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Waldorf Homeschoolers Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 397
Ha! That's fun, no?
I would spend a TON of time outdoors. You needn't do any "school" now- they're so little still. But baking and painting and playdough and stringing beads and stuff with your 4 yo when the little one sleeps, and working away at getting a good rhythm in place. And not stressing about any of it- things will turn and turn and by the time your older one is ready for school work your little one will be older and able to play on his own some, too.
Lots of walks, good outside play spaces, having fun, those are the most important right now!
post #42 of 397
Just bumping this thread up... I am a homeschooling mother to a 8 year old (second grade Waldorf, first grade Waldorf starts around age 6 and a half or seven so the child is seven for a good portion of first grade), a 4 and a half year old, and a baby due in October.

There were many wonderful questions and responses. I would encourage all of you to get reading, especially read Steiner himself. Kingdom of Childhood, Education of the Child and Soul Economy are surprisingly understandable! The foundation of Waldorf, as someone previously mentioned, is not the natural toys or playsilks or such, but the understanding of the seven-year cycles and why things are brought in when. What i really love about the curriculum is that it is holistic, that it is meant to promote not only the health of the children at the stage where they are, but also what their health will be like when they are 30, 40 and 50 years old. Waldorf teaches through movement and art and the whole body. The grades curriculum is wonderful, and really differentiates between what speaks to a seven year old, what speaks to an eight year old and how is that different than what a ten year old needs?

Waldorf Kindergarten doesn't last forever, rhythm is the most important cornerstone to establish during these early years, working through the body and NOT the head, working through imitation, and establishing strong rest and sleep patterns because Waldorf is the only educational method that uses rest and sleep as an educational aid in the grades.

There are so many resources out there, I would encourage you to join the national lists like Melisa Nielsen's list, Marsha Johnson's list, Donna Simmons' paid forum and also look through her Christopherus website as it has a myriad of articles on there regarding the Early Years if that is where you are..Also, so many wonderful blogs out there with good information!
Let's keep this thread going!
post #43 of 397
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad you joined this thread, Carrie! :

Your blog is one of the top resources I direct people to as they are in the 'considering waldorf' phase. It has helped me immensely and is what led me to Melisa's A Little Garden Flower and the homeschooling waldorf yahoo group.

Thank you for your ongoing, awesome resource!
post #44 of 397
You are so very welcome! I only get to check in infrequently because ...well, I am usually busy using the limited computer time I have for blogging, LOL.

I wanted to head back a minute to the mama with the 4 year old and the 1 year old.....I think this can be common with difference in age span for one thing, Waldorf sources would say the biggest things accomplished in the first three years is acquiring upright (meaning being functional in upright, hands free, that kind of thing), acquiring speech and then thought around the age of 3 where the child really can distinguish themselves. So a child at the age of 1 is going to be so, so motor driven. THe four year old is still motor-driven as well, so the suggestion a mother gave for as much outside time as possible really is a good one. Children under the age of 7 should be in their bodies, and it is our job to balance out if our child just wants to sit there and look after book after book after book all day long. Some of it goes down to structuring the environment as well -- are the craft supplies up and come down at craft time? Are there a million books out or just a basket? So it also comes back to rhythm as well - are there times for outbreath and times for inbreath? A four year old may very well enjoy fingerplays and lighting a candle and having a special story that you tell for a whole month while the 1 year old sleeps....

Rhythm, structuring the environment after careful observation of your child, outside time, times of inbreath and times of outbreath are all very important considerations in the life of a small child....

I am so glad to know there are other Waldorf homeschoolers here at MDC!

Many blessings to you all!
post #45 of 397
Joining the thread...

I'm seriously considering Waldorf homeschooling for my family. I've been intrigued by it for many years, and earlier this summer had the thought that it's time to do something. I can sit here and dream about what my ideal would be, or I can actually make it happen, kwim? I was pretty familiar with the early childhood stuff, but not so much what happens in the grades, so I've been immersing myself in that lately. My ds starts second grade in public school this year, and my dd just turned 3. My goal is to begin implementing things with my dd right now, and take the year to really study and be prepared to homeschool my ds next year.

So I'm trying to decide whether to order A Little Garden Flower's early childhood e-book, or Donna Simmons' kindergarten materials, or--most likely--both, and then begin incorporating ideas into our home.

Then, each month, I plan to buy snippets of 2nd-grade curriculum items from different sites (Barbara Dewey's, and both of the two mentioned above). I want to delve into a lot of the philosophy this year, but I also feel like I need to get an idea of what curriculum material would actually be like, and how we would use it.

So that's my plan. I'm not 100% sure of homeschooling; I still have some fears. But this is my year to decide once and for all.

I just finished reading Jack Petrash's Understanding Waldorf Education, and thought it was a fantastic book. It really helped me understand so many things.

I may not post much, and when I do, I'll be asking questions.
post #46 of 397
Ok, I'm the type of person who loves a guideline to follow w/ exact things to do with them all right there when I need it. Because of this, I was considering Oak Meadow. Also, I thought about Live Ed and Enki. I already have A Little Flower Garden and Donna Simmons K books (bought them a loooong time ago when dd was 2-3 yrs old). So, for those who have used Oak Meadow, Live Ed and/or Enki, what is the difference between them all? Would they be what I'm looking for? We'll be doing kindy this year.

Oh and I want to stay as close to Steiner's ideas as possible.
post #47 of 397
Does anybody have an opinion about Earthschooling?
post #48 of 397
Thank you ladies for the replies. I can definitely find more outside time. I do a circle time with both the girls during the day. I'm working on rhythm as that is not my strong suit. I'm trying to be very aware of the inbreath/outbreath and have found this helpful as I am a student of yoga as well.

During DD2's nap time I do my computer work. DH and I both work at home and the computer is a lot of our work. So, stories, crafts and such have to be while DD2 is awake. I'm just going to have to find a way to work it out without getting too stressed out about it.

I'm also, working on their playroom. It has far too much in it still though I've been cleaning it out for over a month. I've got more ideas now.

What book would you recommend someone who has had a Parent/Child course, but has never read a book on Waldorf inspired education? I've been thinking of Rainbow Bridge (?) and Heaven on Earth (?). I'd like something that I can utilize right now, explains where my children are, and is a quick read (my reading time is in 5-10 minute chunks).
post #49 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
What book would you recommend someone who has had a Parent/Child course, but has never read a book on Waldorf inspired education? I've been thinking of Rainbow Bridge (?) and Heaven on Earth (?). I'd like something that I can utilize right now, explains where my children are, and is a quick read (my reading time is in 5-10 minute chunks).
I don't have a recommendation as I am new to all my waldorf reading. I do recommend that you go to Carrie's blog: www.parentingpassageway.com for really good resources and reviews. I've learned so much from there and it has given me so many good 'starting points' for thinking, reading and meditating.
post #50 of 397

joining in

Hello all.
I am a trained Waldorf teacher who just graduated an 8th grade class. This year I am not teaching so I have decided to homeschool my 5th grade daughter. I am so looking forward to it and I feel pretty confident, though I'm sure teaching at home will end up being very different than teaching at school. I'm looking forward to field trips, playing recorder duets and creating beautiful main lesson books. I feel fortunate that 5th grade was the first year I taught and it's pretty fresh in my mind, though there is plenty out there that will be brand new to us. I'm currently exploring the world of 4H, violin lessons and all the other extra-curricular stuff. We've always limited those things so we don't get over-scheduled but now we feel like we have all the time in the world.
Anyway, one resource I found very valuable while I was teaching was a series of books by Eric Fairman, though I don't remember the title. They were definitely not a complete curriculum like Oak Meadow, but gave a very good run down on what should be included in each block. My primary resource throughout my teaching years was actually the children's section of our local library! We're going to start with Botany (my daughter is craving "real science") including a mother-daughter backpacking trip -- fun, fun!
I look forward to reading about other's journeys, especially if there are any other homeschoolers of older children (seems like there are lots of parents of preschoolers, kindergarteners and first graders.)
Meredith
post #51 of 397
I am not too familiar with Oak Meadow or Enki, but I have seen some Live Ed materials and they seem quite authentic to me. I have heard that Oak Meadow is less so -- there are some academics in kindergarten, but it does really outline what to do and when. If you were going to go with a curriculum, I'd probably choose Live Ed. But, honestly, I think the best (and most Steiner-esque) thing for kindergarten is to create it yourself. Have lots of free-play, some artistic activity, lots of singing, outside time, and a story (any simple story, really) every day. It seems best to do what comes naturally, but with consciousness. Hope this helps!
Meredith
Quote:
Originally Posted by treehugginhippie View Post
Ok, I'm the type of person who loves a guideline to follow w/ exact things to do with them all right there when I need it. Because of this, I was considering Oak Meadow. Also, I thought about Live Ed and Enki. I already have A Little Flower Garden and Donna Simmons K books (bought them a loooong time ago when dd was 2-3 yrs old). So, for those who have used Oak Meadow, Live Ed and/or Enki, what is the difference between them all? Would they be what I'm looking for? We'll be doing kindy this year.

Oh and I want to stay as close to Steiner's ideas as possible.
post #52 of 397
Thread Starter 

What a wonderful thing to have you here!

I am homeschooling a 4th grader this year, as well as my kindergartener...both boys. My daughter is just 2 1/2 and will be the constant tag-along.

I've really enjoyed a combination of reading Steiner materials (like Rhythms of Learning) and the materials from A Little Garden Flower. I feel like Melisa's work (at least for a beginner like me) has given me a skeletal-structure from which I can work and branch out and customize. And reading the curriculum guides at the same time as the Steiner-materials has helped me so much in understanding why things are done the way they are and when they are.

Oh, we've always homeschooled, btw...this is just our first year as Waldorf homeschoolers.
post #53 of 397
Just wanted to introduce myself- I have been a waldorf inspired homeschooling momma for over a year now. My oldest will be starting 2nd grade and I also have a 5 yo, 3 yo, and 2 month baby. I used Oak Meadow last year, but wasn't all that pleased with it, so I have decided to use Christopherus this year. I am a little nervous about trying to juggle all the kids while still getting in some school time with my oldest...any tips???? I know it will probably take some time for us all to settle into a nice rhythm, so I am trying not to put unrealistic expectations on myself which I have a tendency to do.

As far as my favorite resources, I love Heaven On Earth and Donna Simmon's Kindy book and I also look to other blogs for inspiration (Carrie's The Parenting Passageway is awesome!!!)

We will be starting school on the 31st and I am pretty excited about it!

For those of you are schooling grades aged children, can you give me a quick how to for form drawing. Oak Meadow didn't really cover it, so I am trying to do a 1st grade and 2nd grade block. Are there any particular stories you used that would cover several forms????

TIA! and I look forward to learning from you all!
post #54 of 397
Hi Tanya, found this for you hope it helps.

:

(promise I'll chime in more later)
post #55 of 397
Thread Starter 

Tanya!

I think Melisa (A Little Garden Flower) has form drawing links on her site or blog...I'll go look and come back later and post a link if I can.

I got the book: Form Drawing: Grades One through Four
to help me. It's been great! As a new family to waldorf homeschooling, I feel I need this extra help beyond the basic curriculum guides.

My eldest is starting 4th grade and I'm trying to catch up, especially in terms of form drawing and math in the waldorf way. As my 2nd son is entering K this year, I feel I have this year to learn alongside my 4th grader before the 'real work' starts next year with 2 doing academic work.

Maybe by time by now 2 1/2 year old daughter starts all of this I won't feel so 'new' and inexperienced.
post #56 of 397
Thanks Echo for the link, but it was more of a quick run through as opposed to a more detailed how-to.

Mary, Can you give some ideas from the book? I really can't afford another resource at the moment since my dh is out of work. I purchased Donna Simmon's Form Drawing book and it is a big help. I guess I was just looking for some story ideas.
post #57 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumom2boyz View Post
Thanks Echo for the link, but it was more of a quick run through as opposed to a more detailed how-to.

Mary, Can you give some ideas from the book? I really can't afford another resource at the moment since my dh is out of work. I purchased Donna Simmon's Form Drawing book and it is a big help. I guess I was just looking for some story ideas.
Sure, I'll get it and come back later to post.

I think you'd really benefit from Melisa's yahoo group: homeschooling waldorf...I posted a link to it in a PP. There are ALWAYS good ideas and suggestions being offered there.
post #58 of 397
I'd benefit from more form drawing resources too.

I have some of the first Seasons of Joy http://naturalfamily.50megs.com/custom_1.html that Annette put out. It is really inexpensive. I found it helpful to have it as a guideline.

I've started getting our craft room organized. It looked like a tornado had hit. We'll need tables or desks for the girls to sit at. (That will multitask for seated work, painting, and sewing). And some beanbag chairs or something for snuggly reading time.

How about the fingerknitting? That and wool felting for handcrafts is wonderful. My oldest learned to fingerknit at 5y- and she had yarn in her hands for a year straight.

This mama has lots of wonderful info on waldorf hs in general.
A video that has a lovely fingerknitting story along with it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMQr_nLn4FM ( I think of this more as finger crochet, am I right? I know it doesn't matter)
plain easy instructions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3LKAlDz9ig

I really like needlefelting, but it's definitely for older kids.
post #59 of 397
hi!
i am so happy this thread is here!
my name is heather i have 5 children dd who will be going to high school this year (her choice... waaah for me! she is a 10th grader!) i have an 11, 8, 5 and a 2 ds's.
i guess my biggest struggle is the age differences. the 8, 5, 2 seem ok to work together on stuff but my oldest son likes other stuff better. hmmm. gotta work on that. my other "issue" is keeping a routine when i work. i work 2-3 times a week from 3-11. things will be great for the 4-5 days i am off, ie bedtimes, dinner, bath, snacks, work tec, but when i go to work dh puts on the computer (tv shows) and they all stay up late. grrrr.

i love little acron! we did that last winter/spring but took a break for the summer. looking forward to the fall. we will be starting up everything again sept 1st as that is when dd starts school. it seems like a good starting point for all of us.
going to look into little garden flower.
ok back to reading. i was on page 2.

h
post #60 of 397
I just saw these
http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin...c=1004&pgc=740
http://mathomhouse.typepad.com/mommy.../schultte.html
So now I'm going to make a couple. Just wanted to share!
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