I was researching Hike it Baby groups on Facebook and discovered a new friend teaching Tinkergarten classes. (I was hoping that I would be sharing with you all about that today, but sadly, the boys were sick all weekend. So we were unable to attend the first class. I’m thankful that they are on the mend and we will attend the next class this Saturday.)Moving right along, I also discovered that my friend had a Waldorf Co-op group and even though at the time I wasn’t sure what that was— it seemed to be a great fit for us! That sentence sounds kinda funny, but I’ll explain. 😉
Waldorf pedagogy puts a huge emphasis on a child’s imagination as well as the natural world around them. Waldorf education encourages play with more natural toys such as wooden blocks, things from nature, etc. My son is in kindergarten so our primary focus is on art, music, and storytelling. Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, believed that readiness for formal education depends on increased independence of character, temperament, habits, and memory. Formal instruction in reading, writing, and other academic studies are not introduced until students enter elementary school, when they are around seven years of age. I love the emphasis on imagination and letting a child lead and be a kid. Children grow up so fast now and it’s great to feel like I can help guide my child into a more simple life that embraces being where you are right now in this moment.
One example, from Waldorf education that is a great starting point is a Nature Table. Each season you add things from outside and other items to represent the season. This table is not just for decoration it’s for your child to explore and use their imagination to create different scenarios. Declan pretended that the little snow covered tree on our table was stuck on the snowman’s behind and that the townspeople had to figure out a way to remove it. I know I would’ve never thought of that!
I’ve also been reading tons of Waldorf books for me and Declan. I’ll share more on our lessons and books we read as we go along. Yesterday, was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and we made this beautiful Peace Flower and watched the links below.