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Waldorf and unschooling

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I would like to unschool our children (who are currently in a waldorf school), however, our family really resonates with many waldorf-inspired experiences, such as nature tables, circle times, festivals, handwork, daily & seasonal rhythm, media awareness etc . Has anyone taken from both unschooling and waldorf philosophies with their families? What does it look like in your family?
post #2 of 10
We are unschoolers who took Waldorf classes for years, as they resonated with our love of nature and play and doing. We only carried on at home what fit for us, and our kids really loved it. I think that is the key. if your family all enjoy circle time, do it. We did more of the crafting and festivals, but had no daily rhythms from Waldorf, as adhering to a schedule does not work for us.

What does it look like? We have seasonal displays and gnomes and celebrate candlemas and the changing seasons, etc. We get out a DO in nature, rather than stay in and learn in a workbook. We do not own playsilks or felted foods, nor do we believe in the anthroposophy that is the spiritual aspect of Waldorf. We like the toys we like and see the world how we like to see it.

My point is that we incorporated what Waldorf things worked for us, not because they were Waldorf, but because we liked them and they fit in with our family philosphy. We did not fit our family into Waldorf, nor use Waldorf as a guide for our lives. Kwim? If something did not work or appeal, we just didn't do it. We were never aspiring to adhere to a Waldorf philosophy, rather just adding whatever we like from it to our eclectic lives.
post #3 of 10
this is where we are headed.

we actually like and resonate with many aspects of anthroposophy, and waldorf school itself is designed to function as unschooling. what do i mean?

steiner was designing a school for factory, so that the workers would be able to school their children. he looked at many aspects of his philosophy, but he also looked at how families--before the modern era--lived. what he noted is that most children were "home schooled" and really just integrated into family life. in that way, they wree really "unschooled" insofar as there was no "classroom time" really in most homes--just a normal daily rhythm. children often learned to read on their own time, or were taught as part of family reading time--not strict educational standards. math as necessary, home ec, how to run a farm, so on and so forth. general living was learning.

you know, living is learning? --unschooling!

then, he noted that around age 14/15 or so, they would be apprenticed somewhere or take on more work at the farm or whatever. boys anyway. girls might also, but mstly boys. so, this was life. right? after a certain age, you become skilled, you have a job and income frm that.

waldorf was based on these ideas. the way schooling is formed in waldorf schools is to facilitate that process--unschooling in a school environment, in so much as it is possible.

that's my interpretation of the history of it anyway.

so, for em personally, the idea of rhythms and all of that---very important to everyone whether you are stiener or not. you know, "everyone loves the holidays." yeah. summer break, christmastime, etc. people love that.

anyway, i plan on letting hawk go his way (afterall, at 20 mo he already does), and yet we live in a very 'waldorf' style insofar as how i view his development, the rhythms in our lives, and so on. works for us.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
this is where we are headed.

we actually like and resonate with many aspects of anthroposophy, and waldorf school itself is designed to function as unschooling. what do i mean?

steiner was designing a school for factory, so that the workers would be able to school their children. he looked at many aspects of his philosophy, but he also looked at how families--before the modern era--lived. what he noted is that most children were "home schooled" and really just integrated into family life. in that way, they wree really "unschooled" insofar as there was no "classroom time" really in most homes--just a normal daily rhythm. children often learned to read on their own time, or were taught as part of family reading time--not strict educational standards. math as necessary, home ec, how to run a farm, so on and so forth. general living was learning.

you know, living is learning? --unschooling!

then, he noted that around age 14/15 or so, they would be apprenticed somewhere or take on more work at the farm or whatever. boys anyway. girls might also, but mstly boys. so, this was life. right? after a certain age, you become skilled, you have a job and income frm that.

waldorf was based on these ideas. the way schooling is formed in waldorf schools is to facilitate that process--unschooling in a school environment, in so much as it is possible.

that's my interpretation of the history of it anyway.

so, for em personally, the idea of rhythms and all of that---very important to everyone whether you are stiener or not. you know, "everyone loves the holidays." yeah. summer break, christmastime, etc. people love that.

anyway, i plan on letting hawk go his way (afterall, at 20 mo he already does), and yet we live in a very 'waldorf' style insofar as how i view his development, the rhythms in our lives, and so on. works for us.
That's interesting. I never thought of it like that. I plan on unschooling, well I suppose I already am since neither he nor I are in school. But he's only three. Still people ask him if he goes to school all the time. Which I find strange, but I guess many three year old's are in pre-school or something? Anyway, I think many of the waldorf ideas are totally compatible with unschooling. Someone stated it like this, "We are unschoolers, but waldorf is kind of like our "religion." Our reasons for doing certain things like the festivals and wooden toys, natural fibers, etc."
post #5 of 10
We have been using the Enki curriculum rather loosely (quite similar to Waldorf) and have realised that our original plan -unschooling- will work much better for our family. But we do love Enki and I'd still like to incorporate a lot of the key elements into our lives. So, I like to say that we are unschooling with a touch of Enki
post #6 of 10
I just read this blog entry and thought of this thread. http://simplehomeschool.net/waldorf-...ing-to-let-go/
post #7 of 10
My daughter will be five this month. We are using Kindergarten level Waldorf LIVE EDUCATION curriculum but I really only have it for ideas of options. Does that make sense? So far she seems to really be enjoying it.
post #8 of 10
elements of waldorf really resonate with me, and i had thought we would go down that road with our homeschooling, but after knowing my children, unschooling is a better fit. waldorf is, for us, the the way that religion may influence other unschooling families, it sets a calendar and a structure for our family that is a more concise explanation than "pick and choose, nature-based, pagan-yet-rooted in booth christian and muslim tradition". we have a nature table, earth based playthings(mostly), a daily rhythm and have incorporated music, handwork, movement, etc into our daily lives as unschoolers.
post #9 of 10
what happened at my house was, *I* loved waldorfy things; ds1 loved legos that pretty much chucked my waldorf life I had imagined right out the window (not without much protest on my part!). I still have wool things, gnomes, natural objects, etc, but I had to make peace with buying them for *me* not my kids! that said, dd is more accepting of it, and who knows what ds2 will do... it was a good lesson for the control freak in me to learn to let go of my expectations and preconceived notions... a painful lesson I'm still working on, to be sure, but very useful in testing whether I was truly committed to unschooling
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by goddessjulia View Post
what happened at my house was, *I* loved waldorfy things; ds1 loved legos that pretty much chucked my waldorf life I had imagined right out the window (not without much protest on my part!). I still have wool things, gnomes, natural objects, etc, but I had to make peace with buying them for *me* not my kids! that said, dd is more accepting of it, and who knows what ds2 will do... it was a good lesson for the control freak in me to learn to let go of my expectations and preconceived notions... a painful lesson I'm still working on, to be sure, but very useful in testing whether I was truly committed to unschooling
This is so common - and it was my own experience, too, in regard to so many things that just don't fit the Waldorf picture. My friends and I loved all the soft side and rituals, but our sons just never embraced it at all. We did love using colored pencils for everything, but we pretty much let go of the rest quite early on when it became obvious that it just didn't fit - that was where an unschooling slant was the deciding factor. Lillian
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