Is it Possible to Add Waldorf Flair to non-Waldorf lessons?
Yes! Absolutely! Of course, if you do this it is no longer pure Waldorf, but as homeschoolers we have the privilege of picking and choosing, mixing and matching as we see fit. First, let’s take a little peek at Waldorf Education and Charlotte Mason Education. Then I will show you how we added a little Waldorf flair to our Study of Little House in the Big Woods.
Waldorf and the Child:
In a truly Waldorf education, there are certain subjects taught to the grade levels according to the anthrophosical beliefs about child development. While I appreciate the ideal to preserve the childhood of our children I do not embrace anthrophosophy. So, for the most part, I have stuck to the Waldorf curriculum order though sometimes My children want to go deeper than Waldorf would allow. And that’s ok because it fits in with Charlotte Mason ideals.
In Waldorf Education, children are educated with the whole child: head, hands, and heart, in mind. Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, taught that children should begin their academic education at a later age. Around 6 or 7. He believed strongly in the importance of play. Children are taught through storytelling, artwork, movement and verse. Handwork and practical learning, such as cooking or building are an important part of the curriculum. The celebration of festivals, laying out your rhythm in the homeschool and circle time are also part of a Waldorf Education.
Charlotte Mason and the Child:
Charlotte Mason also embraced the child as a whole person and felt that more than just the mind should be educated. She encouraged later academics, not beginning until the child was 6 years old. She felt that younger children needed to spend much time outdoors and in play. Modern studies have found play to be extremely beneficial to the development of the child.
When Academic education begins, however, she believed in laying out a rich feast of quality books ( not dry dull textbooks) as well as exposing the child to the beautiful music of the great composers and artwork of the great masters. She believed in reading great books and poetry to children. To test their comprehension she would have them narrate back to her in their own words what they remembered about the story. When they were older this narration would come in written form. Sounds like Waldorf summaries doesn’t it:)
How to Blend:
So how do we take these two forms of education and blend all their beautiful ideas and methods? Every family has to decide how to do this for themselves. You may decide to embrace more Waldorf and less Charlotte Mason, or you may prefer More Charlotte Mason. It’s up to you to pick and choose what you like from both methods and bring them to your homeschool.
Sometimes it helps to see how others do this so I thought I would share an example of how we do this here. For the most part, I stick to the flow of the Waldorf curriculum and simply add some living books, composer study, art study and Shakespeare tea-parties! Sometimes we want to study something other than what is in the Waldorf curriculum and so we try to add a little Waldorf Flair to something not at all Waldorf.
A Little House on the Prairie Lesson Block:
In Waldorf class 3, farming is studied. We wanted to do this combined with a study of pioneers so we used Little House in the Big Woods as a basis for this block
We used Little House in the Big Woods as a reader. I would sit with Serene and she would read a page or two to me. When I sensed she needed a break I would read a page or two. When we finished an interesting story in the book I would have her create a picture or border in her main lesson book. The next day I would have her write the rough draft of the summary. I would correct the summary and she would write the good copy into her unlined main lesson book.
Serene did her artwork independently for this block. Sometimes Artwork is guided, but often it is independent.
Add some activities from My Little house Crafts Book
We love My book of Little House Paper Dolls These are so sweet. If you have time your children could cut out their own paper dolls with stiff paper and make pretty dresses for them.
You could do some baking. Make some butter. Just add whipping cream to a jar and take turns shaking until a solid mass of butter forms. Do you have a smoker? You could try smoking some meat with store-bought hickory chips.
How do you do your lessons? I would love to hear how you add Waldorf flair to your lessons. How do you include Charlotte Mason ideas? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Homeschooling!
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get Inspiration and encouragement delivered to your inbox!