Friday, October 31, 2008

Honoring Our Work

Sunii created this from a pair of doll knitting needles that we made last week (see previous BLOG POST)
Waldorf education puts great emphasis on the process, rather than the end product and this is part of the beauty of learning in this way. However, this does not mean that one forgets the end product. Honoring the end product in some way, can further inspire the child and enhance their learning experience. There are so many ways to do this. Here are some of my favorite ways:

1. Display: We have numerous ways to display our work around the home. I include my own work in these displays so the children can be inspired by my work and also see that I am proud of my own accomplishments. In the wicker-room we have frames that contain the children's drawings and pictures. These pictures can be rotated in and out of the frames at the child's request. In the art-room (dining room) we have two walls where work is hung and displayed for all guests and the family as well. We display many works on the nature table and on various shelves around the house.

2. Use: I try to find as many ways as possible that we can use what we create. Sometimes the children come up with these ideas like in the way they decided to use the knitting needles we made for the dolls last week! We have used paintings as invitations or cards before, we give many of our creations as gifts and sometimes I use the children's artwork in books or in BLOG posts. Some creations can be eaten, woodworking creations are often useful (placecard holders, candleholders, etc..) and so much more. I can usually find a way to use anything we have made. If not, it can take a place of honor in a memory chest or in a special notebook.

3. Creating Memories: After the display is over, if an item cannot be used on a daily basis it goes into a special notebook or scrapbook or into a memory chest. The children often sit down with these scrapbooks or memory chests for hours remembering the friends they were with when they made things, how much they enjoyed (or didn't) the activity, and much more.

4. Going Beyond: Sometimes when we do a project the kids surprise me by taking the project farther than I intended (such as in the case of the doll knitting needles that they actually used). I enjoy this process of asking, "now that we are done...what more can we do?" Sometimes you can create a story from what you have created, sometimes you can use or display what you have created in a unique way. Sometimes you can combine two creations into one thing. I always enjoy doing this with my unicorns. Once I finish knitting them I create stories or personalities to go with each one (Sofi enjoys helping me with this) and take pictures of their story. Sometimes I write books about them or make videos about them (see The Unichronicles or the Unicorn-on-the-Cob on YOUTUBE). The children enjoy taking pictures of their own creations and making stories about them, drawing or writing stories about them or just telling me stories.

5. Shows: has your child worked hard on a play or a story or on learning a song? You can hold a neighborhood show or just a show "by invitation only" for your friends. Some people even take videos of private shows and send them to their relatives to enjoy. The children take these events very seriously and are very proud to be able to show their work to others. Encourage them to dress up and create their own invitations for these events and to help you in the planning.

A Story from Sofi and Mama

I love drinking hot chocolate on cold winter mornings...

YUM! All ready to drink! Yah!! This needs more marshmallows!

Uh....where did that other marshmallow go???

Perfect! Now I can drink my hot chocolate!
By the way... I am looking for a good home. If you want to adopt me please visit me at:

TheDreamAngels ETSY


Hallie said...

I want to learn how to knit JUST because of your unicorns! They are amazing!!!

Pen+Ink said...

That was a great insight. My girls are not home schooled but attend a Waldorf school in our neighbourhood while I am the coordinator for one slightly further afield. I found it slightly difficult initially to adjust to not unpacking loads of junky photocopied colouring in and workbook sheets, or bits of decorated toilet paper tubing from my eldest daughter's school bag when she made the switch.
But I have come to love and treasure the sense of achivemnet and fulfilment I can see on my angel's face when she brings home an item that has taken weeks, if not months of work as much as I treasure these items of value themselves.