Hello, my name is Kim, and I am so happy to be here today, sharing a little bit about our homeschooling choices with you. I am a Waldorf homeschooling mama to one, writer, nature lover, dreamer and lover of all things handmade. I live in rural Ontario with my husband, Justin and our son, Reece. Together we live a simple, but full family life, living close to the earth and her seasons. Our home, the one I dreamed of, is an old one room schoolhouse built in 1878. It is small, but cozy and filled with history and love. On our little piece of land we enjoy growing our own food, raising chickens, and creating as much as we can from reclaimed/recycled materials. We enjoy the great outdoors and are working to deepen our connection to nature. I share bits and pieces of our journey on this earth on my blog, Mothering with Mindfulness. Thanks for having me Tiffany!
“Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.” ~ Rudolf Steiner ~
Choosing to homeschool was an easy decision for our family. In fact, that decision was made when I was pregnant, and we have never looked back. During my pregnancy and the early baby years, I always felt we would be what many people call “unschoolers”, although I liked to refer to it as “life learning”, but a funny thing happened, my sister in law kept pointing me in the direction of Waldorf. The more I talked to her about the lifestyle we were leading and the dreams and plans we had for our future, the more she shared with me about Waldorf, and how our family was following many ideals of the Waldorf philosophy. So I started reading. My first choice was Heaven on Earth, and then You Are Your Child’s First Teacher.
I instantly felt a pull to Waldorf education in those early years, falling in love with the consistency of daily, weekly and yearly rhythms, enjoying the calm and peaceful way our days began to flow, and soaking up quality time in nature with my little man. We settled into those early days, in our own way, but with the guidance of Waldorf.
At that time, I honestly hadn’t given much thought to what would happen as my little man reached school age, I was still feeling that life learning was a good fit for our family and intended to keep things open and free. But, I began to look ahead to the grades in Waldorf education and felt an instant connection with the beauty, and the depth of the curriculum. It was at this time I began to delve a little deeper into Waldorf education, and also began to read some of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures, the founder of Waldorf education. I gained a deeper understanding of the seven year cycles, I began to understand why Steiner believed in teaching certain subjects at certain ages, I saw the beauty with which lessons are brought to the children, and I felt a pull to bring Waldorf to my little man.
I love that Waldorf education focuses not only on the head, but on the head, heart and hands, and that the curriculum meets the child where they are, depending on their development and age, and following Steiner’s theories on the seven year cycles. I love that story and art are weaved into all subjects, and that academics are delayed until the age of 7. I love the consistency of a daily, weekly and yearly rhythm. There is so much I love about Waldorf, and so much that seems to fit with the life we are already leading.
What brought us, as a family, to Waldorf education, was not the need for a curriculum, but the desire to bring something beautiful to our son, and to use a learning style that fits with our lifestyle. You see, Waldorf education is more than just language, math, science, geography, history, etc, it is a lifestyle, a way of living that brings a certain magic and awe into our days. It feels right for us, at the moment, and so we will walk this path, enjoying the beauty of Waldorf. If for whatever reason we reach a fork in the road, we are open to moving in a different direction, if it is a right fit for our son, and our family, because as homeschoolers we have the option to make those decisions, and honestly, that is truly what I love about homeschooling…the freedom.
“Our task is to educate the human being in such a way that he can bring to expression in the right way that which is living in the whole human being, and on the other side that which puts him into the world in the right way.”
~ Rudolf Steiner ~