|Photo by Lisa Nolan|
One of the attributes I like about Waldorf is its sensitivity for the development of the WHOLE child: mind, body, and spirit. Also, there is a lot of emphasis on fine motor (like weaving, knitting, sewing), nature, cooking, playing, arts and crafts, large motor play, story telling, poetry, songs, critical thinking, and literature.
Speaking of large motor, children really benefit from an emphasis on large motor movement activities, which aid in the function of right and left brain development: thus improving reading and writing skills between the ages of five and nine.
What I can say about child-hood development is that not all professionals agree that children as young as four, five and six should be doing academic work, that their right-brain and left-brain development is not completed, in fact, in some children, especially boys, it is delayed as compared to girls. And Waldorf takes this to heart--academic reading begins at age eight. (Read this informative blog post on Waldorf and reading.)
In Montessori, there is a Sensitive Period for Reading at age five (Sensitive Period for Writing at age 4 1/2). But there is another sensitive period for reading at age eight. And Waldorf waits until the second sensitive period at age eight to start teaching children how to read. Up until that age, the language focus in Waldorf is on the SPOKEN word through storytelling, poetry, songs, and verse.
If you think your child would do better (and be happier) in a Waldorf-style environment, with arts, crafts, cooking, large motor, fine motor, songs, story telling, and a lot less emphasis on academics until the later years... then Waldorf just might be the better choice.
There are Waldorf books you can get from the library, or used on Amazon.
Read some Waldorf blogs, my favorite is the Magic Onion. And they have a great article you can print out and read.
- You may also be interested in my recommended Montessori and homeschool books for parents and teachers on Amazon.com or my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth.
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- I am also a small press publisher of children's picture books and mom lit family-humor anthologies, including Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches, available on Amazon and Kindle.
Linking up with Montessori Monday!