The Cardinal Rules of Waldorf Homeschooling

I was thinking recently about what  would MOST help people new to Waldorf homeschooling or those struggling with burnout who need to re-center.  Sometimes we need this re-centering in February!

My personal “cardinal rules” of Waldorf homeschooling:

  1. Make LOVE the core of your homeschool.  This is always more important than any academic progress or Main Lesson or artistic focus.  This is the foundation of becoming and being human.
  2. Always work with not only your WHOLE child (physical body, life forces through rhythm, the feeling life and the spiritual life) but with the WHOLE family.  Homeschooling is about family.
  3. The homeschooling parent needs to feel stable in order to have successful lessons.  It is may be necessary to unschool, use a workbook, or do something else to get through a truly difficult or horrific season.  If you homeschool  long enough, I think it it will come out in the wash.  The homeschooling parent may need to work on his or her own baggage in order to bring this type of homeschooling successfully and it  may take time.
  4. Do what you can.  You cannot have a Waldorf School in your home.  Waldorf homeschooling follows in the traditions of the Waldorf School, but is not Waldorf School at home. It is Waldorf homeschooling; it is holistic homeschooling for all the human beings in the house!
  5. Celebrate the rhythm of the day, week, and year and hold on to it in a simple and sustainable way.  Celebrate the festivals, even with teens.  They will thank you later.
  6. Work from the local and innocent child in front of you to your home to your local area to your local state or province to your country to your region of the world to the world.  It will all come in time.  If you get nervous, look ahead to the later middle grades and the high school grades.  It is ALL there.
  7. Get a spiritual path for your family and KEEP it. Draw strength from it!
  8. Get out in nature every day and take time to camp, hike, swim, pick fruit, farm, be with animals, look at the woods or beach and wonder in awe together.
  9.  Remember goodness of the world –> beauty of the world –> truth in the world; gratitude  —> love —> duty (a love of the whole world with a desire to help humanity) as the most important things in the  basic seven year cycles of the child.
  10.  Keep striving to improve yourself and your interest in the world.  As your children grow,  you may feel more able to expand or practice art or develop other skills that will be used in your homeschooling adventures.

Many blessings and love tonight,

8 thoughts on “The Cardinal Rules of Waldorf Homeschooling

  1. Thank you for this, Carrie. It is easy for me to get bogged down in the age-specific recommendations of Waldorf education and struggle to see how I will successfully bring this to my three children at home. But those age-specific recommendations were not what drew me to Waldorf and I’m happy to see them not mentioned here.

  2. Such a terrific list especially to a new homeschooling Mom such as myself, and someone who is inspired by Waldorf homeschool and rhythms. Thank you so much for what you do-your posts are beautiful, inspiring and so encouraging. Keep up the good work and blessings to you.

  3. Ohh Carrie. Whenever I need a breath of fresh inspiration and a reminder of the importance of balance, I come over to your blog and there it is. Thanks so much for this. I’m so glad you’re here and you’re writing. I’ve referred so many Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers here.

  4. Dear Carrie,

    I am a full time Waldorf class teacher and mom to two (really, 23!) I have happily subscribed to Parenting Passageway for years. Your words help me in crucial ways. Thank you for your reminders to support the spirit, and nurture our bodies and souls. This particular post was so timely and important.

    Blessings to you, your family, and your good work…

    Bevin Gill


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