What if I told you there’s no such thing as perfect Waldorf? Seriously. Not in a classroom, not in homeschooling. Not anywhere!
I had to learn that the hard way over my 25+ years of homeschooling three kids…
And here’s my best advice: start with homeschool rhythm rather than curriculum.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf approach, said to his first teachers in training back in 1919 that we, as teachers, should be “like plumbers in the dark.”
Today, I want to give you some tips…
- for accepting wherever you are on this homeschooling journey.
- for finding your footing day to day.
- for showing up with courage, energy, and love.
- for being “like a plumber in the dark”!
Even if you aren’t hung up on the concept of perfection, so often as homeschoolers we think if we just buy the right curriculum or design a great lesson or daily routine, that all will go as planned.
But then it doesn’t.
Check out my advice in the video below…or read on.
Start with Homeschool RHYTHM Rather Than Curriculum
A note: In this video, I reference Waldorf-Inspired Learning, which is now The Art of Homeschooling. 💜
Sometimes, it just doesn’t go as planned. So we’re left feeling like we’ve failed. Like there’s something wrong here.
When the truth is, we really can’t do it all, day in and day out, every day. But we can do some of it each day. And that’s enough.
That’s just right actually. Because that adds up over the years. We just need to expand our view and our time frame!
When I look back on our 25+ years of homeschooling, I so clearly remember feeling the same way you might be feeling right now. Like I made this plan, I designed this rhythm, but then I didn’t get to everything I had in mind to do.
Honestly, I felt that way a lot. And we definitely had days where we didn’t even get to our main lesson, or we didn’t sing any seasonal songs and or recite any inspiring verses, or we bagged it all and went for a hike.
But when I zoom out and take a longer view, I see how much richness and learning happened in our home, in our family.
Like the year we went to Jamestown and Williamsburg in the spring. Most of our main lessons that year were reading stories inspired by planning and preparing for that trip. And what a great year that was! So memorable and fun with lots of hands-on activities, painting, drawing, map-making, and even handwork.
Or the year when my youngest was in kindergarten and the boys, who were maybe 12 and 13 at the time, helped lead circle time for us all. Lots of songs and verses and movement games that year.
Then there’s the year we really dug into making main lesson books of a wider variety than the pre-bound blank books…main lesson books with photos, and drawings, more like scrap booking.
Through the years, it all added up to a Waldorf homeschooling life that felt rich and rewarding and full of so much learning and so many strong connections.
If I’m being honest, I sure wish I’d been able to relax a bit more and know in the early years that what we were doing was enough. That is was okay that I wasn’t doing it all every single day. So I could have let go of feeling like a failure at Waldorf homeschooling, feeling like everyone else is able to do this but me.
Yup, I felt that way too.
If I had been able to feel a bit more possibility in it all, here’s where I would have started…
…with RHYTHM rather than CURRICULUM.
By creating a beautifully simple, daily rhythm for the whole family and putting it up on the wall for all to see!
It’s such a great place to start and a great place to come back to when life gets a little wonky. I did eventually discover the beauty of rhythm, but it took me years.
So start by building patterns and routines, RHYTHM, into your homeschooling day before the planning, customizing, and implementing your curriculum. It will help tremendously when it comes time to start your lessons!
Because really, no matter what resources or packaged curriculum we may choose to buy, we each create our own curriculum anyway.
It’s not even possible to use someone else’s curriculum exactly as it’s written.
When we create our own curriculum, we get to look at our own children, the children before us, and bring them what they need.
Starting with rhythm rather than a fixed curriculum allows us to be more flexible and the lessons more relevant to our children. So we can feel confident in our homeschool, like we’re steering the ship instead of someone else. It’s a good feeling!
Once you establish your foundation of rhythm, the curriculum can flow so much more gracefully.
Want some guidance on working with rhythm in your homeschool?
Get my new rhythm guide, Save Your Homeschooling Day: 3 Steps to Rescue Your Rhythm for a Simple Happy Homeschool.
I want to help you feel better about your homeschooling sooner than I did!
Show up with courage and let of go of everything else.
That’s right, start with homeschool rhythm rather than curriculum.
It really all starts with RHYTHM.