I am a Waldorf mama homeschooling my little through grade one. I have begun my teacher training and been dedicated to Waldorf parenting since my little was born.
However, with the freedom of homeschooling I am considering the philosophical tenets of unschooling and incorporating some principles into my approach. Namely, I am giving myself grace, to go at a pace that works for me and my LO. I am also following the lead and speed of my LO. Finally, I am including two days of forest school into our learning.
Forest school allows him the immersion in the natural world that I so often feel is missing from Waldorf environments and which is central to my parenting values.
I am excited for this year. I believe deeply in the developmental appropriateness of education and I cherish Stiener’s insights on child development.
I also believe that there does not exist a curriculum that meets my child’s needs and my parenting philosophy. For this reason I will be creating a curriculum heavily influenced by Stiener. My curriculum is guided by three principles:
- Festivals – that are culturally and seasonally appropriate to our family. I feel like the power of Waldorf education stems from the importance and integration of festivals. However, in many schools around the world the festivals often mimic German traditions rather than incorporating the rich local culture – and therefore failing to meet the children in front of the teacher.
- Time immersed in nature – and knowledge of local plants and animals. This is covered through the above mentioned forest school and through my attention to choosing local plants and animals when integrating into what we are engaged with.
- Indigenous knowledge – I believe that the only way that we can come to some environmental and post-colonial peace – is through knowledge of the land that we occupy – we need to rely on the history of those whose families have occupied the lands before us. As I understand it indigenous people of North America also have a world view and approach to land which is sustainable – as opposed to our capitalist values of personal property and commoditization.
With these three guiding principles I will be pursuing a developmental and culturally appropriate education for my little this year. Feel free to join me on my journey as I hope to provide short daily updates as well as longer posts about developmental readiness, creating a culturally appropriate curriculum and honouring indigenous knowledge.