Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Waldorf?

There are plenty of other blogs and websites devoted to the scientific reasons that the Waldorf way of living and educating work. This is about why it works for my family, specifically.

I am both new to the Waldorf way of life, and also quite experienced in it. I grew up in a home that espoused a lot of Waldorf ideals, and ways of living. I also grew up in a world that is not always Waldorf-friendly, and when I was a child, teenager, young woman, I strayed from those ideals. I was sucked into the material world, and not in a way that has benefited me in any way. 

Since giving birth to our son, however, or maybe even while I was still carrying him inside me, I've felt myself pulled more and more back to the peaceful feelings and calm that comes with living a more natural lifestyle. I longed to have the kind of relationship with my son that my mother shared with me as a child. I wanted to give him a childhood full of imagination and magic, which is so hard to get in our current media/plastic/electronics saturated society. It seems that we are more connected to our things than we are to each other in many cases, and that is just not what I wanted for my family. 

Snuggles from N

I wanted to feel connections with my children and my husband. I want the kids to grow up with experiences that they remember warmly, and wish to pass on to their own children. I want camp-outs in the backyard, I want nature hikes with guide books to tell us what that bug sitting on that rock is called, I want to make Christmas ornaments together, I want to tell them stories with no pictures so that the images are all in their beautiful little minds, I want to lay with them on the grass and look at the stars at night, I want to make soup and cookies with them, I want long days on the beach, splashing in the water, and collecting the most perfect shells and sand dollars we can find. I want them to believe in fairies and trolls and gnomes and Jack Frost. I want the first snow of the season to be absolutely magic, and not just another day. I want the first day that the trees start blossoming in the Spring and the day the leaves start falling in the Fall to be magic, too. I want picnics on the grass with no shoes. I want gardening together, growing food that we will then harvest and prepare together. I want bed time to be calm, with a nice warm bath, a story, dim lights, some snuggles, and then sweet sleep that lets them rest from the activities of our day. I've had enough of the bed time struggles. This way works so much better for us.

The TV stays off. The laptop stays closed for the most part. The blinds are open to let the sunshine in (though it's summer in the desert, so the windows must stay closed tight until it starts to cool down). We sing songs. We read fairy tales. We do the dishes together. We fold laundry (something that I used to dread, but is now a beloved part of every Monday and Thursday). We paint. We take walks. We visit friends and family. We make things. We lay quietly together. We make up silly stories. We laugh. We ignore Facebook. We ignore email. We ignore Pinterest. Those things are still there when N is asleep in bed, dreaming little nearly-four-year-old dreams, and they don't seem to mind that I have ignored them all day. N, on the other hand, would very much mind.

Things are peaceful in our home. Things are happy. They haven't always been, when things and other people were more important. When we allowed television and the internet to control our schedules and take our attention away from each other and the beautiful world around us. When we felt like everything was forced, and everything was a struggle.

This way is so much better for us.

2 comments:

  1. Just started looking at your blog a few days ago... Do you have any suggestions for good Waldorf sources. I am so intrigued with it all and what you wrote was so beautiful and in so many ways describes what I want for my kids and our home. I have done a little research, but haven't met anyone who knows much about it, and so therefore can't recommend anything to me. Thank you for this beautiful post and some much needed inspiration.

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