Childhood isn’t meant to be a race
“Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book. We should not learn to teach out of any book other than the one lying open before us and consisting of the children themselves”. Rudolf Steiner
Children do not all develop in the same way, nor do they develop at the same rhythm.
Become a storyteller
It is said that Einstein once said “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Stories help children to connect, they teach new words, and they take us to places we’ve never been. Storytelling builds a child’s imagination.
Making up stories can be difficult but it gets easier with time. You can also tell simple stories you remember from your childhood. Going through the story before you tell it will make the storytelling experience more fulfilling for both you and your child. Young children like to listen to the same story several times so they’ll be happy with the same story repeated for a while.
Connect with nature every day
Children thrive on physical activity. Playing outside also spurs creativity. Connecting with nature means teaching our children to be more attentive to the world around us. It means teaching to take the time to smell the flowers and observe the different things and people in their environment. Nature also has a calming effect.
Opportunities to connect with nature abound: smell flowers, pick flowers, collect pebbles, take pictures of insects, pick leaves, paint or draw still life objects, play with sticks, build forts, dig, play with sand, scavenger hunts, etc.
The simplest toys foster the greatest creativity. Something we have easy access: pine cones, shells, yarn, silk rags and handkerchiefs, sticks and branches, wooden blocks, stones, cardboard boxes etc.
There are many benefits to establishing routines. From the book “Simplicity Parenting” …rituals and routines give children a sense of security and provide them with roots. They believe that establishing routines can simplify parenting and make parenting a more fulfilling experience.
Make room for art
Making room for art means providing our children with unstructured moments in which they can practice creative play. It is in these moments that they develop creativity.
Steiner believed that fewer and simpler toys helped children develop greater creativity. He also believed that organized spaces (toys arranged tidily in baskets or shelves rather than in piles) played an important role in child development.
The importance of organized spaces is an aspect shared by Montessori schools.
This quote by Rudolf Steiner pretty well sums up his philosophy:
“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able, of themselves, to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education.”