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Any Waldorf-insprired HSers looking to get back on the wagon? - Page 2

post #21 of 112
I'm subbing ... we are Enki Homeschoolers, but I also have Waldorf leanings (and love your PreK materials!). I am just starting Enki for my kinder and elements of the waldorf PreK materials for my middle son after the New Year, and am such a newbie with it all! So, I'm going to be reading and learning. (That so sounds jumbled to me; I'm trying to type with a very whiney 5 year old behind me! )
post #22 of 112
We are Waldorf-Unschoolers too. I had no idea that there were so many! Waldorf is something I always incorporate, but sometimes I am more heavy into it than others. Something about it always draws me back. Then once I get to far into Waldorf I am drawn back to unschooling. I guess that is waldorf all in its own since it is rhythm, and unschooling all in its own since it is moving between interests.
post #23 of 112
I'm interested in getting back into a Waldorf inspired homeschooling program. We had originally planned on using Oak Meadow curriculum which is Waldorf inspired but then sent our oldest DD to public preschool for some behavior issues (classic "ADD" type symptoms, just like DH and I). She was tested "positive" for the special needs program. Her first teacher we didn't like, but she retired, so we got the hippy teacher we had heard great things about. She did a lot of circle time and finger plays and crafts with the kids. She was awsome! But she just moved so DD got transfered to the preschool near our home (which is in a middle school, ugh!). The teacher seemed nice enough but DD started bringing home worse behaviors than the ones we had originally sent her to school to get "fixed".j : So we pulled her out and I'm looking at getting started with some kind of Waldorf curriculum after the new year.

Question though. Can Waldorf inspired learning work with Christian parenting? I'm fairly liberal and do love to honor the seasons especially since I'm into natural/outdoorsy stuff and DH and I have very deep Celtic roots (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, French blood), but we do deify Christ in our home. Many orthodox Christians I know would see many aspects of Waldorf as "Pagan" based. I guess I don't see it that way, but am really looking to have a happy medium between our faith and the type of imaginative Waldorf based homeschooling curriculum I want to use. Hope that makes sense!
post #24 of 112
Originally Posted by kangaroo_mom View Post
Question though. Can Waldorf inspired learning work with Christian parenting? I'm fairly liberal and do love to honor the seasons especially since I'm into natural/outdoorsy stuff and DH and I have very deep Celtic roots (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, French blood), but we do deify Christ in our home. Many orthodox Christians I know would see many aspects of Waldorf as "Pagan" based. I guess I don't see it that way, but am really looking to have a happy medium between our faith and the type of imaginative Waldorf based homeschooling curriculum I want to use. Hope that makes sense!
The spiritual basis of waldorf is anthroposophy, which is a spiritual science developed by rudolph steiner. That said, I find waldorf, especially waldorf homeschooling, compatible with and adaptable to a variety of religious traditions. I am a Unitarian, so we are used to borrowing from many religious traditions - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Buddhist. Our waldorf coop has a couple Jewish families, a couple Christian families, and some mixed secular, Pagan and Christian families. I do think it is important to learn a bit about anthroposophy, because the development of the waldorf curriculum was based on a spiritual understanding of the child. But, the beauty of homeschooling is that you can take what works for you and leave what doesn't.

For example, we celebrate Christmas, but we also celebrate solstice. I love the way the celebrations of this season meld together so well, with the celebration of the return of the sun, the light of Christ, the Chanukah miracle of lights... To me, it is no accident that all these traditions celebrate light in darkness this time of year, both literally and metaphorically. And it helps me to remember that Christian traditions and beliefs developed surrounded by pagan beliefs and traditions. So, I suppose it's a matter of what you are comfortable with.
post #25 of 112
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I live in a fanatically religious area. People here are either Mormon or anti-mormon. LOL I'm exmormon and sorta kinda Christian (liberal) and I really don't want my kids growing up viewing people as labels - Christian/non-Christian, Mormon/non-Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, etc. I really just want them to grow up and see people as people, if that makes sense. I think that is why I'm always drawn to Waldorf, because it seems to do just that. Thanks again!
post #26 of 112
We're holistic learners too...influenced by Enki and Waldorf and Unschooling! I love Enki, but it has limitations in terms of resources available. Philosophy-wise it is a better fit for us than pure Waldorf. I do have to move outisde of Enki to get the resources we need, so I have lots of Donna Simmon's materials. I recently ordered and am awaiting the arrival of Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum.

However, not matter what we try to do, I find myself always spinning around unschooling. Even Enki and Waldorf adapted to home learning has school elements that seem so unnecessary to me. So we are probably the most relaxed Enki homelearners on the planet. We aren't radical unschoolers...I strew the path with Enki and Waldorf and then take my children walking on that path.

Anyway, we're moving back toward a better daily rhythm...or we will be as soon as we get DH sent back to work!
post #27 of 112
Thread Starter 
Good morning, Mamas!

We are ditching the charter school! I am so thrilled.

So, do you have any goals for January? Mine are:

1. Go on a short walk every morning before we start "school".

2. Get back into the circle time groove.

3. Get back into a weekly art routine (Handwork on Monday, color on Tuesday, paint on Wednesday, model on Thursday, seasonal craft on Friday)
post #28 of 112
I'm confused. (What's new?) You are ditching the homeschool? Please help my sleep deprived brain.

Oh, and the next 1 1/2 weeks is for me to establish our daily rhythm so that when dh goes back to work we can get our groove on. Squirming babe is currently in arms so I'll post more of what I'm planning later.
post #29 of 112
January Goals:

Daily walk for movement; I'd love for us to learn a few verses while we walk. The walk is so important on so many levels: physical activity, nature exploration, getting the dog out of the house, experiencing weather....

Do a short morning lesson 3 days a week with Enki materials. We'll be starting a 7 week block cycle, with 3 weeks of humanities and 3-4 weeks of mathematics, all within the container of African/American culture. So we'll read an African trickster tale and study MLK Jr. as our sage for the first 3 weeks, then move to reviewing the four processes.

Create a balance between guided and non-guided projects. We just received new Lyra colored Ferbys (in colors other then the basics we use for Enki), so drawing can be a "new" independent project (they were kind of burned out on crayons). I ordered them Lyra blackboard chalk and will move chalk drawing to an independent project. I need to set up a wax warming station. I move heavily into my own handwork this time of year, so rather than forcing specific handwork I am going to see where their interests lead them. I received a small handloom for Christmas and I imagine they will want to help with that.

It's all really evolving for me. I know I'm not going to be as structured as a traditional Enki family would be, and that I will be blending in a lot of my unschooling philosophy. I give my children permission to not knit or play recorder until they are ready to and interested in either one.

The big January goal for me is to work on environment via decluttering and organization, as well as arranging our spaces to be inviting and functional for us.
post #30 of 112
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
I'm confused. (What's new?) You are ditching the homeschool? Please help my sleep deprived brain.
Whoops! Pregnant brain. We're ditching the charter school.
post #31 of 112
I'm going to jump in with you guys! I have so many things that need to change I might as well jump in on this one with others so tha tI have a better chance of sticking with it. With Ds at the point for the bump to first grade level and Dd1 is finally showing interest in active school (read: art and her attempts at writing have started up all over the walls I think it's time to focus it more don't you? ) and now Dd2, who is turning 3yo in a couple of weeks is showing interest in doing the stuff that her older siblings are doing and *gasp* wanting to help me I think that it is time to start more actively involving her.

Now to get back on the wagon and figure out how I'm going to pull this off. We don't really do circle time, with dd1's sensory issues she can't sit still and then distracts Ds and it all just rolls down hil when we have tried and that is with movent stuff. But I love the rest of the waldorfy stuff. I think our circle time is kind of at night when we do bedtime verses actually. But, hey you do what works right?
post #32 of 112
Thread Starter 
I think that Waldorf at home is never going to look like Waldorf in school. And unless you're going to invite 10 of your closest friends over every morning, the circle time won't be the same as a school circle either. So, I'm a big advocate of doing what works best for you, even if it's just some finger plays and nursery rhymes every time you have a diaper change or verses at key times during the day or a "singalong" time in the car.
post #33 of 112
I agree, no two families are the same so every one is going to have a slightly differant way of doing things. Especially if you have a special needs child in the family, the same rules just aren't going to work. I am going to learn from what didn't work last time and try again.

Dh is big on scheduals but and pictures/count downs work well for keeping Dd1 on track but I'm just not used to it and I have to get myself going on that front just like Dh is trying to get himself going with the nutral voice and signing for Dd1.
Plus I just have to stop listening to the stuff that I keep reading that says that toddlers are ready to sit down and listen to instructions. No offence to anyone but my toddler/preschooler is not. She's still off in her own world, simple instructions are followed here and there but man some of the stuff I've seen where the kids sound like angels make my kids look like little demons. :

There is a lot of tailoring that I need to do.
post #34 of 112
My personal goal for this year is more modeling...and adventure. I picked up a copy of Arthur Auer's Modeling book last year and have totally enjoyed implementing bits, but my hand injury last summer and resulting therapy have left me doing less modeling with the kids instead of more. We have done more movement games, plus paper and fabric work that didn't bother my palm.

We have so much fun on our daily walks, Annette, I think that's a great way to begin to rebuild rhythm. When we first moved here in June, I totally relied upon our our walks and other nature times to build up our routine...it is so calming and invigorating at the same time. While it helps my 7 yr old to get in more movement and feel more peaceful overall, it also seems to stimulate imagination in my 11 yr old. who tends to intellectualize a lot. It's a good balancer either way.

We were very busy establishing regularity and a sense of "home" in our new town, so now I'm ready for more adventures - like a trip to the nearby caverns, more camping, maybe visiting a Native American community for some sort of ritual, or a mountain weekend.

The nearest Waldorf group is almost 2 hours away, so I'm afraid I haven't hooked up with them...maybe this Spring. In the meantime, though, I want to further cement our local friendships and homeschool activities.

I think my first step is to order more modeling compounds this week - since our supply is dwindling. When we restart out homeschool next week, I plan to have modeling once a week no matter what. The boys enjoy it so much.

I think that we all have different strengths. As a homeschooler, incorporating whole-body movement activities has been easy for me, but hand activities require effort on my part - I was never taught these things as a child - and I think that this is where I most need to push myself this year. I have to more fully embrace them each week!

Best wishes,

who is so envious of your little girls doing ballet - I really love boys, but ballet is not in the cards for these two, though they did enjoy The Nutcracker
post #35 of 112
I bought the Auer book months ago, and started reading it, and was definitely inspired. We'll definitely be modeling at least once a week as a guided activity, with beeswax offered as an independent project as well. We have lots of beeswax, some earth-toned plastalina, and some air-drying paper clay. First up in our guided activities will be using the paper clay to make spheres, and joining them to make snow people. My youngest really wants to make a "snowman" and we don't have snow, so he asked about clay. It isn't exactly a nature craft, but it is what he wants to do and is seasonal (for parts of the Northern Hemisphere, anyway...we can see snow on the mountains).

This is where I work in the child-directed facets of our home learning. I have tried and tried with finger knitting and they aren't interested for more than 2 minutes, and of course don't gain any skills in that time. They do want to model, however. I'm hoping they gain some hand strength and finger coordination; perhaps then hand work will come easier.
post #36 of 112
I'm thinking modeling at least once a week since the kids love it and I'm going to try and guide them with it but we'll see how that goes. With being inside so much listening to instructions has gone from in one ear out the other and just doing their own thing to OK that's step one let's just skip to the good stuff.

Ds is in that grey area between kinder garden level and offically being ready for the first grade stuff. I'm trying to work out a happy medium for him. I've talked to Ds and explained that he's going to be slowly taking on more responcibility and that wether or not Dd1 goes with things I really need him to do his best

Dd1 is *very* art oriented. Give her crayons, pencils, paint and or clay and she's one little happy camper. I'm not going to try finger work until we can get her set up with OT services again since with her sensory issues she just can't focus and doesn't want help from me so we'll stick with the strong points and get some sensory feeding in there with it.

Dd2 just wants to do what the other two are doing.
post #37 of 112
You ladies are so beyond me! What do you do for circle time? I have just scratched the surface, and I have so much to learn! My dd is 4 and ds is 2 1/2. I love the idea of a daily walk. How long do you walk? I would like to hear what your "schedules" are like in a typical day. I like your art routine, Annette, and I know the youngest children really don't do much "school" stuff in Waldorf. So how do I start? Right now, the kids are at their new table and chairs set playing with "moon sand", using "tools" like empty yogurt cups and silverware. This is very unstructured and spontaneous, which I love, so I am assuming this counts. They are getting along, too (bonus)! I have inherited some old collections of childrens' stories (1930s). There are some very nice poems and stories in there, and we like to read fairy tales and fables, as well as look at the art work. Anyway, I know I need to read a lot more about this. I feel so inadequate-like there is so much I need to learn and read and buy to get started!
post #38 of 112
We just finished our morning circle (our schedule is bonkers since dh is still home). It is just the three of us, ages 3, 6, and unmentionable...

First, I had the girls gather winter animals from their playroom (we used a rabbit, squirrel, fox, wolf, bear, a playsilk river, and a little girl).

1. Morning verse (we sing this to a simple tune):
"Down is the earth" (touch the ground)
"Up is the sky" (reach up)
"There are my friends" (gesture outward)
"And here am I" (cross arms over chest)
"Good morning, good morning" (shake hands and say good morning)

2. Candle verse while lighting candle - "In the dark cold days, there shines a light, to make my heart so pure and bright" (from Annette's winter book)

3. Snowflake song (we act this out and cover the floor with a white playsilk at the end)
"Snowflakes falling soft and light"
"Snowflakes falling in the night"
"When the sun shines out so bright"
" All the earth is dressed in white"

4. "A Little Child Went Walking" (This is a lovely poem written by Annette)
We use the animals they gathered to act out this little poem as the child takes a walk through the woods on the blanket of snow and sees all the winter animals.

5. Something more active here - today we did a clapping game of Pease Porrige hot, but other days we might play a hide the bean bag type of game, or something else.

6. Storytime - we have two stories, a preschool story (The Mitten), and a kindy/1st story (Shoemaker and the Elves). We also use the animals they gathered to enact the story of the Mitten as I tell it. Then I tell the second story.

We end with "Snip, snap, snout, this tale is all told out"

And, that's the end of circle. They are now back in the playroom acting out the gingerbread man (our story last month).

That's basically what we do. We keep the morning verse and opening blessing the same all year. It is also the same verse we use in our coop, so the girls know it really well. I change the circle about once a month, but I always make sure to keep some things from the previous month, so there are only a few new things to learn.
post #39 of 112
I am tinkering with my schedule, since I am beginning a kindy/1st grade block with my 6yo in Jan (after dh goes back to work and my mother goes home - can't keep a reasonable schedule with them in the house ) I just moved the handwork/art time to afternoon, so we will see how that goes. I don't do much in the afternoons in the fall because the weather is usually beautiful here, and the girls play outside all afternoon. But, winter is typically cold and spring is nonexistant in New England, so it is good for us to have planned activities in the afternoon. Overall our new schedule looks something like this:

8am breakfast
8:30 chores
9:00 guitar (dd#1 does suzuki guitar)
9:30 circle/snack
10:30 main lesson with dd#1 then free play while I catch up on laundry etc.
12:15 walk (we live at a boarding school and walk to lunch each day)
12:50 lunch
1:30-2:30 rest
2:30 handwork and art (Monday baking/handwork, Tuesday coloring, Wed painting)
5:30 dinner
6:30 baths
7:00 bedtime for dd#2
8:00 bedtime for dd#1

This schedule holds for Mon-Wed. We have a waldorf coop that meets on Thursday and ballet in the afternoon. On Fridays we have an eclectic preschool coop that meets in the mornings, and guitar in the afternoon. I have really found that the key to keeping a schedule at home is to keep all outside the home activities limited to two weekdays.

My main goal this Jan is to use the rest time to do some personal growth work on myself, and not spend it on MDC.
post #40 of 112
Thread Starter 
Good afternoon! I just have a second, so I'll wait to answer the questions that were directed towards me. But I'm so excited! I sat down and re-read some stuff last night (including my own stuff- duh!) and planned out January and I am so excited! I tend to make circle time the centerpiece of our art and play activities, so we're going with "Winter Woods" for two weeks and "Winter Adventures" for two weeks. I'm feeling very grounded and blessed right now.
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