How to Build Your Waldorf Community :: Discovering Waldorf

How to Build Your Waldorf Community

–   by Meredith Floyd-Preston

 

 

“Finish up your snack. It’s time to go wait for Daddy.”

It was 4:00 on a November Wednesday and I was preparing my 1-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son for the “wait for Daddy” afternoon practice that had been in place for months. It was a somewhat ridiculous exercise for several reasons…

 

  1. It was a chilly November in a San Francisco suburb known for its depressing late-afternoon fog.
  2. I knew very well that Daddy wouldn’t be home for another hour and a half.
  3. Our suburban street was eerily quiet and unfriendly. Our long afternoon vigil would be a lonely and solitary activity.

Despite these arguments for abandoning the practice, after a long day at home alone with little ones, I looked forward to that “Daddy’s home!” moment with such longing, I was willing to brave the elements and create a little welcoming committee.

 

How to Build a Waldor Communtiy from Discovering Waldorf Education on The Magic Onions Blog

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When I look back on it, it is clear that what I was really longing for was community. My children were little and a few days each week I had a Waldorf-inspired childcare in our home, so my options for community felt really limited. The highlights of my days were the few opportunities for adult interaction that I had managed to create…

 

  • My long-held NPR habit became solidified as I snuck off to the kitchen during nap time to listen to soothing adult voices.
  • We never missed weekly story-time at the library (I’ll never forget the tears that ensued one day when we arrived and found the library closed – I’ll let you guess if the tears were mine or 4-year-old Calvin’s.)
  • I found a homeschooling group that met weekly a couple of towns over. Even though the academic-minded preschooler parents didn’t share my Waldorf leanings, we went as often as we could.

 

Community is Important

There is no doubt that community is important when it comes to raising children (it takes a village, after all.) According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development,

“When parents receive parenting support, they are more likely to feel better about themselves and their parenting abilities, and in turn interact with their children in responsive and supportive ways enhancing the development of their children.”

I know that parenting support in the form of a community during those fog-filled days would have made me less lonely, a better parent, a more caring wife and a more fulfilled individual.

Unfortunately, though, some of our Waldorf ideals can actually make community building more challenging.

 

  • Waldorf ideals recognize and honor the importance of the home as the most appropriate place for the young child. Limiting exposure to the larger world and spending most of your time at home can feel incredibly isolating for many Waldorf parents.
  • Holding Waldorf ideals can cause us to feel estranged from the larger mainstream world. When your children don’t know the Frozen soundtrack by heart or you can’t participate in playground conversations about traditional discipline, you can feel a bit left out.

Truly, parenting the Waldorf way can be a lonely and isolating experience.

But it doesn’t have to be.

 

How to Create a Waldorf Community

 

That “Daddy’s Home!” ritual that my little ones and I practiced feels like yesterday but it was 17 long years ago. The following year my son started kindergarten and we joined a Waldorf community.

These days, when I ask my Waldorf alumni children what they miss most about Waldorf School, they always answer “the community.” We found a supportive group of parents, teachers and children to connect with and that made all the difference.

It took some time for me to find the right way to get involved with this established community, but here are some ways you can start to find your own unique place.

 

If you have a Waldorf school nearby . . .

 

  • Volunteer – Waldorf schools are always needing support. Donate your time, money or expertise to make the community a better place.
  • Sign up for a class or camp. Most Waldorf schools offer parent-child classes and summer break camps. If money is an issue, ask for a scholarship. Waldorf schools want their communities to be thriving, interesting places and they usually won’t let money get in the way.
  • Post playdates, childcare and activities on the community bulletin board or weekly newsletter. There are bound to be other people like you looking for opportunities to get together with their children.

 

How to Build a Waldor Communtiy from Discovering Waldorf Education on The Magic Onions Blog

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If you don’t have a Waldorf school nearby . . .

 

  • Attend meetings at your local La Leche League chapter. If your children are past breastfeeding age, contact the leader and ask if she has contacts for conscious parenting communities.
  • Talk to other parents at the park. Be on the lookout for the parents whose parenting choices reflect your own. Be brave and start conversations.
  • Use social media. There is an active Waldorf community online. Talk to people via forums on Mothering.com, Facebook groups or Twitter. The internet is a fantastic resource for adults. Using it to find community is not out of sync with Waldorf ideals.
  • Recognize that the benefits of community far outweigh the drawbacks of plastic toys or media exposure. Though the parents at my weekly homeschooling group didn’t share my Waldorf ideals, they were conscious, intentional parents and they provided my family with the community we needed.

 

How to Build a Waldor Communtiy from Discovering Waldorf Education on The Magic Onions Blog

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However you go about it, get out there and find yourself a community. You’ll be happier, your children will benefit, and Daddy won’t mind so much if you’re not home to roll out the welcome carpet.

 

How to Build a Waldor Communtiy from Discovering Waldorf Education on The Magic Onions Blog

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Meredith Floyd-Preston is a Waldorf class teacher and mother of 3 who blogs and podcasts about her experiences at A Waldorf Journey.

Meredith has a special treat for Magic Onion readers. Sign-up here to receive a free PDF download of Meredith’s Waldorf at Home Resource List.

If you are interested in bringing Waldorf philosophies into your home, I’ve put together a great workshop that will guide you through every step in the process : 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired Home.

8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired Home Workshop. How to bring the beauty of Waldorf philosophies into your home by The Magic Onions

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This workshop explains and guides you through the beautiful and meaningful philosophies that you can bring into your home to create a calm and creative sanctuary wherein your children will thrive.

In today’s busy and over-scheduled world, so many of us are searching for ways to help our children enjoy an authentic and joyful childhood, one in which they have time for unscheduled play, building deep and meaningful connections with friends, animals and the earth and lots of magical time in nature.

I’m happy to let you know that a few key (and simple) changes can make all of this possible.

And, for a limited time only, I’m offering this workshop at a special discount for Magic Onions readers…

Special Offer

Blessings and magic,

Donni

 

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8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired Home

Over the years, so many of you have got in touch to ask for help in creating a Waldorf-inspired home. You have asked wonderfully thought-provoking questions that have made me think and ponder, deeply, what the most valuable and life-changing aspects of a Waldorf home are.

I’ve promised many of  you that I would put together a workshop to help you easily and seamlessly bring Waldorf into your home and I’m happy to let you know that this workshop is now available : 8 Steps To A Waldorf-Inspired Home.

 

8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired Home Workshop. How to bring the beauty of Waldorf philosophies into your home by The Magic Onions

 

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This workshop doesn’t cover any aspects of a Waldorf education but rather explains and guides you through the beautiful and meaningful philosophies that you can bring into your home to create a calm and creative sanctuary wherein your children will thrive.

In today’s busy and over-scheduled world, so many of us are searching for ways to help our children enjoy an authentic and joyful childhood, one in which they have time for unscheduled play, building deep and meaningful connections with friends, animals and the earth and lots of magical time in nature.

I’m happy to let you know that a few key (and simple) changes can make all of this possible.

8 Steps To A Waldorf-Inspired Home will teach you EXACTLY how YOU can incorporate Waldorf philosophies in to your lifestyle. A step-by-step guide to help you create the lifestyle you are searching for.

Waldorf is more than an education… it is a way of life that EVERYONE can follow, regardless of whether your children go to a Waldorf school, a public school or are homeschooled.

Incorporating these key Waldorf practices into your home will have an astounding effect. Your children will blossom, your home life will become peaceful and joyful and you will start to feel that your family is living it’s BEST life.

I’m honored and excited to share my many years of Waldorf experience with you and help you incorporate the best Waldorf philosophies into your home.

For more information on the workshop please visit here : 8 Steps To A Waldorf-Inspired Home.

The Importance of Nature from 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired home with The Magic Onions The Importance of Rhythm from 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired home with The Magic Onions The Importance of Creativity from 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired home with The Magic Onions The Importance of Connection from 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired home with The Magic Onions in breath out breath from 8 Steps to a Waldorf-Inspired home with The Magic Onions

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These and many more Waldorf philosophies are discussed in the workshop : 8 Steps To A Waldorf-Inspired Home.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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Summertime Fun

Today is the summer solstice, 2016. The longest day of the year. It is HOT here in Southern California today. VERY hot! It’s not quite noon yet and the temps are already 97 °F. My phone says that it will get well past 100°F today. This kind of heat is not my favorite.

Today is also the first day of summer vacation. 3 whole months of slow, unscheduled freedom. Yay!

Here are some photos from our last week of school. Teddy was The Father in his school play, St Francis and the Wolf of Gubio. When I asked him to tell me his words, he recited the whole play, thinking with that far-off look he gets when he concentrates.

He felt giddy after the play… all smiles and giggles. I loved seeing the rush of excitement pulse through him and his eyes sparkling.

Kitty’s 6th Grade Report was on Lewis and Clark. She loved going back in time to when living was surviving. And, the fact that we had visited Oregon just a few months ago, which made it all the more real for her to imagine how life was back then. In true Kitty style, she painted a portrait of Sacagawea that is so beautiful. I’m in awe of this talent she has found and nurtured.

Lots of time is spent in the Sunny House cuddling Skat (that’s his new name, our sweet cat).

I’ve been crafting and will soon have another awesome video for you. PS… do you see the pretty felt flowers we made the other day on the mantle in the first photo?

I was looking for a baby shower gift and stumbled upon such a sweet baby shop. Don’t you just LOVE the pompom mobile hanging from the wire of a lampshade?

I found some gorgeous wallpaper. Flowers taped to the wall. You’d feel like you were in Kensington Gardens all day long (I’ve just finished the last season of Downton Abby and am mourning it’s passing. Why stop it now?)

We are finally putting a real kitchen into the Sunny House. We’ve used hutches and stand-alone cabinets until now, which we have loved, but, as big changes are afoot and the Sunny House will soon have new people to love her, we feel she needs to be all perfect and finished. Can you believe how many boxes it will take to give the Sunny House the kitchen she deserves! I’ll show you a photo when it’s all done.

Hope you are having a lovey first week of summer too, with lots of fun, sun and happy times.

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Blessings and magic,
Donni

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How To Make Felt Flowers in less than 1 minute!

I’ve been having fun making videos again.

Here is one so many of you have asked me to make… felt flowers in less than a minute!

This should show you just how easy and quick these flowers are to make. All you need is felt, scissors and a hot glue gun.

There are so many gorgeous things you can make using these flowers. Here, I show you how to make a bouquet of flowers for your mantle.

 

 

If you prefer a photo tutorial, I’ve shared the same craft here.

 

Make beautiful Felt Flowers in a few simple steps DIY Tutorial with The Magic Onions Blog

Make beautiful Felt Flowers in a few simple steps DIY Tutorial with The Magic Onions Blog

 

Happy crafting,

Blessings and magic,

Donni