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At the heart of our family’s homeschooling journey lies a unique approach, one that has profoundly benefitted us—The Waldorf Method of teaching.

If you’re seeking to infuse more creativity and hands-on learning into your homeschool or structure your day around meaningful rhythms and rituals, a Waldorf curriculum may be an enriching avenue to explore.

What is the Waldorf Method of Homeschooling?

At first, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about this approach, as it seemed a bit too “out there” for my taste.

I tend to be very type A. I like lists. Lot’s and lot’s of lists. That’s how I’ve managed to juggle working full-time and homeschooling without losing my mind more than a few times a week.

But after doing some research and trying it out in our own homeschool, I’m a total convert! In fact, I was already incorporating a lot of the Waldorf method already.

In my opinion, a lot of the Waldorf method of teaching happens naturally in preschool. Then, you can blend it effortlessly into your own homeschool curriculum during the early years.

So if you’re curious, let’s dive into the Waldorf curriculum, what it involves, and how to decide if it’s a great fit for your family. You might already be utilizing an unofficial Waldorf education method.

Understand the Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum

First things first, what is the Waldorf approach?

Essentially, it’s an educational approach that was developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century.

The method emphasizes a holistic, hands-on approach to learning, with a focus on creativity, imagination, and the arts.

1. What Are the Stages of Learning in a Waldorf Curriculum?

In Waldorf education, the curriculum is divided into seven-year stages: early childhood, primary school, and high school, with each stage emphasizing different aspects of development. That makes sense, right? Learning in those ages happens in very different ways.

One of the hallmarks of the Waldorf Method is its use of “rhythms” in daily life. This means that the day is structured around a rhythm of activities, such as circle time, free play, and outdoor play.

Meals are also an important part of the rhythm, with an emphasis on healthy, whole foods and taking time to enjoy the dining experience.

Create a sense of predictability and stability for children with routines? Hmmm…yes, I believe that’s true. And that it can be especially comforting in the early years.

2. Waldorf Curriculum Uses Storytelling and Creativity to Connect Subjects 

Another key feature of the Waldorf Method is its use of art, storytelling, and imaginative play to teach academic subjects.

For example, instead of just teaching history through textbooks, a Waldorf teacher might tell stories about historical figures or events and encourage students to act out scenes from those stories.

So, let me get this straight?

The Waldorf method of teaching suggests that imagination helps to make learning fun and memorable. Well that ties in nicely with my firm belief in interdisciplinary learning through unit studies (that’s my Bachelor’s degree.).

Art, music, and movement are also woven into academic subjects, as these are seen as important for developing the whole child.

Again, check, check. I do believe that young students learn best when they’re not sitting in a desk memorizing facts. That’s one of the main motivators for homeschooling in our house.

3. How Does the Waldorf Method of Teaching Fit With Other Styles of Homeschooling?

One question that often comes up when discussing the Waldorf Method is how it fits in with other homeschooling approaches, such as unschooling or classical education.

Or even how you can incorporate other subjects that aren’t Waldorf specific. And how do you compare Waldorf vs Montessori? 

Here’s my personal experience. While there are certainly differences in emphasis and methods, I believe that the Waldorf Method can be integrated with many other approaches to create a unique and personalized homeschool curriculum.

For example, you might incorporate Waldorf activities into a more structured classical curriculum, or use unschooling principles to allow your child to explore their interests while also incorporating Waldorf rhythms and activities into the day.

4. Blending a Waldorf Curriculum With Multiple Subjects

My takeaway from my research into the Waldorf method is that I wanted to lean into it as a style and foundation. But we still utilize other curriculums that aren’t Waldorf-based.

For example, we LOVE Beast Academy for Elementary Math. It’s the best math curriculum for our 3rd-grader, and has been for several years. I’ll die on that hill before changing it up.

But, I do weave music, art, hands-on study, and movement into the curriculum. So in a way, I’ve already been using the Waldorf approach.

Same goes for Science. It’s Sonlight Science all the way for us. Partly because of how easy they make it as a parent to open the experiments box and go.

I do, however, create rhythms for our days, rely heavily on art, music, and movement, and believe that the Waldorf method is an excellent fit for the rough outline of our homeschool.

Which is one of the best things about homeschooling. You get to choose the best fit for your students, for you as a homeschool mom, and for your family.

Art and the Waldorf Curriculum: Building an Art-Based Homeschool

A Waldorf curriculum places a significant emphasis on art and creativity in general. It acknowledges art as a fundamental medium for children to express their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions of the world around them.

This artistic focus aligns perfectly with my desire to build an art-based homeschooling experience.

Art not only stimulates creativity, but also improves cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and emotional intelligence.
It’s not just about creating pretty pictures; it’s about developing a holistic understanding of the world and the ability to think creatively within it.

In embracing the Waldorf tradition, art has grown out of short time slots to be a basic foundation of our learning environment. Art became more than just a subject to be studied.

For instance, when learning about geography, we use painting and sketching to understand maps and topography. In studying history, we explore historical periods through their art and architecture.

In an effort to support other homeschooling parents who are overwhelmed with the idea of teaching art, I launched an online art membership.

Rather than focus on perfection, we use fun kid-friendly art as a gentle exploration of quality picture-books and art theory.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Waldorf Method of homeschooling?

The Waldorf Method is a holistic approach to education that champions creativity, hands-on learning, and establishing daily rhythms and rituals.

2. Is a Waldorf homeschool curriculum suitable for all types of learners?

While the Waldorf Method is versatile and can accommodate many learning styles, it may not be a perfect fit for everyone. It’s always best to choose what works for your student and your family.

3. Can I combine the Waldorf Method with other homeschooling curriculums?

Absolutely. Many homeschooling parents, myself included, blend elements of the Waldorf Method with other curriculums for a flexible, tailor-made education.

4. How do I know if a Waldorf homeschool curriculum is right for my family?

I encourage you to research and explore the Waldorf Method. If its focus on creativity, hands-on learning, and rhythms resonate with you and your family, it might be worth considering.

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