We are Waldorf unschoolers with a touch of Montessori, and in my opinion, in this combination you get a fantastic mix that works great for our dd. Our home and lifestyle are modeled loosely upon Waldorf (rhythms, seasonal awareness, emphasis upon nature) but we also like to throw in a little Montessori for variety (doing easy plant growing projects to explore root systems, doing transfer activity games, exploring the concept of maps and talking about geography, etc.). I don't have a ton of time to post, but here is what I wrote for another thread that wanted to know about combining Waldorf and unschooling:
Generally speaking, we take the parts of Waldorf that we like and leave the rest that have (in our opinion
) no pragmatic value. DD doesn't wear wool nor does she play with just silk or natural toys (we have some imaginative plastic and metal objects for play, for instance). I interpret Waldorf very loosely. Here's a quick synopsis of us: DD wears comfortable, non-character, cotton clothing that is appropriate to the season. We have lots of open-ended toys both structured (cash register, wooden kitchen and food) and non-structured (seashells, nuts, rocks, animal figurines). We have a fabric basket filled with a variety of fabrics--velvets, silks, satins--instead of playsilks, which I think are limiting. We don't push academics but dd is very self-driven and is learning to read at age 3 by her choice. We tell lots of stories, we act out stories with figurines, we read lots of stories (some by Waldorfish authors, others not). We do lots of creative art and have an entire wall covered with paper with art supplies nearby for whenever the mood strikes, as well as structured art time. We do all-kinds of painting, including but not limited to wet on wet (the reason behind this is some rather woo-woo Anthroposophical color theory in which spiritual beings inhabit color and stuff--a belief that I do not abscribe to). We are TV-free (unless we're sick, and then we do watch the occasional DVD). We honor the seasons and celebrate festivals by making special decorations, reading/telling special stories, cooking special foods. We have a daily and weekly rhythm that keeps our life moving and sane. We sing a lot and encourage musicality (but I do not believe in limiting children to the pentatonic scale). We don't have oodles of money nor time nor space nor equipment to make a lot of our own toys so I have no problems with well-made, open-ended plastic toys (Schleich animals, Mega Bloks, Playmobil, etc.). For us the key is open-ended, but with that said, I am continually surprised with dd's creativity even with supposedly non-open-ended toys. Her music box, for instance, has been everything from a merry-go-round to a massager to a hair dryer.
I highly recommend "Heaven on Earth" for some practical ideas. I think this is a great read. However, there are some assumptions that the author makes that she never explains--like why wood has a better tactile feel than porcelain, for instance. This is an example of a personal judgment that she presents as fact. But, if you're looking for a good way to incorporate some Waldorf ideas this is a great book to start with.
One of the great things about being an unschooler is that I totally don't feel guilty when my dd doesn't fit the Waldorf mold. So she became obsessed with letters at a year old? Fine. She's reading at 3? Great. She wants to draw with markers and have forms in her drawings? No prob. She doesn't like me lighting candles at meals? We can work with that. Saying the same verses over and over at specific times annoys her to no end? Yay. I hate memorizing verses and feel sort of artficial saying them anyway. She wants to pretend she's a computer game? Okay, not my favorite, but I can work with that. Etc. Etc.
For us Waldorf and Montessori ideologies form our environment, and unschooling forms how we and dd interact with that environment, if that makes sense. We buy the toys and offer the techniques and experiences but it is up to dd to choose them and we don't sweat it if she wants to think outside of the box and do things differently. Both Waldorf and Montessori when done in a purist fashion, I think, can be rather limiting (e.g., in Montessori the "jobs" are supposed to be completed in a certain way and in a certain order, and in Waldorf a child isn't supposed to do line drawing or play with plastic, etc.), but being an unschooler we have a full amount of freedom to allow her to explore life on her own terms. We also strongly believe in learning through living so modeling housework, cooking, manners, etc., is just a natural progression. With unschooling, the idea, as you probably know, is that children will learn what they need to learn when they are interested, but the trick with unschooling is giving them opportunities to pique their interest, and that is where Waldorf and Montessori fit in for us because these pedagogies allow us to choose open-ended creative toys, have a vibrant awareness of the cycles of nature, celebrate festivals that encourage family tradition and seasonal changes, and have a home that is warm, peaceful, and quietly inviting.