Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Waiting for Calgon to take me away.
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What I've gathered over the past few years is that it views children as intensely spiritual beings. For the first seven years, they are directly connected to the Divine, whatever that may mean to you.
By surrounding children with gentle songs, warm, soothing colors, natural play materials, and predictable rhythms to each day, it allows them to slowly unfold into the earthly realm around them with the least amount of trauma and disconnect.
One of the reasons they don't push math or reading before seven is because it interferes with the development of the "right brain" to its fullest potential. By introducing so much logic and earthly nonsense too early, you break the delicate bond children have with the divine, and imagination, and play, too early.
So that's in a nutshell, as it relates to the Waldorf education philosophy. That's my own interpretation, based on the things I've read and based on my own experience as an assistant at a homebased Waldorf preschool for the past couple years.