This year my eldest child started kindergarten at a Waldorf charter school. Here are my biggest take aways from this first year.
- Simplicity. Keep life simple. The simpler the toys, the better the imagination and creativity. The simpler the home, the easier the chores. The simpler a choice is, the easier it is to make it. The simpler a daily rhythm, the easier it is to keep. Too many choices, too many things to do, and too much stuff can lead to over stimulation and frustration. I love this simple, soft, and versatile shirt from Paulinka. It can be dressy, it can be casual, it can go along with any imaginative play a child might have. Simple, yet versatile options like this make mornings happier.
- Childhood is not a race. We so often rush children through the journey of childhood in order to accomplish goals. The magic of childhood is so often lost in the rat race of academics, running from one activity to another, and maturing beyond ones years. Childhood is so fleeting, it should be cherished and protected. Children will learn in their own time and in their own way if we allow them to first be themselves.
- Embrace and honor the changing of seasons. I really love this, and it is a big part of the Waldorf curriculum. Keeping your life seasonal helps to establish a yearly rhythm, keeps you grounded and present, and helps you be more observant in daily life. Embracing seasons also allows you to draw parallels between the ebbs and flows of the earth to the ups and downs of life. There are many rituals and festivals that go along with the changing of seasons and become fun traditions to look forward too.
- Children are capable of entertaining themselves for long lengths of time without media, if given the chance to learn how. The first month of school was a media fast- 0 screens for an entire month. It was hard, I wont lie. The kids asked daily to watch a show and when the answer was no, quite a scene followed. Fast forward 10 months and my children never watch TV. On the rare occasion they ask to, and the answer is no, they move onto something else. We even went on a 7 hour road trip not too long ago with no screens and no fighting. Whats the key? Like everything else in life – it takes time, practice and patience.
I understand a Waldorf curriculum and these choices are not for everyone. The beauty of life is that we are all different and we are all in this together. I am only stating the lessons I have learned and philosophies I have come to love through my first years journey at a Waldorf school. Please leave me a comment if you would love to hear more on any of these areas.