Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth

Are You Waldorf Enough? Take This Quiz…


What is it about the Waldorf method that can be so inspiring and beautiful and curative, and simultaneously demanding, guilt-inducing, and overwhelming to bring to our children (and ourselves!)? Lately there have been a number of mothers in my path who have decided to walk away, take a break, or wrestle with “being Waldorf” out loud.

I’ve been there… and I am no purist. Steiner was anti-dogma, and so am I. But I tend to like the things he liked, and I tend to like other people who like what he liked. I guess, in a nutshell, that is the value of the “Waldorf” label- to help you find somewhat like-minded people in this big wide world of all sorts of diverse people. If I thought the world needed even more labels and micro-classifications, I would invent my own philosophy… it would be called Natural Life Learning, and would incorporate Steiner + Hippy Freak + Unschooling + My Crazy Self. But I don’t think the world needs more labels or micro-classifications. I think we need to just “be with” ourselves and others, honoring their contributions and our own, and stirring it all up and letting it stew in the soup pot to develop some rich flavors that harmoniously blend.

But if you’re feeling overly melancholic-with-a-touch-of-choleric today, here is a quiz for you to take and determine- Are You Waldorf Enough?


Question 1.
You’re at a playdate with several other young mothers. While they talk about intellectual stimulation, you…

(1) show off the latest “educational” iphone app you downloaded for your toddler
(2) wonder how long it’s been since you last did a fingerplay or nursery rhyme with little Johnny
(3) choke, spewing biodynamic raw milk out your nose when someone asks you if you’ve ever tried “My Baby Can Read”
(4) excuse yourself and guide your little one away from the board books- too “awakening”- and over to an open-ended wooden toy

Question 2.
You’re at a friend’s house and she offers to put on PBS for the kids. You…

(1) Sigh with relief and forget the kids are even there as they sit mesmerized by the boob tube and you delve into the latest gossip
(2) Wait ten minutes and suggest going outside for a walk- after all, it’s a beautiful day!
(3) Lure your child away from the tv with a homemade Millet Surprise granola bar (it’s Wednesday) and pull the homemade felt busy-book out
(4) Wonder if her tv-damaged kids might not be the best playmates for your screen-free child and suddenly remember an appointment you are going to be late for, making a hasty exit

Question 3.
At the natural food store, you run into a mom from your Waldorf Co-op that you haven’t seen in a while. You…

(1) Duck into another aisle, hoping she didn’t see your toddler playing with the iphone you handed her to keep her busy while you shop
(2) Compliment her Bolga Basket and ask her where she found that biodynamic goat milk yogurt
(3) When she says she’s having a rough day, ask her how her rhythm is, and wonder to yourself why you haven’t seen her there before since Thursday is always “Market Day”
(4) Wonder why she even brought her children to the store- you always leave yours with your partner to avoid over-stimulating them

Question 4.
Your in-laws give your child an expensive set of plastic superhero figures for Christmas. You…

(1) Thank them- now your son’s collected the whole set!
(2) Wait til your child gets home, then put the set into rotation for a little while and donate them once your child stops playing with them often
(3) Politely accept the gift, then use the gift receipt to exchange them for something less commercial and more open-ended
(4) Ask them if they received the Nova Natural catalog you sent full of circled items and remind them “we don’t do plastic”

Question 5.
You’re helping with childcare at a church or community event. While another parent gets frustrated over a child who keeps getting into trouble and hitting other children, you…

(1) Agree the child should sit in time out for awhile
(2) Keep cheerfully reminded “Hands are for helping” and try to engage the child in some meaningful work
(3) Gather the children for an impromptu story about a kitten who plays too roughly with the other kittens, and how she learned to play more gently
(4) Break out the kinderlyre you brought for such a time as this and lull the children into a pentatonic music-induced trance

Question 6.
You’re asked to teach a Sunday School class for a few months. You…

(1) Say “Sure- is there a bible story curriculum I can teach from?”
(2) Gather up some playsilks and a bunch of wooden toy props for your first lesson
(3) Make sure you’ve packed an apron for your first day of class to protect your etheric energy, and observe the children with a keen eye so you can arrange them in the room according to temperament
(4) Refuse to cover the Old Testament stories if children under 2nd grade will be present

Question 7.
You are ready to introduce art supplies to your kindergarten age child. You…

(1) Lay bare your local Walmart Crayola section- finger paints, books, markers, and glitter glue!
(2) Post to a Waldorfy yahoo group asking if Stockmar is really worth the extra $$ before investing in it
(3) Order a set of Stockmar block crayons, watercolors, and modelling wax and designate Painting, Drawing, and Modeling days for your weekly rhythm
(4) Find a set of carmine red, lemon yellow, and ultramarine blue Stockmar block crayons and dole out one crayon a time at first, being sure to use them on high quality paper with a homemade “coloring mat” underneath to improve the texture of the coloring surface

Question 8.
When asked to come up with a craft for the VBS or summer camp you volunteer with, you…

(1) bring your bag of stickers, foam shapes, glue sticks, and construction paper and let the kids have-at-em
(2) bring your bag of popsicle sticks, felt, and tissue or kite paper and create a lesson-based craft to guide the children into
(3) have the kids scavenge for found nature items and create a collage or nature mandala with them
(4) teach everyone to fingerknit with upcycled wool yarn you salvaged from thrift shop sweaters

Question 9.
While other moms in La Leche League chit-chat about cloth diapers and babywearing, you…

(1) Hope no one will notice the sound of sposies crinkling as your babe crawls nearby
(2) Shudder and adjust your baby’s wool bonnet as another mom packs her baby into a front-facing carrier
(3) Show off you organic cotton prefolds or handmade cloth diapers and the wool longies and shorties you knit, then teach an impromptu class on how to re-lanolinize wool
(4) Sing the virtues of wool undergarments from months ending in “er” through April or May

Question 10.
It’s almost bedtime. You…

(1) put a short dvd on, hoping your kiddo will settle down and/or fall asleep
(2) read a bedtime story
(3) give your child a bath, bedtime snack, and tell a story from memory
(4) do the nightly bedtime routine and tell a special story that addresses behavioural issues from the day, play the kinderlyre for a few minutes, and then meditate on your sleeping child before leaving the room and asking for their angel’s guidance

For each (1), give yourself 1 point; each (2), 2 points, each (3), 3 points, and each (4), 4 points. Add em up…

If you scored 10-15- you might be a Waldorf Poser
If you scored 16-25- you’re a Pedagogical-Pupil-In-Training
If you scored 26-35- you’re a Rhythm & Rhyme Diva
If you scored 36 or higher- you’re too Steiner for this blog

And really… that is the way to handle it when that doubt-inducing inner voice starts poking and prodding you about whether or not you are “Waldorf” enough.Β  Laugh it off, remembering the most important question is whether or not you are “You” enough.

6 thoughts on “Are You Waldorf Enough? Take This Quiz…

  1. I enjoyed this post very much! Thank you!

  2. So funny! I love the “break out the kinderlyre” at the community event. Looks like I am a Pedagogical-Pupil-In-Training. Love making light of the “are you Waldorf enough” line of thought. It seems many Waldorf Mom’s go through it, me included. I think we’re on the same wavelength, lately I’m seeing that who we are is just perfect.

  3. I laughed out loud at some of the answers – and “too Steiner for this blog” cracks me up, too. πŸ™‚

    It’s funny that Steiner was anti-dogma…but so many people I encounter on Waldorf groups (mostly online, to be honest; in my flesh-and-blood universe folks seem to be pretty laid back) are all about dogma. When we first started out it made me very self-conscious, but now I refer to our family’s approach as Waldorf-ish. πŸ™‚ xo

  4. oh my goodness I nearly wet myself laughing at the “lulling the kids into a pentatonic trance.” brilliant quiz

  5. This is just too funny! I can’t even tell you which one made me laugh the most!!! Thank you πŸ™‚

  6. Pingback: What do we really mean when we say something is "Waldorf"? | Song & Season

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