The division of responsibility in feeding children developed by renowned dietitian Ellen Satter are the adults decide when they will eat, where they will eat and what they will eat, children get to decide how much they will eat from what is offered. This is why we have structured sit down meal times that provide a warm comforting container in which your children can freely choose from the food that has been lovingly prepared for them. We encourage families to also hold space for sit down meals in their homes. Read more
The Marin Waldorf School created a beautiful piece that very accurately reflects our position regarding media in early childhood.
“Our experience, as a school and as a movement, is that popular culture, especially as expressed through various forms of media, overwhelms children’s thinking and imagination. We make a conscious effort to quiet pop culture and media awareness in order to make room for the development of intellectual curiosity and a healthy and authentic sense of self. Waldorf education strives to awaken a children’s excitement and enthusiasm for learning through a curriculum rich in academic and artistic expression.”
A Case for NOT Playing with the Kids
If you listen in on an early childhood education course you might over hear these terms child-led, adult-led, adult-initiated and wonder what they mean. These are different ways of playing with children and each has their place in an early childhood center however more and more often we are seeing educators who are being taught to play with the children, to get down on their level and be part of the tea party, make up the games, be silly etc etc.
However something in play is lost when it is adult led. Adult-led play belongs where there is structure and too much structure leads to children who are not able to entertain themselves, who cannot be creative, who wait for the next thing to engage and entertain them so they become easily “bored”. We have all certainly encountered this in our lives and perhaps you thought to yourself I was never bored as a child, we just played.
One of the things I have consistently noticed in observing children’s play is the powerful influence television and movie characters have. Not only in how they play but also in their ability to play and engage their own creative force.
Coles notes version of what we strive for in my own home:
- Zero media for children under 2
- Highly selective media for all children and ALWAYS with a parent present for guidance.
- Our family benefited from routine and rhythm around our media consumption
in the form of “movie night” or “Little House on the Prairie Night“
- No hand held devices for children under 10 (no tablets, no ipods, no phones)
- Equivalent time outside IN WILD NATURE for every moment spent in front of a screen.
Yesterday my son learned to walk.
That is to say that he walked across the room to me without falling to his knees and crawling the rest of the way. It is a skill he has been working on for the past few weeks. He took his first “step” about a month ago and has been averaging 3 or 4 here and there until yesterday when he walked several times to his destination. A milestone for certain in his development.
Last night he woke around midnight and cried for half an hour straight. Waking in sobs, refusing to nurse, nothing I did would console him. Eventually I lit a candle which seemed to calm him down and gave him a carrot to chew on this seemed to help ground him and he eventually settled back into a fitful sleep in which he cried all night long. My son is 13 months old and has always been an avid nurser. In fact before last night I can’t think of a single time he refused to nurse when he was in distress.
“The three stages in the child’s development are usually not granted enough importance, yet they more or less determine the whole manner in which the child can become a human being inhabiting the Earth”
~ Rudolf Steiner
Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 2
Steiner presents to us the idea of seven-year periods of child development, the well known early years, the years between the change of teeth and puberty and the years of adolescence. He taught in his lectures that each of these phases of development must be completed before the next one is awakened if we are to build a strong foundation for our children’s capacities.
A look inside Montessori & Our Program inspired by Waldorf Education
For many parents choosing the school their child attends is a conversation that happens even before conception. It factors into where they choose to live, how much money they need to make and how many children they have.
Education for the whole child
Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner both had a strong sense of societal reform built into the content they were teaching. They believe in developing the whole child, teaching children to think for themselves and, above all, showing them how to avoid violence. These are beautiful ideals which will help build a better world for the future.
Rudolph Steiner and Maria Montessori both believed in the importance of childhood and in protecting children from the stress facing adults.
Child Development Focused
Each use curricula which are developmentally appropriate and have based their education on the needs of children and not on governmental curriculum. Read more
Join our lending library and gain access to a large assortment of books on child development and works by Rudolf Steiner. It costs $10 to join and your $10 goes towards the cost of a book should you happen to like it so much you forget to bring it back to us. Each member may sign out one book at a time and we encourage you to bring them back within 2 weeks.
We would also love to hear your thoughts about any of the books you read in our lending library please do consider sharing them on our Facebook page or in a parent circle or study group. Tell your friends and help spread the word we are all on this journey together!
In case you haven’t heard the high tech world is hurting our kids. iPads, video games, cell phones, tablets and all having a devastating impact on our children’s development. Chris Rowan an occupational therapist discusses some of the trends.
One of the things I have learned in my life is that I build strong connections and associations to information I take in while I am doing a simple task with my hands. The strongest example of this I have is that I learn new songs while I wash dishes and chop vegetables. I copy out lyrics by hand and then tack them near my kitchen sink where I can easily glance up at them until I learn them by heart. Read more
The space we inhabit on a daily basis leaves a deep impression upon our psyches. How calm or busy this environment is can say much about our inner lives though for most of us we don’t even notice it. One of the most significant differences of a classroom inspired by the Waldorf philosophy is the quality contained within the space. Parents remark on it consistently.
In this article from the New York Times Jan Hoffman reports on a new study about the effects of busy walls on a child’s ability to focus and concentrate on their work. Read more
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
– Albert Einstein
Sunrise on June 21st signifies the beginning of the longest day of our calendar year and is celebrated by many as Summer Solstice. Though the words are on our calendars not many of us take the time to honor the deeper meaning within these seasonal celebrations. Read more
I am a rather unconventional person by nature and boxes do not become me.
Instead of applying for the traditional funding through a bank or community futures I have opted to do something called crowd funding. This is where you ask the community to support your project by purchasing small gifts or donating money to your cause. It is a feel good approach to financing that seemed to fit the project so much better than a cold bank loan.
My goal is to raise $5000 by the end of July.
This is the break down of how that money will be spent:
- $750 deposit on our space
- $1500 first months rent in August
- $1500 furniture (play kitchen, cubbies, benches, play stands)
- $750 toys (play silks, wooden animals)
- $500 renovations
I really hope the community will get behind me on this. It doesn’t take much and every little bit counts!
You can view the campaign here.
Why is it so important that we give our children opportunity for free play?
How could sending my child to an enrichment activity possibly harm their development?
Joan Almon explores the rational behind the “play principle”…
“creative play is a central activity in the lives of healthy young children.
It helps children weave together all the elements of life as they experience it. It allows them to digest life and make it their own. It is an outlet for the fullness of their creativity, and it is an absolutely critical part of their childhood. With creative play, children blossom and flourish; without it, they suffer a serious decline.”