Shortly after I had my first son a woman who I greatly admire broached the subject of Waldorf education with me. At the time, I’d never heard of it, and what little I found out sounded good, but I don’t remember particularly “getting it.”
Two years later, I learned more about Waldorf education and decided that was the route I would take for my children’s education. I bought many books on the topic and read through them only to be disappointed when very little of it clicked. I resold the books.
A year later I began reading Waldorf blogs and began to implement what I could. I started making an effort to take the kids outside EVERYDAY no matter the weather. I started trying to find a rhythm and flow to our day. We purged toys and brought in more natural items. Weekly crafts. Wet on wet watercolor. 8 yearly celebrations…..
Yet another year passed. Suddenly my son was four years old and I felt like I was rapidly approaching a make or break time. I splurged and bought the Oak Meadow Kindergarten Curricumlum. I started trying to apply it all right away. And I couldn’t figure out why my son wasn’t taking to it. He loves stories, nursery rhymes, crafts, etc. but he didn’t love this. What was I doing wrong?
Oak Meadow has an entire book dedicated to “Process.” As the teacher, you are to hook your child’s attention and both of you are to enter into whatever process your doing at that moment. Fully and completely.
My son couldn’t do this because I couldn’t do it.
Then I read The Power of Now and A New Earth both by Eckhart Tolle. Suddenly everything shifted in my life. No matter what I was doing I adopted the attitude that I had no where else I needed to be. I was there. Just doing or experiencing.
Waldorf clicked. The light came on. The books made sense. The curriculum made sense. The pressure was off. Each week the curriculum provides a rough outline of what you should approach with your child. There’s no time limit, no deadline and no rush. All I had to do was be Present with my son.
The rest came naturally.
You cannot practice Waldorf homeschooling if you cannot practice Presence.
“A short attention span makes all your perceptions and relationships shallow and unsatisfying. Whatever you do, whatever action you perform in that state, lacks quality, because quality requires attention.”
~Eckhart Tolle from A New Earth