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post #41 of 109

gnomes

In terms of the gnomes, you could get something like the simple wooden peg people here and then sew a tiny gnome hat and gnome cape. Then your DC could help decorate them -- paint the bodies, make faces, etc. Definitely cheap, and not much time at ALL!

I'll try to find a picture of a completed gnome using these....

Here!
post #42 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by megincl View Post
In terms of the gnomes, you could get something like the simple wooden peg people here and then sew a tiny gnome hat and gnome cape. Then your DC could help decorate them -- paint the bodies, make faces, etc. Definitely cheap, and not much time at ALL!

I'll try to find a picture of a completed gnome using these....
Yes, this is what I plan to do. I'm also planning on making a gnome house out of tree limbs for christmas to go with them.

something like this:
http://squirrelacorns.blogspot.com/2...-tutorial.html

or this
http://weefolkart.com/?q=node/187
post #43 of 109
This is definetly my tribe.

I do post in this huge Waldorf forum, because I feel like the people here are the ones that will most likely understand how we live, how we do things. But we are certainly not purists.

I am a mom of 2: a 2yo girl, and a 4yo boy. Before having even heard the name Waldorf, I, as a person, was already on my way to having a Waldorf inspired way of doing.
My job is nature oriented. So it has been a while since I have changed my philosophy about consumerism, and protecting nature. This was already in place before my kiddos were born.
Then, the birth of my children made me want to stop and smell the roses, wanting to have a family life more then a career. Si I stopped working full time, to take time to "have a family" as I always said.
When I was a kid myself, my grandmom and my mom taught me, to knit, sew, cook, make new with old, and do all sorts of crafts, and I learned, not because they were teaching me actively, but because it was done, and I was part of it: there was always some kind of a creating project that was on the way: fixing a special meal, preparing festivals, making clothes for special event, or even just for random days, making quilts decorations... basically, many things that are encouraged in the Waldorf philosphy (even tough my mom and grand mom were nothing of waldorf) All of those things, I started to want to do them again once DS was born. For some reason, I felt like this was the right thing to do. We started celebrating festivals that we had put aside for a couple of years, since the magic wasn't there any longer at that point. But now, wth a family, we felt like traditions needed to be transfered.
When my DD was born, I was scared having a girl, for the most ridiculous reason on earth. I didn't want to deal with the crappy girl stuff, Barbies for instance. I absolutely refused to consider to have Barbies in my home, or even accessories that goes with it. As a kid, I hated them, so just to think that I could be stuck with those being a parent was a terrifying idea to me. But then, we had decided that plastic was not allowed anymore on our house for safety reason and also from an ecological point of view, and that included toys. We started always finding better alternative, and started being really happy with this new choice. And from there, it all quickly escalated to the point we are right now. After purging the plastics, we purged everything else, and started to simplify everything. And that is when I stumbled upon Waldorf. it felt like home for so many things, andvery different for other.

What we did take out of Waldorf:

-The nature oriented minding. Being a scientist that works in nature to protect it, this is VErY important to me. DH is from a rural area, and nature means also a lot to him. Our kids go outside a lot, and we try to really make them conscious of the importance and the beauty of nature. We go hiking regularly, we gather things from outside, we watch the seasons, and the changed that comes along with them. We study animals, plants and all of those things. What I want to incorporate more is gardening.

- The rhythms: That is something that has always been a part of me. When my rhythm is thrown off, it bothers me still, and so since we had kids, I always automatically had some kind of a rhythm. I am working right now at implicating the kids more into it though.

- the open ended natural toys: I was on my way to find this when I stumbled on Waldorf theories. We have ditched a long time ago the plastic toys, again, for security reasons, and because they were getting on my nerve. As a kid, I didn't like plastic toys, I didn't like the clutter and the noise that came with it. So the wooden toys took over quite rapidely when I started feeling that way again. Waldorf opened my eyes to the open ended side of them though.
When DS was young, we had the "normal" plastic toy collection, and it was always just bothering me. I feel *SO* god since we have changed this, and I just even better since the open ended concept hit our house. I love the toys we have and the clutter and noise free home it gives us.
Toy shelf
I'll add the playroom as soon as I have a chance

-protecting the senses : That I also beleive in, although maybe not entierly as Steiner defines it. I love the saturated but gentle hues that Waldorf promotes. I don't like all those too bright colors that things are made of right now. I feel like something I get overstimulated by that. And getting rid of the plastic toys (that are usually very colorful, like almost too much) really really helped. I feel like the atmosphere in my house is calmer now. I beleive in keeping them warm, and making them touch beautiful materials, real and natural materials. We buy cotton clothes, and I make wool stuff. No polyesters of synthetic fabric as long as it is possible. We go for wooden toys, or woolen ones. I rather have less toys, and have ones that I feel good seeing, using, touching, and my kids playing with.(read the more expesive ones of course...) I believe in gentle music, and calm.

- Arts. Even if my mom and grand mom were rather artistic persons, I was not raised in an artistic mindset. My dad was a scientific person, and did not let much space for art. I realise how I missed that being young. So I provide my kids with every opportunity to be able to do arts like they want to. Will I limit myself to Wet on wet watercolors? No. But I surely will provide my kids the chane to do it as much as they want. (and I want ot learn it too!!). Will I only supply my kids with only Stochmar wax crayons? No, but I have a set of blocks, and I love them myself , and I will provide them with good art material.

-The slower pace, and the focus on family


The things that don't work for us:

- the concept of Anthroposophy.

- The boxed in type of education: DS is currently attending a Montessori school, and we are all very happy with that. "Follow the child" is something I strongly beleive in, and I am a Montessorian at heart for that. My son does really well in that environement, and so I don't think he will ever be able to ttend a Waldorf type of school because of that. But the Waldorf like philosophy at home works wonder.

- The gnomes and fairies: We don't believe in that, but they sure makes wonderful stories that even I enjoyed as a kid. So not entirely against...


What I love the most about all this, is being able to customize a philosophy that works for us. Waldorf has rocketed us to where we were going already. It just made it real, and attainable. It gave us so many good ideas, other views of a similar way of thinking, and I am grateful for that. But I doubt that we will even attend a Waldrof facility.

Sorry for this long post.
post #44 of 109
Those are cute and so simple.
post #45 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by megincl View Post
In terms of the gnomes, you could get something like the simple wooden peg people here and then sew a tiny gnome hat and gnome cape. Then your DC could help decorate them -- paint the bodies, make faces, etc. Definitely cheap, and not much time at ALL!
You can also get simple wooden peg people super cheap from places like Bayer Wood Prodcuts. There's another one out there, but I can't quite remember the name of it off the top of my head.
post #46 of 109
Neptune2-I agree about "follow the child". I think that some things are best at some ages and it's quite strange how well my children's needs and interests are attuned to the suggested curricula of their "grade levels", but I would never force them to study...say, Astronomy, if they didn't want to. I do like the idea of strewing and working from there and following their lead, like my son's so far 6 years of dinosaur obsession!
post #47 of 109
Thread Starter 
I do love those wooden peg people, and I've done that in the past, I'm just looking now for something a bit different. I think I'm going to get one wooden gnome right now and save my money for the spring set I have planned that is going to be Peter Rabbit themed with a garden. I just found the most adorable felted Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny on etsy. Must have.

I totally agree with following the child's lead as well, but with some gentle parental guidance to see if anything "takes." We like to smush Waldorf and unschooling so far for our family.
post #48 of 109
Just realized that I do have a picture of the children's library showing the playstands with the playclips and silk scarves:
http://www.warrenlibrary.com/New%20L...Hall%20019.jpg

let's see if this works!
post #49 of 109
subbing.

We are not purists, but do employ many Waldorfy elements into our daily lives. Will post more later when I have time.
post #50 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariew View Post
I love hearing everyones thoughts on waldorf and how they use it! I posted pictures of our play area a week or so ago on my blog here http://autumnadventures.wordpress.com/

Laura, i would love to hear more about living in cork and how natural family friendly it is. I have never been, but it for some reason is at the top of the places I would love to live or at least visit for an extended amount of time list.
Hi Marie,
That's so funny that Cork is on your list. Have you relations or anything here? I think if you were moving here I would def direct you to west Cork, which is quite well known for being 'alternative'. There are even 2 Steiner kindergartens that way. We are living in East Cork though and have not really found a strong alternative community, although I wouldn't necessarily seek out only that. I have to say although I love the scenery here and the people I have met are very friendly at first there are a lot of things about Ireland that I wish were different. The 3 main things are that the women in particular are very insular. They still come from quite big families and do all of their socialising within that. If you are a 'blow in' you def stay that way! At both of my parent/ toddler groups there are at most 2 Irish women, the rest are all from the UK, France, Prague... and I have very few Irish friends that I get on with very well and it's not through lack of trying on my behalf. Another thing I really don't like is the pollution here, I live in an island in the middle of Cork harbour, there is a wee island opposite us that has tonnes and tonnes of chromium 6 on it. The water is filthy, our town is the litter black spot of Ireland, there is dog dirt and fly tipping everywhere . My third thing is the schools, the state own next to none of them, they are all owned and run by religious orders. Where I live there is a choice of catholic or Church of Ireland, nothing else unless I am willing to travel with the kids to a non-denominational school. We are not religious and I feel that religion should not really have a place in education and I recent not having a choice for my kids.
So there we go, rant over. We are looking at a house today in west cork, so fingers crossed for us and we may be able to get out of here!
Sorry for hijacking thread, but wanted to reply.
Laura x
post #51 of 109
Thread Starter 
What festivals do your families celebrate? I'm just curious as to what other Waldorf-inspired families do.

We are Christian so we celebrate the traditional Christian festivals of Thanksgiving/Harvest feast, Advent, Christmas, the Lenten season, Holy Week and Easter, and Pentecost. We do some secular holidays, like New Year's and July 4th, etc., but these are our "lesser" festivals and don't really have a spiritual component. I'm thinking this year of adding some other minor Christian feasts like Michaelmas, Candlemas, and St. Patrick's Day. I'm also going to try and do something on the solstices since we're really getting into the rhythms of the year.
post #52 of 109
We are basically a secular family so we celebrate the cultural holidays-Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. and then I celebrate the solstices with or without the kids. We've been too busy this year to do much of any holiday celebrating, though.
post #53 of 109
I'm Catholic, so you can't swing a cat without hitting a festival day around here. We do the Waldorf biggies, baptismal anniversaries, namedays, major church days, and then also solstices and birthdays.
post #54 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I'm Catholic, so you can't swing a cat without hitting a festival day around here. We do the Waldorf biggies, baptismal anniversaries, namedays, major church days, and then also solstices and birthdays.
Ooh, would you mind if I complimented you publicly for Seasons of Joy? I've been using it for the first time this autumn and LOVE it. It has been so helpful to us!
post #55 of 109
Aw, thank you.
post #56 of 109
Hey, would any of you be able to peek at my alphabet gifts thread here:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1140310

Thanks!
post #57 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post
Ooh, would you mind if I complimented you publicly for Seasons of Joy? I've been using it for the first time this autumn and LOVE it. It has been so helpful to us!
Me too! I just got it last week, and it is EXACTLY what I needed as a Waldorf newcomer. My dd is loving the rhymes, and today I told the little red house apple story to dd and her little friend, and they were so enthralled with it. Thank you!
post #58 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Just realized that I do have a picture of the children's library showing the playstands with the playclips and silk scarves:
http://www.warrenlibrary.com/New%20L...Hall%20019.jpg

let's see if this works!
Nice!

Wish we had a library like that!
post #59 of 109
i'd say we are a waldorf-inspired family. so much of waldorf resonates so deeply in my heart...but there are definitely things that don't quite feel like the right fit for us.

my kids are both in a fabulous waldorf-inspired home preschool right now. i honestly wish i could go to school there for the next 12 years.

for us it feels like the perfect balance...gentle but steady rhythm, lots of outdoor play, beautiful indoor playspace with lots of simple wooden toys...but so much freedom for the kids to be who they are and explore their interests at their own pace.

we just love it there!
post #60 of 109
Hi! I definitely belong here. I came across Waldorf through several books about a year ago, including Amanda Soule's "The Creative Family". This forum is my Waldorf community. I also lurk on the Waldorf Homeschoolers yahoo group, but often feel ill at ease.

I have a 2.5 year old Liam and a 5 year old Aria. We're a born-again Christian family, so the spiritualistic side of Waldor does not fit for us at all. We homeschool with the Enki Kindergarden curriculum, which I love. When we started with Waldorf last year, I bought Seasons of Joy. It was a great way to get started with quality material at hand for little investment.

Before I go on about homeschooling, here are some Waldorf ideas that resonated with me. I couldn't have said it better than LuxPerpetua:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post

~ Family Culture. I believe one of the most lovely aspects of Waldorf is its creation and preservation of a family culture. I think having family traditions, foods, and festivals is part of the basic framework of the human existence, and our modern world has abruptly divorced humans from our cultural past. I think it's imperative for people's psychological well-being to be connected to each other through wholesome rites of passage.

~ Connection to the Seasons. Like culture above, I think that a connection to nature and the rhythm of the seasons is part of our human heritage that we have lost. God called his creation "good," and I think that by appreciating the natural world we are giving the glory due to God for his handwork. I think also there are some beautifully poetic truths to the cycle of the year: birth, bloom, fading, and death. Focusing on these has enriched our lives immensely.
I also really appreciate the focus on beautifying the home with natural toys and homemade furnishings. Waldorf inspired us to do a Toy Revolution, which was so, so refreshing. I'd rather have less toys and beautiful ones! Also, we play outside and do so much more art than before, that we simply need less toys. Learning about Waldorf helped bring ideas like zero TV, zero Computer, and the importance of imaginative play to fruition in our lives.

I was just starting to homeschool my preschooler when I found Waldorf. I was immediately in love with the Head, Heart, Hands-on Learning. It just makes sense. I also love that Waldorf puts importants on developing character, not just minds.

When I first tried storytelling, it didn't work for me. I got some Waldorf books that were supposed to help me, but it felt so unnatural. A year later, I stumbled upon a way to tell virtue-based stories to my kids using Wise Words for Mom as a springboard. It's a Christian booklet that helps me teach things like honesty and peacemaking to my kids. I created children characters that mirror my kids and tell a story about their day. The mom often pipes up with a Bible verse. My kids and I just love it!


What doesn't work for us in Waldorf:

~ Anthroposophy.

~ The use of verses for every transition and circle time. Sometimes these work for us, sometimes they don't. I do a circle time for our weekly playgroup. Since our playgroup is not very big, it mostly seems like a burden to me. However, the kids say they like it.

~ Limited artistic exploration. I started "pure Waldorf" with beeswax crayons and wet on wet Stockmars a year ago. We did that for almost a year before I realized that structure is good, but so is freedom. This summer I Created an Art Studio set up for my kids. They use it daily.

~ Boxing in Learning. I'm still working on what I think about this. I like the beauty of the Waldorf progression. I definitely like delayed academics, but I do feel that some following of the child is called for. That's one thing I like about Enki. Since it's not "pure Waldorf" they feel free to suggest you work with your child's interests in a positive, accomodating, yet not completely-following kind of way. I still want to be the leader as the parent-teacher.

I could talk for days about curriculum. I've sampled lots if anyone has questions. I think that a waldorf-inspired family is a great fit with homeschooling since you can take and leave what you like!
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