Monday, February 9, 2009

A new direction for the blog..Waldorf Education at Home

We have begun a waldorf educational journey in our home. I am trying to bring the ideals and rhythm and creativity of waldorf education into our home and into our children's lives. I hope to make them more well-rounded and creative children. Or rather, help them to be more attuned and aware of the world around them, enjoy the natural world, the art world, and other interesting materials and textures. To leave behind the drive for academic achievement when they are still so young and enjoy their childhood while they can. To provide sensory stimulation and awareness of everyday happenings. To give them a whole life, full of rich experience.

With that in mind, I am starting our blog again, as a journal to catalog the activities and explorations we make together every day.

Before I began this, I did a lot of reading and investigation of what sorts of things a waldorf school does on a daily basis, and what waldorf educators at home are doing on a daily basis with their children. I read about the ideals of this style of education with young children. I can provide a list of my reading materials but that's not the purpose here. My purpose here is to keep track of the changes we're making in our daily lifestyle, their effect on all of us, and our joy in our work together.

Before today, we had created our nature table again next to the entertainment center. We picked a cloth that represented winter to us and decorated it with various things we found outside that appealed to us. Today we added some sweet gum seeds and I put my birthday roses on the table to share. Sophie added her dragons and a flower fairy in her bed, waiting to wake up for spring. We have some pine cones, acorns, and pine needles and sticks. I found a nice rock and we added it too. The table will grow and change until it is time to restart for spring. It seems appropriate to restart the table in spring, doesn't it? I hope that Sophie's flower fairy will awaken and grow with us!
We also created pine cone creatures which still live on the table from some felt and pine cones and wool yarn.

Tom and Sophie have been trying to make two loaves of bread on the weekends for us to share for the week. My goal is to have a snack time for Sophie and I each day that consists of a nutritious cooked whole grain, such as they do at waldorf. We have acquired oatmeal, quinoa, millet, and brown rice. I hope to make other days have a vegetable snack or a fruit snack because Sophie is more likely to try a fruit than a grain. We are moving toward whole food cooking in our house and away from all processed foods. It's a process!

Today Sophie and I ventured out to Michael's today and got some water color paper, good flat brushes, and some good watercolors. This afternoon, we waited for Eli and set up with sponges and paper and our primary colors mixed in their own cups. It was glorious but it also was a surprise for me as the children would forget to rinse their brushes and use the sponges I set out, instead mixing the colors. I'm glad I only used a bit of each color now! They thoroughly enjoyed the creation of new colors, however, so I got over myself and made my own paints for my painting. I tried to show them brush strokes and wet on wet painting and how the colors bleed and meld. They were more interested in making lots of paint on the page, which was totally fine!

I am enjoying the experiences we're having as we move into our rhythm!

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