Our children are now 21, almost 18, and 13. We have homeschooled for over 15 years at this point, with grades 1-8 at home and with varying options for high school that involved homeschooling with accreditation for outside classes local to us. Our circumstances were such that we didn’t have a Waldorf School near us, and by the time we looked at public school, we were already very entrenched in homeschooling.
People often ask me what the most valuable lessons or things that I have learned in homeschooling this long.
One thing has been to understand that honoring the development of children and trying to continue the work of the spiritual world in our children through our own homeschooling has been the biggest help in raising children that are overall healthy human beings. To see education as a way to develop an entire human being is an important thread in Waldorf Education and also to me as a Christian. Our children are here for a purpose on Earth. It is my job to not stand in the way of their development and purpose, but also to bring balance and act almost as a buffer of the things that knock children off equilibrium – whether that is media, too much sedentary time, not being outside – essentially to be on guard against the things of modern life that hinder early development, and then to be able to stand back and let the things of this world come in at the appropriate time because our children are indeed made for these times. How can they handle it in the most healthy way possible? That is the question of homeschooling.
The blocks of each grade in Waldorf homeschooling is such a huge help and guide in these areas, and to be able to study the light of the human being and the development of the human being. To be able to work with head, heart, and hands, with movement and stillness, with nature and art. This helps us rise towards goodness, truth, and beauty, and this is something I do not regret in our family life. This journey has deepened me, deepened my Christian faith, and deepened how I view the world and the people in it.
May we always and absolutely remember that our children are capable. They are kind, compassionate, generous, dependable, responsible problem solvers!
In the book “Life Is The Curriculum” by Cynthia Aldinger, she mentions a verse written by Herbert Hahn ,one of the first Waldorf teachers:
Remember daily that you are continuing the work
of the spiritual world with the children.
You are the preparers of the path for these young souls,
who wish to form their lives in these difficult times.
The spiritual world will always stand by you in this task.
This is the wellspring of strength which you so need.