Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inspired by Waldorf Schooling

A chalk drawing graces a Waldorf classroom.

Sabrina crafts a top. She's wearing a crown made of willows, ribbon and fresh flowers she made at the festival. This image is so her, from the focus on her activity, to the whimsical crown, to the practical little backpack in which she placed her creations throughout the day.

We recently went to a fundraising festival held at a local Waldorf school. The school opened its lovely classrooms to the public and organized traditional Waldorf activities for the families. It was a magical morning of simple pleasures for our family and wholesome inspiration for me. Just what I need as we enter a time of increasing influence from peers and school, as the colder days will keep us at home more, and as decisions about Christmas gifts begin to be made.

I do not know much about Waldorf education, though I have long admired its aesthetic on blogs such as Little Red Caboose and stores like Nova Naturals. A few observations, inspirations and confirmations I came home with from the festival:

--The beauty of and joy to be found in learning and knowing handcrafts.
--The pleasure of making your children's playthings
--The simplicity inherent in all the most beloved games and toys; they seem to have organically sprung from children's imaginations
--The peace to be found in doing fewer things, owning fewer things, making fewer things, but each of them being absolutely lovely and perfect.
--The beauty of natural materials and finding new ways to use them
--The comfort of traditional arts and crafts
--The pride children and families take in designing their spaces, caring for them, curating and then changing them
--The rightness of being guided by seasons, weather, nature, Earth in one's daily and yearly activities

This game entertained CC for a long time. It's just colored clothespins the children slide into narrow-necked jugs.

The jugs were decorated to look like harvest fruit.

Sabrina makes her own jumprope. Every child should have the opportunity to design and make their own playthings.

CC plays with real wood trunks.


Stacy said...

Our children have been attending the Waldorf School in Vancouver for four years now - my eldest is in grade three. Yesterday at the dentist the hygenist was commenting on our boys as she often does and this time she came up with the observation that our boys just seem to have a childhood innocence that she doesn't see in other kids. I attribute this mostly to our school. The absence of commercialism is a huge factor in perserving their childhood. We are not hardcore by any stretch but I am so grateful that we made the choice to put them in this school as it has helped them fully experience being a kid.

p.s. I enjoy reading your blog :)

Good + Happy Day... said...

Thank you, Stacy! I love that about the innocence... it's one of my goals as well, to preserve my children's childhood pure for as long as possible and beyond! A special education like Waldorf schools offer would be a big help!