Waldorf schools are unique for many reasons and If you ever visit a Waldorf classroom you will be surprised at how a Waldorf class looks; Some of the daily activities include cooking, knitting, and sewing. The benefits to be in a Waldorf school are many and we will discuss the main benefits.
Develop Critical Thinking
If you send a child in a Waldorf school, you do it because you value the benefit of your child being an imaginative, free-thinking person open to new experiences and differing points of view. You send your child to a Waldorf School because you value an education that teaches your child how to think – not what to think and not to think like everyone else. You send your child to a Waldorf school because you value freedom in education – not conformity to testing standards and social pressures. For example, a child may experience pressure to join his classmates in teasing another student. This is the time for the child to decide to follow or not follow the behavior. Sometimes we rush children to take a decision rather than let them think in their own time and make decisions. If we let the children make decisions and be responsible for their decisions we are helping them to have the feeling of responsibility and equality when they grow up too. Critical thinking empowers the children in a way that they can face challenges in their future life.
Create Strong Relationships
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education, believed that the strong relationship forged between a teacher and a student was essential to a robust education, and aid to healthy child development. Teachers and students have a strong relationship between them. The teacher has the same class from grade 1 to grade 6 and he is responsible for the same class 6 years. That means that the student grows up with the same teacher during primary school. In the long term, the student develops a trusting relationship with the teacher. This is very important because the student can talk honestly to the teacher for any problem he/she has. There is also respect between teacher and student. Every morning the teacher shakes hands with every student, talk with them, and make eye contact. The same happens at the end of the day.
Let’s do handwork
Who said that knitting, crochet, sewing, and cross-stitch are for grannies? Handwork helps the children to develop a healthy imagination and harmonize his unfolding will and feeling life. This will form the basis for an active thinking life and the forming of judgment. In Waldorf school, handwork is essential as it supports brain development needed for academic learning. Rudolf Steiner points out that whether a child was taught to use his hands and his fingers in a right and practical way, then in later life the exercising of logical thinking. A child who is knitting a toy or a doll sees their will transformed into art. They see how the wool from a simple material can become a useful, beautiful object.
The Waldorf curriculum is fundamentally artistic. Art at Waldorf schools is not just a subject. Rudolph Steiner believed that there are three aspects of the human being: the intellectual, the physical, and the artistic-creative. All three parts have to be developed equally. Most of the schools emphasize only in reading and writing while Waldorf schools emphasize equally to paint, sculpt, draw, sing, knit, and dance. Art for children fosters creativity and self-expression. Imagine that many problems today need imagination and creativity to be solved. What better way to produce creative and independent thinkers than by encouraging them to express themselves artistically in their way?
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