The Gift of Waldorf

by Kylie, Mama to William and Charles

I arrived home from work last week to my son dragging me out of the car to see his tipi . I am literally dragged to a struture that any nomadic tribe would be proud to live in. He has propped several large branches up against  a pine tree. Smaller branches provide horizontal support and pine needles cover the whole thing.  There is even a door!
He crawls inside and shows me how it works. It is still there today, the gardeners carefully mowing around it as he makes sure they don’t damage it.
Even his little brother is so impressed he dare not knock it down.
Yesterday making mince pies he shows me how to knead the pastry, roll it out and cut the pie shells. For dinner they both want Pesto and know where to go to pick the correct herbs.
Being a Waldorf parent can be a challenge. You are constantly having to explain what your child is doing when your work mates and friends start getting competitive about their 4 year olds reading and writing skills. It’s always about these skills, that’s what their children spend most time doing and all parents want their children to be the brightest and the smartest. I want my child to be the happiest and have the most life skills. The children at Great Oak love school and the wide range of activities and skills they learn. I have never heard of a Waldorf child being bored or not challenged.
Being active and learning good eating habits are so important to the Waldorf message and to me. Without good health you have nothing. I love that the messages provided at school are consistent with the ones at home. Young children are not confused with conflicting messages or bombarded with brands.
Starting Waldorf education can be a leap of faith; until the first day you walk into the classroom and see all the children at play, until the first time the teacher gives you insightful assesment about how your young child is developing emotionally and physically, until the first time you realize your child hasn’t asked to watch TV for weeks, until the first time your child builds his own village. Once you start you are rewarded every day by watching your child play, sing, actually talk at the table or in the car. We travel a lot and people always comment on how social and adaptable my boys are. This is the gift Waldorf gives back to the parents.  That leap of faith is rewarded a million fold. It provides a quality education, giving skills to learn and survive in what has become a challenging world for children to negotiate. The quality of the teaching is incredible and the one-to-one attention helps them with these challenges.

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