About Children’s Garden

artworkOur initiative was begun in 1998 by a small group of parents interested in giving their homeschooled children a meaningful Waldorf-inspired experience.

These parents familiarized themselves with Waldorf curriculum, formally and informally, and became our first teachers. Through the years, we have attracted parents to join Lilac Children’s Garden leadership. Many have come with a range of teaching experience, in Waldorf education or other methods, and some with no education experience at all.

Our teachers demonstrate a strong respect for and love of children, along with a commitment to their facilitative role in the families’ growth and learning. We hope to do this through a progressively deepening understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s enlightened Waldorf curriculum.

Beginnings and Growth

Lilac Children’s Garden was conceived by Rochester parents to bring the influence of Waldorf education to homeschooling families. Lilac Children’s Garden offers weekly classes in a Waldorf environment which supplements and inspires members’ homeschooling activities.

Along with the initiative has grown a cohesive community, a number of families having more than one child who has “gone all the way through” Lilac Children’s Garden (many enjoying years with the same teacher). There is a noticeable esprit-de-corps about our families, who often form strong relationships through the community and have been known to support one another generously through life’s ups and downs.

The philosophy of Waldorf Education has guided our efforts from the beginning. We reap the benefits of our teachers’ deepening growth and knowledge of its underlying philosophy, with continuous learning through independent study as well as formal training.

We are an eclectic homeschooling community with a love of learning and an appreciation for the soul qualities of each member of our community.  We focus on teaching imaginatively through the arts as a way to help learning become practical and alive, and practice an intentional honoring of each child’s unfolding process, respecting that this happens at whatever pace is right for the individual child.

What is Waldorf education?

Waldorf education was pioneered by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in post-World War I Europe. Steiner stressed that children are spiritual, as well as physical, beings. To educate a child’s whole self, one must also speak to that spiritual side. The instructional method he taught approaches all learning through the arts, with a special emphasis on nature study.
The Waldorf curriculum draws heavily from the wisdom of ancient cultures, and incorporates visual art, music and language art into every aspect of the learning process.

While no religion is taught in Waldorf schools, children are exposed to a variety of mythologies as well as the stories of great men and women throughout history. We also focus on nature study and the arts, which draw children without effort or words toward the ideals of any profound experience of reverence: universal love and compassion.

At Lilac Children’s Garden, we strive to give a taste of Waldorf education to interested families in the Rochester-area homeschooling community.