No matter how many curriculums and resources you buy, at the end of the day, Waldorf homeschool teaching is an art. There may be times when things will be more rote due to life – long-term illness, stress or other things may take over – but the best lessons for our children grow out of a centered, artistic space and reflect not only the journey of the archtypal human being, but the immediate geography of our area and the beautiful child in front of us.
If you are new to Waldorf, this seems incredibly daunting. I have talked a lot with mothers who have never even seen Waldorf Education in person; only images from the web. How does one bring this to life?
I think there are four loose guidelines for the art of Waldorf homeschooling:
Know yourself. Where is your spiritual work? This is important in Waldorf Education because the teacher is the vehicle in which the curriculum lives, and the curriculum flows through the child in front of you.
Know your children. What needs balancing? What is unfolding? What is interesting to them?
Know your place in the world. Where are those tiny seasonal changes, what is the geography of your state, your province, your part of the world?
Know the curriculum of the Waldorf School. No, you may not follow it exactly, and I often wonder if Steiner’s indications for homeschooling would look different than the school curriculum, but I think the big iconic blocks that really reflect the archtypal development of the human being should not be missed. You may add things dependent upon where you are in the world, but I wouldn’t ever miss the great stories that make up the curriculum
Find your space in whatever way works for you in order to create. In order to create off the curriculum, you have to actually read things ahead of time and digest them. This can be daunting in the upper grades, but it is still a necessity. Eighth grade is revolutions and modern history, for example. That can be a lot to create off of! But if you break it down into a reasonable flow, and even if you have to look at images around these events to get your creative juices going, the easier it is to get going. When my children were very small, I would set up an ironing board in our room with all the things to wet on wet watercolor paint so when I got out of bed, I could spend ten minutes painting with no set up time. There are a million different ways to get this time in, and if you can start with small increments, even ten mintues a day or half an hour a week and work up from there, you can do it.
Waldorf homeschooling is not for everyone due to this artistic creation and finding the time to do this. It is hard to draw from an empty well, and some people stay centered better than others during time of stress. Some people are dreamers, but never get around to the execution part. Whatever is holding you back, I would urge you to tackle it. I think not only do children deserve this beautiful education, but also we as adult human beings deserve to rememeber and find our own creativity for our own healthy becoming.
Many blessings and much love,