Don't assume that because someone has a pretty blog picture of some beautiful brand new Waldorfy wooden bowl or awesome accessory that their whole house is that way. More likely than not, you are seeing this person's favorite spaces in their home. We all have these. We all have things that we have worked really hard for and while they don't mean much to most people, they mean the world to us. Find nooks and crannies like this in your home. Even if your home isn't exactly what you want, find things about it to love. Waldorf can be done anywhere that there are children, from tiny apartments to farms to modest city dwelling. You don't have to have a big set up with a lot of space. Chalk boards are nice but you can do without.
You have to learn to really love your home. I know that is a tall order, I have rented a good portion of my adult life and I can’t say there were many that I *loved* - but I did decide early on that if I didn’t find way to love my house, then the children wouldn’t either.
When I take the time to love and respect my home, then that comes through in all we do. It can be hard, but it is very worth it. I find that each home has spirit and heart, it seems to be an extension of who we are as a family. Make that space what you want. It doesn’t have to cost a lot.
For storage, we have used many things through the years. I love a good sized book case or cabinet. It need not be expensive – but it can be if you have the means. I spend a lot of my energy on schooling, I like to feel good about the things we use.
I like to keep my books for planning and school work organized by grade. It is so helpful to me to just be able to go to that grade and grab what I need. I know others that have them arranged by author and even by color. Experiment with what works for you. Also, I have found it necessary to make rules about the books I use for planning, my children are welcome to borrow the ones off those shelves, but they must come and ask first.
I keep a lending library for our local Waldorf friends, I take a picture of each book with my phone and put the person’s name and date and then text it to a file I have in Evernote. It keeps me from losing books!
Taking good care of these supplies is also a great concern. It is no secret that Waldorf supplies cost double or more than other supplies, I allow my children full access to them from about age two, but I also work hard to illustrate how we care for these supplies. We make a large production out of cleaning paint from the gnomes’ beard after we paint. We carefully sort our crayons and take care of them.
Speaking of storing supplies – just what should you have on hand? There is so much that it can be really overwhelming. I love shopping with Pamela at Meadowsweet Naturals (meadowsweetnaturals.com) she has great prices and that can be super helpful at all stages of this Waldorf journey.
Start with simple pieces:
- small tin of stick crayons
- set of 3 primary block crayons
- small amount of paint (I like the three circle colors)
- two good paint brushes
- small set of beeswax
- you want paper that is a good amount of thickness to hold up when wet
For older children, you can also get the small set of pencils. Wait… you can’t afford all of that? IT IS OK!! I promise! Start small. Use what you have, buy a bit here and there. Enjoy the journey.
Did you know that Steiner didn’t care what children modeled with as long as they had the experience of modeling? He said they could use mud. So work with what you have!
When it comes to budgeting for supplies, I try to spend a small amount monthly rather than a big amount all at once. I found when I was a single mom that budgeting $10-$20 dollars a month was easier, I could even put it in an envelope and use a few months of savings at a time. Homeschooling with Waldorf need not be an expensive pursuit! It can be done with ease, all you need is the right mindset.
You might enjoy this blog post on the Mood of the Waldorf Home
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