“Waldorf education unlocks the wonder and the beauty of the world in such a way that a child can’t help falling in love with it.” – Marjorie Spock
There truly is an education that inspires children to bound out of bed each morning eager to go to school and greet their day. We invite you to take a peek into the keys that ‘unlock the beauty and wonder of the world’ for these children and it begins in the Waldorf classroom: through the teacher who orchestrates an art of education, through the specifically age-appropriate and image-rich curriculum, and through the virtues of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that are brought throughout the years of a Waldorf schooling.
The teacher, leading her class from grade one to grade five, models qualities such as self-discipline, creativity, imagination, respectfulness, gratitude, interest in the world, reverence for all things and a willingness to work. Through the teacher’s loving authority which envelops the children in warmth and security, a child grows to love his teacher and, thus, love the work he is asked to do. By the daily telling of stories, by leading the children in weekly watercolor painting, by creating beautiful blackboard chalk drawings that the children can copy, by leading the children in singing and wooden flute playing, by creating vigorous morning circle times of movement and recitation, the teacher establishes herself as a wellspring of creative ideas and activities. She is the “author,” and, thus, the natural ‘author’ity that the children can look up to.
Waldorf children learn to read and write and do arithmetic. Within the eight years of a Waldorf lower school they are introduced to the subjects of natural science, history, biology, botany, zoology, geography, literature, biography, physics, physiology, chemistry, mathematics, including geometry, business math and pre algebra. The complexities of these subjects increase concomitant with the grade and with the ages of the children. Whether the subject is from the humanities or from the sciences, it is brought as an art–experiential, alive, fresh and enhanced with drawing, painting, modeling, music and movement. Rich imagery, not abstract information, imbues every lesson.Equally important, the goal in Waldorf is to develop such capacities as strong memory, imagination, creativity, strength of will, appreciation, responsibility, sensitivity, and, yes, a love of the world.
Truth, Beauty and Goodness
Whether entering a Waldorf kindergarten or a grades classroom, one is struck by the care and beauty with which the room has been arranged. It is important on a soul level to surround children with beauty. Beauty begets care, gratitude, order and calm. Teachers strive to have clear, thoughtful speech and to make sure that every gesture when telling stories, writing on the blackboard, talking with the children or even handing out materials is done with consciousness.