I am still seeing and hearing a lot of confusion out there regarding homeschooling and parenting with tenets of Waldorf Education for the little ones under the age of seven.
It has been said many times, many places that for small children under the age of seven, these are the Kindergarten years and life is the curriculum.
That is true, but in Waldorf Education within the home we take these tenets of education and work with these essential truths in these ways:
1. Rhythm is strength for the parent. It is also the discipline and the balance for life with small children. Your rhythm is based upon what you are doing each day. With small children, this is honoring play, rest, sleep, meaningful work in nurturing the home, diapering/toileting and mealtimes.
2. Outside time is the balance of work and daily nurturing care. It is the genesis of play as well as the best place to develop the lower four of the twelve senses that is the total neural foundation for learning.
3. Small children need fewer words, more singing and humming and movement as you help them do what needs to be done according to rhythm.
4. Nursery rhymes, and small stories are the nourishment of the soul.
5. Reverence is the attitude that fosters gratitude in small children. Life must slow down so you can model and show gratitude as you take care of your home, your pets and each other.
6. Media is not a question of never in the future, but really doesn’t have a place in the life of the small child.
7. The Kindergarten aged child is about weaving in and out of your work with child- sized pieces for them to assist you with and enjoy. The Kindergarten is not a project-driven, you must complete this small child, kind of thing. The process IS the product.
8. Your child is learning all the time. Formal academics come in with Main Lesson blocks in the first grade when your child is close to seven. There is no form drawing, music lessons, etc in these early years.
9. Warmth, love and laughter is the medium in which all of this bakes. Love your children, love your life, enjoy your family.
10. Your personal inner development must be balanced with development of the practical skills of nurturing, those ordinary domestic arts. Spirituality and religion is an important part of family life.
11. Community. Just meditate on that: how we show community to the small child, how do we show we help others, where is that balance of taking care of our own families and helping others?
Hope that spurs some thought and discussion in your home.
Many blessings, In Joy,