Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
For practical life, I think decluttering and shutting off the tv help immensely. Create simple play spaces with imaginative, open ended toys. And get little mops and brooms and feather dustersf or the kids to help with housework (they love this)! .[/I]
I certainly second this! We recently did a big toy de-clutter, slowly replacing the non-quality toys with more natural open ended toys and cleaning out the playspace. It was a big eye opener to me because a) her play changed considerably (it seems just less "aggressive" to me if that makes sense ... gentler, more peaceful, with more involved and detailed stories to it) and b) she actually plays IN the playroom. I think before it was SO cluttered and there were SO many toys to choose from that she was overwhelmed. Scaling down has been one of the best things we have done so far on our Waldorf journey.
I've also been quite tickled at how much she loves to *really* sweep with her real dustpan and broom. A feather duster is also awesome!
As far as adding rhythm, as a person who is very non-schedule oriented, it certainly helped me to give myself the freedom to not feel bound by the clock, like say breakfast always at 7:30. Instead, it truly is a "rhythm" like breakfast after we get dressed ... we follow more of a flow. I know that may sound trivial, but for someone like me who just hates watches and clocks it is better for me to just flow through the day. Bit by bit I added things like a routine for the week (watercolor on Monday, Handwork on Wednesday) and slowly our rhythms have evolved. For us that worked better than trying to adapt all at once. Some people may be able to do that but I'm certainly not one of them
I have found that www.waldorfcurriculum.com
has a fantastic free preschool curriculum and lots of neat units in the resource section, too. We have taken these one at a time and that is how we are building our collection of books and toys (some toys we're making ourselves together and Boo loves this!) by simply purchasing or making the few materials required for each unit. I've had great success finding many books at the library, too. I think it can be a little overwhelming when one is first encountering Waldorf because there is an abundance of riches in the great materials, playthings, lessons, books, etc out there. I know that I felt like we had to have all this great stuff right now, you know? please, tell me I'm not the only impulsive one out there like this
But, really, going slowly - like how we removed the junky toys bit by bit - seems to be a natural and easy way to flow into Waldorf. I know my daughter is responding wonderfully by this gradual change in our lives, too instead of a sudden, radical switch.
I also very much like Annette's Season of Joy materials, too! They were my first taste of Waldorf (THANK YOU!) and I found the ideas within them very easy to blend into my family's lives and rhythm bit by bit.
Okay, I'm super chatty tonight. Thanks for reading along this far and thanks for this thread. I was mighty happy to stumble across it!
PS - I would really like a monthly thread! It would be great for going back in the archives for seasonal ideas, too.