Friday, 12 March 2010

Waldorf inspirations.

I've been intrigued by Steiner / Waldorf philosophies since deciding to home educate Rye but so far not really looked into it; information I gleaned was mostly picked up from blogs I follow, and discussions on the Green Parent Forum.  Lately I've decided to research Waldorf a bit more as much of what I've heard seems to compliment my own opinions, my spirituality and my own ideas on education of young children.

Presently I am reading Heaven on Earth; A handbook for Parents of Young Children, by sharifa Oppenheimer, loaned to me by Sarah from Carried Family, (thank you !), which I am enjoying and is giving me quite a lot of ideas, I have no doubt that what I will end up with will be my own spin on Waldorf because I simply cannot resist tweaking things; be it a pattern, a recipe or a method.  And of course there are some aspects of Waldorf that are not compatible with EYFS, and as a childminder I am required to observe and rate, basically, my charge against the goals and developments that she is expected to reach.  I've noticed that guidance has been written on providing a waldorf environment against the EYFS so I shall be picking that up at some point.

In the meantime I'm looking forward to reading further and seeing what develops from it..... and I'm looking forward to the Myriad order, I made this morning, arriving with the beautiful waldorf paint box and crayons - cough and a few other bits, I'm poor now lol.


arwen_tiw said...

Glad you're enjoying it! And you're welcome. :) I found I wanted to hurl it across the room a few times personally, but on the whole it's a book I will always dip back into.

To randomly select a couple of things, I feel Waldorf can very much hold children back and mistrust their ability to cope with (and motivation to be part of) the real world. And also, I am NOT with refusing to answer questions that are considered "too old" for my child - or taking things so slowly they get bored and miserable trying to fit someone's idea of what's good for them... ;)

My house and our lives in it LOOK very Waldorf - and a lot of the philosophies gel very nicely with how I look at things. But I would hesitate to call myself a Waldorf homeschooler for several reasons! :)

When asked to categorise recently I referred to us as "Waldorf-style Montessori-inspired book-loving eclectic co-operative unschoolers". ;)

Talie said...

Ooh which crayons did you get? The Stockmar ones are just lovely to use. The paints are lovely too. You know sometimes you can find the same supplies elsewhere online for less.

I tend to pick bits from Waldorf too. I think a lot of people do. The natural toys, seasonal themes and general artiness appeals to me but I do find that when you start digging beneath the surface there is quite a Christian emphasis on their curricula which being Pagan is awkward for me because I would seriously consider buying one otherwise. Having said that there are plenty of craft resources, books and so on out there that are Waldorf influenced but aren't connected to religion so it's perfectly possible to go your own way within the tradition. We tend to follow a Paganised sort of Waldorf path and judging by some of the blogs I read, so do a lot of people!

Do you read the Magic Onions blog? They've been posting a series of posts titled Discovering Waldorf which you might find interesting.

Have fun with it!

Joxy said...

Hehe, well, I am only a few chapters into the book, so there's time for me to start shouting at the book and rolling my eyes ;-) So far there's nothing I can't adapt to suit my pagan sensibilities. And yeah, there's ideas I do not agree with; I don't think TV is the devil machine that waldorf often portrays it; certainly there needs to be some common sense applied, but I think it can be a very useful resource for 3yr+ kids - similarly, I don't really agree that ICT should be completely avoided, and I get the sense that reading and writing are not really pursued until "formal education" begins around 7? Whereas Rye loves asking about letters and numbers now.

Talie, yep the Stockmar ones :-)
It was the Magic Onions blog that influenced me to really look into waldorf.

I will have a look around at different stockist.. I must admit it does seem mad spending the same amount of money on a paint tin for Rye as I would for myself as a trained artist! Still, he loves to paint and draw and he's beginning to draw recognisable objects so I thought I'd fork out and see what he does - if it become a brown mess I may just go back to the poster paints for a wee while longer lol.

Liz said...

I've really enjoyed that book but there are things I choose to skip over as I don't particularly agree with some of the ideas, but a very inspirational book nontheless. I've almost finished it and can see I will dip in and out of it.

arwen_tiw said...

The beautiful art materials really are worth the extra. :) We love love love the Stockmar crayons and were thrilled to find gold and silver ones (75p each!) in a little shop in Bristol a couple of weeks back!