At Nine

I originally wrote this piece for Of Dragons and Angels. The children have pseudonyms because this is not their story; it is my story of being a parent. This the sixth year of my journey as a Meadowbrook parent and I am continually delighted by, and grateful for my fellow travelers. A heartfelt ‘Thank You ‘to all who share this path. Beth Riungu.

On opening day of 3rd grade with her teacher.

On a golden, play-filled, end of summer day my daughter turned nine. Packing the picnic things ready for home I became aware of her running at the edge of the park. A game of hide and seek I think, her lengthening shadow flitting between the trees. The still green leaves seem to hold their breath, reminded by early evening’s crimson tones that a change of season is at hand. I feel it too.

Parents at Waldorf schools hear much about the Nine Year Change; a distinct developmental phase characterized by the child’s more realistic or critical outlook as he begins to move away from the dreamy world of early childhood. Class teachers prepare us to recognize the child’s growing consciousness of his individuality; of being part of the family and the world yet separate from both. We are given notice of the unsettling new realities both we and our child will experience with this realization of Self and the ambivalent yearning for independence it may provoke.

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Leading Children Back to the Future in the Waldorf Classroom.

 

This piece was written by Jack Petrash, a respected author and highly entertaining speaker on Waldorf education. Petrash founded the Nova Institute as a resource and support for those seeking to use Waldorf methods in public and mainstream settings. He is currently in grade 5 of his fourth go-around as a class teacher at the Washington Waldorf School, MD.

Each morning when I open the door and step into my first grade room, I immediately feel at home. I am so fond of my classroom – the plants by the windows, the children’s watercolor paintings brightening the walls, the wooden desks and chairs all ordered and arranged to face the blackboard . I like to think that this classroom is lovelier than the one I entered as a child, but the truth is that there is something about my room that at first glance is similar to the classrooms of the past. Continue reading →

How should we educate for the future?

How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week?  That is the question asked by Sir Ken Robinson of the Royal Society for the Arts in this 11 minute, animated film.

To learn how Waldorf education addresses these issues today, read by Leading Children Back to the Future by long-time Waldorf teacher and author, Jack Petrash.