and resources, we found the Otto Specht School (named after Rudolf Steiner’s first student), where our daughter started First Grade. These are some of the elements that the teachers have shared with us:
1. The teachers do not try to cover the entire curriculum each year, but they try to get to the essence of the curriculum for each year. I think this point sounds deceptively simple on the surface – until you actually try to pin down the essence for the child with whom you are working!
2. The teachers are not harried or rushed, ever, as far as I have seen. My daughter’s teacher is found of saying Continue reading