My littlest man used to spend hours by himself happily playing in his room. I had many comments from family members, friends and visitors who were amazed at his ability to play independently for such a long time. And they asked, “How do you get him to do that?”
I didn’t get him to do anything. He simply found peace and contentment in a space he felt safe and comfortable in. A space that was tidy, with just a few , quality, beautiful, toys that were developmentally appropriate for his age. A space where he could easily access all that he wanted/needed on his own. And the satisfying knowledge that he wouldn’t be interrupted by me hovering too nearby. Children need to have the ability and freedom to lose themselves in their play. When an adult plays with a child the child doesn’t get to lead and immerse himself the way he would without adult intervention. With simple toys, imaginative play is nurtured and, in Waldorf philosophies, transforms into creative, independent thought in later stages of learning. In Waldorf, play is a child’s work. And boy oh boy have my kids worked hard. Today, Mitch got in from running an errand and asked, “Where are the kids? It’s so quiet!” Both the boys were in their own rooms, lost in their own hobbies, ideas, and interests. Homeschooling truly allows the boys to never worry about time limits, or being interrupted from their work. They can fully lose themselves in their craft and that, really has been such a blessing to all of us.