Step Away From Your Waldorf Curriculum!

Are you a complete and utter Waldorf book and curriculum junkie?  Do you have small children under the age of 7 and probably close to a hundred different Waldorf books?  Do you spend hours on the Waldorf big lists, forums and other “Waldorf expert sites”?

If you do, then this post is for you.  If you are spending a lot of time reading and planning and not a lot of doing, I am speaking to you today.

Just. Step. Away. From. The. Books.

I want you to find a half an hour for yourself, ALONE and get a piece of paper.

I don’t know how old your children are, or where you are in your Waldorf journey, but let’s assume you have young children under the age of 7.  Here are a few questions for you to meditate on:

  • What draws you to Waldorf homeschooling for your family?
  • What is least appealing about Waldorf homeschooling to you?  What do you find completely challenging these days?
  • Have you read any of Steiner’s works yourself?  List them.
  • What have you physically done so far in your Waldorf journey?  Have you started on your own inner work?  Have you structured your environment?  Have you started having with more consistent rhythm in your home?  Have you moved on toward incorporating more practical work in your home by hand on a consistent basis?  Are you going outside more?  Look at what you HAVE done and congratulate yourself!  Rome wasn’t built in a day; think baby steps!  Waldorf does not have to be dogma that sucks the joy out of your life; it should be the thing that helps you create joyous family connections!
  • Are you down to picking stories and verses for circle time and other activities and feeling lost?  Where is the disconnect for you?

Sometimes Waldorf homeschooling can seem like a lot of work; like it incorporates an entire lifestyle as opposed to just a way to educate your child.  I am encouraging you to step back and breathe.  You do not have to be Waldorf –perfect!  Waldorf is a journey, and Waldorf at home is completely different than Waldorf at Waldorf school in so many ways.

Waldorf homeschooling is first and foremost about family.  So, if you feel like you are ready to ditch Waldorf because it is all too hard, step back.  Take a break.  Do something out of the routine. Remind yourself of how far you have come!

Also, remind yourself that homeschooling in general is an exercise of the parent’s will, no matter what method you choose.  Even if you choose a completely open a workbook and teach your four year old cursive kind of thing, you still have to choose to open the book each day that you are homeschooling.  Even if you are unschooling, you still have to take the time each day to find out what is speaking to your child’s soul and how to best stimulate that.  Homeschooling is hard work at times, and does require discipline on the part of the parent!

The lovely thing about Waldorf is the early years can be mainly being home, being outside, and playing, along with lots of singing and verses and storytelling.  Waldorf early years gives you a lot of time to work up to the discipline you will need for the grades.

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed, just step away from all those books and search your heart for how Waldorf would be right and how it would look in your family.  Connect with your family because that is what it is all about.

Please leave your comments and challenging things in the comment section and maybe we can all help each other!



5 thoughts on “Step Away From Your Waldorf Curriculum!

  1. Thanks for this. It certainly is easy to spend too much time reading the email lists and all the lovely curriculum guides and books out there – dreaming and less doing. Yet, the rewards are so, so worth it, when the doing happens rather than just the dreaming.
    Carrie, On a separate note, I wonder, have you covered a post on learning challenges in young children? I am thinking specifically about my nearly 4 year old who has a slower learning pace – speech, motor skills, etc. He gets there but in his own time. I do lots of rhythm, storytelling, rhymes, outdoor play etc yet I would really appreciate guidance/ideas/resources on what I can do with him at this tender young age to assist in speech dev/ motor skills/colour, basic numbers etc to very gently help him along.
    Not sure if you have touched on any of this in any other posts.
    Naturally I don’t want to push him or push academics but what can one do from a waldorf perspective to provide a little extra support or empowerment for a very young child who learns/unfolds at a slower pace without rushing/awakening, etc?
    Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks for all you share!

  2. You crack me up. My husband and I …. well, I won’t tell you how many Waldorf and anthroposophy books we have. My excuse is that we lived and worked at the two main Waldorf teacher training colleges in the US for over 10 years, and they both have bookstores 🙂

    But you make a good point. We can read all we want, but never get anywhere if we don’t put it all into action. And there is an entire spectrum of Waldorf families, from the hard-core ones who swathe their kids in wool and have no plastic in their homes, to those who only incorporate a few principles and don’t know the foundations. None of them are better or more “right” than the others. It’s nice to have people carrying the torch, so to speak, of the “pure” forms, as well as those who develop new approaches or find ways to incorporate it all into other methods.

  3. This post really hit home!!! I buy books, research and scan the computer constantly, but have yet to actually begin anything. The whole circle/story thing really does scare me as I am not imaginative at all. I am also having a hard time because I have older kids (8 and 6) and it is hard to envision doing this because most of what I read about is people doing Waldorf with toddlers. Please keep posting about Waldorf with older kids (there is not a lot of info out there on it) and reminding me that I need to stop waiting for the perfect moment and “just do it”!!!

  4. This post also hit home for me as I am much more of a reader than a doer most of the time…Like Hope said, I also have an 8 year old and really would love a post about this sort of thing with an older child…I always wonder if I am doing enough 🙂

  5. Pingback: Planning 101: Planning for Fall « The Parenting Passageway

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