Educating the Preschool Aged Child

With all the planning for Miss Sky I thought I would address where Little Sis fits into things. When coming to Waldorf this is where most people don’t understand why no academics until first grade? What Kindergarten is just playing ? I mean what about learning to read. There are so many wonderful resources out there that address this topic but my favorite by far is You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. Her website is here http://www.waldorfinthehome.org/.  We must first understand the incarnating process in which a child unfolds. Incarnating meaning ” coming into the body” or gradual process of achieving adult consciousness. The unfolding is a three fold process first starting with the ages 0 -7 .  Understanding that a child stays in a “dream like “state until 7 and that is why no academics before hand. It is so easy to understand a newborn is not fully capable of learning how to read but as the child gets to preschool age we all of a sudden treat them as little adults. We must understand that preschool children perceive the world differently , think, learn, and feel differently then elementary aged children . The same goes for elementary aged children and adolescent aged children. We must also understand this process unfolds according to it’s own natural order and time and should not be rushed or hindered and doing so risks a person to remain child like not fully able to seize hold of life on this earth. Man I can truly say I have met a lot of people  that fit this bill. So how does a preschool aged child learn?  At this age they are centered in the will and in the limbs . They learn through movement as muscles and bones grow and coordination is gradually achieved. This is another reason for circle time. This has been proved so many times and yet educators feel the need to teach children earlier and earlier. What the heck happened to play? I think this is one ,of many, reasons that is drawing people to Waldorf Education. Preschool aged children learn primarily through repetition and movement and by imitating everything around them. I see this so much with Little Sis she constantly imitates Miss Sky. Think about how a child learns to walk and talk the same goes for education. This is why Waldorf stresses the importance of rhythm in the home. Having the same daily rhythm not only helps the child learn about the world around them but gives them the security they need so much. Little Sis can’t tell time but knows when I start to put the house to bed soon it will be her bedtime as well. It is so important to first understand where our children are developmentally and to not treat them as “little adults”.  Then we can start to truly learn how to educate their soul.

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