Saturday, August 27, 2011

My journey through education theories

So, like every other parent on the planet, my journey as a Mama has been just that- a journey.  Every year I learn some new things, realize mistakes I made and some ways to improve.
For me, when I read about the Montessori method, I was hooked.  I wanted to have the best educated child I could have.  This was not driven by complete love for my child, but the need to feel validated as a mom.  (Like if my child could learn to read early, it would somehow prove something about my worth). 

Well, then I came upon Charlotte Mason, and she reminded me of Louisa May Alcott's works (Little Women, Little Men, ect.) She has such a focus on character building and giving a beautiful, interesting, well rounded education.  I felt inspired.  Her words on the early years though nice, were not specific enough for me.  I felt the frustration of having ideals without practical ways of carrying them out.

This is what reading about Waldorf early years has done for me.  It has given me tools that resonate with my heart, empower me, and help me to relax about these precious early years with my girls. (Please note that I am fully aware of the spiritual aspects of many things Waldorf, and am very careful with what I do and do not use from this theory)  The things it has inspired for me are as follows:

1. Having a rhythm (structure, but not strict schedule) for our daily and weekly lives.
2. Realizing that telling stories and singing nursery rhymes may be the best way to give my kids a love for words and language (which leads in turn to kids who love to read)
3. Incorporating my kids into household work (not task focused, but relaxed singing while we work) empowers them physically (scrubbing things and kneading bread strengthens little arms) and builds their self esteem (they feel important doing important jobs).
4. Having a bigger focus on being active than sitting and concentrating on something
5. Encouraging creativity as much as I can (this is one of my favorite parts!)

I was already doing many of those things, but as I mentioned recently, it is really my mental attitude about it that is making the real difference. So, I'll stop blabbing about theories and get back to pics of the fam, and telling you what we've been up to next post!! 


  1. Tricia, you are my "Mom ideal"! I love the way you and Stephen are raising your girls!