Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Incorporating more Waldorf

It's been a little over a year since the first time I heard about Waldorf education and started to read more about it.  At first I just found it interesting, but the more I read, the more I fall in love with the philosophies of it - the simplicity, the wholesomeness, the creativity, the rich stories/tales, and so much more.

It hasn't been an overnight transformation into a simpler life for us.  It has been something that has built gradually for the last year and half.  The plastic toys are mostly gone.  The way we eat has gradually become much more wholesome and homemade.  More and more homemade (with love) items are appearing in our home and in our closets.  Our decision to skip preschool and the current plan to homeschool our children in the early years started as a small seed and continues to expand and grow.   Our garden is constantly expanding and becoming more "organic".

Sure, we could have made some of these changes more swiftly, but I think slow changes can end up being more lasting.  Nothing has felt overwhelming, because we have taken it one step at a time - conquering one aspect we want to change, then moving on and working on another.  Life is a work in progress and so is our journey towards a simple life as a family.

The kids and I are extremely excited about one of our latest transitions - they now have their own cabinet!  I very carefully wrapped, boxed up, and labeled all our china and crystal (that is very rarely used) and it is now stored in the attic.  If we ever need any of it, all of the boxes are well labeled and I can find exactly what I need at that time.  Then the kids and I went to the thrift store to collect a few extra special pieces for their cabinet.  We found a few baskets for silverware and napkins, a small vase for flowers, and a small pitcher (it's really for creamer) they can use for milk and water refills during meals.  We have a few other things we'd like to find, but eventually we'll find just the right pieces to complete their collection.  We put all their silverware, cups, mugs, several plates/bowls, and a few less breakable kitchen items in the cabinet.  Now at mealtime they can set their own places (and I can give them what they need to set ours also, if they want).  They love asking which things need to go on the table for each meal.  They are excited to put away their own dishes also.  It's nothing fancy and it only cost us about $2.50, but they are beyond thrilled to take ownership in another aspect of mealtime. 

Involving our children in the daily tasks of life is a key component to bringing Waldorf education/philosophies into your home.  Children are encouraged to observe and take part in the work of the home.  I have been blown away by how helpful two young children really are.  I love watching them grow and become even more engaged in the work of the home.  The very first years felt so long as certain points, but now if feels like I blinked and they are over - we're on to the exciting years of helping, learning, and playing.  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for at this point!

Here are a few other pictures of what we have been up to:

The Sun Egg and a wet felted "sun egg".

The goodies we received from the Easter craft exchange.
Goodies again.
How precious is this necklace?! 

Some of our homemade fabric and wool eggs.  I still intend to make more needle felted eggs for our collection.  I also made one wet felted egg and found the process more enjoyable than I expected.  I may make a few more of those also.  They were so easy and are great for tucking treasures or treats into for our egg hunt!