What is a Nature Table and why do you see them in most Waldorf classrooms and in the homes of families who value Waldorf education? What purpose do they serve and why should you create one?
The "what" of Nature Tables is simple; they are a collection of natural objects gathered from outside and arranged for educational or display purposes inside. The objects included in a nature table can vary widely but may include things like rocks, shells, feathers, leaves, pinecones, flowers, and other items you find while walking outside.
The "why" of Nature Tables is up to you. The most basic purpose of nature tables is to add a bit of magic and wonder to the home or classroom. They lift our spirits and remind us that something bigger is going on, as they're a great way to acknowledge and connect to what's happening outside. But there is no one correct reason for having a nature table, and there are many ways to approach it.
A nature table could be:
A common question we get is, "how can I possibly homeschool successfully with more than one child?!!!
We at Daily Wonder fully recognize this challenge and are here to encourage you to go for it. We have collected our ideas based on teaching experience and feedback from other DW members. We hope you'll be inspired and encouraged to persevere through the inevitable learning curve. Let us remind you that not only do you need to learn to homeschool for two different grades, but most of you are new to homeschooling entirely and ought to cut yourself some slack. You heard it here; take a deep breath; you've got this!
Here are the top 10 suggestions for homeschooling more than one child:
How Does Daily Wonder Approach History and Geography?
We get asked this important question often, as we are a Canadian-based company with members worldwide. So, how exactly do we approach subjects that are location specific?
We Follow the Waldorf Developmental Approach
At Daily Wonder, we talk a lot about rhythm and routine. That’s because we know that young children feel a sense of good health when held by boundaries, including the layout of the day, week, and month. Children learn through play and doing until they reach high school, and they need lots of activities that spark their creativity and provide space for wonder. Then, when they know what we expect of them, the children are freed up to be in the moment. After that, it is up to the adults to create boundaries to free the children.
At Daily Wonder, learning to read evolves for each child in the same form as it evolved from the beginning of humanity: spoken language developed first, then people drew pictures to communicate their ideas, followed by symbols such as hieroglyphics and finally the abstract letters of our modern alphabets. Once there was a written language, people learned to read. This unfolding inspires the sequence of the literacy program laid out in Daily Wonder curriculum. For Daily Wonder, the central theme for all lessons, in every subject, is the human story. We use storytelling to shape and deliver the living pictures behind every lesson, including the literacy program.
Anthroposophist, mystic, and teacher, Claudia McLaren Lainson explains the Holy Nights:
"In the darkness of Winter’s night, when the great breath of the Earth Mother finds its greatest point of inhalation, human beings are afforded the grace to touch into both magic and miracle. In the pause between her mighty in-breath and out-breath there is a still-point of rest. This still-point has long been known as the Holy Nights. In these blessed Nights, the angels circle the globe as if in a great cosmic dance. They long to speak to listening human hearts. Throughout the ages the ‘listening ones’ on earth have heard the angelic choir; they have received messages of Peace and Love. What is received during these sacred days and nights, resounds a thousand-fold in the year that follows. In this year before us, a great light is striving to find willing human hearts. May we each be the ‘listening ones’ during these Holy Nights. May we work with angels."
As parents and teachers, we are always looking for ways to understand our children, to interpret their behaviours, and to be able to support them more fully in their development. In Waldorf Schools around the world, it is very common for teachers to use the Four Temperaments Model, as a foundation for understanding their students.
This is one of the oldest personality type systems in the world. The origins of this typology belong to Graeco-Arabic medicine, where it was successfully used to treat illnesses. In fact, it is still used today by practitioners of traditional medicine around the world.
Daily Wonder lesson plans provide the daily, monthly and yearly rhythm of your school year. The educational planning is done, and there is minimal preparation awaiting you, the parent. We all know how hectic the school year can get with all the things that need to happen in one day. The Wonder Squad highly recommends taking the time now to look into your prep needs. You will be so grateful down the road for taking the time now to get organized. Lazy summer days offer leisurely ways to check things off the "back to homeschool to-do list".
Here are our suggestions:
More and more parents understand the importance of free, unstructured play for children. However, in our highly structured and driven society, they are working against the grain, in a way. These families have to work extra hard to maintain their values and navigate away from the overuse of screens and electronic toys that take away all the wonder.
At first, if your child is not used to free, unstructured play, it can be difficult for them to sink into something joyful and absorbing. In some ways, it requires a “detox” from the toys and distractions of our modern world. Many popular toys for children today involve electronics: these toys beep, buzz, flash, and talk. On the surface, they seem very exciting and engaging, but one quickly realizes that they lack deeply nourishing engagement with wonder and creativity. Furthermore, they become a source of frustration because they easily break, or the batteries die quickly. They can also be quite disturbing to the nervous system of the child. These toys can overload the senses with sounds and visuals. And let’s not forget the disturbance to the nervous systems of those in the room (like stressed out moms)!
Children thrive in a predictable rhythm and routine. We see their anxiety lessen when they know what to expect. When meals and bedtime happen regularly , it anchors their day. Once established, it is helpful to find other aspects of the day that you can commit to making happen regularly. Homeschool is, of course, a source of rhythm for your child. Although these days, school can be somewhat unpredictable as well, giving us even more reasons to fill moments in your child’s day with heartfelt connection and a sense of calm.
Explore schedules, rhythms & routines, songs, music, festivals, free play, meals, projects & more to support your homeschooling program.