Before leaving for New York I researched Waldorf in the area and I found a school I could visit, the Aurora Waldorf school. They had a lecture and open house going on October 22nd. I was so excited to go! I am so in love with this gentle, beautiful approach to learning. I'm determined to bring it into our lives however I can muster. This is one of their Kindergarten rooms.
Michael instantly fell in love with this room and the play structure. There he is on the top. He was lowering wool balls down to a toddler with a basket and pulley.
He said "Mom, this is my school. I want to come here next week!" So sweet. I wish it were that simple. I would too, in fact, I didn't want to leave. I just wanted to soak in that beautiful, creative atmosphere.
I loved the idea of writing the rhythm of the day on the wall in such a beautiful way.
Baskets of simple, creative toys. I love the beauty and simplicity of the toys. It's so easy to feel creative and imaginative. Things like one simple doll and play silk in a basket. A basket of silks. A basket of plain wooden animals and people.
I imagine the children are able to play with so much more focus. Often in our culture toys are too plentiful. For example we have a large bin of stuffed animals. How overwhelming is that to a child? How do you decide what to play? I imagine it's like when my house is messy and I can't figure out what to do first.
There was such a peaceful energy to all of the rooms. Another beautiful kindergarten room. Here the kids ground grain and made bread with the teacher.
This was a first grade room. The light streaming in through the curtains was so lovely. Much of the lighting was natural or from softly lit lamps. It added to the warmth of the rooms.
The beautiful chalk board drawing and letters.
A child's work.
Some gnomes the teacher was going to make with the students.
The room's nature table. So stunningly detailed!
Craft/ Knitting projects.
The lecture was given by one of the teachers from the school. She spoke in such a gentle, loving way about the way in which children learn. The concept of teaching the whole child- head, heart and hands. So often in education children are taught only through the head. We neglect the hands- creativity and dexterity building handwork and we neglect the heart- lovingly teaching them by example. I also love the method of inner work for the parent or teacher, which helps you to work on that example you're trying to be for your child. My Mom was able to be with us too. So she learned about Waldorf as well and was very impressed with the lecture.
The school also had a store with all the beautiful art and craft supplies and books that I've only seen in catalogs. I was in my element and could barely contain myself! I bought a couple Whynstone series books, a book on storytelling and another on early childhood. As well as a few beeswax crayons, molding beeswax and a little wool gnome for a stocking stuffer.
I was really excited about all the simple toy ideas I saw that I knew I could create. It started a wave of creativity that took me straight through Christmas eve. More to come on those projects.
Until next time...