“Accept the children with reverence, educate them with love, send them forth in freedom.”
– Rudolf Steiner
Waldorf education strives to educate the whole child - the heart, hands and head. The specific methods used in Waldorf education come from the view that the child develops through stages from childhood to adulthood. The Waldorf curriculum is specifically designed to work with the child through these stages of development.
Steiner's teachings provide rich insights not only into what to introduce when, but how to teach children of various ages. Because children from 7-14 learn best when their imaginative and artistic faculties are engaged, Waldorf education helps parents/teachers present every subject in a lively and artistic way. Steiner breaks childhood down into developmental stages that occur of periods of seven years. Each stage has its own specific learning requirements.
- Early Childhood Learning: This stage is listed from birth to age seven. Learning is accomplished through experimenting, imitating, and the use of practical activities.
- Elementary School: Children do not start elementary school until they are seven years old. Learning is accomplished in this stage by recognizing the artistic and imaginative abilities within the child. The approach for learning will emphasize these abilities and by promoting artistic expression and life experiences.
- Adolescence: The emphasis is placed upon developing intellectual and ethical thinking, including the importance of social responsibility.