Waldorf education is based on the work of Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner and was designed for use in small private schools. The methods have been adapted for use in the homeschool setting. Stressing the importance of educating the whole child in mind, body and spirit, there is an emphasis in the early grades on arts and crafts, music and movement, natural science, spirituality, and group social skills. Older children are guided to develop self-awareness and to reason things out for themselves. The use of television and computers are discouraged. Children in a Waldorf homeschool also do not use standard textbooks; instead, they create their own journals or books recording their experiences, thoughts, discoveries, and conclusions. A typical Waldorf homeschool day has a rhythm and flow that incorporates: circle time; some reading and writing; spoken storytelling; play time with Waldorf inspired toys; a math or science lesson; assisting with meal preparations; a field trip or nature walk; crafts; and, a bedtime ritual.

STRENGTHS

  • a developmentally sensitive approach
  • children are treated as individuals and curriculum is tailored to their unique style of learning
  • music and art are incorporated across the subjects
  • using play as a learning technique is a pleasant introduction to academic learning

POINTS TO CONSIDER

  • intolerant of mass media
  • the Waldorf approach to reading is substantially different from how it’s taught in the mainstream
  • not suitable if you value the use of technology
  • a Waldorf education uses a delayed approach to academics in the younger years
  • Waldorf teachings are based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of anthroposophy

RESOURCES

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