Waldorf education

Waldorf education.  Photo from http://creative.gettyimages.com

Today in our society related to Waldorf education is ambiguous. Some believe that it is a religious sect, which lured clean baby showers, others believe that Waldorf gardens designed exclusively for mentally retarded children, and few actually is, what do the Waldorf teachers, and that from this technique can be successfully applied at home.

Pedagogy for all

First, a little history. Waldorf education, not much is not enough, the eighth decade. Founded by German philosopher Rudolf Steiner. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, he opened a school for children whose parents worked at the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory. However, in his school kids immediately came from different social backgrounds. From the beginning Steiner pedagogical method has been focused on the child's personality, not his social origins.

Although Rudolf Steiner, a scientist, a philosopher, his views on the education of children were surprisingly practical. It was the first time he ever said that childhood — is a unique period in human development, which should be to look closely, to observe, to draw conclusions. Thus in his pedagogy no special instructional techniques, that's life with a child, filled with special meaning.

What are themselves, so are the sleds

Remember the old joke: "Son, do as I say, not as I do"? So, Waldorf education, as no other, stresses that the children we raise it by their actions, not words. Rudolf Steiner, especially watching the different periods of human development, and came to the conclusion that the first seven years of life (during childhood) — this is the age of imitation.

That imitation is the main driving force for the development of the child. Due to this property kid develops almost all of the most essential skills: bipedalism, speech, ability to manipulate various objects.

It is known that if little kid gets into beastly family, he moved exclusively on all fours. And when he later (after 7 years) is among the people, he is able to master walking upright, but this method of travel will never be a natural for him. Children dumb parents did not hear normal speech, too, can not speak, even if the physiology they have everything in order. They just do not know how it's done!

And in an ordinary family with small children astonishing accuracy adopt parental gestures, intonation, body rotation, they absorb it literally mother's milk. If the mother's and father's things will roll on the floor, it is useless to require the child to his clothes neatly folded in the closet. With what accuracy three year old plays the tone of the pope, who is on the phone with your client! A five year old girl will communicate with her doll just the way my mother talks to her.

And so, they say Waldorf teachers, trying to fit a child under a certain image formed in your mind, start with yourself, you do meet this image?

If we carelessly throw it boots, entering the house, the child will be do this is exactly the same. If the mother's and father's belongings scattered everywhere on the floor, you can not expect from a toddler, he carefully and meticulously to hang on their shoulders dresses and shirts. And the words to explain what is good and what is bad, useless occupation. The child will do as you do, and not, as you say.

The rhythm of life

Our whole life is imbued with rhythm. We breathe rhythmically, we have certain biological rhythms of the day and night, work and rest, tension and relaxation. However, when a person is just born, these multiple rhythms he had not yet formed. He will have to learn.

And Waldorf education is very great importance attaches to the rhythmic cycle of the child. Listen to your own breathing. Does everyone can hear him breathing? We first intensively breathe in a breath, pause, and then exhale the energy processed within us, and because the now partly own. Concentration and relaxation, the perception and impact — is the most important points that should be present in a child's life.

Parents, fascinated by the new-fangled methods of early development, often forget about it. However, a child who is overloaded intellectual information is often disturbed sleep, it becomes shrill and restless. But the fact that baby literally unable to digest the abundance befallen him impressions.

Let's see what's inside your day in a Waldorf kindergarten. This is not simply a mode of the day, it's cycles of concentration and relaxation that alternately succeed each other.

So, the kid comes to the group. The teacher gently shakes hands with everyone, then — a common greeting. The day began, and baby conscious of his place in this world here and now.

After a short welcome — free play. It is a way of self-expression. It is a game for children to relive the events and feelings that filled their lives. The children are playing, and educators around them are engaged in the affairs of adults — cook, sew dolls rukodelnichayut. Any child can join them, and can remain in the children's company. To the child's own wishes Waldorf teachers are treated with more respect: the kid joins the adult cases only if he himself wanted it. It can only be invited to the adult creativity, but again — not with words! — And action.

After the free games usually are cleaning. It's very important, "collective" moment. Remember, in any battle turns sometimes house cleaning toys? A teacher in the garden begins to clean up scattered toys, singing nemudrenyh song: "It will put in place, all carefully developed …"

And for some reason all the kids joined to the analysis of toy blockages that are formed so quickly after any game. This is another important point: it should return to their seats. Each doll — on her bed in the doll house, all the shells, acorns, chestnuts — in his basket, silk handkerchiefs — on a shelf, etc.

It is also possible to act at home. Each doll has to be my sleeper, and dolls in this should not be much. Otherwise, do not keep track of all the toy kids …

After cleaning — an intense musical-rhythmic (or round dance) game. Here, the most important is an adult educator. The songs and the movements he is experiencing the phenomena of nature, the agricultural cycle, and children tuning in to his feelings, aware of his involvement in the larger world. This game requires a high degree of concentration.

And thereafter — re-relaxation free game for a walk.

Then lunch, which for some reason wants pompously called together a meal. Both children and adults sit at the common wooden table covered with a linen table cloth or napkins … And personally chopped salad served in a beautiful clay saucers.

After dinner — sleep in a cozy cot quilts, then — afternoon tea, waxwork, or drawing.

Weekdays and holidays

It is also a kind of rhythmic alternation. Holidays are usually held in the spirit of folk traditions. And it's not hateful mornings, and a true celebration of children's souls. Children do not prepare special performances for the show. In the holidays with full rights involving all — and the kids, and the kids are older, and educators, and parents — the role of the audience just is not possible.

At the harvest festival all together right in the group bakes pies with cabbage, baby given away each basket with autumn gifts and some special "Harvest" toy. A chilly November evening with glowing colored lanterns all good company goes in search of the treasure, which is good gnomes left (by the way, so be improved by the severity of children's fears, is attributable to just 5-6 years). Christmas is impossible to imagine without the traditional performance of the Miracle. Mardi Gras — perhaps the most hilarious and rollicking celebration. Armed with wooden clappers and rattles, drawing a bright blush to the cheeks, all together go to the forest for a
special Pancake clearing. And there — sledge train, dance, jumping over the fire, and even horseback riding (under her patchwork cover conceals two someone's dad). And adults who are experienced, reputable mom and dad having fun as children. On Easter rolled colored eggs, baked cakes (children certainly are baked in a group of small mud pies, decorate them yourself and proudly bring home).

For each holiday gifts made (of course without them?). But not the parent committee buys them, as is usually the case, and the gifts are born in the warm hands of parents. It could be scrappy balls, and these dolls, and the angels, and even dwarfs, matted wool … And to the Pope did not feel apart from the general process, they are entrusted to wooden toys. And nothing ever quite busy dads cope with the task, often showing remarkable talents!

Valdorftsy generally prefer natural materials. If the mold, so to fragrant beeswax, if you build, because of the tree, if the stitching, so out of the softest silk or warm wool. Indeed, natural materials have a special energy and appeal.

Do I have a child early development?

Followers of Rudolf Steiner often criticized for the fact that they are, they say, is too late to begin to teach children to write and read. Yes, Waldorf garden there are no special classes for the development of speech, numeracy, writing, exploring the world around them. However, Waldorf teachers see their task in the other. With a lot of young children engaged in the development of fine motor skills, manual labor, needlework. And all classes are based on practical, lively activities.

Take, for example, the ability to classify objects, so valued by the school and pre-school teachers. How invented numerous educational games to "find unnecessary," "make a pair", "pick up the analogy!" Then there just is not: it parrots among giraffes, the squares of the circles, then cornflowers among the cacti.

But when the two-year pipsqueak then sorts the paper cards with unknown baby animals, something that is … unnatural.

In this respect, I really like the idea of Waldorf teachers categorize the items, so to speak, on the basis of common sense. When all the toys baby dumped in a box (even clear), there is a sense of chaos. It is better if the toy will be allotted a special cabinet or shelving unit, and for every kind of toys — their own box or basket. Where it is more convenient to store cubes? They have smooth edges, they can be neatly tucked away in a box. There also will leave and other wood building material.

But different baskets of shells, cones, chestnuts … You can not even explain anything to the kid, not to declare loudly, "This is here only add up the dishes, and here — only the stones!". Just day after day after playing with the baby lay up your treasures. And it can be noticed that the lump accidentally caught in a basket of seashells, wanted here. And he put it where you want and not zapihnet foot under the bed.

In this type of classification has a deep practical sense: streamlined, the room is cozy, and at the right time you can always find exactly what you want.

Waldorf teachers are encouraging free experimentation with objects. What would happen if a small stone set high? Can not? And if the opposite? Moreover, the adult never dictates and does not specify what to do, because it is the most valuable independent decision. Judge for yourself — that requires more intellectual work and concentration, greater accuracy and precision of movement — to collect a tower of Lego bricks or flat stones?

Special attention in the Waldorf kindergarten paid to the development of creative abilities. In this case, there is no special training aimed at learning. Drawing (also known as "playing with colors") teaches children to find their own solutions that are not tied to any pattern. Imperceptibly and gradually develop musical ability, hearing, sense of rhythm. Caregivers are usually much singing and playing musical instruments — xylophone, lyre, flute. These tools are readily available to children, they can enjoy themselves and play on them or use them as an independent free play (remember that in traditional kindergartens singing and music is dedicated to only one hour per week).

It is said that after the Waldorf Garden children is very difficult to adapt to a regular school. On the example of his daughter I can say that it is not. It is very individual and depends on the child, how he is ready for school, how strong is his motivation to learn. After graduating from kindergarten some kids go to the Waldorf school, and others — in the ordinary. And they both quite successfully adapt to the new environment. And I'm still convinced that the available options today Waldorf garden — it's the softest and democratic place for a toddler-preschooler.

Inessa Smyk

For help in preparation of the material E.A.Abdulaevu, Waldorf teacher

According to the material of the magazine "My Baby and I"

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