Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
As Christians, we are to fill our minds with beauty. Waldorf education is beautiful – just google image it. The lazure walls, the play silks, wet -on-wet painting, natural toys, outdoor play and gardening, verse recitation, music, and dance all surround the child with things that are pure, lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise.
Let’s take a look at some of the elements of a Waldorf education from a Biblical point of view.
The Bible says, “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
You’ve heard the saying “Garbage in, garbage out.” What children fill their mind with is what will come out in their habits and character. Freya Jafke wrote for International Waldorf Kindergarten Association, “Human speech surrounds the newborn child from its first day. It creates an atmosphere permeated with spirit into which the child “breathes himself.” The child imitates, listens, absorbs and at the same time forms himself.”
The use of verse fills a child’s mind with those things which are worthy of thought.
God commands that we memorize His Words, and keep them with us. “Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul.” (Deuteronomy 11:18)
By mixing beautiful verse and Bible verse throughout the day – day in and day out – we are helping Children take control of their thought, which will eventually build their character and be the basis of their decisions.
In early education, vocal song, verse and directions are interwoven throughout the day. The Bible states that we should, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19) According the The Well Balanced Child, by Sally Goddard Blythe, “Singing is particularly powerful in entertaining the listening and voicing skills which underlie spoken and written language.” Learning vowels and consonants a well as developing the memory are important outcomes of music.
But the importance of music is even deeper. It touches the soul. God created us to be instruments of His praise. From Genesis to Revelation, music runs throughout.
Making musical instruments was one of the first professions in the Bible – recorded right after the account of Adam and Eve. “His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.” (Genesis 4:21 – 22)
In early Hebrew history the musicians were charged with being in front of the army. God’s praise preceded the battle, which God had already declared victory over. (Read 2 Chronicles 20)
The Psalms are songs written for the purpose of magnifying God through verses covering every aspect of life.
As teacher parents, our ultimate example is to be like our Heavenly Father – and HE SINGS OVER US!
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. he will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 2:17)
Waldorf believe that there is a clear connection between dance and movement and brain development – with much scientific proof to back it up. It is used in eurythmy to enhance speech and it is used in recitation to memorize. Let’s be practical, anyone working with small children knows that working with the wiggles is so much easier than containing them.
Like music, dance is a bodily expression of the soul. Sprinkled throughout the Bible are passages about praising God through dance.
“Let them praise His name with dancing.” (Psalm 149:3)
“David danced before the Lord with all his might.” (2 Samuel 6:14)
“Praise Him with tambourine and dance.” Psalm 150:4
God is the Greatest Artist. The Creator. Psalm 8 describe the earth as “the work of His fingers.” Not only did God create, but He was the first art critic. After each day of creation, He evaluated his masterpiece and said, “It is good.” Psalm 104:31 states, “The Lord rejoices in His works.”
Humanists have stated that from the beginning of man, art has been an integral part of human nature. The Bible tells us why. God created man in His own image. God is the great artist, and we were created to reflect His character.
God also commissioned artists. After Moses lead the people out of Egypt, the Lord tells Moses to have a man named Bezalel artistically design a temple. Not only did He commission him, but God states, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” (Exodus 31:3 – 5)
God delights in the creativity and artistic expression of His people. Thus, as Christian educators, why would we neglect such an important aspect of who God designed us to be?
In conclusion, I believe Waldorf methodology can be ued successfully to teach kids to glorify God. In doing so, we must evaluate everything we teach by Philippians 4:8:
Is it true? Is it Biblical, since this is the measuring stick for truth?
Is it honorable?
Is it just?
Is it pure?
Is it lovely?
Is it commendable?
Is it excellent?
Is it worthy of praise?
If the answer is yes, fill the kid’s minds to the brim with it – so there is no room for junk.