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Christopherus vs Oak Meadow?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi mamas, (and papas)

I'm hoping to begin homeschooling my little one this year.  She's only 5, so really I know we don't need to start with a curriculum this year.  Any thoughts on the two and what you liked more?  I'm expecting a new addition in October, so it's going to be tricky to figure out how to manage it all.  In Florida we don't have to have them in the system until age 6, so I feel like I have some time to figure things out.  We have to keep records of our days though, so I feel like I'll need to start academics then.  I have so many questions right now, but if someone just wants to chat about their experiences with either of these curriculums that would be awesome!  Thanks!


post #2 of 13

I purchased the Oak Meadow online Kindergarten curriculum for DD last fall.  I really liked it, and you can keep things pretty light if you want.  It is a nice gentle K curriculum.  I am glad that I didn't purchase the full curriculum, just the online version as I did discard stuff and not use some lessons, and not having all the paper was brilliant.  I did purchase the full hard copy of the 1st grade curriculum for this fall though.  I am expecting a new one in August (eek!), so I understand about the trying to figure out how to manage it all.  I like that Oak Meadow has a week plan, and you break it up as you need to.   Makes it easier to forgo school on days where there are appointments, or on days where you are sick, and not have to fall to greatly behind.


It is seasonally based as well, Fall, Winter and Spring - 12 week trimesters - so that was a nice addition for us.  This year I plan on starting in late September with the first day of Fall.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much!  Did you start at 5 for kinder?  Was it pretty academic or still lots of discovery and play?  August!  Eeek!  So exciting!  I am pretty excited myself.  I didn't think we'd be able to conceive another, but we did.  I admit I was worried about a 5 year age difference, but now I'm actually excited about it!  Ok, well...  sorry I got off track.  Thanks for the feedback!

post #4 of 13

We went through the same thing.  Our first was an IVF baby, and we pretty much were sure that we weren't going to have another, then surprise!! LOL


We did start at 5.  Her birthday is in April, so she was nearly 5.5 when we began.  The academics are pretty low key, as it is a Waldorf flavored program.  Lots of nature, and drawing and stories. Very minimal.  If we sat down and did the stuff each day it took us maybe an hour or 2 to get through the day's lesson.  We could also draw it out all day and incorporate play into the "school" day.  We were pretty mellow and loosey goosey about it, to be honest.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Excellent!  Thanks again.  I worry that I'm starting this a month before baby is to be born, but I suppose we'll be ok.  

post #6 of 13

I don't have any personal experience with Christopherus, but I am under the impression it is more true to Waldorf... if that's a concern for you. I have the Oak Meadow Kindergarten curriculum, and it has elements of Waldorf 1st grade, such as introducing letters through story etc. It's more like a loose Waldorf 1st grade, because Kindergarten in an actual Waldorf school wouldn't have any academic work.


We're now at a Waldorf school and loving it, but sometimes I envy those homeschooling! Good luck!!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

She's currently in a Waldorf school and I'll be taking my foundation classes this year.  Yay!  So, I don't mind if it's more true to Waldorf, that's for sure.  I wish I could just keep her in the school, but we just cannot afford it.  :(  So, that's why we're going to homeschool.  I've heard of more mamas using Oak Meadow.  We're probably more of an Oak Meadow kind of home anyway...  I'm having a terrible time coming up with a consistent rhythm for the day.  Thank you for telling me what you think!

post #8 of 13

I have used both and prefer Christopherus to Oak Meadow any day.  But I also prefer to keep things pretty true to Waldorf pedagogy as it really resonates with me and my family.  Oak Meadow Kindy definitely introduces letters and numbers (via Beatrix Potter stories) and then continues with the re-introduction in their first grade curriculum.


I suppose if you are feeling that you *need* to intro academics now, then I would use Oak Meadow (there isn't a Christopherus Kindy curriculum book).  If you are feeling that you need more structure to your day, then maybe even look into a program like Little Acorn where you are given the stories and activities to do for the week (which would be more in keeping with a 6 year old Kindy as opposed to first grade) but academics are held off.  Is this making sense?

post #9 of 13

We have used some Oak Meadow and are switching this year to Christopherus. I agree that Christopherus is far more true to Waldorf philosophies and Oak Meadow is only Waldorf inclined and introduces academics far earlier. Christopherus also seems to have much more of the arts based work one would typically expect in a Waldorf school. For example the curriculum includes form drawing and crayon drawing instruction.


Little Acorn is very inexpensive and choc-full of ideas for ages 3-7. In a real Waldorf scenario the home activities and play are the schooling for kindergarten and that is what a Waldorf classroom seeks to be like - a home for the little ones.


We began with using some of the Oak Meadow when dd was 4 b/c she already knew all of her letters and was rhyming things continually - showing all of the signs for reading readiness. In retrospect, I don't entirely regret going with her level of readiness (this was the kid playing imaginary games with imaginary creatures at age 3 which Waldorf developmentalists say occurs at 5 or 6). What I do regret is that the Oak Meadow lacked so much in terms of artistry that I seem to see in Christopherus. Now at age 7, dd is "behind" the Waldorf curve in terms of drawing, painting etc. and she feels frustrated that she doesn't know how to draw the things she wants to. Maybe oak m. would be better if a kid is less academically inclined and more artistically inclined - but then again the early academics wouldn't be good in that case.


Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth :)

post #10 of 13

One last thing.... a lot of my Waldorfy friends have registered their children (with the school district) at age 6 for Kindergartern rather than first grade. That gives you another year before mandatory testing :) Plust if your state and/or district is picky about what is learned in a particular grade, this makes it easier.

post #11 of 13
I have not used OM at all, but I have used Christopherus for K and 1. We've really liked it for Grade One. I'm making my own curriculum for this coming year when I will have a Grade One and a Grade Two (plus a toddler), but we're using a lot of Christopherus to inform that curriculum.

I really think that Donna understands both Steiner and homeschooling. She brings the Waldorf principles into the home setting in a way that really works for us anyway (in contrast to, say, Live Ed!, which we had a stab at and which felt too much like replicating a Waldorf school in our home...didn't work). If I were you, I'd get the Christopherus Kindy book plus the Curriculum Guide and maybe the Grade One and see how that resonates. You can get them for less on a used curriculum site, which is what I did.

By far, my favourite resource for the Kindergarten years has been Seasons of Joy. We use these guides every season and every year. More than any resource, this has helped me as a Mama bring Waldorf into our home not just for homeschool but for our life. Can't recommend them enough!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!  I really appreciate hearing from you mamas.  I think I'm leaning more toward Christopherus because I'm expecting in October and I don't think I can do a newborn and start academics.  Well, I'm planning on just continuing kindy and involving her in my kitchen work and what she did at school.  I need to work on story telling.  That's going to be tough for me.  I thought I'd introduce more music though because I love it and I sing and can read music enough to peck out a tune on my piano.  You ladies are great!  I really needed this.  I'm scared!  

post #13 of 13

I've used both for kindy. I find that I personally need a bit of structure. a check list of things to get done or I just don't do well so OM is a better fit for using as our main curriculum. but Christopherus is full of wonderful-ness. inspiration and ideas for when I'm up for making things more waldorf-y. If I'm not up for it or we are having an 'off' week then we just do the core OM work. 

I find OM is very easy to adjust if needed. I can make things more waldorf-y like I said, or because my DS1 isn't as good in fine motor control we adjust it so he uses more manipulative's or other objects to write/draw rather then using crayons. 

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