U is for Understanding the World of the Child
When we understand our child’s developmental needs, we can respond to them in appropriate ways. Studying Steiner’s theories has helped me understand my children and their needs. It has helped me create an environment that embraces the world of my children, without making them the centre of it. It has helped me provide appropriate activities and has made me question common held teaching beliefs and practices.
In the words of Carrie from The Parenting Passageway:
“Imitation and having parents doing something worthy to imitate!, warmth, protection of the 12 senses, outside time in nature, free play with open ended toys, less talking, singing and music and art, practical work around the house, parents who are warm and loving and kind but yet will set limits, a rhythm that does most of the limit setting for you for the under 7 crowd especially, repetition, less choices, education that focuses on the whole body and all the senses and not just the head, education that focuses on lighting up the imagination and not just stuffing the head with facts, keeping children in their bodies, regular sleep and rest times each day, warming and healthy foods…”
V is for Visual Images
Television, computers and all other electronic devices are not needed by young children. The images they see replace what their imagination could have created. The passiveness of watching television goes against the need to be in movement, that these young children require.
Waldorf education strongly recommends limited screen time for children and the argument is compelling, BUT I don’t live in a perfect Waldorf world! See, I believe that Waldorf is for everyone. I believe that even if I don’t agree with everything Steiner wrote, there are still elements that will work with me and my family.
I believe that we are all doing the best we can with what we know, right now.
We have a television and as you would have noted I use it during quiet time. It isn’t on in the mornings. It is not on during arsenic hour. But it is on at quiet time and when the kids have gone to bed. This works for our family just now.
(I have to share this with you, as of last week our T.V. died! I have really enjoyed not having it around, however, my husband is a football fanatic so he is shopping around for a new one. I knew you'd like that!)
W is for Wet-on-wet watercolour painting
This is ‘special’ painting! It is about bringing colours to life.
- A rounded piece of good quality paper, soaked in water.
- Mix a blob of watercolour paint with water in a jar.
- Have a separate jar of just water for rinsing the brush.
- A dampened sponge will assist when wiping the brush.
- Lay the wet paper on the table and wipe excess water away with a separate sponge.
- Begin your painting!
We have just started this wonderful experience and thought it best to begin with one colour. This way we experience each colour and its ‘play’ with water, but we also learn about setting up, technique and cleaning away.
My wonderful blogging friend Kelly, from Happy Whimsical Hearts, has done watercolour painting with Dino Boy and blogged about it in her post Wet on wet watercolour.
X is for Xylophones & Music
Sing! Chant nursery rhymes. Play movement games and fingerplays! For more on this see our ABC's of A Waldorf Mama: Letters K-O, L is for Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes.
Here’s a few of our current favourites:
- This is the way (Great for completing household tasks)
- Mary Had A Little Lamb
- Kookaburra Sits In the Old Gum Tree
- Old MacDonald
- Dingle Dangle Scarecrow
- Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
- 5 Little Ducks
- Alley, Alley
- Roly Poly
- Humpty Dumpty
Just as it is important to establish a daily rhythm for experiencing a more organised flow to your day, it is also worthwhile considering the cycle of seasons, celebrations and festivals throughout the year.
We observe the change of seasons through our nature table. Have a look at our ABC's of A Waldorf Mama: Letters K-O, N is for Nature Table.
We are a Christian family, with a Scottish Australian heritage. We look forward to celebrating a variety of holidays and festivals throughout the year. Much preparation and anticipation goes into preparing for the following festivals and celebrations: Australia Day, Birthdays, Shrove Tuesday, St Patrick’s Day, Lent and Easter, ANZAC Day, Festival of the Wind, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Agriculture Show Day, Halloween, Christmas & New Year.
Z is for Zeal
Enthusiasm! Choosing to home school my children is based around my desire to connect with them. I know only too well how quickly this time passes. One day they are clinging to your leg and the next they are waving you goodbye from the school gate.
I don’t know how long I will home school for, as each year brings it’s own challenges and considerations. But I DO know I will be home schooling this year and I am very excited about it!
I have written these post as much for you as for myself. The ABC’s of A Waldorf Mama will be a resource that I will be returning to over and over again during our first year of home schooling. I hope you have found the series as useful as I have. Thank you for joining me and I look forward to revisiting many of these ideas over the year and connecting with you all through the comments or over on our facebook page J
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Pinterest where I love sharing new ideas on parenting with joy, creative play and learning through play.
The ABC's of... series is hosted by nearly 60 awesome blogs from the Kid Blogger Network. Today my co-hosts are writing posts around Arts and Crafts. Don't forget to visit for additional features!
- Art History for Kids from B-Inspired Mama
- Cardboard Box Creations from Here Come The Girls
- Children's Music With Art from Rainbows within Reach
- Crafts and Art from Red Ted Art
- Crafting on a budget from Housing a Forest
- Creativity from Little Artists
- Paper Plates from Domestic Goddessque
- Toddler Crafts from Rainy Day Mum
- Upcycled and Recycled Crafts from Craft to Art
- Valentine Crafts and Recipes from Local Fun For Kids