What Waldorf Means to Me
"Education is not the filling
of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
-William Butler Yeats
It's a way of bringing
peace, beauty, art, nature, and reverence to my children. A way to educate them
so that they enjoy learning, feel confident in what they can do, and are eager
to learn and investigate.
My son has had a "Waldorf" lifestyle almost since birth. I am
daily reminded of what this means to him and to my family.
He is often calling me to look at a spider. He finds spider webs in the most
amazing places and they are always beautiful. His play is rarely violent. He
loves knights, swords and dragons. He believes in fairies and waits eagerly for
the fairy to bring him something. Leave it to
say that he is a child full of wonder and respect for others and for nature. He
is a gentle soul.
My daughter wasn't as lucky. TV was a big part of her life for
too many years.
But after finding Waldorf I convinced her that TV wasn't good for her brain
and she understands that. She is imaginative, fanciful and often manic. She
loves what we do in school, and if I don't present a subject in a traditional
Waldorf format, she will often tell me it's boring!
So what Waldorf is to me is a way to educate my children and help manage my
daughter's bipolar disorder with a curriculum that speaks to me and so to my
I bring them the beauty of Waldorf daily and it comes from deep in me.
"As a form of education that is truly holistic, concerning itself
equally with the spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual sphere
of the growing child, Waldorf is uniquely able to both prevent and
address any difficulties a child might present. By seeing each person as
a threefold human being comprised of thinking, feeling and willing and
as being on a spiritual path of development."
If you visit
Homeschool (Donna Simmons' website) you will find one of the best overviews I have seen
of Waldorf. Donna has a wonderful way of describing Waldorf and it's essence.
Donna Simmons, owner of Christopherus Homeschool was educated in
Waldorf schools, has homeschooled her two sons with Waldorf, and provides consulting and publications for
homeschoolers. I highly recommend her site and her publications for Waldorf beginners and 'pros'.
The best book for quickly understanding Waldorf Education in the 21st
century is Jack Petrash's book: Waldorf Education, Teaching from the Inside