My dh and I have been doing a lot of research lately (our boys are 4, 3, and 1) on what types of education we'd like for them to have. It seems we are a bit slower than a lot of parents
but we've decided we really like Waldorf inspired education. Now, there is not a Waldorf school even kinda close by, and I really feel like I'd like to homeschool my children anyway (at least definitely in the beginning years).
So, where's a good place to start?? I've ordered a couple of books and am waiting for them. We do have a TV and won't get rid of it, but I leave it off during the day and have told my babysitter the couple of times she's been over that they are not to watch it (she thinks I'm joking!!). I'm waiting for dh to get paid, them I'm going to go and get some art stuff (watercolors, paper, HOPEFULLY some crayons, etc). We don't have a large amount of expendable cash, so I'm not yet able to get some of the toys I've seen, but I've got a list going of some nice pieces I think we'd like, so that I can hand it over to grandparents for presents, and for something to refer to if we do come across some extra cash...
You could start by working on basic stuff (which you may already have) like establishing a daily rhythm, having a grace before meals, singing your children through transitions, upping the amount of outdoor play, setting up a nature table...
Good luck finding your way. What books have you ordered?
Thus far I've ordered "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" and "Seven Times the Sun" I have a pretty long wish list on Amazon. The hardest parts for me have been establishing a daily rhythm. We have been an "on the go" family for such a long time (I worked nights full time until recently). Also, suprisingly, singing has been hard for me, I can't seem to remember any songs!!
Hello there, I'm fairly new to all of this myself and you can look up some of my other threads for things I've done. My son is five and we didn't seriously consider waldorf until about six months ago when my daughter was born, so don't feel bad about waiting to come around.
We also have limited income and have to be creative with the changes. The most informative book I've read on our children's ages is "You are your child's first teacher". We also have "seven times the sun" and I've got some great ideas from there. I think this is a more supplemental type of book though to one of the more waldorf parenting foundation type of books like the other one I suggested.
In "seven times the sun" she also suggests trying to introduce one routine at a time instead of overwhelming yourself, like start with morning or dinner time. I see it as a take it or leave it book with a lot of ideas you can use and a lot you probably won't.
I know this sounds weird but my DS hates singing so we really don't do any of that or he gets really upset. He loves stories, routines, and helping with selective daily chores that interest him, but no singing. I figure he will grow out of that eventually.
As for buying things, I tried mostly getting rid of the old things and rearranging other toys in baskets from the dollar store, making a nature table out of his old toybox with a cloth draped over it, and buying a couple of special wooden things. I also bought some blank silks from dharma trading company for dyeing and created a little canopy playspace in one corner of his room with a canopy I found for sale at pier1. I figure all of that will do for now. He already makes up his own games and spends more outside with less clutter in his room and his mind in my opinion.
We ended up going no tv just because having it in the house at all will create an argument. If we could have delegated its use to only weekends or special occasions though we would have done that. DS was just used to so much dvd watching on a daily basis that it would have created a huge fuss to have it here at all.
I haven't invested much in the crafts like the stockmar crayons, watercolors, and things like that yet since I figure he will do most of that at school but if I were in your shoes I would probably go ahead and slowly get some of those things. Again, the Rahima Baldwin Darcy book I mentioned before has some great chapters on crafts and activities for those ages.
Thanks everyone for the great replies!! I am def. planning on ordering "You are Your Child'd First Teacher" as soon as I can. I recognized the author, she wrote one of the books I use for my Midwife course
Thanks for all the suggestions, this really does help! As far as the TV goes, I don't know how I got so lucky, but my boys aren't too interested in it. They used to ask to watch certain movies, but then would only watch about ten minutes then jump up and run off. I do have some power struggles with my 4 yr old, but that mostly seems like him being upset because I'm not doing what he tells me. I just realized they haven't asked to watch it since yesterday morning. And we were the kind of family where it would come on when we got up, then off as we were going to bed.
I'm glad my kids don't have struggles with it. My DH agreed with Waldorf ideas for the most part, but told me there was no way we were going to get rid of it, although he is fine not watching it while the kids are up.
I think you lilsishomemade and pixiewytch have a great advantage to lots of other people in that you do not have or want to spend much money on it all!
It might sounds silly, but when you have less money, the more fantasy you will invest to make things happen for your kids without actually getting all kinds of "unnecessary stuff", just because it looks so cute. You can be more inventive and in the end you can say 'hey that was a good idea and I actually did not need to buy that stuff anyway, I can make it myself.'
Due to us just recently settling in our new home, we did not have many things for ds anyway and we did not want to spend a lot of money on all these nice wooden toys (although I still like to look a them
So we decided to only invest in a couple of nice playstands that were on sale, a few silks, a wooden truck and a car, ....oh before I forget a couple of really nice knitted sheep. The rest I made myself, we both did actually or were toys/ decorations from my childhood. Ds loves his toys that we made, plus he was able to help as well and this makes it even more special!
That said we do have the advantage of a larger garden with lots of trees, so I had enough resources.
Oh, one thing that we do invest a lot of money into though are books, I have a strange attitude with those, I always think that you can not have too many... where the heck am I gonna put them all???