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waldorf inspired unschooling? - Page 2

post #21 of 44

greenacresmama--i loved your post! we're also in the process of finding such a community. although here in sweden i think we'll have a bit of a tougher time! there is a total waldorf community near where i've put some bids in for apartments, even their main clinic is anthroposophic. another community near here has a waldorf school and a camphill village and both these areas attract me cause there's definitely overlap with our way of life and the waldorf life. and at the same time they scare me. i just want the 'waldorf inspired' (yes, unschoolers who play with waldorf toys!), not the deep believers. because we may not be able to homeschool due to local politics, i wonder if a waldorf school could work for my son. he's not easily manipulated, but on the other hand he loves math and hates reading! i think if we end up near one we'll simply give it a try and hope the teachers are not strongly anthroposphical.

 

I think the best thing that could ever happen to waldorf is if were entirely changed in its fundamental structure by a bunch of unschooling lovers! the anthroposophy would simply just fade into oblivion!;) of all the 'waldorfy' people i've known, very few seem to jive with steiner's manipulative philosophies (disguised as natural) and instead just focus on the organic lifestyle--the toys, stories, nature etc. i don't personally define those things as waldorf, but i know that others find their way to such a natural lifestyle through waldorf.

post #22 of 44

I've always thought of it as being a fan of the architecture, in a broad sense. My aunt is a Waldorf teacher and my uncle an architect and they built the ultimate Waldorf house for their three daughters to grow up in. I love the style and simplicity of the spaces and the toys, so we take that aspect and incorporate it in to our lives. When ds was littler we were part of a Kinder circle and even then the rigid format didn't fit with him. The other thing I've noticed with Waldorf parents and teachers that I have known is that they find it inherently better for kids to be playing knight and fairy which they learn through the stories that they hear. My ds loves reading about firefighters and construction, yet that is somehow looked at as lesser even though the games are still of his own invention. To me all the enforcement of childhood becomes suffocating to kids at some point.

post #23 of 44

Kmama, I think I remember my friend bringing up that most of the US Waldorf Schools

do not teach anthroposophy, but that wasn't true for most others in the world. 

Stacy B That is very true. I think most of today's children can lead themselves into a very reality, fact, technologically based happy future really easily..I mean it wouldn't be so hard to open a family home in America where this play would be common play and our children would easily gravitate towards the action and bright lights. I think it is wonderful that a mother figure might be around to remember the passion that can sooth a soul from seeing green leaves, eating veggies, and loving nature in some form. I think the Firetruck play would be cool, my son has a t-shirt and a rain coat and boots that he loves bragging at the local station about. I love him in a lot of ways and see his faces as I bring home stories about magic, nature and fairies from the library, along with many, many other stories, but I really make a huge point to find books with amazing art inside, wildlife, etc. Maybe one day my kids will get in my face about this stuff in full bloom around the house, but it inspires me to sing songs while cleaning house work (and try to learn the ones in the "Summer" book), and to really express something that makes me giddy and full filled to play with - inspired to create characters and my own play... it actually kind of makes all my play stronger and fun. I think the fairies, knights (and babies) are so common that they all kind of get a feeling for it and it might flow easily for a group of children when they come to play.. This makes sense to me as a Waldorf inspired unschooler because we may not make our children conform by all ways, but share a common art focus/love, organic toy appreciation, hopefully organic food too, most things mothering, mindful home at the least.. that kind of thing.. maybe I should just calling myself a Waldorf mom! I am totally getting the most schooled by the internet these days! Lol! 

 

I

post #24 of 44

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenacresmama View Post

I mean it wouldn't be so hard to open a family home in America where this play would be common play and our children would easily gravitate towards the action and bright lights. 


Children's imaginative play is a reflection of the world they're surrounded by. If we don't want our kids playing rescue heroes, we should change the world they're surrounded by. We shouldn't try to change the play itself. That's what I think Waldorf schools often stray into: devaluing and disapproving of certain types of imaginative play in an attempt to change how the child plays. It seems wrong-headed to me.

 

Miranda

post #25 of 44
I've been following this thread. I think we're probably more along the lines of unschooling-inspired Waldorf homeschoolers than the other way around.

I also struggle with the idea of Anthroposophy springing from the mind of one man and the cult implications of that. But I also have found that when I approach a new Anthroposophical idea and live with it for a bit that it almost always finds a way to resonate for me. I really do appreciate especially the insights into child development and the timing of subjects, both because it feels right to me and because it quite frankly makes my job a little less overwhelming.

Now, because I interpret these things (Anthroposophical ideas) for myself, guided by books, blogs and friends that I choose to listen to, I suspect that our little patch of Waldorf-ness is not what a trained Anthroposophist would deem perfect. I am strongly influenced also by reading Holt and so we tweak as needed.

This is why we homeschool, no? If I truly believed that ONLY Steiner education was the right way to go, you can bet I'd redirect my considerable efforts into making sure we could send our kids to a Waldorf school. Ditto any other educational philosophy. What I love about homeschooling is how you really can marry just about any ideas to one another in a way that works just perfectly for the situation you are currently in.

One instance where this works for us: my oldest is a very dreamy, totally not yet incarnated 6year old who also just happens to be really turned on by science. We have kits and kits of science experiments, mostly gifted from well-meaning relatives. DS and I spend some time with those, mostly doing, not so much talking, and he finds these things (a battery-driven coil motor, vinegar and baking powder fizzes, etc.) impressive and magical. What follows is days of drawing out inventions and experiments and stories about electrical fairies and volcano gnomes. A Steiner purist would probably say I oughtn't get out those science kits yet, an unschooling purist may suggest I provide more when the kid shows a real interest. I feel our approach is best for us....I am not exposing my child to rigorous academics that may inhibit his work of incarnating and acting from his will, but I'm also not imposing an overly strict prohibition on things that he shows interest in.

If this turns into a thread about unschooling and Waldorf experiences and discussions about taking influences from both ideas, I'd be interested in participating. Thanks, OP, for bringing it up.
post #26 of 44
Just wanted also to respond to a couple of pps, but I'm not sure how to do multiple quotes. Sorry! (damn Waldorf mama who can't figure out her iPad, right?!)

About education indoctrinating; yes! And I see in the unschooling community a strong flow of independence and free thought. I love that, but I also love the Waldorf commitment to strong community...hard for homeschoolers, but we have a great coop to do Circles and celebrations with, and I do hope that my kids will take this beginning of celebrating in community and eventually have strong social justice ideals.

About the imaginative play; I think the idea is that children are not just engaging in imitative play and imaginative play, but that they are encouraged to do this through archetypical characters...that's why knights and dragons and not firefighters and superheroes.

About learning in reality; this is where I would take Steiner over Holt, I think. Children are not little adults. They not only see and hear the world differently, they experience it differently because they are not adults, they haven't come through the stages and cycles yet. I do love this about Anthroposophy...acknowledging the differentness of children...makes it easier for me to teach them. I like the image of holding a home space for them, like a second womb, until they emerge in stages and at the appropriate times.

I do realize that a Waldorf apology is not necessarily called for here, but from the standpoint of using both Steiner and Holt, I thought a bit of clarity about some Anthroposophical points might contribute to the conversation. I know I read more Steiner than Holt and, as there's only so much time in the day, would also welcome more Holt-versed opinions and ideas, too as I generally love his thoughts.
post #27 of 44

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaG View Post

About the imaginative play; I think the idea is that children are not just engaging in imitative play and imaginative play, but that they are encouraged to do this through archetypical characters...that's why knights and dragons and not firefighters and superheroes.

Archetypal characters are things like: hero, villain, sidekick, trickster, mentor and so on. There's no reason why a superhero is any less archetypal a hero character than a knight. 

 

Miranda

post #28 of 44

MamaG and others.. all great stuff, thanks for sharing. So hard to be a mom of wee ones and begin this research.. Total switch for us from such a total mainstream lifestyle in so many ways. I knew childhood would be playful but the definition of what to do in a day or year to feel grounded and happy feels so unrelaxed when I think about including everything and anything they want when it comes to Unschooling. I also think that It is my major responsibility to give them nature and make them green, feed them real fresh and nutritous food and show them how to do that.   I also feel like they need something (haven't read any of Steiner, yet BTW.. sorry I have had other experiences though and I think they count - Waldorf Fairs and Nanny, friends too, tons of Etsy and my own life on acres in Honolulu with 25 grown fruit trees). 

 

I just found this book and had to post fast! Wish, wish, wish I had found this a long time ago.. and my previous nanny.. wow.. "A Child's Seasonal Treasury" has almost everything a parent needs.. read while Pregnant.. read while they are napping as a baby, practice, buy the fun play things and craft supplies when they get older, but dip your hand in when they are a baby because it really helped me get it when I started making felt toys and the wooden stackers, and playing pretend with playsilks. What I am looking forward to now is reading at midnight ( and practicing songs by day - seems more about learning some poetry and stories by heart, along with songs).. not so healthy to lose sleep.. but I really want this.. I wish there was a Homeschooling Summer camp for us! I would go, my kids could go to the camp school while I go to the Mother school. :) 

 

DH wants to Homeschool a lot too. We are not rich, but have some money saved and we just sold our jackpot in Hawaii (not a Jackpot, but it should be!) Life with him isn't so.. girly. He is all male but very sweet and natural. He takes a lot of the play and makes it pure darn hilarious and messy, but scientific (baby size) too. I love this book for family stuff: "I Love Dirt" <---- Awesome! 

 

Rhythm? Would love a great lesson on anything you do - how you bring it in to your home, etc. The blogs are good for this one...Yeah.. But anyone here start doing somethings? Maybe it would help us? 

 

I just want to say once that I am a pure transition type of mother. I am always growing and never feel bad or judge others or anything. I thank God everyday that I am shown very happy heavenly ways to improve my life and take me closer. I think I actually freak people out because I look like a "Old Navy" with a goodwill twist type person, drive a 10 year old BMW, and live in a half built house.. I think my soul really wants to live closer to the land and dress that way too. I have plastics in my house and toy lots, my kids wear Target and goodwill.. some Land's End... It bothers me but I can't let it.. I read "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" and "Wabi Sabi" two great books. Sometimes I think the waldorf inspired is coming from all the "crazy" (judged by us)  I want to take out of their experiences just in our house! And make the celebrations more special and clear. I can tell my kids (3 and 1) are really looking towards me, curious.. if all they see is a computer/TV watching, cleaner, waiter and driver, craft maker and shopper, EKk to me! This is where I am at.. about to change a whole lot this year!!! We pray once a day with a candle.. I sing when I push them on the swing and clean.. I can totally be more poetic.. and I also am relearning to pretend.

 

(Hopefully with all the more reading I do I can work on my grammar too. Sorry I am messy, catching a little break and those go so fast!)  

 

ETA: Prayers answered by Youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UWeNTFYgUg  <--- morning song from a Waldorf inspired Preschool Teacher with two boys! 

post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 


Archetypal characters are things like: hero, villain, sidekick, trickster, mentor and so on. There's no reason why a superhero is any less archetypal a hero character than a knight. 

 

Miranda



 


Yes, I do see your point. I'm thinking on the fly here, and parsing out why it is I feel that OLD archetypes are the ones that are best. I just quickly looked up 'archetype' online and found the Wiki article, which is interesting. In the first page, the only examples are from folklore and myth. I think that, while 'superhero' could manage to fit the technical definition of archetype as the 'ultimate or greatest or the ideal' it misses the deeply ingrained realness of an archetype which is imprinted culturally by long use. I also think 'superhero' specifically is too much a construct of our time to really archetypical. Does that make sense?

I also feel that the older characters have had the edges of personification rubbed off by age. A knight is just a knight and could be.....anyone. We've all met a firefighter, so that image by necessity becomes loaded with specifics because of that. And I take issue with how watered-down the very notions of 'heroism', 'bravery', 'chivalry' have become. I think that 'once upon a time' makes a child freer to really explore those themes.

As the child becomes fully into his body and is ready for intellectual pursuits, the hero becomes more specific; Moses, Odin, Zeus. And to the pre-teen who is ready for it, the hero is personified in people who are accessible role models; Martin Luther King, Ghandi, etc. I like that balance and the way it honors the child's development from 1) hero I pretend to be, who, because he is non-specific can fit my little-childness, to 2) hero that I learn about, and 3) hero that teaches me and informs my own character. The movement through history through the grades is something I really like, too. It sort of matches the maturation of the child with the evolution of humankind as a spiritual race.

At least I think that's where the Steiner idea stems from. I'll bring this up next time I visit with my Waldorf mama friends and see what their insights are.

Thanks for your response.

EDited to correct for sick-baby-sleeping-in-lap-syndrome and auto-correct willfulness.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaG View Post





 

Yes, I do see your point. I'm thinking on the fly here, and parsing out why it is I feel that OLD archetypes are the ones that are best. I just quickly looked up 'archetype' online and found the Wiki article, which is interesting. In the first page, the only examples are from folklore and myth. I think that, while 'superhero' could manage to fit the technical definition of archetype as the 'ultimate or greatest or the ideal' it misses the deeply ingrained realness of an archetype which is imprinted culturally by long use. I also think 'superhero' specifically is too much a construct of our time to really archetypical. Does that make sense? I also feel that the older characters have had the edges of personification rubbed off by age. A knight is just a knight and could be.....anyone. We've all met a firefighter, so that image by necessity becomes loaded with specifics because of that. And I take issue with how watered-down the very notions of 'heroism', 'bravery', 'chivalry' have become. I think that 'once upon a time' makes a child freer to really explore those themes.As the child becomes fully into his body and is ready for intellectual pursuits, the hero becomes more specific; Moses, Odin, Zeus. And to the pre-teen who is ready for it, the hero is personified in people who are accessible role models; Martin Luther King, Ghandi, etc. I like that balance and the way it honors the child's development from 1) hero I pretend to be, who, because he is non-specific can fit my little-childness, to 2) hero that I learn about, and 3) hero that teaches me and informs my own character. The movement through history through the grades is something I really like, too. It sort of matches the maturation of the child with the evolution of humankind as a spiritual race.At least I think that's where the Steiner idea stems from. I'll bring this up next time I visit with my Waldorf mama friends and see what their insights are.Thanks for your response. EDited to correct for sick-baby-sleeping-in-lap-syndrome and auto-correct willfulness.

Please blab more and more when you get a chance! I didn't quite get the first paragraph.. Thank you so much! 
 

post #31 of 44

 

" It sort of matches the maturation of the child with the evolution of humankind as a spiritual race."

(sorry I forget how to quote neatly...)

 

I'm not sure if I'm alone with this, but Steiner's idea of the evolution of mankind as a spiritual race sits so very wrong with me. Of course, he's not the 'inventor' of this idea at all, many many other philosophers defended this notion. It bothers me because it implies that we're always at an inferior evolutionary stage (yes, regardless of the fact that Steiner assures us that being say, colored, does not mean Africans are inferior per se, just further down the evolutionary scale), and that everything we do is infused with the need to devalue what we are doing now in favor of creating something more appropriate, more spiritual. I feels as if this denies our very physical beings, seperating the physical from the spiritual. Much like in Christianity and the other great world religions, which I also have a huge problem with.

 

On a more social level, I'm troubled by it because it runs along the same lines as the glorification of our scientific based culture, where progress is the only way to go. And all the history books with their straight timelines, "then we were apes and ignorant, now we're upright and advanced--meaning happy", "then we were hunter gatherers, now we're *all* farmers and the people behind us are all destined to be as technologically advanced as we are." As if we all follow(ed) the same evolutionary path.

 

Even though Waldorf education typically rejects techonological advancements, it's only for the purpose of educating children.
 

I'm put off by the medieval theme of Waldorf stories, crafts and what not. I don't feel comfortable presenting knights as heros to my children. Knights were part of a system that simply put, based itself on slavery, or call it feudalism if you will. Hero stories in authoritarian cultures have a specific function, which is to instill a sense of vulnerability in the population, instilling fear of the unknown, or the 'other' (and then being 'saved' by a powerful protector). Which is how you build a country, and then an empire, uniting people by creating a common enemy. the US, the European Union, Russia, China.

I'm wondering if in an egalitarian culture, would there be a need for hero stories?

post #32 of 44

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmamma View Post
I'm put off by the medieval theme of Waldorf stories, crafts and what not. I don't feel comfortable presenting knights as heros to my children. Knights were part of a system that simply put, based itself on slavery, or call it feudalism if you will. 


Yes, I was thinking about this after posting about superheroes vs. knights as archetypal characters. I don't think that knights as heroes have anything more going for them than Flash Gordon. I don't like the fairly strict gender roles that tend to be played out in fairy tales. I don't like the classism inherent in the feudal system. I don't think that the honour and loyalty of the knightly tradition are inherently more moral and just than the themes played out amongst the superhero stories of the 1950s or 1970s. I think there's a lot of great stuff in fairy tales, but there's also a lot of feudal, authoritarian, classist/sexist baggage, and I'd rather my kids didn't get an exclusive diet of that stuff. I like that they mix it up with dinosaur play and superhero play and Harry Potter play and Greek mythology play and hospital ER play and all the rest. I think the imaginative distillations of this big mix of traditions are so cool. I can't imagine trying to limit my kids to medieval character play. 


Miranda

 

(who overheard this quip the other day while her 7-year-old was playing: "I shall pray to Applodox, the god of paradoxes, for release from this confusion!"  biglaugh.gif)

post #33 of 44
Wow and whoa. Thank you so much you two! I think I understand this vey well.. It is why I cringe at most Disney movies and yes I don't like the gender stuff ( my son is a pink princess type! ) that is so very interesting! The waldorf school here in Hawaii is also very local cultural, celebrating and studying so many of the many ethnicities present. What I paid most attention to at the fair was the phenomenal art work the kids had, the puppet show and the crafts for sale. History was always something I was entirely pissed about in college.. It felt like I learned the truth then... Not sure but I want to teach cultures more than.. It just seemed like the sustainable culture was important at the school... The medieval focus is not my favorite... I guess in seriousness, but play it is fun... I think the age group I am in now is quite different; about fairies and nature... Babies!! ... Those are really personal to my kids because they beg me to go outside ( the baby brought me my shoes today and then took me to the back door 16 mon!!) the imagination that they have is about the land more so..hmmm. A lot of food for thought! I guess imagination studies nevr came my way, just lots of skill stuff from child development Psycology... Lots to think about. Any help with older kids? My 12 year old unschooling niece is into Egyptians and the 10 brother is into dragons.. Not waldorf at all!

I could never shove my kids into stuff..

I am however really proactive about family buying gifts and waldorf inspire helps a ton! The organic toys call my soul to give them beauty and the connection with the earth. Lots of plastic toys of a fav comic book, whatever,.. Gotta go
post #34 of 44

I don't know how Waldorf can fit in with the unschooling philosophy, except if you're speaking purely of  enjoying the 'accessories' that accompany Waldorf. To me, the philosophies are completely contradictory. Unschooling says there is learning value in anything that children gravitate to and find pleasure in (including tv, comic books, hero play, plastic toys etc) and Waldorf says, no that's not true. Not only is there not learning value in some of those things, they are actually damaging to the child's very psyche and development.

 

I think the Waldorf philosophy at it's root is something I disagree with on so many levels, but one can get easily sucked into the beautiful wooden toys and all the accoutrement that makes it seem very attractive. I like some of the 'accessories' myself and have incorporated them into our life, leaving the actual Waldorf philosophy behind. I can't imagine it healthy for a child who adores Science at a time Steiner deems "wrong" to be denied the chance to explore that, or for a child who so loves the colors blue and purple at 4 to be told they can't have their room painted that color because Steiner says those colors aren't appropriate for a young child's room (must be orange or yellow, you know!) and all the other rules and regulations that come with following that particular philosophy.

 

I find the whole philosophy extremely off-putting and I don't know how it meshes with unschooling, when considering the philosophies in their truest forms.

post #35 of 44
I guess I would suggest that if the whole philosophy is something you completely disagree with, then perhaps a Waldorf-inspired unschooling thread might not be the best fit for you.

I find lots to take from both philosophies. We're not dogmatically Steiner (but I feel I need to be pretty well-versed in that precisely so that I can draw what I find fits and let go what does not). We're certainly not radical unschoolers (and there we have a philosophy that I completely disagree with...I think it is immensely harmful for emerging children). I do like a lot of what Holt has to say about protecting the curiosity and educational enthusiasm of children. I find this meshes well with the Steiner philosophy of protecting the childhood.

I also manage to walk a middle ground for my family where I take my very important role of mother as guide to introduce my children to what I think is best at the time, but stay open to listen to what inspires and speaks to my kids. Waldorf schooling can be just as rigid as public schooling, but Waldorf homeschooling is very flexible, I find. At it's heart is the idea of rhythm, not schedule. My 6 year old isn't ready for first grade reading, but my next child, carried by his older brother's first grade work next year, may be ready at an earlier age.

I think people get all caught up in "The Philosophy", when I think Waldorf, and Steiner, once you get down to brass tacks, is mostly about honoring the child's individuality and fostering his freedom.

As for the knights topic, we will have to disagree about that. If you are worried about bumping up against certain uglinesses in history, well, a lot will get left out. My kids are little children...some day we will learn all about feudalism and they can see for themselves what it looked like and what lessons can be applied to their circumstances. For now, this history is their very own history (my family tree traces back to knights accompanying William of Normandy to conquer England), and we take the magic of that misty distance in time to explore child-appropriate themes.

I continue this only because the knights came up again (busy knights!). My kids mostly play dinosaurs and families. Knights only really come up around Michaelmas.

I also want to speak about media. I actually came to Waldorf through unschooling. I knew I didn't want my kids in the public schools for lots of reasons, among them I wanted them to be free from peer pressure and the "Lord of the Flies" type scenarios on the playground until they were developmentally able to see that for what is was and be strong enough in their own skins to make decisions from inner as opposed to outer influences. It was a short step for me to also see TV in this regard. How can kids be truly unschooled in the sense I mean above, if they are so bombarded by so much media? I wanted them to follow their interests and passions umemcumbered by all that, from an inner place.

I have come to see that, in our family, if I want to really let my kids be free, unschooled, it needs to come from a place of having a strong commitment to a school of thought on child development. I use that to help them sort through the big wonderful world in a way that maximizes the chances that they will not only get what comes their way, but it vibrates Truth through their very beings because it came at the right time in the right way. If we start on a path of doing something at the 'Waldorf pace' and it just doesn't go well, we drop it and find something else, usually based on something the kids have led me to, because Steiner also said 'know your child, know him as your primary job, and guides him from that wisdom' (my paraphrase).

I really do find these philosophies compatible and beautiful and would truly like to find a space where both are welcome and there is support and discussion about how that works out for each family.

 

post #36 of 44

Well said, Gwen, & just the sort of boost I needed this morning!  I think I have been lingering too much around discussions of Waldorf criticisms and this has been no good for me.  I am really enjoying this thread, but it is not changing my mind :)

post #37 of 44

 

Quote:
 I guess I would suggest that if the whole philosophy is something you completely disagree with, then perhaps a Waldorf-inspired unschooling thread might not be the best fit for you.

 

 

I believe the OP asked for opinions on the combination of Waldorf and unschooling. That's why I've replied. Others who have seem to have quite a bit of ecperience with Waldorf, so I think everything is well.  
 

Although I disagree on the waldorf and unschooling compatability, I'm not in agreement at all with radical unschooling. For my family, it's very important to have a strong moral foundation and clear ideas about what material and influences available are appropriate for my children. I personally feel that not all unschooling is radical unschooling, so while I restrict my children's screen time, I feel I am very much aligned to the unschooling philosophical 'core'.

However, I'm not comfortable allowing someone else to decide what is a true understanding of the development of children. I think the healthiest way to raise a child is through following the guidance of your own culture/tribe, but since we are so far from the egalitarian nature of society that persisted for most of our history, I obviously have chosen to discard many of the the misinformed child rearing techniques of our western society. So i'm left to following my own intuition. Plus reading as much as I can about tribal child rearing, from egalitarian natured societies. So far, everything I've read seems to follow the ideas of unschooling and I assume this is where unschooling had its roots.

 

It is convenient to follow someone else, someone who has taken the effort to write a great deal about child development and various philosophical and scientific subjects, who helped start a school teaching his doctrines, etc. Our culture is so expert-based, most of us find it hard to trust ourselves on important topics, let alone question where the information is coming from. Personally I always make a moral assessment of the person disseminating a certain kind of information or idea. I look at him or her as a whole, not just bits and pieces of convictions, from which I can pick and choose what sounds good. Maybe I'm a moralist;), but not particularly ashamed if it.  

 

Quote:
 I think people get all caught up in "The Philosophy", when I think Waldorf, and Steiner, once you get down to brass tacks, is mostly about honoring the child's individuality and fostering his freedom.

 

 How could you not get caught up in Steiner's philosophy when taking a stand for or against waldorf? it's all philosophy, he was a thinking man. Steiner preached far more than honoring a child's individuality and freedom. I can't say I'm christian merely because I agree that we should treat each other with respect. And so I don't.

 

 

Quote:
 As for the knights topic, we will have to disagree about that. If you are worried about bumping up against certain uglinesses in history, well, a lot will get left out.

I think you misread what I wrote about this. I'm not worried about bumping up against certain issues, I simply don't want to use stories that glorify something I'm deadset against. Sure, I wouldn't mind bring the occasional knight book home, but my kid has never shown an interest in knight tradition. We discussed earlier in the thread that Waldorf teachers tend to favor knight-play, so that's what spurred me to comment.

We often bump into various uglinesses in history and take the opportunity to discuss them.

 

You could start a support thread for Waldorf inspired unschooling, you just state that you don't want opinions offered, only support. I think most people are pretty respectful, and besides they could always use this thread if they have an opinion to offer. I think there's room for everything. Just be clear with your intentions.

post #38 of 44
Thread Starter 

Wow!

What a discussion. I thank all of you for your input. I am learning a lot. I am far from the scholarly mother some of you seem to be!

I'm someone who takes a bit from here and a bit from there, as it resonates with me, in all areas of life. Even if I'm not so fond of the source, or know that there are some things about a philosophy which I do not support, I trust my inner voice when it comes to evaluating the content and seeing what works for me. From spirituality to homemaking to marriage to art, etc.

No surprise that this combination seems absolutely doable for us.

We have a waldorf inspired home, though I do not believe we are rigid with it. I love the waldorf 'stuff'. Toys, crafts, stories, songs, nature, nature, nature...... I believe that this is what attracts many parents to Waldorf. Then they get into it and find themselves saying 'anthro-what??????' Or maybe that was just me. lol

I also absolutely believe in holding space for my children, sharing meaningful celebration with them, doing meaningful work with them nearby or involved and rhythm has absolutely saved my sanity. I no longer waste energy trying to figure out what to do next and how to get done what needs doing. I flow into the next thing able to be fully present in what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with (mostly.....we all have our days). I have found the Parenting Passageway blog to be absolutely instrumental in helping me put this all together from a stay at home mom standpoint.

I believe that this really can work with unschooling. It's a matter of taking what makes sense and leaving the rest. Not following a curriculium is GREAT for that!! lol

Waldorf has helped me with my unschooling. Waldorf philosophy has helped me to stop treating my 4 year old as a little adult and honour her beautiful dream state. It has helped me to see the magic of childhood (I know that Waldorf isn't the only source of inspiration out there for this!). My childhood was very serious, I still struggle to 'know how' to play. I NEEDED to tap into something which could help me with this as my oldest was on the same path I was.

This has helped me to understand how to help her explore her interests. How to speak to her in a way that she can really grasp. We are very intellectual and I know that I often go over her head, but didn't know what else to do. What a relief (and a challenge) to try using less words. To use song and story or silence instead. To really feel as though I am finally figuring out how to engage my child instead of waiting for her to engage me!! I know that part of that is just plain knowing your child. I also know that I was operating under false pretences. I really didn't have a grasp on what was reasonable to expect from my children.

Obviously I needed a good dose of confidence. Finding both waldorf and unschooling (among other approaches which didn't seem quite right) was at first, very overwhelming. I spent a couple of years reading here and there about both, feeling entirely inadequate and overwhelmed. Once I did some work on my perfectionism and was able to recognize life as the process that it is, I was able to start really trying these things on. What fits, stays, for now anyway. lol Once I have more experience, and older and other children....well, we'll just keep on evolving. 

post #39 of 44
Hey.. The "gotta go" was literal.. I had to go ;p. Typing in car at co-op baby is sleeping smile.gif.

The toys plastic, made cheaply and can break, are the things.. Just like all things in my life.. That I feel I need to move beyond. I got my son something plastic, two presents and that was all this Christmas.. The tv was my thing... I used it to buy time.. In a way I get totally how the media is not unschooling.. I can't feel like I want to say no to all forms, but my heart Is bursting for something else..nature nature nature is right! And family, friends and community.. Right now, this moment, the sun, the moon and stars on today.

This thread is full of love for me! I am so full of joy and awakening! I think it feels really off for an unschooler family to hold a stand against inspired anything.. Religion, family history, local culture.. I don't think it is a big deal to them (is it? I am new?) There is so much beauty coming from the waldorf classroom..

This is going to sound so bizarre. Let me remind you that I have a lot of biology/liberal arts, 4 years ( I just kept taking everything against advisement, but did have lots of biology).

I went outside naked a few nights ago at Midnight. My children are often fighting clothing and I am renting "babies" and I wanted to experience, just for a moment what it is like. I felt like an animal.. I thought of other animals... I got cold.. I put my hands in the dirt if my garden and smelled it.. Chewed some basil. I suddenly stood up. I had read something last year on the people that live the longest in the world. I think that this is where it is pulling me. Green life is like food for my old brain. There are not so many questions. People are more together. Life is in the moment and celebrated when we are connected to food. The use of plastics in toys office supplies, home decor.. Well it isn't a blood bag or needles for such, these things are just getting out of hand..in my attention..much like factory farming.

To end that story, I got my dh out of bed and brought him out, took off his clothes and told him, "we are alive!" because it is funny... In the whole life history time line.. Just like unschoing I guess.. We haven't been hustling off here to there.. And industry has been to blame for so Many hurtful things, good things too, but we are crying out for the industrailation peeps to calm down, reinvent, etc. but I can't help but foster a sense of frontier artist indepence because it is better air... Try working In a huge bank building.. The whole inside is a system that never sees sunlight..... My kids also need healthy food, organic supplies, music choices and inspiration... I could be called a nature unschooling mom.. But I love the Wadlorf types... Purist are even in Raw food, veganism, religions, etc... Cause I gotta say, the waldorf moms I have meet are in this whole humanity nature thing together.. Maybe the teachers are harder to befriend but an unschooling mom? Seriously? Makes mr want to bring up ground rules for gatherings.. But dude, if organic and nature was the theme? I am in!
Edited by greenacresmama - 1/20/11 at 4:00pm
post #40 of 44

 

Oh I just wanted to say I love his thread! Thank you OP!
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