Arya and I attended our first Waldorf Morning Glory playgroup yesterday. It's specifically a parent-child group that meets with similarly aged children once a week for a semester. It's a local Waldorf school, one in which we are seriously considering sending Arya too, even though it's going to completely drain our bank accounts every month to pay for it. I don't know if words can describe how much I don't want to send Arya to public school in California. All I ever see are bullies, kids who can't tell time, or read, or even write and can't do subtraction, let alone multiplication in 3rd grade. Class sizes are over 35 and all the extra curriculars are being taken out to save money. Teachers are stressed, kids are stressed, parents are stressed.
It's not what I want our family life to be like when Arya is school aged.
Getting back to the playgroup. Well…..it didn't go so great. The teacher wanted us to participate in one thing and Arya decided she wanted to play with something else. The other little one, was quietly playing and Arya was practically running laps around him. She's just a super active little girl. Trying to get into everything she can't. She's a "super active, I want to do whatever I want", 2 year old. :) The teacher was very nice about it and made me feel pretty comfortable that she's 2 and she's going to act this way and as time progresses, she'll get better.
She did recommend spending more time outside, as she's seen really active kids really get immersed in an activity when they are outside. Since we have had days off, we tend to get outdoors as a family a lot more, but I think as we start to slowly adjust her schedule to have more rhythm, daily outdoor time will be mandatory. We have noticed that when she's outside, she does play very well. Not necessarily when she's at a huge playground and there is a bunch of stuff to do, but when she's at the beach and she only has sand, a bucket and shovel, or if we are walking and just picking up leaves and handing them to mama. If she's a big playground, she basically just runs from one thing to another.
I also took a couple cues from the Waldorf room and adjusted what we have in her play area. She has a hodgepodge of play food that was kept in her play fridge. The problem was, she couldn't independently open up the fridge. I also think I had too much in there, all jammed in there in no order. At the Waldorf school, they had 3 different foods, all pretty small and in little baskets, spoons, plate, bowl and cup and saucepans. She probably played for almost 40 minutes with that stuff. She could access everything and played, played, played. Now, I've downsized her food for now, to about 10 pieces, and they all fit in a little shallow box, that's on an open shelf so she can reach it without a problem.
Lastly, I've been collecting Waldorf books for a while. Actually, I had some on my baby registry and I'm not sure I even knew they were Waldorf when I put them on there. I've got some reading to do!
You are Your Child's First Teacher
Heaven on Earth
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge
Seven Times the Sun
All Year Round