So let's do this. Let's write that list!
I'm learning about Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf. Here's what I'm appreciating:
+ the seven-year cycles of child development
+ the value that is placed on cultivating imagination and awe--viewed as vital to a child's healthy development
+ natural wonder, daily time in nature
+ incorporating yearly, weekly, and daily rhythms (I love the word "rhythm"!)
+ the importance of including children in work, and doing valuable "manual" work
+ viewing children as whole souls, not incomplete adults
+ rhythmic movement, song, verse
+ experience before fact
+ the importance of beauty and peace
+ giving children the freedom to develop in their time
The small steps we've made:
+ We are holding more closely to morning and bedtime routines
+ We take walks throughout the farm almost daily, observing, collecting, imagining, moving
+ We have a mini "circle time" and "story time" 4 days(ish) per week, singing songs, saying rhymes, doing movement games, then listening to a story. Sometimes we do a story-related craft, sometimes we don't.
+ We are trying to listen to our children more, both to what they're saying (verbally and with their actions) and to what they're not saying. This, I tell you, has been difficult some days, and so very different to what we were "taught"
+ As long as we live out here in the bush of Africa, resources will always be a problem! I love love LOVE many of the meaningful, therapeutic "projects/arts/crafts" ideas of Waldorf. But until we go back to America for a visit, the supplies needed are largely unattainable. For example, wool, felt, watercolors, beeswax, "play silks"... it's all simply out of our reach. And to ship it would most definitely sky rocket it out of our meager budget.
+ Crafting, sewing, woodwork, etc. is quite intimidating for me. I am quite confident that if I could attend some classes or make a friend who would want to share their expertise with me, I could "do this." In fact, I think I would thoroughly enjoy it! But again, my location is problematic.
+ Community. We live in community. We love our community. But our community would raise eyebrows at our "new" values. I often daydream about what it would be like to live in a community that not only accepted me and my "different" values but encouraged me and inspired me in them!
+ Time. I'm spending way too much time "researching" right now! My thirst to understand more is insatiable. I've got a million sites bookmarked, I'm following too many blogs, and it's making me feel scattered and cluttered. It's like I need someone to sift through it all and say, this is valuable and worth your time; this is not. Streamline. That's what I need to do. But I need help!
+ Also, Waldorf does have some "Christian" roots, but I don't agree all of the foundational philosophy. I don't see this as problematic, but I do want to learn more about how to infuse my more "traditional" Christian beliefs into the Waldorf Way.
What books are "must have's"?
How do I modify projects to make them possible here?
How do I incorporate more Waldorf into our tropical climate and unique lifestyle?
It's because of these challenges that living where we do feels every bit as far away as it really is!
I guess my big question is, has anyone "done this" in a place like "this"? If so, WHO?! If not, HOW CAN I?
P.S. Thanks, Vina, for inspiring me to do this. Your honesty, your ideals, your way with words... They've helped inspire me to take this seemingly small step.
P.P.S. I'll post another photo soon! There are many...