When I returned to university three years ago to begin my journey to kindergarten teaching - I heard for the first time of the Steiner-Waldorf method. Something about the educational philosophies really stood out to me. Those were mostly to do with the natural materials children played with, rhythmical songs, caring attitudes and a lot of nurture from the teacher. Involvement of the family is paramount and the desire for families to want a holistic educational experience is very common.
So with some investigation into these ideas - I came another step closer to learning who I am and was created to be. So much going on in this world clogs up my children's thinking and mine too for that matter.
In my earlier days of parenting as a young mother Miss G and Master S did have many a plastic toy and watch ABC kids. We were often in the garden and creating things together. Once Master J arrived - toys started to break and were steadily removed from the home. At this same time though we noticed Master S's autistic tendencies and how little he actually played with these 'toys'.
Little have been replaced in the plastic realm. We concentrated more on toys that are handmade from wood or felt. Not all of the bits the kids play with are like this - they are huge fans of Lego. We try to spend time creating - painting and drawing.
Why am I blogging about this you may be wondering. Well - I took these pictures of the children last night playing in the garden. Miss G looking for birds in the trees. Master S had sharpened his own stick spear. Master J had left me a collection of rocks on the front porch.
There was an amazing calm last night at our house and there always is when the children are investigating through nature.
I went against the grain of what I have done for so long. I let them play until it was dark. It was a school night. Usually they would be washed up and in bed by about 7:30. I questioned myself today how many times I have parented in a certain way because a parenting magazine; the neighbours; teachers or friends have all made suggestions. Often these bits of advice are great. But I was thinking how often do we stop to actually parent intuitively and naturally? I regret I am only gaining this wisdom now - however feel very blessed to be receiving it!
Today we went to Ikea. It was chaos, distressful and exhausting for Master J and his friend Master E. I took a moment to pause and snap these pictures of our surroundings. For our family who is living in quiet outer Melbourne town - the noise and sensory input was huge.
Noise coming from all directions; lights and unpredictability. Look at Master J's face. It explains it all.
Inside Ikea - it was all just too much. Lots of people and lights - so much sensory input for one who cannot process it neuro-typically. When I talk with Master S and Master J about our weekends and what they would like to do..... It is to stay home.
I really thank God for the wisdom he gives us. Parenting may come much easier on that 12 acres! So I wish I had known 12 years ago what I know now. I am thankful for our journey and our wondrous discoveries as a family. xo