I am about to begin homeschooling our little 4 1/2 yo girl and really connect with the Waldorf philosophy. Any resources, support, books anyone can recommend? Thanks so much!
As a homeschooling mom of a now 8yo (who went from PDD-NOS at 3yo to Asperger's in this last year) I would say that although YOU may connect with Waldorf, she may not. I'm hoping for you that she does, but I wanted to put it out there so that IF it happens you don't immediately question your choice to homeschool (I don't know you well enough to know if that's even a possibility, obviously).
Oak Meadow curricula are presumably very good. You might want to post in Learning At Home and Beyond for resources.
I very much lean Waldorf. My oldest has diagnoses of SPD, dyslexia, and anxiety, had we sought out assistance when she was younger, I would't of been surprised with a PDD-NOS dx. Anyway, waldolf homeschooling ended up being a huge failure, next homeschooling failed, and she went to a uber crunchy but not waldolf school when she was in 1st grade. Best thing ever for her. She has thrived there beyond my wildest dreams.
My 3 year old DS1 does have a PDD-NOS dx. I would't say I have been doing any waldolf homeschooling with him but because waldorf is where I lean naturally, it flavors our day and life. He just started in a regular preschool classroom that is the farthest thing from waldolf and the very first day there, he was happier then I've seen him in months. Obviously it doesn't work so well for those kids of mine.
Other kids would probably thrive with waldolf homeschooling, everyone is so different. Just like Heather said, be flexible, that just because it connects with you doesn't mean it they will. And I'd highly recommend Oak Meadow for waldolf homeschooling.
I'm not sure it matters. We did a little of both (dh & I weren't really "for" either although Floortime felt more comfortable to us--we just had too many other therapies to contend with) and mine really just liked things prone to more structure and direction... so it's become a challenge of seeing what he loves and then finding the way to deliver it to him in a mode that he can easily absorb... kwim? He is absolutely NOT a crafty or outdoorsy kid--which is polar opposite to me (I would live in bare feet--seriously). Montessori was even a nightmare for him. He needed to be directed a little more and left to his own devices, he would read ALL. DAY. EVERY. DAY. At 8-1/2yo that is still the case as it was when he was 3yo. I mean, it's kind of nice in many ways, but it doesn't lend itself to what most people think of as "follow the child" educating. It's more "figure out what the child's interest is in at the moment and present him with opportunities to engage with those things and learn about them"... which is still (I feel) a "follow the child" way of doing things.
I have no interest in robotics and Legos and circuitry and he has no interest in building forts or taking hikes or drawing/coloring. My version of imaginative play includes silks and sticks. His version includes science fiction and Lego ships. We thankfully intersect on fairies. :)