Every Wednesday our members get to ask Waldorf teacher Diane Power questions about their homeschooling experience, Waldorf education and more. These Q & A sessions are posted on the member blog every week so you have access to all the past Q & A sessions. Become a member of Earthschooling to get your questions answered personally every week.
Question from Member: Hi, I’m trying to come up with some ideas for my 4-year-old (she will be 5 in November) in the fall. So far we haven’t done anything official. She often listens in on whatever the two older kids are doing, does lots of free play. Transitions are still a struggle. We live in a state where she is technically kindergarten age in the fall, but I don’t feel like we want to, nor are we ready to, start a full curriculum. Do you have any suggestions of activities we could do to provide a little bit of structure and help with transitions or other age appropriate lessons? – N.J.J.
Reply from Diane: If your daughter was in a mixed-age Waldorf early childhood class, she would be spending most of her time in free play, both inside and outdoors. She would experience a weekly rhythm that could include beeswax modeling, painting, soup making, bread making, washing placemats and napkins, seasonal crafts and festival celebrations.
My suggestion would be to choose a weekly rhythm for her. She might be incorporated into the older children’s painting and modeling time. She could also have her own special story every day. I would then allow her to play as she desires.
For transitions, you could begin singing or playing an instrument to signal that its time to change activities. You could also use a doll or stuffed animal that “leads” the new activity. Be creative! Perhaps each of your older children could help with the signal.