This time of the year, most of my emails have to do with placement. Where should I place my above average, already reading 6yo? What if my 10 yr old already knows everything in the 4th grade curriculum?
When we come to Waldorf, it is extremely important that we don’t discount any part of the curriculum. We need to keep in mind that Steiner believed ALL children were gifted in some way. His curriculum is about balance and about meeting the WHOLE child, not just the academic parts of the child. We are educating Head, Heart AND Hands, not just head. So with that being said, a child that is 6.5 to 7 is ready for first grade, even if they are already reading. Even if they already know all the first grade math. Let’s remember that there is much more to the curriculum than just learning to read and count. The story content for each grade meets the child’s age developmentally. There is also the handwork curriculum, as well as music and much more!
1. Has my child completed the literature or history portions for this grade that the appropriate time to be in sync with his or her age?
2. Has my child experienced Waldorf math from the beginning, understanding everything from the whole down to the parts?
3. How are we doing with form drawing? Are we caught up from the beginning and are we practicing regularly? Remembering that form drawing is a whole body experience.
4. How is our handwork? Have we fully explored the handwork portions of the curriculum? Is my child proficient at the handwork from the last grade before moving on?
5. Do I fully understand the WHY behind the WHAT that I am doing?
6. How about singing and music?
If you are still struggling with placement, ask yourself why. Are you struggling because you aren’t fully trusting the curriculum just yet? Of course that takes time 🙂 Why did you come to Waldorf? Do you want the full fruit from it? If so, then give yourself the gift that comes from really understanding the curriculum. The full fruit takes time. It takes commitment. It takes patience. A friend once described the parts of Waldorf like those vitamins you make sure you take but you can’t immediately see the results. Like the vitamins, this takes time. The fruit is there and it will be evident, give it time.
Wishing you could get a jump start on that learning curve? Our Thinking Feeling Willing program can help. We bring Waldorf to you in a way that is easy to manage. Don’t get overwhelmed. Let us help.