Welcome to Discovering Waldorf, where everyday families share their Waldorf thoughts and experiences. Today, Joey is here to talk about how she brings Waldorf into her family’s life.
Discovering Waldorf:: Living and learning about the Waldorf lifestyle
by: Joey van Oort
We live over an hour’s drive from the closest Waldorf School so unfortunately it’s just not an option to enroll our children there. My husband attended a Waldorf School in Britain from Grade 5-12 and his Mother was a teacher so we knew about the benefits of the Waldorf philosophies. When we had children we wanted our home life to include some Waldorf “learning” as well. As Waldorf often teaches through life experiences and through play they have been learning through Waldorf, without even knowing it!
So how do we live a Waldorf lifestyle? To begin, I choose to use natural materials instead of plastic, particle board, synthetic fibers, etc. Natural baskets, wood, cloth, wool, metal, glass are materials that you will find throughout our home. Our cleaning supplies are made from natural ingredients; we buy organic food and products wherever possible; we make beeswax candles with local wax; we purchase quality made wood furniture; we grow our own fruits vegetables, herbs and tea; we don’t have a TV and we don’t buy commercial toys or games for our children. These are just some of the ways that I have noticed that our home life differs from those of my children’s peers and Waldorf has directly influenced those decisions.
So how do we introduce Waldorf learning at home? We keep it simple and do the things that come naturally to us. When our children see my husband or I engaged in something (ie: knitting, gardening, reading, crafting, cooking, playing music) they often are curious to join in. They learn by using the same natural supplies and materials that we use. I do not buy supplies “geared to entice children” that are of lesser quality and often end up only adding frustration to the child’s experience.
Another component of Waldorf education that we feel is very important to demonstrate to our children is the observation of seasonal changes that happen in nature. I feel that our children learn so much from observing nature and the cycle that it follows as the earth deftly travels around the sun. Bird watching, planting seeds, swimming in a lake, collecting wild berries, building a snowman…all of these activities involve developing new skills, processing thoughts and discovering emotions which will stay with them their entire life.
Waldorf learning at home can easily be adjusted to suit the ages and the learning needs of your children but I think the most important part to remember is to just relax, keep it simple and see where it takes you. Enjoy the journey!
Thank you, Joey… what an adorable nature table scene above.
You can find joey at her own blog called Made By Joey. Be sure to check it out as it’s awesome!
If you want more information about Waldorf education and philosophies, please visit my Waldorf Page.
If you have a topic you’d like discussed on Discovering Waldorf… or would like to write an article for Discovering Waldorf, please contact me.
Blessings and magic,