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Any Waldorf-insprired HSers looking to get back on the wagon? - Page 3

post #41 of 112
joining this thread....and will jump back in later.
post #42 of 112
We are very eclectic with some Waldorf thrown in...I was wondering what Enki is?
post #43 of 112
The website is Enki Education. It's a very holistic curriculum that combines Waldorf (she was a Waldorf teacher for many years IIRC), multi-culturism of UN International Schools (where she grew up), skill development of western schools, etc. I am in love with it, and plan on using it with some more Waldorf-y elements thrown in for flavor and fun, especially with my younger boys during their nursery school/Pre-K years. (We would probably have gone with a Waldorf inspired curriculum had I not stumbled upon Enki.)
post #44 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by damselfly41 View Post
I feel so inadequate-like there is so much I need to learn and read and buy to get started!
Dear Damselfly,

As a mom, you know them better than anyone, so just have confidence in your wisdom. It sounds like you have started an excellent collection of materials and your local library can be a great supplement when you don't always have the budget to buy. One you might borrow is You Are You Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy - through interlibrary loan if they don't have it locally. You might find some great nursery rhyme books too.

The imaginative play at that table sounds just wonderful. It isn't just magical and fun, but will actually strengthen their ability to solve problems and think creatively later in life...not to mention helping them to visualize outcomes when making moral decisions later in life.

On the walks: when mine were little, it might have been just a walk around the block or a walk to a playground - my 7 yr old still stops along the way to swing and climb the monkey bars. We walk for about 30-40 minutes now, but they are older than yours, 7 & 11.

Just enjoy your time each day together and add slowly. This really isn't hard or mysterious, just know that you can follow your instincts and sort of learn more as you go.

Best wishes,

Lucie
post #45 of 112
After catching up on the full thread, I wanted to throw out responses/ideas on a few things:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaroo_mom View Post
Question though. Can Waldorf inspired learning work with Christian parenting?
I really think that it not only can work with Christian parenting, but actually strengthen your daily rituals and reverence for spirit - no matter what your religion. One Christian mom wrote an article for my site about how they work it into their life here, and also AnnetteMarie has shared their inspirations on her website and blogs. AND Jessica has truly expressed my belief on the intermingling of religious truths in her post ~ thanks! But the truth ofthe matter is that really the only religion that would challenge me as a Waldorf homeschooler would be Atheism, just because Waldorf teaching is so based on the child's inner spirit...yet I have seen Atheist discuss liking Waldorf in discussion lists, so probably there is something I don't fully understand about it.

Quote:
MamaKass wrote: 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.
I couldn't agree more and I'm sure I haven't heard this expressed more clearly. It seems that I only rarely meet someone doing Waldorf at home who isn't at least influenced in some small way by unschooling. IMHO, the unschooling impulse and Waldorf method just mesh perfectly...but I guss that is just our interpretation of it.

Quote:
Kimberly wrote: I strew the path with Enki and Waldorf and then take my children walking on that path.
For us it is the same with Golden Beetle. I think Alan Whitehead is the sort of rogue cowboy of Waldorf ed, yet his materials resonate with me and my family. I am always kinda taken aback when someone says that GB isn't truly Waldorf because Alan has chosen to change something up a bit...because truly we should adapt and change everything to suit our family's needs and keep the education alive. Otherwise, it would just be stale. Enki has changed a few things too, and so have Oak Meadow and Christopherus.

It is important to find the curriculum that you enjoy the most - the one with the slant that suits you;

it is even more important for you to consider

your children's interests and your planning to be the writing of your own curricula. n other words, I consult Golden Beetle, but I teach "Smoker family curricula," and it sounds like Kimberly consults Enki & Waldorf, but truly teaches Kimberly curricula...and Jessica teaches "Jessica curricula," etc.

Thanks so much ladies for keeping this thread going at this time of year - it is so refreshing, just at the time when I'm evaluating and planning,

Lucie
post #46 of 112
what is Golden Beetle?
post #47 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderactivist View Post
n other words, I consult Golden Beetle, but I teach "Smoker family curricula," and it sounds like Kimberly consults Enki & Waldorf, but truly teaches Kimberly curricula...and Jessica teaches "Jessica curricula," etc.
Would any of you be able to elaborate on this? Are you following the Waldorf grades curriculum, like farming in grade 3 or the usual grade 1 blocks but teaching it in your own way or are you not following that progression at all? Are you following the age recommendations that Waldorf gives?

I'm also curious how many are doing Waldorf and studying anthroposophy (parents studying it)?
post #48 of 112
konamama~ Here's a website to Golden Beetle http://www.waldorfshop.net/goldenbeetle/index.htm

Cassiopeia~ As homeschoolers we have the opportunity to use what we need and leave the rest. The way homeschool families use Waldorf-style curricula is going to be vastly different from one another. In my experiences with homeschool families, I have not encountered two families that homeschool exactly the same including ones that use Waldorf.

I have studied some anthroposophy and found I don't like to study it much. I hate to read Steiner, but have found that I love to read books about his ideas.

My Goal:
To make a real effort for walks every morning. Our life works much better when we all start with a walk. We sing songs, talk about new things we see in nature, and breathe the fresh air. Walking invigorates us, but makes us calm and focused at the same time. It's really important for our family. I want to walk no matter what the weather. We use to do this. Steiner said that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes and I quite agree.

We just did a big move a couple months ago and I am just now settled and getting back into my normal rhythm. Walking has been one of our most important practices because it wakes us up and helps us connect and focus.
post #49 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiopeia View Post
Would any of you be able to elaborate on this? Are you following the Waldorf grades curriculum, like farming in grade 3 or the usual grade 1 blocks but teaching it in your own way or are you not following that progression at all? Are you following the age recommendations that Waldorf gives?

I'm also curious how many are doing Waldorf and studying anthroposophy (parents studying it)?
My plan next year is to follow typical Waldorf curriculum BUT be willing to move onwards and upwards if she needs to. I think part of what "went wrong" with my first was my inflexibility. He just needed more but I was so afraid of him "waking up" too soon that I kept pulling him back as he kept dragging me behind. So, while I love the methodology, I'm not going to be married to the actual curriculum, if that makes sense.

I've done some studying of anthroposophy in the past. There are some parts that really resonate me, others I don't agree with at all, and still others where I feel like Steiner and I are approaching the Truth from two completely different angles, yet it doesn't matter all that much because we both end up at the same place.
post #50 of 112
Thanks! I was wondering about that issue specifically because I felt like I had sort of an epiphany about this the other day. Steiner's curriculum is laid out as such because he wanted to meet the child at their developmental stage (which he saw as being related to spirit, I see as mostly biology). But am I (or my child) not better at meeting his current needs than a book written decades ago, or even one written recently by someone who doesn't know my child at all?

Anyway, that's what I'm grappling with, as usual. Is it still Waldorf if I don't follow Steiner's curric? And how badly do I want to label us anyway?
post #51 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiopeia View Post
Is it still Waldorf if I don't follow Steiner's curric? And how badly do I want to label us anyway?
Who cares!

Do whatever works for you. Ds2 and I use to go to a Waldorf mom and tot class once a week. We loved it and I learned so much that I still incorporate in our daily life. However, there were certain things about the class that didn't fit us. Ds did not want to participate in circle time. The teacher also did not agree with child-led weaning or co-sleeping. So I took what I could use and left the rest. It has to feel right to you and work in your family. I don't believe that a family has to be correctly Waldorf or Unschooling or anything else.
post #52 of 112
mama_kass, thanks for the link, looks like some great stuff.

has anyone compared the books on Golden Beetle to Oak Meadow? my ideal homeschooling situation is to have "a curriculum" around and let it guide us based on interest, not rule us... dd is almost 4 so i am still in research mode.

also, a comment on waldorf in general; i went to a waldorf school and then started one in my community here about 10 years ago - i have yet to see a school or even a teacher for that matter follow the "waldorf ideal" to a T, or at least what is represented as what they "should" be teaching - i think that for most teachers it is a goal/ideal/guide and then there is real life; location of the school, the configuration of the class (which changes all the time) the different desires of the children, abilities, school resources, etc. they face the same reality that we do as homeschoolers, some just deal with it better than other... i see it as an idea, set up with a philosophy and we can use it to best meet our individual needs, to inspire us, that's why i like the term waldorf inspired :-)) also why i would label (which i am liking to do less and less since i don't think any of the labels really fit, i don't evel like the term homeschooling or unschooling - how about free learning?) us as waldorfy unschoolers... but i'll keep thinking on that and come up with something better, since people do ask.

amd i don't think one needs to read anthroposophy to be inspired by the education, and reading steiner is rather boring, at least for me, sorry.

goals... research! want to spend a lot of 2007 researching, gathering, talking to other families, here and IRL, seeing what available in our town, etc. and continue what we are doing now which seems to suit my dd great. we just set up a BIG sandbox on our farm and she spent 2 hours in it yesterday, an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, allowing me to water our fruit trees, plan the expansion of our garden (which dd is real excited about) and read some knitting books - a patteren i could get used to, ha-ha. we also do walks, about 3 times a week, feed some pigs and sheep up our road, walks are great if they speak to your family. i am also going to go to the beach every friday, you would be amazed how long it can be between beach trips if you are aware and make it a priority when you live here. those are the goals for 2007 to add to our existing reality that already works...

and thanks for this thread, i am really enjoying this!!
post #53 of 112
Hi Konamama & Everyone,

Golden Beetle is not a curriculum like Oak Meadow, but a syllabus. He simply writes a short essay for each block - in a quirky story he slowly reveals the goals and a few lesson ideas. You then design the rest for your child.

So there's a lot more work to it...but it can be really rewarding.

He also has a lot of anthro background in there and gives a lot of explanation of why you are doing things. Again, it's usually done in story form and his style is sort of like Vonnegut - so it truly isn't for moms who just want to quickly look up what to do in the block - Alan makes you think about it and develop it mentally. It's really quite brilliant.

Personally, I love his work and especially the way the format of the stories pulls me out of my logical self into my more creative side. Some people just don't like his books - I would recommend buying one or two to sample them.

On the purity issue, I agree with MamaKass, "Who cares." The true essence of Waldorf is in the teacher's ability to bring the material to life in the heart and imagination of the child. You can't do that if you're NOT changing it up to meet the child. It just wouldn't happen.

My own experience in visiting and briefly having my son in a Waldorf school is the same - the teachers change things up, just probably more subty since they can't truly adapt to 25 kids at the same time. A classroom is just a different setting.

I have been using the term "holistic homeschooling" for a couple of years now because I can't really call myself "Waldorf" only since Holt and Gardner have almost as much to do with our homeschool structure...and let's not forget Rachel Carson and Arabella Buckley.

Off to finish my tea and totally enjoying this chat on our week off,

Lucie
post #54 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
My plan next year is to follow typical Waldorf curriculum BUT be willing to move onwards and upwards if she needs to. I think part of what "went wrong" with my first was my inflexibility. He just needed more but I was so afraid of him "waking up" too soon that I kept pulling him back as he kept dragging me behind. So, while I love the methodology, I'm not going to be married to the actual curriculum, if that makes sense.
This really resonates with me. I was just having this conversation with dh. All dd's neighborhood friends are in public school, so I hear frequently about all the reading the kinders are doing, and how the 1st graders have to read a book a night for homework. One of dd's friends has been put in a "reading class" in kindergarten because they feel she is not reading well enough. This child will not turn 6 until July. I feel like I am constantly struggling not to be overly influenced by this accelerated academic pace. But, I also struggle with not being too tied to the waldorf mentality of not moving ahead with reading and LA until the child is almost seven.

My dd seems to fall somewhere in between. I have not done any formal academic instruction with her. She can read simple VCV words, but still struggles with them and it certainly has not "clicked" for her. But, she is clearly ready to move beyond the waldorf kindergarten materials. Emotionally, she is absolutely ready for more complex stories and that is why we are going ahead with a modified 1st grade this Jan.

I guess all this is to say that it is easy to get dogmatic in either direction. "My child must be reading in kindy" vs. "My child will absolutely not start 1st grade until she has reached the acceptable waldorf age." But, that is the beauty of homeschooling, you don't have to be dogmatic.

Oh, and if it doesn't work, then we don't have to pull her out of 1st grade. We can just keep doing what does work.
post #55 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR View Post
I guess all this is to say that it is easy to get dogmatic in either direction. "My child must be reading in kindy" vs. "My child will absolutely not start 1st grade until she has reached the acceptable waldorf age." But, that is the beauty of homeschooling, you don't have to be dogmatic.
Dear JessicaSar,

I couldn't agree more. Also, as the kids get older, all parents - both homeschooling and schooling - tend to get less dogmatic. I think that around K-1 that education is still mostly a philosophical decision, but as we all progress the reality sets in and we find that every child is different, so we tend to work with the child instead of the philosophy.

Really appreciating your fresh viewpoint throughout this thread,

Lucie
post #56 of 112
There are some Christian Waldorf sites and groups online (see below) as well as quite a few Yahoo Waldorf discussion groups (see further below). We've used Oak Meadow and Live Education--the latter seemed to be a lot more work for the parent (and had a troubling amount of typos--but I purchased a used copy). We don't rely completely on OM--supplement with a lot of other stuff, including a math curriculum and many, many library books--so I'm not sure I recommend it for the high price. I really found their manual for grades K-3, "The Heart of Learning," to be quite inspiring and a wonderful thing to read in the morning before the kids woke up. I now try to get used copies of OM stuff (sometimes for sale on the OM Yahoo group below, or on Ebay) and use them to give some loose structure to our week.

Waldorf for Christians websites and Yahoo groups:http://www.wonderhs.com/wonderhomeschool/id18.html
http://www.waldorfeducationforchristians.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EC-HE/


Waldorfy Yahoo groups:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorfhomeschoolers/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WE_HS/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorfhomeschoolers/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Natura...guid=169242291
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Waldorf_at_Home/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oak-me...guid=169242291
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peace_in_every_step/






Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaroo_mom View Post
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 #57 of 112
HikeYosemite....thank you for all of the links
post #58 of 112
post #59 of 112
Thread Starter 
Hey, ladies! How are we doing?

I am very excited. We've been doing a lot of rearranging and decluttering and reorganizing to make room to our re-committment to Waldorf-inspired living. I even am getting my email lists going again, and am thinking of using my Momspace blog to share some "daily life" stories.

Thank you all for being here and sharing your own journeys!
post #60 of 112
Joining in for 2007..........

Peace, Tara Marie

http://www.emmasage.blogspot.com
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