Are you inspired by the Waldorf Movement but not sure where to start and how to integrate these concepts into your home?
Chances are you are already a “waldorf-inspired” Family and you just don’t know it. Rudolf Steiner (the founder of Waldorf Education) never wanted any of his ideas to be followed blindly or upheld dogmatically. He repeatedly insisted that people must truly question his work and findings and find/discover their own truths within.
Here’s a list of 20 Ways You’re Already a Waldorf-Inspired Family. If you’ve covered 5 of these- great! Choose five more that resonate with you and slowly integrate them into your daily life. Be sure to click through all the links for more information.
- Your young children engage in meaningful work and your older children have chores that they do without “reward”
- Storytelling is a part of your family culture- through books, oral storytelling and audio stories
- You know that modelling a value you hold and want to pass on to your children is much more valuable and impactful than talking about it
- You know the value of open-ended toys
- Parents practice meditation, journalling or some form of inner work each day
- You are well versed about the detrimental effects of both punishments and rewards and realize that although much more difficult to navigate, there are alternative ways to be a loving authority in your home and ask for help and guidance on this if you need it
- Your home is uncluttered, belongings are intentional and aesthetically simple, handmade and beautiful as much as possible
- You have a strong family rhythm based around mealtimes, sleeptimes and ample opportunity for free play
- Your children under 5 do not have access to screens, your 5-10 year olds have limited access to screens and you have created strong and loving boundaries for tech use for your children aged 10+
- Each member of the family spends at least 35-40% of their time outside each day and/or being active
- Parents and/or carers prepare and cook real, whole foods wherever and whenever possible
- In some small way, you honour and take time to notice the beauty of the outer world – either by creating a Nature Table, having a vase of flowers on the table or collecting Autumn leaves
- You sing to your little ones throughout the day especially to help with transitions
- You sing or say thanks and show gratitude in some way before beginning a meal and perhaps light a candle as well
- You know the importance of warmth, especially in early childhood and wherever possible choose wool & cotton over synthetics
- You have a strong sense of what festivals or holidays your family celebrates each season; why it is important to you that you celebrate these holidays together; you are in touch with the deeper meaning and values behind the holidays and try to model these values to your children during that season
- You know and respect the importance of sleep for young children (and bonus: yourself!) and also know that the most restorative sleep happens before midnight, so the earlier the bedtime, the better
- You have a basic understanding of childhood age/stage and developmental milestones, year by year, and do your best to avoid situations where children are expected to behave in ways they are not developmentally capable of
- Before you have judged fairytales to be sexist and violent, you have first read Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and have read some articles about the importance of fairytales and these strong archetypes in Waldorf Education
- You make well-rounded, educated and informed health decisions for your children not only by (but definitely including) listening to conventional professionals (eg. Doctors, Therapists, Educators) but also by exploring alternative modalities (eg. Naturopaths, Traditional Healing Modals, Occupational Therapists, Chiropractors and Cranial Sacral Practitioners) and by listening to and tuning into your own parenting intuition
Anything you think I have forgotten? Feel free to add to the list in the comments section!
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