I confess: I’m one of those homeschooling moms who spends a lot of time on Pinterest. I find myself fascinated by the beautiful and amazing work of so many talented women. One of the many educational philosophies out there that I find interesting is the Waldorf education model. Now, let me start this by saying that I have some rather extreme reservations about the Waldorf model taken as a whole. It has some pagan associations and I find that deeply troubling.
However, as with almost any educational philosophy, there are elements that are good and which can be thoughtfully incorporated into a more Catholic view. In Waldorf education, there is a lovely emphasis on the cyclical nature of the seasons, time in general, and fostering a deep connection to the life of the home. They create some amazing visual aids for children based on these concepts. Take a look:
What I like is that the Waldorf model reflects on the idea of rhythm (rather than schedule) creating stability and structure in our days and weeks. I find a fixed schedule to be stressful; we are almost never on time for every aspect of the day. But, we if look at a rhythm where there is a natural progression to our days and weeks, the idea of structure becomes less confining and more comforting. If, like those amazing and very committed Waldorf teachers and moms, we can somehow create a visually beautiful reminder of those rhythms, then we can enrich our children’s understanding of our home and its importance in new ways.
There are obvious connections between the Waldorf notion of rhythm and a Catholic understanding of liturgical seasons as well as the weekly and monthly prayer focuses and how our homes should be Domestic Churches. Vox has some wonderful information on this subject here for you.
A fabulous resource, sadly no longer available, was SanctusSimplicitus.com. The wonderful lady who created this blog took it down some time ago. She used to have a liturgical bulletin board that looked like this:
Would you believe she used to give such a wonderful resource away for free?!?! Not only that, she had one of the prettiest homeschool planners out there with the Traditional Catholic calendar integrated into it. I miss that resource! Long ago, I downloaded all the files from this liturgical bulletin board and use it daily in my homeschool. I wish I could link to her work now to share it with you. It emphasizes the daily prayers, the monthly focus, and the whole liturgical year in one beautiful calendar.
So, my challenge to you today is simple: consider your daily, weekly, monthly, and perhaps even seasonal rhythms. What works well? What doesn’t? What would you like the rhythm of your home to be? How can you make those rhythms more tangible for your children? This little flight of fancy may seem silly, but please consider the liturgical year as your inspiration. The Bible tells us that to everything, there is a season. How can we make this more vibrant and natural for our families?