Wow! What an awesome session!
Alice came to us today to share her knowledge and experience with the Waldorf Method on Early Childhood Education. Just a little on Waldorf. It was developed in 1919 by Rudolf Steiner. It is based on the profound understanding of human developement that addresses the needs of the growing child. It strives to transform education into an art form that nourishes the whole child – their heart, hands and head.
A lot of attention given to the place of learning. Warm welcoming colours, and Art work adorn the halls, the teachers are enthusiast, committed, and interested in the childs individuality.
I’m going to skip over a few paragraph about the curriculum because this link will take you to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America Homepage.
Steiner believed that children should receive a well-rounded education that not only engages the mind, but also their heart and hands through art and play. With a goal to awaken/foster:
- A sense of wonder
- Creative and inquiring minds
- A well-rounded belief in their capacities
- strength of will, character, and intellect
- Compassion for and interest in all life.
Doesn’t these goals sound like things we want for ourselves and our children?
Alice talked about letting your children be kids. Not necessarily having a strict schedule but having a rhythm to your day. For example she used ” You get up and you have breakfast, and then you have some independent play time, and then lunch, and then some time outside, and then dinner/supper.” Easing transitions from one activity to the next is also important, maybe having a song to let the child know that this transition is about to happen.
Alice also mentioned the importance of quiet time for BOTH Parent and Child, so that the child doesn’t go into sensory overload and tune us as parents out.
Waldorf doesn’t necessary believe in discipline but redirecting a child attention. And lastly Alice mentioned that this philosophy can be used as a method of parenting. The word teacher and parent are very interchangeable, because as parents are we not teachers?
Do you feel inspired?