This is a little gem, a document put into a bound book along with the few pages of the working document I mentioned in my last post (“Examining the Waldorf Curriculum from an American Viewpoint”). On page 18 of this manuscript, there are several “golden rules” for teaching from a Waldorf perspective and I thought I would highlight a few for you.
1. Thinking, feeling, willing – you hear this a lot in the world of homeschooling blogs and literature but the point is to always bring the subject at hand back to the child. How does this have to do with your child, how does this concern your child? This takes careful child observation and in this, we can tailor our homeschooling to the child. It always goes back to the human being.
2. Doing then understanding, whole and then parts. This is opposite of how many adults function (ie, first we as adults have to understand in order to “do”), so this can take some getting used to.
3. The world is beautiful! I love this one, because it sums up my philosophy of life. Here is a direct quote: “For the teacher there is the stumbling-block that he sees what is NOT beautiful in the world. His task and his exercise will be to see the beautiful in everything and point it out.” Bring everything into a picture. This is why individual biography is so important in fourth grade and up (after the nine year change).
4. Rhythm. Rhythm is still important – movement and resting, listening and speaking, group activity versus individual activity. How do we work with this in the home environment? This is an important question.
5. Practical life. Waldorf homeschooling is first and foremost an education of beauty, and of beauty in the practical life.
One last quote: “Of course we must take care take care today that the child does not become precocious, that he is not made “old” too quickly, which is that the times and the overall environment want to achieve with force, and so we must develop willing, imagination and warmth of heart as strongly as the intellect.”
Lovely thoughts to ponder today,