What is it about Waldorf?

So, what is it about Waldorf?

What has drawn my family to this lifestyle and educational path?

As I learn more about Waldorf, the more I identify with this approach, the more I aspire to parent in this way. So I thought I would share what it is about Waldorf that resonates with me and why I think it suits my family {and I should say, there is still so much for me to learn!}

 

Rhythm

Having a rhythm to our days helps them flow, with clear points anchoring the day, but with flexibility should inspiration strike or something unexpected come up.

Our rhythm provides a sense of balance, times of breathing in {time with me on a set task} and breathing out {free play}. And we often transition using song.

My children seem to thrive with the expectation of what will occur during their days. And love knowing tomorrow is bread day, drawing day or daddy day.

Even as a working mum having a rhythm through the evening to bedtime gives me time to reconnect with them… using candlelight to anchor us and provide moments of intention.

 

 

Play

When visiting a Waldorf school for the first time, the beauty of the play spaces opened my eyes to a different way to inspire play.

With beautiful & simple toys made from natural materials. Bountiful baskets of loose parts such as blocks or shells for open ended play. Together with homely areas with play kitchens and dolls for play through imitation…

There is a focus on unstructured play and unscheduled time… to allow them to be in their bodies and go at their own pace, immersing themselves in their play… as if in their own little worlds.

 

 

 
Nature & the seasons
There is a focus on nature and the seasons through daily awareness and appreciation.

With the change of the seasons come stories, songs, crafts and baking that hold the season in reverence. And with this comes an understanding of the World around us.

I hear my son playing, and as he does he sings to himself about falling leaves in Autumn, butterflies in Spring, sunshine in Summer, before turning to King Winter during the cold months.

For me, this focus on nature and the seasons has elements of ritual… of honouring Mother Earth and the natural rhythm.

Creativity

Embracing Waldorf has brought creativity into our home. Creativity that leads to beauty and inspires wonder.

Before starting our little family, I would not have described myself as a creative person.. not since I was a child myself!

Making my own toys, and rediscovering handmade has helped me appreciate the value of things, to be satisfied with less and reawakened my creative spark.

And my children amaze me with their own creativity, which I observe in their play, their drawings and their crafts. Thank goodness for creativity!

 

Festivals & celebration

With Waldorf there is great emphasis on celebrating the festivals of the year, including Easter, Christmas and birthdays.

These celebrations provide special anchor points throughout the year. They help build family and community traditions ~ with a Waldorf twist!

Such as bringing special homemade aspects to these celebrations… like a homemade birthday banner, or gingerbread house

And the night before my children’s birthday, I tell them about the day they were born ~ a story they love!

Simplicity

For me and my family, Waldorf brings a general slowing down, in great contrast to my time outside the home for work. And a gentleness that I hope provides my children with support and love in their endeavours.

So we aim for simplicity, in our home generally, with our toys, our books {okay, I struggle a bit with this one!} and with our thoughts and intentions.

We try to ensure our days are not filled to the brim, allowing time for whatever may come ~ a challenging aspiration in our culture of busy fullness.

And so to us, Waldorf is a work in progress. With areas for improvement, like a reduction in screen time.. where we aim to find a balance that works for us.

 
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of what it is about Waldorf that we love

Now, I’d love to know…
What do you love about Waldorf?
Or if you are new to Waldorf, what would you like to hear more about?

Warmly, Kelly

This post was part of the series
How to bring Waldorf into your home…’
by Kelly of Happy Whimsical Hearts

You can see more from this series here.

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24 Comments

  • Reply Bekka Joy September 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Oh I’m loving this series so much! Love this post as it seems to speak straight from your heart <3
    I really can’t wait for you to tell me more about Waldorf play… I hope that’s part of your series! 😉
    But seriously, I’m just enjoying learning more about this fabulous path you’ve taken! x

  • Reply Kim Corrigan-Oliver September 27, 2013 at 6:55 am

    You have pretty much hit the nail on the head with what I like about Waldorf. I would have to add that I also love the later introduction to academics, I am in no rush to speed that up with my little man. And I also love the aspect of storytellling, which for me is a bit of weak link that I am working on. My little man loves to be read to from a book, but when I tell a story he is really captivated and I can see his mind working to bring it all to life.

    Thanks for sharing. Going to share this post with some of my Waldorf mama friends 🙂

  • Reply Cindy September 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Dahle September 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you! I needed this today.

  • Reply Carrie September 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Those are all the things that drew us to Waldorf too. Another great post, Kelly!

  • Reply katef September 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I love the way you make Waldorf seem real and doable.

    I often feel like the Steiner philosophy or way of life seems like something you can do if you study for years, or have loads of money to buy the perfect toys, or heaps of time to spend doing nothing but focusing on your kids… but you make sense of it, and how it fits in to every day life. You make it feel tangible and achievable and just, down to earth. Thank you.

  • Reply Rachel Brown September 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    This is such a lovely, relateable series! It’s the play and simplicity that truly draw me in 🙂

  • Reply Penny Whitehouse October 1, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I agree with Kate. I learnt more about Warldorf and your perspective on it in this post and it really does seem very achievable to parent that way. In fact I’m totally getting into it more and more from reading your posts honey.

  • Reply Rez P October 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I didn’t know much about Waldorf until this series. Very thought provoking! I’m drawn to lots of these aspects without even realising it, especially love natural materials & loose parts 🙂

  • Reply Eva - The Multitasking Mummy October 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Waldorf is new to me. Simplicity with toys is something I wish we could do, I have been trying to think how I can do it because my son just had way too many different types of toys and I just want to change it.

  • Reply Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky October 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for more info on Waldorf, I’m really enjoying getting to know it better.

  • Reply Kate Gribble October 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    These are all the things that I love about Waldorf too; the simplicity, the emphasis on play and having a personal and family rhythm. It’s beautiful….and of course to truly divine little peg people and toys. I just adore those too.

  • Reply Be A Fun Mum October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Just reading all that…it’s like an explanation of what I’ve already found works for my family. Loved reading this post!

  • Reply Danya atDanyaBanya October 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I wouldn’t describe our family as a Waldorf family – but there are parts of your post that definitely resonate with my current parenting style, and there are parts of your post that reflect areas that I’m working on. I try to DIY and simplify whatever I can – especially while my kids are so young and impressionable. xx

  • Reply pauline@lessonslearntjournal.com October 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this great explanation Kelly. I love that it slows down the pace of life, and allows time for gentle nurturing. A far cry to the hot housing I fear our schools can become. xo P

  • Reply ladybugsspots October 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I love reading about different learning and play styles and philosophies. Waldorf is one we have always been inerested in too which is why I love reading your blog!
    -Julie

  • Reply Kate Grono October 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    You make Waldorf sound so appealing. I like the sound of your bread day, drawing day etc. My daughter is always saying to me “Where are we going tomorrow” and I’ve realised from experience that the absolute worst thing I can say is “nothing planned” 🙂

  • Reply Elise Ellerman October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    So many elements of the Waldorf approach appeals to me – the way it inspires creativity, the “simple” toys, incorporating natural materials into play and learning experiences, celebrating festivals and creating traditions. Kelly, this was such an inspiring post to read. Elise @ Creative Play Central

  • Reply Elise Ellerman October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    So many elements of the Waldorf approach appeals to me – the way it inspires creativity, the “simple” toys, incorporating natural materials into play and learning experiences, celebrating festivals and creating traditions. Kelly, this was such an inspiring post to read. Elise @ Creative Play Central

  • Reply Elise Ellerman October 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    So many elements of the Waldorf approach appeals to me – the way it inspires creativity, the “simple” toys, incorporating natural materials into play and learning experiences, celebrating festivals and creating traditions. Kelly, this was such an inspiring post to read. Elise @ Creative Play Central

  • Reply Deborah Alter-Rasche October 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I really did enjoy this little taste into why Waldorf is important for you. Lovely reflections and thoughts. 🙂

  • Reply Kate Lloyd October 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I have been really enjoying these posts and I constantly find them inspiring. It’s also lovely getting to know about your journey too.

  • Reply Jodie Clarke October 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This is a beautiful post Kelly and i am getting a much better understanding of Waldorf through your writing and vision. xx

  • Reply Jackie(My Little Bookcase) October 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Kelly, I just loved reading this post. What a wonderful and beautiful explanation of Waldorf. Sometimes I feel that people just pay lip service so particular philosophies, but I really feel that you have a brilliant understanding and respect for Waldorf. I love learning through your posts. Thank you.

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