Originally Posted by eastkygal
I'm so glad to see this thread starting! We are going to use Little Acorn Learning
to start a homeschool pre-school with DD1 (4) on Monday. I am a little nervous about the whole thing, but very excited. We are off grid, and the decision on what to do about school public, home, or unschool has been hard for me. When we lived in the city for awhile, we attended Waldorf School of Louisville and the Parent/Child classes. They were heavenly. I fell in love with Waldorf education and being a former public school teacher saw the benefits of Waldorf immediately. Had we still been there, she would still be going.
DH will help us with the art and music portions of our curriculum, and hopefully I'll learn more in those areas as well. I am a very words and literacy oriented person, so books are my big thing. It will be a hard transition for me to try to focus on other things in a "school" situation, so I think the key will be slowly making it a way of life for the early years.
My biggest challenge is Waldorf in the home. I am a writer and DH (artist and musician) and I both work from home, so it has been easy for me to allow 30 - 1 hour TV time daily to get work done. Our rhythms are not consistent at all. DD2 is a very spirited child. (I think Little Acorn will be perfect for the both of them.) What I need now is a book or website that is a quick read (for DD2's sake) that outlines what I should be doing at this point and why. I am going to work on cutting back TV time as I am spending more time actually making an effort to incorporate my girls into my daily chores and activities. I think July's E-book is perfect as it will ease us into things.
Our next biggest obstacle is finances. I can't possibly spend $300 - $500 yearly on curriculum. I'm going to have to learn how to make my own Waldorf curriculum using cheaper resources. So, it is imperative I have some educational philosophy books and books of stories, verse, and songs.
Thank you for posting these resources. I really hope this thread stays active. There are few homeschoolers in our Kentucky mountains and none that I know of are Waldorf. Most are classical educators.
I have a friend who has been using Little Acorn for a while now and really loves it. She's moving into using A Little Garden Flower these days and finds that they flow into each other well for her purposes.
As for finding your rhythm and knowing what to do with children the ages of your two, I'd have to recommend The Parenting Passageway again (link in a previous post.) That's the blog that actually led me to considering A Little Garden Flower materials. Carrie (TPP blogger) has so much excellent information and she writes from an AP perspective as well. Now it's not all hugs and kisses and encouragement...she writes it like she sees it and there's a good bit of encouragement to do what you know you must even when it's not easy...but I kinda dig that part of it...it helps me get motivated.
Next, finances. One of the things that kept me from seriously considering waldorf for several years was cost of the curriculum itself to get started. Then I found A Little Garden Flower. (Seriously, ladies, I get no kickback or compensation for promoting her materials. I've not met Melisa and only know her through her site/blog/yahoo group.) I was amazed by the value. I think I spent less than $40 on the ebooks for K and 4th. Even the hard copies are well-priced. Yes, you might need some other materials...but maybe not. Alot of it depends on how good/accessible your library system is.
Where we are right now the library collections are, um, small...very small. But if were doing this in one of our previous home areas, in Indiana or Maryland, where we had fantastic libraries, I wouldn't have needed to buy other books. One of the things I've appreciated about Melisa's books is that she does try to integrate much of what you need within them. For example, the 4th grade book includes the entire text of "The Book of Odin" for use. That's cool, and one less thing I need to get.
The other thing that had me not finding my way to waldorf homeschooling before now is that I thought (wrongly) that it was all about gnomes and fairies and playsilks. That didn't resonate with me and I knew that it would be a hard-sell for my boy-children. But as I've learned more and been digging I've discovered how deep and rich the philosophy is behind it all. And now I understand where the gnomes and fairies fit in and it's all good. My boy children may not dig it all...but I still have wee girlie to plan for.
Now one does not have to buy all the stuff that Steiner believed to do waldorf, I suppose. But understanding where it all comes from has been important for me. The book Rhythms of Learning, which is a well-edited collection of Steiner's lectures, has been great. It really has helped me to see where the curriculum timeline and emphases come from. And from my limited knowledge of all of this (since I am new to it, I do not suggest I am an expert) I have to say that Melisa's curriculum materials are 'spot on' to Steiner's intent and beliefs.
I told dh recently that as I've been reading about how much work teachers in waldorf schools must do to ready themselves, I've been absolutely impressed. I told him that if there were a waldorf school near us and we could afford it, I'd enroll the boys without hesitation. That's huge for me as I've never wanted the children to be 'schooled' anywhere but home.
But there are no waldorf schools anywhere near us out in the country, in the mountains here...so I'll just do my best to provide them with an enriching experience here at home.