Lately I've been revisiting Waldorf inspired material I haven't read in years. This personal education renewal has helped both in the classroom and at home, but most of all it's inside of myself that I feel the greatest transformation. Sometimes I get too focused on what's going on outside myself, with other people, projects, etc. and forget to rely on the foundation that already exists - those pieces I've built on my own and those pieces I've gained from other peole.
Here's an excerpt from the Introduction of Oak Meadow's The Heart of Learning, by Lawrence Williams. The following excerpt is an eloquent reminder of why I chose to school my children non-traditionally and why I encourage others to consider new and creative ways of supplementing their own education as well as that of their children:
"Every six seconds, a child is born somewhere in the world; over 10,000 children every day of every year. From the very moment of birth, each child displays remarkable intelligence, the ability to act decisively, and the capacity to love deeply. However, also from the moment of birth, we habitually respond to children in ways which begin to limit the extent to which these innate capacities will manifest. Within a few short years at least part of the infinte potential whilch held us in awe at the moment of brith has been reduced to deeply entrenched patterns of predictable behavior. At that point the child enters school, and several years later emerges, having supplemented the predcitable behavior with a limited range of marketable skills, having reduced the infinte potential of milions of children to a few predictable responses and a hatful of skills, we declare them to be mature adults, and praise ourselves for the good job we've done. . .
Fortunately, a few children survive this process to realize the promise that was so vibrantly alive at the moment of birth and make a contribution to humaity that is recognized for generations. But many emerge as mere shells, destined to lead lives that are mediocre at best, filled with desperation and despondency, while some never make the adjustment at all and spend their lives in prisons and mental hospitals, isolated from the rest of humanity.
We continue with this sad charade generation aftern generation, crushing the boundless potential of billions of children, yet we never consider trying another approach, an approach which would permit those infinite resources to flow abundantly into the world for the healing of us all.
It isn't quite as hopeless as it sounds. In the midst of all this, there are those who catch a glimpse of what could be, and they manage to insprie others to see the possiblities. . ."
-from Oak Meadow's The Heart of Learning (2005)