Just getting out our watercolours on request, and Ted produced some beautiful paintings…
My title is tongue in cheek – for someone who has been interested and intrigued by Waldorf education for many years, but who feels it’s out of my reach for many reasons. Our nearest Waldorf school is not so very near, and without the use of a car, it would make it next to impossible.
Home education is illegal in this country, so I just choose to do things my ‘own’ way. I choose to keep my children at home as long as I possibly can (they start school the year they turn seven here, with a non-mandatory first school year when they turn six – something that I think is positive, and a good introduction to ‘real’ school, and which we take part in – with the odd day or two home each week, when desired). I choose a school which I think benefits my child – smaller groups if possible, a forest environment ‘playground’ with much time for free play and exploration within nature, a school which teaches creative aspects of life such as music, knitting, woodwork, sewing and art – and includes these weekly in the curriculum. At home we have always had routines ; we celebrate festivals ; we observe and learn through the seasons ; we spend extended periods of time outside in the garden or in parks or forests – learning, exploring, playing ; we bake ; we craft ; we create ; we read. And we try to keep screen activities and commercial products at a limit, as much as we see necessary.
And then I have moments of doubt. IF we could send our children to a Waldorf school, would it make us happier? Would we feel restrained? As a family who likes to introduce our children to many aspects of life, this also includes such things as ‘Minecraft’, ‘SuperMario’ and ‘Geometry Dash’ – all screen games which we feel our children have enjoyed, and benefited from, for various reasons. Television programmes and films, which we again feel our children have enjoyed , and in many cases, learnt from. Our ‘Saturday sweeties’ which, despite being a spout of sugar and food colouring, are just that – a ‘spout’ (our children get to pick one sweet according to their age from the pick n mix section, until they’re ten years old, and can choose their own treats carefully – if they want them) and a weekly fun family ‘tradition’. Occasionally we indulge in ‘commercialism’ – the children can choose a toy for their birthday which we parents wouldn’t necessarily choose, and many of these, such as ‘Gogos’ and ‘Trashpacks’ have been items the children have played with time and time again. I do think, that within reason, a little of everything is good – and realistic. And I do wonder, if following a specific ‘education style’ or ‘curriculum’ or ‘lifestyle’ would make me feel ‘boxed in’ ?
So there you have it. My reason for the title to this post. Because if you see an ideal, and wish upon a certain ‘way’, but for some reason out of your control, can’t follow that wish, it’s important to look at the positive. To think “I can”.
Because we don’t need a Waldorf school or a Waldorf curriculum, or to homeschool, to be able to lead a healthy, creative, warm, loving, educational lifestyle. We can lead one anyway – and we do – and when I look at Ted’s paintings, at the beautiful colours, and the way he mixes them, and asks openly to paint….I know that…and I feel grateful for the good life that we have. 😊❤️