Listado de la etiqueta: waldorf curriculum

Tiempo de sembrar, tiempo de cosechar

Analú Castejón, Grade 8 Main Educator

Escribo este blog con el corazón lleno de alegría y de nostalgia.  Mi hijo mayor,  de veintidós años, quien estudia en Estados Unidos, regresó hoy a su casa en el extranjero después de haber pasado la temporada navideña en Guatemala.  Con lágrimas en los ojos cuento los meses que faltan para nuestro próximo encuentro, y con  una sonrisa de madre satisfecha me alegro porque sé que está feliz, que está siendo independiente y que está persiguiendo sus sueños.  

Cuando era pequeño solía decirle: “Todo es posible, vuela alto y lejos”.  El tiempo pasó muy rápido y  hoy mi hijo es un adolescente independiente.  Ha aprendido a viajar solo, trabaja y conoce el valor del dinero, estudia y ha alcanzado éxitos académicos y además se desenvuelve en roles de liderazgo en su universidad.   Hoy, me llena de satisfacción y agradecimiento ver que estoy cosechando lo que con esfuerzo sembré durante sus años escolares.  Mi hijo está volando alto.  

Como madre y educadora especializada en pedagogía Waldorf veo en mi hijo a un joven adulto que como muchos ha llegado a una etapa de dar frutos y recuerdo la época de la niñez o de la adolescencia en la que tenía dudas y me hacía preguntas como: “¿Estaré haciendo bien mi trabajo?”, “Quizás necesito estar más tiempo con él”,  “Espero que algún día aprenda el valor del dinero”, “Quizás necesite más apoyo”, “¿Cuándo irá a aprender?”.

Como educadora escucho con frecuencia a madres y a padres de familia preocupados porque “no ven cambios en sus hijos” o porque “sienten que sus acciones no dan frutos con la rapidez que quisieran”. A ustedes, padres y madres de familia, quiero decirles: tengan paciencia, las semillas que están sembrando y abonando hoy con sus acciones y con su ejemplo, darán frutos.  El tiempo invertido en participar en actividades en el colegio, en conversar con sus hijos sobre su día, en llevar a los hijos a clases extracurriculares, el tiempo en el tráfico, conversando con ellos sobre sus ideas, el esfuerzo de compartir con ellos una serie o una película que muchas veces como adultos no nos parece entretenida, el ejemplo que les dan siendo mujeres y hombres trabajadores, congruentes y responsables son todas muestras  del amor que sienten por sus hijos  y de  que quieren lo mejor para ellos. Y aunque a veces ellos parecen no apreciar nuestras acciones, nuestros hijos nos observan todo el tiempo, y el ejemplo que les damos cada día es una luz en su camino.

Los exhorto a que seamos pacientes, hay un tiempo para sembrar y un tiempo para cosechar.   Cada ser humano es diferente y al igual que cada planta única requiere diferentes nutrientes y tiene diferentes tiempos de germinación, nuestros hijos tienen necesidades diversas y madurarán y darán su fruto único, cada uno en su propio tiempo, que será el tiempo perfecto. 

Mientras eso sucede, presenciamos con alegría y agradecimiento el milagro que es su crecimiento, las alegrías del día día, las risas, los  pequeños cambios que van teniendo y que los van convirtiendo en seres cada vez más independientes y cada vez más auténticos, pues son ya una expresión de su individualidad y no una copia de nosotros como padres.  

“We must see that the children grow slowly into the outer world and not let them do it too rapidly”. – Rudolf Steiner 

Este es el tiempo de sembrar.  Hagámoslo con la seguridad de que estamos haciendo un buen trabajo. Recordemos que cada muestra de amor y dedicación dejará una huella en sus corazones. Guiémoslos hacia su propia autenticidad y permitamos que se conviertan en seres únicos capaces de expresar su individualidad.  Nuestros hijos son nuestro legado y, a medida que florecen en su singularidad, nos regalan la mayor satisfacción como padres y educadores.

A

La cena: 30 minutos para una familia más conectada

María Andrea García, psicopedagoga de Trinus

«Rodeados de gente que importa, mirando las caras que amamos, contamos nuestros éxitos y compartimos nuestras cargas, reviviendo los dramas cotidianos. La mesa es el lugar donde marcamos hitos, divulgamos sueños, hacemos negocios, damos gracias, planificamos vacaciones y contamos chistes, es donde los niños aprenden las lecciones que las familias enseñan: modales, cooperación, comunicación, autocontrol, valores. Seguir las normas. Sentarnos. Esperar turnos. Es donde nos construimos y festejamos. Es donde vivimos, entre mordiscos.» – Doris Christopher

Seguramente has escuchado decir que cenar en familia es bueno para tus hijos, pero es posible que no te imagines que este hábito podría cambiarles la vida. Cuanto más comamos en familia, mejor desempeño académico tendrán nuestros niños, menor probabilidad de involucrarse en asuntos negativos, sufrir depresión y es el mejor predictor que tenemos sobre qué pasará en la adolescencia de los niños

¿Por qué?

  • Quizá porque las familias que comen juntas hablan más, lo que ayuda a la conexión y a la construcción de mejores relaciones.
  • Quizá porque los padres que comen con sus hijos tienden a expresar su amor de forma más constructiva, también en forma de atención y supervisión.
  • Quizá porque la cena transforma a los miembros individuales de la familia en un «grupo», lo que otorga a los padres más influencia a la hora de competir contra el poder del grupo de amigos.
  • O quizá porque los niños, incluso más que nosotros, necesitan contar algo cada día, y la seguridad de la pertenencia y el cuidado que representa el ritual de compartir la comida con nuestros seres queridos es más tangible.

Sea cual sea la razón, la cena es una apuesta segura para construir en el hogar. Si estás demasiado ocupado como para cenar en familia regularmente, vale la pena revisar qué necesita más de nuestra importancia.


Los estudios demuestran que cuanta más frecuencia mejor. Lo ideal es que ambos padres, cuando viven juntos, cenen con sus hijos todas las noches. Pero no vivimos en un mundo ideal, así que hacemos lo que podemos, lo que a menudo significa, que sólo un padre está presente en la mayoría de las cenas semanales. A veces eso es lo mejor que una familia puede hacer durante la semana, y es funcional. Pero entonces es aún más importante que la familia pase tiempo junta durante los fines de semana, que los viernes, sábados y domingos tengamos un tono de celebración cuando todos nos sentamos juntos a disfrutar de la comida. Hay algo mágico en la construcción de la identidad familiar cuando todos los miembros comparten la comida, al menos durante una parte del tiempo.

Como es natural, a medida que tus hijos crezcan, serán ellos quienes tengan planes de noche. Pero si invitas a cenar a los amigos de tus hijos, te sorprenderá que a menudo estos preadolescentes y adolescentes disfrutan de una deliciosa cena gratis y casera antes de irse al cine o de fiesta. El secreto está en recordar que este debe ser un momento para que toda la familia se reconecte y se cargue de energía, no solo una obligación más. Es una importante oportunidad para reconectarnos y un importante fundamento para la tradición familiar.

¿Cómo lograr que una cena sea enriquecedora para que todos los miembros de la familia la esperen con interés? Aquí tienes 12 ideas para empezar.

1. Primero, relájate.

Si vuelves agotado del trabajo y tienes que poner la mesa deprisa, no tendrás recursos internos para hacer otra cosa que no sea sentarte. Pon algo para picar como primer plato (zanahorias, hummus y galletas), mientras te tomas diez minutos para descansar. Después estarás más relajado mientras cenas sentado en la mesa con esas personas que adoras.

2. Cultivar conscientemente el espacio sagrado.

Con mínimo esfuerzo, podemos crear una fiesta familiar diaria, corta pero reparadora, que ofrezca refugio frente a los problemas y aflicciones de la vida cotidiana. Algunas familias encienden velas, que parecen crear una atmósfera especial. Otras pronuncian unas palabras, que pueden ser de naturaleza religiosa o no, pero que les reconecta con la gratitud por estar simplemente vivos y juntos.

Sin embargo, el componente más importante es mantener una actitud de celebración y cariño. Los padres tendrán que marcar el tono, dejando de lado cuestiones triviales como los modales en la mesa y centrándose en lo que realmente importa, que, por cierto, no es la comida.

3. La comida no es lo importante.

Siempre existe el interés de crear hábitos alimenticios saludables para la familia. Pero tratemos de recordar que lo importante es sentarse a cenar y conectar con los demás, no lo que comemos. Hay muchas opciones fáciles, sanas y apetecibles para los niños que ayudan a hacer de la cena un momento agradable. La clave está en que una nutrición decente no requiere un largo tiempo de preparación y, en vez de estresarte con la comida, lo que realmente necesitas es conectar con tu familia.

4. Apaga la tele y la radio.

Algunas familias vencen la tentación de encender la tele durante la cena situándose donde no se alcance a ver desde la mesa. Muchas establecen la regla de no contestar al teléfono, incluso si mamá o papá reciben una importante llamada de trabajo, y apagan los móviles para no escucharlos. Protege de interrupciones ese tiempo especial con tu familia. Como dijo un presidente de los Estados Unidos en relación con la prioridad de cenar con sus hijas, el mundo seguirá ahí dentro de media hora, incluso si eres el presidente.

5. Establece rutinas y rituales divertidos.

Algunas familias se turnan para escoger la música de fondo o el postre. Algunas rotan sobre quien dice algunas palabras iniciales o elige el tema de conversación. En algunas familias, el martes es noche de pizza y el viernes es noche de juego familiar. El hecho de crear una rutina refuerza el aspecto ritual y crea la sensación de hogar y de familia e, independientemente de las dificultades cotidianas, la vida es buena.

6. Usa bendiciones para crear un sentido de gratitud y conexión.

A menudo se escucha algo como “no creo en Dios, así que no bendigo la cena”, pero las bendiciones no son necesariamente religiosas. Las bendiciones son: nuestra gratitud por poder sentarnos a comer mientras otros pasan hambre, querernos los unos a los otros, honrar a la persona que preparó la comida y a la generosa naturaleza que la produjo o nuestra consciencia de tener todo lo que necesitamos en este preciso momento. Las bendiciones son una manera de reconocer el momento de la comida como un tiempo sagrado juntos, una manera de conectarnos en la delicadeza del amor compartido. 

7. Haz que la conversación sea agradable para todos…

Se puede comenzar con una ronda rápida de preguntas del tipo ¿Qué tal hoy en la escuela / trabajo?, lo que a menudo desemboca en un tema. Muchas familias lo formalizan con el método «rosa y espina», en que cada miembro de la familia comparte lo mejor y lo peor que le ha pasado en el día.

Después, se puede profundizar en algo que surgió en la ronda inicial o hablar sobre un futuro plan familiar, como qué hacer durante las vacaciones escolares de primavera. Pregunta a los niños qué opinan sobre los temas de los cuales están conversando, o pídeles su opinión sobre alguna decisión que tienes que tomar. Plantea problemas éticos que no sean sencillos de responder y pide a los distintos miembros de la familia que expresen cómo los abordarían y por qué. 

8. Asegúrate de que todos participen.

A las familias que ya tengan la costumbre de conversar les será más fácil que a aquellas que van a empezar con niños mayores, pero no hay que darse por vencido. A menudo, los niños que no conversan pueden ser persuadidos para hacerlo si les preguntamos específicamente por sus intereses. ¿Por qué te gusta tanto ese tipo de música? será más eficaz que ¿Qué tal en la escuela hoy?

Los adolescentes más callados cuyas familias no han tenido la costumbre de conversar en la cena puede que requieran más esfuerzo. Prepárate para algún corte y mantén el sentido del humor; probablemente tu hijo acabe participando desde sus propios términos. Facilitar una conversación positiva puede ser un desafío para los padres, pero vale muchísimo la pena por la comunicación y cercanía que fomenta en la familia.

9. Escucha.

Michelle Trujillo dice en su libro Why Can’t We Talk?: What Teens Would Share if Parents Would Listen que los preadolescentes y los adolescentes quieren hablar desesperadamente con sus padres sobre cosas que les preocupan, pero los padres no escuchan.

No des consejos a menos que te lo pidan y tus hijos estarán más dispuestos a hablar de sus problemas. Los niños suelen aprender a solucionar las cosas simplemente hablando. Tus hijos no siempre te dirán cosas cómodas de escuchar, pero trata de verlo desde su perspectiva. Simplemente, recuerda la suerte que tienes de tener hijos dispuestos a hablar contigo y respira.

10. Consensúa que por la noche cenarán juntos y que perderse la cena es un problema.

A veces un adulto está fuera de la ciudad o un niño tiene un evento escolar. Algunos padres tratan de mantener una noche como noche de cita para mantener vivo el vínculo entre ambos, y muchas familias tienen por costumbre juntarse con otros familiares para cenar el sábado o domingo por la noche. Pero se puede planear que ciertas noches todos los miembros estén en casa para la cena. Si es necesario, se puede empezar por una o dos noches a la semana, organizarse para que esas noches se vuelven súper especiales para todos.

11. Intenta que todos colaboren con la cena.

Una vez que los niños se acostumbran a la idea, el trabajo en grupo puede ser divertido y, por supuesto, es una gran experiencia de aprendizaje para ellos. Los adolescentes, especialmente, suelen disfrutar de poder decidir lo que la familia cena una noche a la semana. Aprender a cocinar es una buena práctica para el momento de su independencia. Obviamente no sucederá todas las noches, pero quizá se pueda consensuar en familia que cada uno ayude con la cena una vez a la semana. Se puede empezar poniendo la mesa y sirviendo la comida todos juntos. 

12. Celebra siempre que sea posible.

Celebra todos los cumpleaños, logros de cualquier tipo, cambios de estación. Siempre hay algo que celebrar. ¡Simplemente cada día que pasa en familia es digno de ser celebrado!

Creating Waldorf Spaces at Home


Written by Tahnee Moore

Trinus’ Early Childhood rooms are spaces we immediately connect with and feel we would like our children to be in. What is it that we are instantly resonating with? Here I am going to share the pedagogical intention and reasoning behind them so you too can bring Waldorf into your home. 

A small child is a total sense organ who absorbs the space deeply and unconsciously and then is shaped by it. It is for this reason that Trinus’ spaces are designed to support the child’s development and nourish their senses.  

The lower senses (movement, balance, touch, life/wellbeing) are particularly important for children under 7 years old because this is how they experience the world and develop their brain, physical body and organs. 

Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf pedagogy,  spoke about experiences essential for healthy early childhood education:

  • Love and warmth
  • Care for the environment 
  • Creative artistic experience 
  • Meaningful adult activity as an example for the child’s imitation 
  • Free imaginative play
  • Gratitude, reverence and wonder
  • Joy humour and happiness
  • And that the adult caregiver is on a path of inner development 

Love and Warmth

If we take the experience of love and warmth we can easily see how this lives in an Early Childhood classroom. The furniture is made of wood rather than metal or plastic. Wood holds warmth. The corners are softened and love and care has gone into their construction. Everything is made just the right height so the child feels that they “are just for him or her.” 

Then the room is made to feel soft, with gentle silk cloths across the windows or to cover a harsh brick wall. The room may smell of lavender or an essential oil and has a feeling of homeliness. When children arrive their teacher greets them with a warm welcome from her rocking chair. There is always a carpet on the floor and a soft corner to cuddle up in.

Care for the environment 

There is always an element of life in a Waldorf classroom, a plant, a fish tank, fresh flowers, etc. The nature table that changes with the seasons. The songs and stories shared may also reflect this. Outside in the playground, the children are shown to care for the plants, to observe the ants, to be excited if a dragonfly is discovered. Our connection and custodianship of the Earth is intrinsic to Waldorf Education. 

Gratitude, Reverence and Wonder

Again the nature table is an essential part of an Early Childhood space. It is specially designated table that allows us to admire the beauty, perfection and wonder of creation. When we dedicate a place to put nature’s treasures the children are invited to subconsciously appreciate and marvel at nature’s gifts. How the leaf pattern is formed, the geometrics of a pinecone, the delicate nature of a butterfly wing… 

Reverence is also practiced in how we care for our toys, how everything in the classroom has a place, how we set the table, and of course in our interactions with our teachers and classmates. 

Each meal we share is started with a reverent pause and a song of gratitude. Of course, the children themselves being in the space of reverence grow up to be reverent. 

Free Imaginative Play

The space allows the children to immerse themselves into free individual play. Near the shelves is a big cleared rug, ready to be played upon. Have available for your children toys that support their development. For example, open-ended wooden blocks, dolls with minimal detail, etc. Toys that do not dictate the game to be played allowing the children’s imagination to work.

Having reverence for each child’s individuality and nurturing the expression of that individuality is an essential part of Rudolph Steiner’s work. This is expressed within the classroom space where there are several little spaces: a treehouse, a kitchen, a cozy nook, a doll’s corner… There is always a wooden play stand that can make a new space and be moved around easily by the teacher. The teacher will always be quietly observing the children and create the physical space needed. Her role is to support whatever is living in the expansive, wonderful imaginations to be played out freely. 

Meaningful adult activity as an example of child activity 

“Children [under 7 years old]  do not learn through instruction or admonition, but through imitation. Good sight will develop if the environment has the proper conditions of light and color, while in the brain and blood circulation, the physical foundations will be laid for a healthy sense of morality if children witness moral”. – Rudolph Steiner. 

Because children imitate adults at home it’s important to make mini me spaces. Eg if you are an artist you would make a little artists desk, if you are a business person you would have a pretend office.  I wanted to gift some practical advice if you did want to bring Waldorf into your child’s play space.  Less is more and you don’t need to cover them in countless toys. The more use one toy has, the better. So I suggest the following: 

  • Have a decent amount of Wooden blocks so that the child can construct anything they dream of.  
  • A basket of Silks fabric  might be a gift that will stand the test of time. We buy ours from Mercurius.
  • A good doll is also an investment. 
  • Old clothing for dress-ups 
  • Nature treasures brought back from a walk nourish the child so more than any predetermined plastic figuring.

And the best play is unguided play in nature.

Wooden blocks often become mobile phones and chairs are rearranged to become a car or a bus.  Birthday parties are thrown and cakes are made from various toys, the silks can become any costume or prop…

In Trinus the teacher will also be aware that the children are deeply absorbing her activity and role models handwork or other purposeful activity worthy of imitation. Baking, cleaning, mending as activities but also the attitude of the teacher is being imitated. The teacher’s work must be carried out with a joyful song, and a reverent mood. 

Within this proper physical environment, the child receives so much through their senses and their inner qualities are nurtured. They themselves are received with reverence, warmth and love and from this space their individuality is nurtured into being. 

¿Cuál es el temperamento de mi hijo y cómo tratarlo?

Sharlyn Diéguez, educadora principal de Class Four

Desde el siglo V A.C. Hipócrates describió cada uno de los temperamentos, definiéndose como parte importante que forma la personalidad de una persona. El temperamento junto con el carácter forman nuestra personalidad. El temperamento de una persona es algo que se determina por medio de genética, por lo tanto es hereditario, el carácter se ve determinado por el ambiente y hábitos aprendidos. 

La teoría de los temperamentos es muy importante en la pedagogía Waldorf, ya que esto define el ritmo de un alumno, así como de una clase entera. El desafío para el maestro y padres es guíar al alumno y ayudarle a mantener un temperamento lo más equilibrado posible. Rudolf Steiner propone que los temperamentos empiezan a despertar en los niños a partir de los 7 años y en los 9 se muestran en su totalidad. Antes de los 7 años, en la etapa de preescolar, se puede considerar que la mayoría de los niños tienen un temperamento sanguíneo, o imitan los temperamentos y formas de actuar de los adultos que tienen alrededor. En la adolescencia es colérico, en la adultez melancólico y en la vejez flemático. 

Es importante mencionar que los cuatro temperamentos están dentro de cada persona, son dos los que normalmente sobresalen y forman la personalidad. 

Colérico: Es un niño lleno de energía, se guía por la justicia y generosidad. Es de voluntad firme, lo cual puede llevarlo muy lejos o puede ser un reto el no querer cambiar actitudes o conductas que no le benefician. Son muy seguros de sí mismos y son buenos para tomar decisiones rápidas y eficientes. Es el niño que cuando le decimos que iremos a comprar un helado, ya sabe qué sabor de helado va a escoger. Para poder tratar a un niño colérico es importante que el adulto mantenga la calma al momento de corregir, de lo contrario obtendrá actitudes no deseadas. Este niño debe sentir admiración y respeto por el adulto o la figura de autoridad.Es un niño que necesita retos constantes, sentir que lo que hace está a su nivel y no llegar al aburrimiento. Se debe fomentar la empatía y solidaridad con las demás personas. 

Sanguíneo: Son niños que fluyen como el aire, son libres de preocupaciones, llenos de energía. Son muy alegres por naturaleza, sociables, “el alma de la fiesta” y muy curiosos. Es importante que los niños sanguíneos tengan buenas horas de sueño por la noche, en el día gastan mucha energía que deben reponer en el descanso. Se les debe anticipar cuando hay algún cambio para fomentar el orden y estructura. Suelen ser muy dispersos y esto hace que dejen tareas incompletas y rápidamente inicien una nueva. Para poder disciplinar a un niño sanguíneo lo más importante es tener una conexión afectiva, de esta manera él seguirá las instrucciones que se le piden. 

Flemático: Son niños con los que es muy fácil trabajar. Son muy amables y pacientes. Son satisfechos con facilidad, si habíamos prometido ir por pizza hoy pero surge un imprevisto, ellos serán muy comprensivos y entenderán que será en otra ocasión. Tienen un ritmo de desarrollo más cómodo y están acostumbrados a hacer las cosas en su tiempo. Por más prisa que podamos tener a un niño flemático esto no le va a preocupar, se tomará su tiempo para terminar algo. Son muy prudentes en decir las cosas. Para trabajar con estos niños es importante ser comprensivos, validar sus emociones y cuidar las palabras que utilizamos. Se puede dejar que se aburran para que nazca es motivación intrínseca y ellos busquen actividades innovadoras o divertidas para entretenerse. 

Melancólico: Son niños muy sensibles y tímidos. Pareciera que todas las vivencias las procesan internamente, observan y analizan de forma interna. Prestan atención a todo lo que sucede a su alrededor y tienen una opinión clara al respecto. Son muy minuciosos y pueden volverse perfeccionistas muy fácilmente. Es importante validar sus emociones y enseñarles técnicas para autorregularse. Usualmente son excelentes artistas, actores o actrices. Podemos contar historias para que ellos aprendan a reconocer el sufrimiento y lucha de los demás, reconocer que hay muchas personas en el mundo que han tenido que perseverar para alcanzar sus metas. Suelen pensar que son los que más sufren en este mundo y que se les presentan más retos que a los demás, al contarles historias de la vida diaria, se abre su perspectiva y comprenden que no son los únicos con batallas diarias. 

Es muy importante mencionar que no hay temperamento malo o bueno. En el mundo, en nuestra casa y en las aulas necesitamos diversidad de temperamentos para tener crecimiento integral. Un colérico necesita de un flemático para entender que el mundo no es una ruleta rusa y que no todo debe ser una competencia. Un melancólico necesita a un sanguíneo que le aportará alegría y comprender que no todos los momentos de la vida están llenos de estructuras tan rígidas. 

Amemos y fomentemos los temperamentos de nuestros hijos, trabajemos en los retos que cada temperamento pueda mostrar y potenciemos las fortalezas que presentan. Aprendamos a identificar el nuestro como adultos para saber la mejor forma de reaccionar ante las distintas situaciones que nos presenta la vida.

El arte de hacer

Andrea García, educadora principal de Early Childhood

En la educación Waldorf el arte, la música y los trabajos manuales son herramientas esenciales que se utilizan como medio pedagógico. La actividad artística exige fantasía y creatividad, lo cual, al situar a los niños y jóvenes en contacto directo con formas, colores, sonidos y materiales, es un gran aporte en el desarrollo de la sensibilidad.


La presencia de estas disciplinas no busca formar artistas, sino más bien acompañar a los alumnos en las diferentes materias donde los profesores pueden despertar y transmitir, a través de distintas técnicas, todo lo que se enseña, de una manera artística e imaginativa. Las manualidades y la experimentación de la música, la acuarela, el dibujo, entre otros, permite desarrollar capacidades como la concentración y adquirir una comprensión más holística del trabajo pedagógico que se está realizando en las otras materias.


En la actualidad es de vital importancia extraer a los niños de la realidad bidimensional causada por el uso excesivo de tecnología y dispositivos electrónicos que impiden a la sociedad misma de todas las edades socializar de una manera proactiva y positiva con su entorno.


El arte de hacer no es más que sentirnos productivos creando, utilizando nuestra imaginación y diversos recursos naturales que nos permiten estar en contacto con nuestro propio yo, venciendo nuestras limitaciones y fortaleciendo las capacidades que poseemos.

Al trabajar con su creatividad entrenan el lado derecho del cerebro, que es el responsable de las emociones, la sensibilidad estética, la visión espacial y la abstracción. Con todo ello, aprenden a expresar sus emociones y a mostrar el mundo tal como lo perciben.

Harvest Festival

Text from the book Celebrating Festivals with Children, by Freya Jaffke

Creating the mood ourselves

Once the sun has reached its highest point at St John’s, ripening and fruiting begin to come into their own. We gratefully receive the first gifts of nature, which follow in abundance through the autumn. However, we don’t only offer thanks for what we receive but also for everything that has contributed to the growth and flourishing. Our thanks are directed also to the life of the soil, the light and warmth of the sun, the wind and life-giving rain, the animal world in all its diversity, and the energy and activity of human beings. Thus gratitude can accompany us throughout the year and, when we think about it, is really owed to all realms of life. This is one of the most important virtues to nurture in children during the first seven years, but solely through imitation.

This deep-rooted gratitude, kindled in the kindergarten, transforms in the schoolchild into the capacity for love; and later, in the adolescent, is enhanced and extended into love of action and a sense of duty.

In autumn we connect gratitude with the harvest festival, which celebrates the moment when all the corn for our daily bread has ripened and been harvested.

We decorate the seasonal nature table with a golden-yellow cloth, with fruits from the garden, woods and fields, and bright autumn flowers. If you wish to add an art image, suitable pictures can be found by Van Gogh, who painted typical harvest scenes and gestures, or by Millet – to name two examples.

After the summer holidays, when the new school year begins, autumn is fast approaching, and the first harvesting starts. Fruits from our gardens or those brought by children can be made into preserves, jellies, or dried, accompanied by delicious aromas. With wonder, we find a star in every apple that we slice open crossways. And unconsciously children experience how heaven with its stars works itself into the form of fruits. While cutting up apples, we meet a little worm from time to time. Yes indeed, that little fellow knew which the tastiest apples were – and so we leave him a little piece of apple and put him with it on the compost heap. There’s no question of disgust, and children sense without any instruction that everything in the world has its rightful place. The carrots and radishes that we pull out of the vegetable patch in the garden taste especially good. And the slices of carrot, compared with the apple, reveal more of a solar quality – for in every slice we can find a little sun. We smell lovely aromas while gathering leaves of lemon balm, thyme, and sage, which we will later make into tea or use when cooking.

The time of gathering and harvesting has begun, and so we take little baskets with us when we go on walks, to collect rosehips, beechnuts, conkers, acorns, and colorful leaves. We also spend a lot of time with the different sheaves of grain, from which we can weave a large harvest wreath. For days the children sit amidst a mountain of straw, helping to cut the stems to length or making themselves straws for playing with. Most of the straw is bundled up again and kept for late autumn when the rose bushes must be protected for the winter, or for making a new roof for the bird table. We will also need a little for the crib in Advent. The remaining straw is burned in the small fireplace outside, to the children’s excitement.

Now we start threshing the ears of wheat, an activity which continues for several days. To do this we lay a large cloth on the floor, and around it thick, folded cloths as knee cushions. In the middle stands a basket with ears of corn, another for the threshed as and a bowl for the grain. Children each have a small branch with which they hammer on an ear until all the grains have come out. They can be heard saying the verse which they know from ring game: “We’re threshing, were threshing, we’re threshing the corn.» After this, they collect their grain in their little wooden bowls. Of course many grains and husks remain behind on the doth. These will later be carefully poured into a large wooden bowl. Next the teacher lifts some grain up in her hand and, as she lets them pour back slowly into the bowl, we blow the husks away on the wind. We don’t want to lose a single grain.

Next the grain is milled with a hand-mill. Even the three-year-olds want to be the miller for a moment or two. Apart from a hand-mill one can also give the children old coffee grinders for milling, with the screws set not too tight. Milling like this is hard work, and the grinders must be held firmly between the knees.

For some of the bigger children, this is a welcome challenge. The resulting coarse meal then has to be milled a second time, which is easier.

We use the meal to bake the big harvest loaf. While one group may, as a blessing, engrave the sign of the cross on the round loaf, another group may draw sun rays on it. On the day before the festival we decorate the corn wreath with nuts and fruits.

The Harvest Festival

We invite parents to attend our harvest festival. For parents new to the kindergarten this is a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with kindergarten life and the parent community. On the morning of the festival, the children bring baskets that they have carefully arranged with a grown-up at home, containing washed fruit, vegetables and flowers from the garden; or, if they don’t have a garden, things they have found in a walk. Mostly these little baskets are beautifully decorated with flowers and colorful leaves. All the baskets are placed on the harvest table in the middle of the room. The great round loaf occupies the centre of the table, surrounded by flowers, ears of corn and candles.

We begin the festival altogether, parents and children, with the harvest ring game which we have been playing almost every day in preceding wecks. After this we sit down in a big circle around the harvest table and light the candles. We say the grace by Christian Morgenstern, which we all know well, and which encompasses the whole of Creation in simple words:

Earth who gave to us this food, 

sun who made it ripe and good: 

dear earth, dear sun by you we live, 

our loving thanks to you we give.

Then everyone forms a little receiving bowl with their hands and is given a piece of bread. As we share this we sing a song about where the bread has come from. Without prompting, everyone waits until the last person has received their bread and the song has fallen quiet. Honey-salt bread has to be chewed really well, so we sit quietly together and enjoy the taste. Afterward the children offer the teacher a little fruit from their basket (apples, pears, or plums). With the help of two adults, we cut this into pieces, place them on plates, and the children pass these to everyone in the big circle. We end the meal as we do every day, by holding hands and saying:

For food and drinks 

we give our thanks.

After the candles have been extinguished, everyone goes outside into the garden, where the parents light a little fire and wrap potatoes, which have been partially pre-cooked, in silver foil. While the potatoes are cooking in the fire, the children watch the flames or play in the sand or in the meadow, or help arrange wooden stumps around the fire for sitting on. Then at last the first potatoes are taken out of the fire with long tongs or gods, the follis removed and they are eaten. To end the festival, each child receives a little bunch of corn with a strawflower, which was made in the preceding days from different types of corn, in the presence and with the help of the children.

Looking back we can say that this festival is a culmination of a long harvesting period. Our thanks – this time for once actually expressed in words – lives in an unconscious and less articulated form in every gesture through the weeks of preparation. For many days after the harvest festival we continue to have a special morning snack with the fruit and nuts from the children’s baskets. Again, there will be plenty of opportunities for the children to help. Especially popular, for instance, are potato men» accompanied by grated carrots and apple, honey-salt bread with butter and herbs, or a vegetable soup.

And so the festival echoes on a little, in a lovely fashion.

The harvest wreath, which now hangs without fruits under the overhanging roof outside, is visited by a flock of sparrows who each day leave behind a scattering of husks and chaff.

The Crucial Role of Discipline in Teenagehood

by Stuardo Monroy, High School Main Educator

Teenagehood, often referred to as the «adolescent years,» is a period of profound transformation and self-discovery. It is a phase characterized by rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth, as adolescents navigate their way from childhood to adulthood, as well as facing the challenges of an evolving Waldorf education within Trinus, growing up, and adapting to new demands from teachers, parents and the school as a whole. 

During this time, the importance of discipline cannot be overstated. While some may view discipline as restrictive or harsh, it is, in fact, a cornerstone for teenagers in establishing a foundation for success and personal development. In this article, we will explore the significance of discipline in teenagehood and how it plays a vital role in shaping young individuals into responsible, well-rounded adults.

Discipline is a fundamental attribute that underpins personal growth and development. Self-discipline, in particular, is the ability to control one’s behavior, emotions, and desires to achieve specific goals. It is a skill that teenagers must cultivate during their formative years as it forms the basis for achieving long-term success and happiness. Self-discipline enables adolescents to resist temptations and distractions, manage their time effectively, and make responsible decisions.

In teenagehood, self-discipline is especially crucial as it helps young individuals establish a strong work ethic, develop a sense of responsibility, and maintain a healthy balance between their academic, social, and extracurricular activities. It is this inner strength that empowers them to persevere through challenging times and make choices that lead to personal growth.

One of the key aspects of discipline in teenagehood is effective time management. Adolescents are faced with an ever-increasing load of academic assignments, extracurricular activities, and social commitments. Learning to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently can alleviate stress and prevent feelings of being overwhelmed.

When teenagers develop the discipline to create schedules, set priorities, and stick to them, they are better equipped to handle their academic responsibilities while still having time for hobbies, relaxation, and social interactions. This balance is essential for maintaining both mental and emotional well-being.

Discipline is closely linked to academic success. To excel in school, teenagers must develop the discipline to study regularly, complete assignments on time, and seek help when needed. A disciplined approach to academics fosters a growth mindset and a sense of responsibility for one’s learning. Furthermore, discipline helps teenagers set and work toward long-term academic goals. Whether they aspire to attend a prestigious college, pursue a specific career, or achieve high grades, discipline is the driving force behind their ability to make consistent progress and overcome academic challenges.

Teenagers often face complex and life-altering decisions during their adolescent years. These decisions can range from choosing their academic path and making ethical choices to forming relationships and dealing with peer pressure. Discipline plays a significant role in helping adolescents make responsible decisions.

Disciplined individuals are more likely to think critically, consider the consequences of their actions, and resist impulsive choices. Whether it’s saying no to drugs or alcohol, making choices about sexual activity, or handling conflicts maturely, discipline equips teenagers with the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of adolescence while maintaining their integrity and self-respect.

Discipline also extends to the way teenagers interact with their peers and family members. It involves understanding the importance of respect, empathy, and communication in maintaining healthy relationships. When teenagers cultivate the discipline to treat others with kindness and consideration, they form lasting bonds that are built on trust and mutual respect. Additionally, discipline helps teenagers constructively manage conflicts and disagreements, reducing the likelihood of strained relationships. The ability to listen actively, express themselves clearly, and work through differences is a product of disciplined emotional intelligence.

One of the most critical aspects of discipline in teenagehood is its role in preventing destructive behaviors. A disciplined approach to life acts as a protective barrier against these harmful activities. Teens who have developed self-discipline are better equipped to resist peer pressure and make choices that prioritize their long-term well-being. They are more likely to seek positive influences and engage in activities that promote their physical and emotional health.

The discipline cultivated during teenagehood sets the stage for adulthood. Adolescents who have developed self-discipline are more likely to carry these skills into their adult lives, leading to greater success and personal fulfillment. They are better prepared to handle the responsibilities that come with independence, such as managing finances, pursuing a career, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Additionally, disciplined teenagers tend to have a strong sense of self, allowing them to make informed decisions about their future, such as choosing a college, career path, or life partner. They are more likely to set and work towards meaningful life goals, resulting in a higher likelihood of achieving their aspirations.

The importance of discipline in teenagehood cannot be overstated. It is the foundation upon which teenagers build the skills and habits necessary for success, happiness, and personal growth. Through self-discipline, adolescents develop time management abilities, academic success, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, and resistance to destructive behaviors. Moreover, discipline serves as a bridge to adulthood, equipping teenagers with the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges and make meaningful choices. As educators and parents, we play a pivotal role in fostering discipline in our young adults, helping them develop into responsible, well-rounded individuals ready to face the world with confidence and purpose.

Teacher Accreditation Experience

by Sheny Figueroa Tarot, Class 3 Main Educator

Cuernavaca, México, is the place where I have spent half of my Summer vacation during the last two years. The reason is that I have been studying to obtain my International Waldorf Teacher’s Certification.  And I have had a great experience each time I’ve been to the International Center of Anthroposophical  Development.

Each time I begin my classes, I am surprised by the curriculum proposed by the teachers. These are the classes that I received: Arts and  Science, where teachers train us students to see the world through the Goetheanum observation and Rudolf Steiner´s teachings.  And what is that, you may ask. Honestly, I´m still learning, but I will adventure to give you my own personal definition of this way of understanding the human experience: it means feeling, thinking, and doing before you reach your own definition of life. Feeling, thinking, and doing is a threefold process, and it is the basis of my School Trinus. Finally, I said after I finished this year, I am beginning to understand how to approach the understanding of the human being. I remember when my teacher heard me expressing my enthusiasm for my new discovery. He said, “Well done, Sheny! Twenty or thirty years more of anthroposophical studies, and you will be in the middle of understanding Rudolf Steiner´s lectures!”

By studying Arts and Science, I am referring to classes like watercolor painting and the study of the theory of color according to Wolfgang von Goethe, Form Drawing, and the meaning of the line (straight and curved) for the child’s soul and spirit´s development. Eurythmy as healing movement for the human being. How to teach Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Botany, and History from the anthroposophical point of view.

I´ve had a couple of experiences that seemed funny when I told them to my students. During the second year, I had my first Eurythmy class. The teacher, a very strict and experienced one, asked us to bring dancing shoes, which I forgot at home. She said, “To dance Eurythmy means feeling, coordinating, and moving with grace and rhythm!” And without the proper shoes, the only thing I was paying attention to was not to slip and fall down. Grace and rhythm? Please! Wait for me next year!

And this year’s experience with Botany made my students laugh for a week. As I wanted to represent my school properly, before leaving for Cuernavaca, I did my nails to look nice and elegant. On the first day of class, the teacher told us that for several days we had to work with compost and handle horse pup. Oh, my beautiful nice hands, I said. Kneeled on the floor, gathering horse pups, and learning how to teach children how to grow a plant, as part of a natural process. Goodbye, beautiful pink nails!

What will happen after I obtain my International Waldorf Teachers´s Certification? It means that I will be certified as a teacher who knows the Waldorf Curriculum by heart, that I have the complete knowledge of how to guide children from Grade 1 through Grade 8, according to Rudolf Steiner´s teachings and vision. I, through my hard and conscious learning, have become a member of the international community of teachers that shares values, knowledge, and vision to guide our students to understand their new and changing world.

Ideas on appropriate behavior rewards

by Carrie Riley

There comes a time in every parent or educator´s day experience and routine where we have a golden opportunity to encourage the right kind of behavior we strive for in our homes or classes. There are many daily examples. Your child eats their meal. They use the bathroom. They clean up their toys. They follow your instructions. And when they decide to insert their own will, wants, and desires it is often the very opposite of what we wanted them to do in the first place. Now what?!

I’ve seen parents reward with cookies, candy, ice cream, donuts, cake, soda pop, fast food, money, toys, and the list goes on. You know. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

Sadly the things our children may respond to the most are sugar rewards. Do you want to know why? It’s not just the obvious answer, sugar is yummy, but more complex. Sugar is addictive. It is so addictive that it is considered more addictive than drugs! And once we lovingly introduce this into their system, it is a hard addiction to break. It seems so innocent. I mean we all grew up with sweet treats and we turned out okay for the most part, right? Here’s the thing. Sugar was not the same 30 years ago as it is now and was not as big of a problem as it is now. It is highly processed in some foods and full of chemicals as well. Not only is there sugar in the treats we give, but hidden sugar is everywhere! Did you know one yogurt has the same amount of sugar as a candy bar? Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich have as much sugar as a slice of iced chocolate cake? The food you buy at the store has many ways to sneak sugar into your diet and your child’s. Most kids’ cereals are packed with sugar too. “Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. Your brain also sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it. If you often eat a lot of sugar, you’re reinforcing that reward, which can make it tough to break the habit.” (The truth about sugar addiction, Webmd.com)  And that is one reason food companies add sugar to unnecessary products they know how addictive it is! It is comparable to a cocaine addiction.

Rewarding behavior with food is also linked to eating disorders, weight issues, dental decay, and behavior issues. Studies have found that when parents use food as a reward or punishment, kids are more likely to prefer high-fat, high-sugar foods (like the ones often used as rewards). The bottom line is rewarding wanted behaviors with food will most likely backfire in the long run.

So what is a good incentive to get our children to do what we want?

What our goal should be is to get our children to want to do the right thing! We want them to feel a part of our family, classroom, and ultimately a good citizen of the earth. We can do that at any age but starting off with helping our children to develop healthy habits from the beginning is the best way to ensure a child will want to do what is expected of them.

Start off by not over-praising your child. The more you praise, the more they seek approval from outside forces. Not from themselves. Just notice them. Let them know you see them doing something from coloring “ Oh! I see you really like to color green today!” Or “Wow Mary! You really cleaned up your blocks and that makes your room look so nice!” 

Make “I”  statements when you can “ I see you tried your beans!” or “Mary, I like when you help your brother clean up!” this helps the child know they are seen and will make them feel proud to do the right things. They will know by your tone and the fact you’re not following them around smothering them with praise.

If you must do something as a reward, try these ideas:

  • Sticker
  • A new book ( not toys)
  • New crayons and paper
  • Extra time with you
  • An extra book/ story at bedtime
  • Time outdoors together
  • Craft project with you
  • Helping you make a meal

Now all of these ideas work well if you have implemented a family daily schedule ( daily rhythm). Children’s behaviors are greatly improved if they know what to expect and the consistency of their boundaries.

Another aspect of nurturing our children’s good behavior is getting enough sleep. This is huge! Children under age 6 need 12 hours a day. 

Good nutrition is also key! Instead of all the sugary sweets we give our children, how about frozen fruits? Sliced bananas with cinnamon on top? Make your own frozen ( unsweetened) yogurt with natural sweeteners like fruit and mix and freeze.

To summarize this article let me highlight the points.

In order to get our children in our care to cooperate we can try the following:

  • Create and maintain a daily rhythm
  • Be consistent
  • Proper sleep
  • No screen time for children under age 5 or very little
  • Never allow screen time during meals and snacks!
  • Healthy eating practices 
  • Try a new food at least once a week

Remember, reinforce the good behavior in a neutral way and consistently.

The unwanted behavior must have a consistent consequence. That can be a favorite toy to be taken away for the day, no books at bedtime, no screen time, No sticker if using a chart. Keep exploring for a way to reach your child. Not all children react the same to these ideas. You have to find what works for your family.

Being a parent is a challenge. So is being a brand new human on this earth! Let’s help guide our children into courteous, helpful, and happy children. They want us to be happy with them. But here’s the thing. It is up to the adults in your child’s life to make sure they learn how to do this. Giving into your child’s every want is setting up your child and your family up for disappointment and frustration. They crave rhythm, love, consistency,  positive attention and our time. Let’s set our children up for success!

Here is a visual example of a chart to track healthy new foods they try:

Try new Foods Chart

Photo in Parents.com by Sally Kuzemchak

Try these tips and you will see the change in your children.

Learning to Write Using the Waldorf Approach

Waldorf schools encompass the whole human experience in literacy when teaching reading and writing to students in Class One.  Social, emotional, and communication skills are developed in Waldorf Kindergartens, as well as healthy habits for a child’s physical well-being. Academics are left entirely for Class One.  It is in Class One that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education, indicates students are developmentally ready and able to turn their attention to academics and learning to read and write.

According to Rudolf Steiner, children’s eyes, before the age of 6 or 7, are not sufficiently developed to focus on printed text in a healthy way. Healthline.com confirms that our eyes are constantly growing and are not fully developed until age 19 or 20(1). First Grade therefore becomes the best time to start training our eyes in a healthy way to track text and assign meaning to that text.

In Waldorf schools, children in Class One are introduced to text in a pictorial way.  A story is told with strong imagery, from which a capital letter can be developed. Therefore, children have an emotional experience with an image from the story. Their emotional attachment is transferred to their recreating that picture with the guidance of a teacher.  These first pictures are akin to symbolic drawings from early human cultures which can now be found in caves or other rock surfaces of ancient places. The pictures are a symbol with special meaning.

Over a few days or a week, the teacher guides students to find the Roman capital letter contained in the image and the letter itself is practiced. Rather than doing this by having children make a large number of repetitions of the letter on lined paper, children are guided in the form of the letter and method of drawing.  A single letter takes up a whole page in children’s main lesson books, which is a sort of textbook students create themselves over the years and which documents their progress.

Through modeling, demonstration, practicing the letter in the air, on the floor, in small sandboxes, and then finally on a sheet of paper, children can move the letter from the image they held in their minds, to a whole-body, gross motor skills, motion, and then finally to a fine-motor skills activity putting it on paper.  Though it may seem slow to outsiders to take up to a week to introduce the first consonant to children in this way, it is building skills that will transfer and improve student handwriting and future literacy.

Having taught in both Waldorf schools and public schools in the United States I can affirm that students who have letters introduced slowly, artistically, and as a whole body experience, have greater mastery of spelling, reading, and penmanship than students who are not given guidance and time to build this strong foundation. Experiencing the history of imagery and symbolism in text and engendering meaning into these symbols at the appropriate time for children’s development is a crucial foundation presented in Waldorf schools worldwide.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/do-your-eyes-grow#change-in-eye-appearance

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