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#61 of 109 Old 10-28-2009, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So neat!

Could you expand upon Wise Words for Moms? This may be something I'm interested in. I've never heard of it!

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#62 of 109 Old 10-28-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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Could you expand upon Wise Words for Moms? This may be something I'm interested in. I've never heard of it!
Sure! Like I said, Wise Words for Moms is a distinctly Christian resource, so it won't appeal to everyone. It's written by Ginger Plowman, who also wrote Don't Make Me Count to Three: a Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline, which I haven't read, but a friend of mine found really helpful.

So, this little booklet lists behavioral issues (complaining) and then suggests several heart probing questions that the parent could use "Rather than complaining, what can you be thankful for in this situation?". Next, if offers Bible verses that speak against the behavioral issue and others that encourage the opposite, good behavior (thankfulness, contentment). It's simple, but so helpful to me!

I started using the booklet this September, and we focus on a topic for 1-2 weeks. I love being able to think, "hmm... we're having trouble with lying. Let's do that next" and then having the materials I need right there. The booklet is for me, it builds into my heart and mind. I go from there and tell the kids "Elsa and Peter" stories from my heart twice a week on our school mornings. Sometimes we do a Bible memory verse too that pertains.

Like I said before, I don't have very good storytelling skills. But, I'm glad to start somewhere. I think about what will happen with Elsa and Peter the night before, so that I have a storyline set. Usually they work with the behavior, getting it wrong a few days and ending up making the right choice on the last day. It's funny to me that my kids (especially my 5 year old) talk about Elsa and Peter like they're real persons. I'm definitely a "believer" now in storytelling!

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#63 of 109 Old 10-28-2009, 09:12 PM
 
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What a great thread. Just when I was about to delete the Waldorf forum from my watch list.

I've loved the idea of a Waldorf education since I was a kid and the Hearthsong catalog was my favorite thing ever. I've always done a lot of handwork and been really into traditional things. I was also a late academic bloomer and really into my own little fantasy world, so I think I probably would have blossomed with a Waldorf education.

Since having my kids I've been doing a lot of reading about different educational philosophies, particularly Waldorf. And I have to say that the more I read about it, the less I like it. At this point I have pretty much a visceral reaction to things Waldorfian on some days. Which makes me sad, because on the surface I loved it so much.

So I'm trying to take what I can, and accept that I'm somewhere between ambivalent and horrified by the rest.

The things I love:
- Open ended toys. Most of our toys are wooden, though we do have some plastic. And I can only think of two that have batteries. To me being open ended is more important than materials, but I do prefer the wooden ones because they look nicer and last longer.
- Emphasis on handwork and crafts
- Emphasis on rhythm, which I'm not so good at but I think it's great for kids. I love the holidays and the seasonal stuff. My nature table is the cutest thing, and my daughter loves adding to it. I still want to make more stuff for it, but I've been so busy crafting other things!
- We don't watch TV as a general rule. Yeah, it comes on occasionally: when I was 9 months pregnant and there was 2 feet of snow outside, the TV was on. I have no guilt. But as of right now, I can't even remember the last time the TV was turned on. I also don't let my kids play with character toys or wear character clothing.
- I like the themed years once kids start school

The things I don't particularly like:
- lying to kids about how the world works. I would love for my kids to believe in gnomes and fairies, but IMO they have no place in school. I've worked with hundreds of kids over the years, and trust me, 6 year olds are perfectly capable of understanding weather without telling them that it's all because of rain gnomes. In fact, they usually LOVE it.
- the really strict boxing in of what kids are supposed to learn and do when. I always thought that Waldorf was all about letting the child develop naturally: then I did more research and found out that it's based on an incredibly strict but totally pseudoscientific timeline of when one philosopher thought that kids SHOULD develop.
- baby teeth? Really? That's what this is all about?
- And the more I learn about anthroposophy, the more uncomfortable I am with so many aspects. I've never even been to any of the anti-Waldorf sites that get mentioned on MDC, but all the stories about racism, bullying, and just general nastiness that get posted on here leave me cold. And I realize this is all anecdata from People On the Internet, but there really is an awful lot of it.

I have a few friends who went to Waldorf schools, and I have to say that both are a little odd and both have had a hard time adjusting to the real world. Neither will talk much about their Waldorf experiences, except to say that it was strange and they wouldn't send their kids to a Waldorf school. I guess that should have rung some alarm bells, but it wasn't until I read several books on Waldorf and started spending time here that I realized it's not for me.

So that's where I am now, and I'm kind of bummed about it all. But I feel like we have taken so much. I'm really working on incorporating the seasons and various holidays into our lives, and I want to get more into that... I just need to find the time!

My daughter has a Waldorf bedroom, which I think is the sweetest, most peaceful place: pinkish walls (to be honest, I had no clue what "peach blossom pink" was, so I just picked a peachy/pinky/salmony color), pale green silk curtains, natural wood furniture, some wooden toys. Of course, there are also a million books But I can't help that: we have a few thousand books at our house!

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#64 of 109 Old 10-28-2009, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm trying to take what I can, and accept that I'm somewhere between ambivalent and horrified by the rest.
I had to chuckle at this quote because, to be quite frank, I feel like this a lot myself. I fluctuate between really loving things Waldorf and hating them. I've finally decided that I actually dislike much of what is Waldorf. What I like is a natural, peaceful, culturally-rich childhood. Waldorf is just one of the few communities that I can find that has a similar goal mixed with a lot of other things that I disagree with.

It's interesting reading everyone's responses on this thread. I've found that one of my really touchy points as a parent is toys (the others are sleep and playing by oneself). I actually had a Waldorf mama tell me once that a well-made plastic animal figurine cannot be used as creatively as her wooden Holtziger one. I still cannot wrap my head around that logic. They are both animals; they are both strong and durable; both fit well into small hands; mine can get wet, yours can't. Yeah, I see the lack of creative options there. What's weird to me is that Waldorf is supposed to emphasize unstructured natural things as toys and yet there is this entire cottage industry of making structured wooden toys and marketing them under the Waldorf heading. It's not that I'm against structured toys, as we have a few ourselves (although I've found that dd uses them in as many creative ways as less structured ones), but I'm against people saying one thing with one breath and then contradicting themselves in the next. It's kind of like in Heaven on Earth there is a bit where she says that a red, plastic fire truck can only ever be a fire truck, yet a wooden truck can be yada yada yada. That just hasn't been my experience and yet I see people regurgitating the same line over and over as if it's just a plain fact. Maybe my child is just unusually creative with just about everything???? Surely, she's not that weird.

And while I'm at it, I don't want to knit. I don't think knitted things are cute, and neither do I like most wet or needle felted objects. I love creativity and I wish there were more Waldorf-approved creative outlets than these. I kind of feel like a black-sheep even writing this out, as knitting and felting seem to be sort of sacred in Waldorf circles.

I guess I'm really reacting against the rigidity of Waldorf dogma tonight. I'm thankful to have a safe place to share that.

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#65 of 109 Old 10-28-2009, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sure! Like I said, Wise Words for Moms is a distinctly Christian resource, so it won't appeal to everyone. It's written by Ginger Plowman, who also wrote Don't Make Me Count to Three: a Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline, which I haven't read, but a friend of mine found really helpful.

So, this little booklet lists behavioral issues (complaining) and then suggests several heart probing questions that the parent could use "Rather than complaining, what can you be thankful for in this situation?". Next, if offers Bible verses that speak against the behavioral issue and others that encourage the opposite, good behavior (thankfulness, contentment). It's simple, but so helpful to me!

I started using the booklet this September, and we focus on a topic for 1-2 weeks. I love being able to think, "hmm... we're having trouble with lying. Let's do that next" and then having the materials I need right there. The booklet is for me, it builds into my heart and mind. I go from there and tell the kids "Elsa and Peter" stories from my heart twice a week on our school mornings. Sometimes we do a Bible memory verse too that pertains.

Like I said before, I don't have very good storytelling skills. But, I'm glad to start somewhere. I think about what will happen with Elsa and Peter the night before, so that I have a storyline set. Usually they work with the behavior, getting it wrong a few days and ending up making the right choice on the last day. It's funny to me that my kids (especially my 5 year old) talk about Elsa and Peter like they're real persons. I'm definitely a "believer" now in storytelling!
Thank you. I'm going to check that out!

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#66 of 109 Old 11-05-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Hi,

I'm new here and haven't had time to read all of the posts yet. Can anybody give me resources (books or websites) that I can read on how to learn more about living a Waldorf lifestyle at home. I have a 2 yo and a 3.5 yo and though I am not necessarily going to adopt all the principles of Waldorf, I would like to educate myself and put into practice those things that I like about it.

Thank you!
Trish

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#67 of 109 Old 11-05-2009, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, Trish. Welcome!

I think Heaven on Earth is a good book personally. It has a lot of good ideas that are not necessarily tied to Anthroposophy. My major caveat is that the author often states opinion as fact, such as that wooden bowls are always a better choice than say, porcelain or plastic bowls. Some of her logic seems rather hooey-ish to me, but overall it's a nice book. Another caveat that I just thought about is that she basically just presents her ideas as fact, like, for bedtime you should do xyz and it should always be early, etc. Still, a good read just remember to separate true fact from opinion.

Other options, both Christopherus and A Little Garden Flower offer "before the journey" type books for early childhood.

I'm sure there are other resources out there for early childhood. Hopefully, someone else can chime in.

Also, Carrie (a MDC mama) has a great blog called the Parenting Passageway with some good Waldorf info.

Hope that's a start at least!

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#68 of 109 Old 11-05-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Thanks Allison! This is a great place to begin. I'm going to check on those books and the blog right away.

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Hi, Trish. Welcome!

I think Heaven on Earth is a good book personally. It has a lot of good ideas that are not necessarily tied to Anthroposophy. My major caveat is that the author often states opinion as fact, such as that wooden bowls are always a better choice than say, porcelain or plastic bowls. Some of her logic seems rather hooey-ish to me, but overall it's a nice book. Another caveat that I just thought about is that she basically just presents her ideas as fact, like, for bedtime you should do xyz and it should always be early, etc. Still, a good read just remember to separate true fact from opinion.

Other options, both Christopherus and A Little Garden Flower offer "before the journey" type books for early childhood.

I'm sure there are other resources out there for early childhood. Hopefully, someone else can chime in.

Also, Carrie (a MDC mama) has a great blog called the Parenting Passageway with some good Waldorf info.

Hope that's a start at least!

Trish, SAHM to Kate, Daniel and Marina
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#69 of 109 Old 12-21-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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This thread has been asleep for a bit now but I wanted to say that I'm enjoying reading it and feel like this will be a fit for me when we are schooling.
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#70 of 109 Old 12-21-2009, 03:02 PM
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i think one of the things that is valuable about seeking is that you can figure out what works for you and leave the rest.

what we have found over the years about anthroposophy in particular is that some things work for us: biodynamic agriculture/food/related, our anthroposophic doctor (who is allopathically and homeopathically trained), the mytho-poetic elements, the blending of east and west (karma, the 7 yr cycles, etc), and the concept of cycles and rhythms (celebrating the seasons, having rythms in your day, etc).

it is strikingly easy for me to leave the rest. it's long been a practice of mine to do this. part of it comes from when i was a teen. i was frustrated that peope wouldn't accept me no matter what i did. i would be myself: they would tease me. i would try to follow their "rules" or "ideas" or "lead" and then would call me a fake or just tease me more (they were right about the fake part in that instance. lol).

i realized that the only person worth pleasing is myself. even if others don't like or accept me, life is better if i feel happy with myself. so, i started to go "you know, that doesn't serve me" and so i'd stop doing it. and then i'd go "i want to try this" and i'd start doing it and do it as long as it served me. in all instances, funny things happened: 1. people got upset, freaked out, wahtever, but i felt good about my decision and myself; 2. eventually people got used to it and accepted it; and now 3. feeling more authentic and happy, more and more people responded to me positively.

so, life turns out good.

i was at a recent anthroposophical event where parents were--as they like to do--tryin to one-up each other. "jane does this, does your son do that?" no matter which crowd i'm with, i do NOT engage in this. i always say "jane is such a lovely, talented girl. you are blessed." that's all they want to hear.

so, i was at this, and our doctor was there and he asked how it was going, coming on the holiday season, with keeping toys to a minimum. i told him that i felt good about the process--that our parents (the 'grands' as i call them) had reigned themselves in and mostly helped with clothes and chosen ONE toy each. and i said that ryan and i weren't really getting him anythingg, as he mostly likes to play with pots and pans, and put his blocks in there. it was a nice conversation.

another woman nosed in, to be more "anthro-pee (as we call it) than thou" and when i responded with a very normal "oh, that sounds so lovely!" rather than engaging in any debate, she felt very pleased.

i am happy with what we have integrated from anthroposophy and what we have left behind. when you're happy with yourself, other's pissing contests are really meaningless.
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#71 of 109 Old 01-11-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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I just finished reading Roberto Trostli's Rhythms of Learning, which was my first real experience with Steiner. I came to post here because I guess I just need someplace to sort out my feelings about it all and maybe get feedback from everyone else.

I don't think I've ever had an experience of reading something and so constantly feeling the pendulum swing back and forth between thinking, "Wow this guy is WACKED!" and sometimes in the very next paragraph thinking, "Wow, this is so cool, I love this!" It seems like I usually agree with a book, but maybe don't care for a few parts, or I hate a book but think there are a couple of good ideas. Reading these lectures of Steiner was such a mixed bag!

I do not agree with the idea of the four "bodies", though I do think that there is a very spiritual element to humans and that we have a soul along with a physical body and that young children are literally fresh from the presence of God. I don't agree with Steiners teaching on the "births" of these "bodies", but I do think that childhood generally has stages where children think and process differently. I don't think those stages are as rigid as Steiner says they are. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do believe that earth life is one stage in the middle of a very long existence as spirits/intelligences. So I could reconcile a lot of that as just him having a different approach but with a similar impact on how I might view my child.

I think the concept of the four temperaments could be helpful, but only when viewed as one piece among many of approaches to personality and psychology. I was somewhat uncomfortable with alot of what Steiner taught about how to deal with the temperaments. However, I do have to say that Steiner's description of the choleric temperament was the most accurate depiction of my ds's personality that I have ever read! That description pegged my son to a T!

I loved getting into the chapters about the grades. I LOVED Steiner's ideas on how to teach writing, reading, and math. I was glad I read to this point because the first two chapters of the book had me wondering if I really wanted to "do Waldorf" after all. Yet I'd be going along thinking about how wonderful these ideas were and how much I agreed, and then all of a sudden Steiner would thow in some really crazy (to me) idea about how when you type on a typewriter, your attacks of the keys are sending little "stabs" to your heart. And I'd be back to wondering about it all.

Yeah, I'm uncomfortable with the idea that Steiner learned all this stuff through clairvoyancy. Though I have to think that at least some of these Waldorf things must be borne out as true after decades of having successful schools. (Even though I know some people have mixed opinions on whether they're "successful" or not, we know that at least some people have been happy with their Waldorf educations.)

I generally enjoyed Steiner's thoughts on teaching science and geography, although I didn't agree with everything, I did agree with alot of it.

I don't know. It's just been an interesting experience. I finished even more convinced that I want a Waldorf education for my kids (with the freedom and flexibility to adapt, supplement, or whatever I feel I need to do). But it feels weird to reconcile that with how much I disagree with Steiner on alot of the "behind-the-scenes" theory. I know a lot of this can only work itself out by going and beginning to homeschool and seeing in real life what works and what doesn't, and how his indications really play out in a teaching situation.

Sigh.
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#72 of 109 Old 01-11-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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Laurel,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I too do not agree with much of the behind-the-scenes reasonings or "basis" for Waldorf education. However, I love the product, and that's good enough for me. As a homeschooler I can implement much of Waldorf simply because it's an approach that makes sense to me. I bring my own set of values and "ethos" to our home, which comes through strongly despite the many differences between my beliefs and Steiners.

Blessings on your journey,

Rachel

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#73 of 109 Old 01-14-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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I could talk for days about curriculum. I've sampled lots if anyone has questions. I think that a waldorf-inspired family is a great fit with homeschooling since you can take and leave what you like!
Hi!! Great thread! We are also Waldorf inspired - currently using Enki. I am finding it an amazing fit for us. Lately I have been doing a lot of reading trying to see if I am "Waldorf" or not? I guess I am thinking of more of the later years. I have read enough to know there is enough I disagree with that I wouldn't be a purist by any means.

What are your thoughts on the curriculums? I have looked at most things - Oak Meadow, Christopherous, Live Ed, A Little Garden Flower, etc. - but none in person. I have thought of getting some of the Christopherous and ALGF Kindy books but I feel it might be overkill with the Enki resources I have. Any thoughts you have on any of that would be such a help. I feel like I flip flop a million times a day on this.

~~Mama to DS1 6/05 and DS2 12/07~~
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#74 of 109 Old 01-14-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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I don't think I've ever had an experience of reading something and so constantly feeling the pendulum swing back and forth between thinking, "Wow this guy is WACKED!" and sometimes in the very next paragraph thinking, "Wow, this is so cool, I love this!" It seems like I usually agree with a book, but maybe don't care for a few parts, or I hate a book but think there are a couple of good ideas. Reading these lectures of Steiner was such a mixed bag!
Yes! I agree!! I haven't read the book but I have actually been contemplating getting it. I really want the info on the grades also but so much is so .....WHAT?? DH was reading some biodyamic gardening stuff to me last night. It was his first experience with Steiner and he has much the same reaction as you do.

~~Mama to DS1 6/05 and DS2 12/07~~
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I am currently reading the Christopherus book on what is taught in each grade (it's found on their website under "homeschooling essentials"). It doesn't go way in depth but as a general guide it's been rather helpful. I'm not a big Christopherus fan, but I do like that Donna Simmons is not usually dogmatic (although sometimes she is!) and recognizes that different situations sometimes call for different reactions that may not line up with Waldorf ideology.

I'm really glad to hear Enki so well received here. I think we're going to go that route through 2nd grade. After that, I'm not sure but I really like the Live Ed! samples I've seen. ALGF books are so affordable that I may buy some just to supplement with--I've heard her 2nd grade books are really quite good. So far Christopherus is just not speaking to me. There is just something about Donna Simmons' writing that I'm not liking that much. I'm really leaning toward Live Ed! but that worries me because I am NOT a Waldorf purist. Oh, how I waffle! I do feel confident about Enki, though, so that's really as far in the future as I really should plan, I think. I am planning on supplementing math in the future--I like the story and whole-body approach of Waldorf math but I also want something more Montessori or manipulative based to counter the gnomes. I'm thinking of using RightStart math in 1st or 2nd grade, depending on where dd is at that point, followed by Singapore after age 9.

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#76 of 109 Old 01-16-2010, 02:54 AM
 
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I'm really leaning toward Live Ed! but that worries me because I am NOT a Waldorf purist. Oh, how I waffle! I do feel confident about Enki, though, so that's really as far in the future as I really should plan, I think.
LOL - this is exactly like me. I am so glad I followed my heart and got Enki. But then I wonder about after grade 2! I know I shouldn't worry - that is so far from now - ds1 is only 4. I looked at Live Ed! and was turned off b/c I am not a purist at all so I know your worries there. I was actually hoping Christopherous would speak to me a bit more....But I haven't looked at any other materials in person. Do you have the Christ. Kindy 3-6 book also? Have you looked at that? I wonder if that would give me a good feel for the curric. but could just be a waste of money b/c it is all covered in the Enki materials...Maybe I'll see if I can pick up the book you are talking about....."Oh, how I waffle!" LOL

~~Mama to DS1 6/05 and DS2 12/07~~
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If you weren't in Japan I'd say we needed to hang out, LOL!

I have practically scoured the Christopherus website from top to bottom--it's quite sad. My dd is only 4 too. I considered the kindy book but after looking at it, it seemed more like "introduction to Waldorf 101," which is what I don't need. I know all about rhythm, rest, warmth, toys, play, etc. Traditional Waldorf is really unschooly until age 7, so there's not really much to say I guess. ALGF has a similar book, but I didn't really like it either. I already know how to make cookies with my child and tell stories, so I really don't think it would be that helpful. The Waldorf homeschooling guide I got from Christopherus is probably more what you're looking for. As I said, I don't love it, but at least it gives more depth into what is taught when and why. It's kind of pricey, though. I was a little put off by a few things, 1) It really needed a bit more editing, in the sense that she'll repeat the same anecdote several times in different places in the text, 2) she interjects her opinion in a forceful, judgmental way quite a lot without explaining the reasoning behind her assertions, and 3) she gets some of her material incorrect (I'm a medievalist, and I can promise you that Chaucer did not live in the 13th century--this type of historical inaccuracy just kind of worries me). However, for a "feel" of the Waldorf curriculum it's a good resource. There might be a better one out there, I just haven't seen it, and I don't really want to read Steiner. Live Ed! seems more professionally put together. I really liked the sample pages I saw (like for instance, in 3rd grade with Old Testament stories, there is time spent on learning the Hebrew alphabet). Of course, it's the most expensive . . . sigh. I really don't have much of a problem with following the timeline of Waldorf education (like what is taught and when) but rather HOW it's taught. I tend more toward unschooling in that regard, and I have no idea exactly how I'm going to mesh Waldorf with child-led learning at this point, but it's one thing I am trying to hash out in my mind.

With Enki, did you buy the child development guides along with the curriculum? I think they are the "introduction to Enki" books. I saw on their website that you had a choice of buying the package with or without the guides and I was wondering if they would be helpful or not. What has been your experience?

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#78 of 109 Old 01-16-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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This time last year, when my daughter was four, I was really passionate about previewing and choosing curriculum for the future. I bought Christopherus K and 1st grade, as well as Live Ed's first grade. I bought all of it used, and resold it used, so I didn't loose more than the cost of shipping!

That said, I agree that Christopherus K is like "intro to Waldorf". You don't need it, especially if you already have read Heaven on Earth (which is better, IMO). Christopherus 1st grade just did not inspire me at all. It was totally "doable", but not exciting. Live Ed, on the other hand, was kind of overwhelming. They expect you to teach like a Waldorf teacher, memorizing stories (long stories), making elaborate chalkboard drawings every night, etc. If you're passionate about bringing the whole Waldorf experience, AND have lots of time to put into being as fabulous as that, wow - go with Live Ed! But, if you have other children like me and more demands on your time, it was just too much. I like Enki because it is inspiring, BUT practical.

I ended up selling Christopherus K, because it just wasn't worth keeping to me. I do own the Christopherus Homeschooling Overview, which you've referred to. I think it'll be good to have in the long run. But, if you find it kind of dry, try reading School as a Journey by Finser. It is an incredible story about a Waldorf teacher's experience teaching one class form K to 8. That book alone would convince me that Waldorf was the right choice for us. Since you mentioned wanting to know the "how" more than the "why", I think that you'll love that book!

The Enki guides are long, but very useful. It's truly a treatise on parenting, child development and education. If you like information, you'll love it. For those that get overwhelmed by too much info, starting Enki with the guides is like jumping off a cliff into a huge lake. You'll never make it back.

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#79 of 109 Old 01-17-2010, 05:38 PM
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is enki a different theory or a waldorf sub-set?

i'm unschooling-headed, but with waldorf and montessori leanings. i learn cool things on this site, because, i've never heard of enki (i spelled it inky a minute ago. LOL).

anyway, yeah.
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#80 of 109 Old 01-17-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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is enki a different theory or a waldorf sub-set?
That depends on who you ask. Enki itself says that they are NOT Waldorf. They incorporate some Montessori ideas (especially with math) and have a multi-cultural focus. However, there is a Waldorf teacher on this board who put me onto Enki. She describes it as modern-day Waldorf. I agree. I especially like how it gives ideas for how to work with children that may not fall so easily into Waldorf boundaries (such as early would-be readers). Enki puts it's "faith" so to speak in modern child development science rather than Steiner, but ends up at virtually the same place as Waldorf.

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#81 of 109 Old 01-18-2010, 01:38 PM
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cool. i shall look further into enki. any resources you prefer?

we're really leaning toward unschooling at this point. the purpose of curricula will really be to help me, not for DS to follow.

he's a great learner. he loves music and movement right now. he is only 16 months. LOL i want to start a terrace garden so that we can have some fun with that in the coming months.

part of the reason for our move was because waldorf is less expensive there (this reason is WAY down on the list though), and while i love waldorf schooling, i can't help but be frustrated by the idea of having to follow another's calendar and schedule of holidays and what for things like travel, etc. and, if the kid wants to play music all day, he can't really in a school setting.

but, we'll figure it out! LOL
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#82 of 109 Old 01-18-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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To be honest, I don't "do" Waldorf holidays at all. Enki doesn't incoporate the traditional Waldorf holidays. They assume that you have your own holidays and that everyone's will differ (multicultural emphasis is playing in here). I experimented with doing traditional Waldorf holidays when we got started with Waldorf 1.5 years ago. It was not genuine. Instead of doing that, I've been adding more traditions, more homemade decorations and more thought to the holidays we already celebrate. It's been a relief and it comes from my heart, which is true to Waldorf, IMO.

If you're going to pick and choose Enki resources, here are my favorites:

The movement K binders are full of activities, fingerplays and songs that you'll love. It's a HUGE resource, more than you could ever need. We listen to the CD (which comes with the Movements resource) in the car (something like 55 tracks) to learn the seasonal songs and then sing them on the fly whenever it feels right. When I wanted to do a circle time, my Enki movements binder was so much more helpful than any other Waldorf resources I've tried for that purpose (Seasons of Joy, A Child's Seasonal Treasury, Christopherus K). Of all the Enki K resources, the movement binder is probably the best for younger children.

When you want to bring more developed stories to your child, then consider the Fairy Tales/Folk Tales book and/or the Nature Stories book. I like the Nature Stories best, but I think my DD likes the Fairy Tales/Folk Tales best. My daughter, who is verbally advanced, was ready for the stories right around turning 5. I experimented with them when she was 4.5 and she just wasn't ready for the length of the stories without pictures. For children under 5, Elsa Beskow stories and simple tales like the Gingerbread Boy and Goldilocks really are more nourishing.

Hope that helps!

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#83 of 109 Old 01-18-2010, 03:41 PM
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what i meant by holidays is--days off from school.

here, school starts end of august and there are no breakts until 2 weeks in dec/jan, and then spring break, and then out for summer in june.

because we want to be able to travel on our own schedule--which is usually october and april--and we want to be able to travel around our new home (New Zealand) over long weekends and such, i want to be able to do it on our schedule, rather than the school schedule.

but those notebooks sound great. i'll definitely check them out.
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#84 of 109 Old 01-18-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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To be honest, I don't "do" Waldorf holidays at all. Enki doesn't incoporate the traditional Waldorf holidays. They assume that you have your own holidays and that everyone's will differ (multicultural emphasis is playing in here). I experimented with doing traditional Waldorf holidays when we got started with Waldorf 1.5 years ago. It was not genuine. Instead of doing that, I've been adding more traditions, more homemade decorations and more thought to the holidays we already celebrate. It's been a relief and it comes from my heart, which is true to Waldorf, IMO.

If you're going to pick and choose Enki resources, here are my favorites:

The movement K binders are full of activities, fingerplays and songs that you'll love. It's a HUGE resource, more than you could ever need. We listen to the CD (which comes with the Movements resource) in the car (something like 55 tracks) to learn the seasonal songs and then sing them on the fly whenever it feels right. When I wanted to do a circle time, my Enki movements binder was so much more helpful than any other Waldorf resources I've tried for that purpose (Seasons of Joy, A Child's Seasonal Treasury, Christopherus K). Of all the Enki K resources, the movement binder is probably the best for younger children.

When you want to bring more developed stories to your child, then consider the Fairy Tales/Folk Tales book and/or the Nature Stories book. I like the Nature Stories best, but I think my DD likes the Fairy Tales/Folk Tales best. My daughter, who is verbally advanced, was ready for the stories right around turning 5. I experimented with them when she was 4.5 and she just wasn't ready for the length of the stories without pictures. For children under 5, Elsa Beskow stories and simple tales like the Gingerbread Boy and Goldilocks really are more nourishing.

Hope that helps!
Wow this was so very helpful as I'm going through the same, what curriculum to use right now dance, though, so true to my nature, my son is a ways away from really needing any of it, I just really love to absorb all I can and get far to excited.

Can I ask you something about the Enki material?
I have purchased the Early Years Guide secondhand.
I keep going back and forth on the Foundation Guide, do you have that???

Now I'm kicking myself for not buying the Movement Binder secondhand also..darn it.
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#85 of 109 Old 01-19-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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Wow! Racheleuphoria - I totally agree with everything you have said!! I think you are spot on about Enki being inspiring and practical. I am excited to have something that really clicks with me - from the science behind it to the end result. In fact, I have been wondering if I keep looking at curric. because I enjoy reaffirming I have made the right choice for our family.

We have the whole Kindy set. I bought it when DS1 was 3.5yo but we were right in the middle of a huge move (to Japan) so I didn't really start reading it until he was closer to 4. I don't know if I could even pick ONE resource I like. There are so many layers. I read everything then we started making little changes here and there in our routines to "enki-fy". I am slowly adding in different elements. I haven't even gotten to an indepth look at the movement stuff which is HUGE in Enki. I feel like I am ready to re-read all the materials again to get a second layer of understanding. I feel like there is just so much in them that I can read them - take what I need - read them again when I have that down and be nourished by something else.

I am glad I got everything when i did because it has given me the time to slowly work on things rather than doing it all at once. I haven't found Enki to be overwhelming which is the negative that I usually hear bounced around about Enki. But perhaps that is because I got it early on so can take it all in gradually. It is just like this huge roadmap of where we are headed that I can keep referring to.

I would say to anyone that if you got part of it and really like it and agree with it. If it speaks to you. Then you can't go wrong with getting the other materials. It will only take you to another level of understanding and give you more resources. That being said I did find the Teaching Guides to be the driest. I read them first so it has been a bit of time but they have more of the Why answers in them. I am definitely ready to re-read them and am looking forward to it now that I have some practical experience under my belt. But if you are looking for How instead of Why then don't beat yourself up on that one. It sounds like Racheleuphoria has been using Enki a lot longer than I have. I have found experience with the curriculum to be so very helpful so she may have a different opinion.

Thank you to everyone for your opinions on other curric. They have been very reaffirming also. They have matched my gut feelings but it is so hard when you don't actually have the curric in front of you to look at. I am def. going to check out the Overview book and School as a Journey book. I think I am really needing to see WHERE this is headed. What this will all look like when we start actual school. It is so different than my own education and I feel like I need a mental picture.....

~~Mama to DS1 6/05 and DS2 12/07~~
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#86 of 109 Old 01-19-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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Paniscus, I agree with you that the foundation guides aren't easy reading. I too plan to reread them at some point now that I've been using the materials for awhile and understand what I like to do with them. I say if you already have the Early Years Guide, Razzberry, you may as well start investing in the materials, like the Movements Binder or Nature Stories. It's not that I would suggest skipping the foundation guides, it's just that if you don't have more "why" questions, you'll probably enjoy and find the materials themsevles more useful at this point.

Reading something like Christopherus' Homeschooling Overview or School as a Journey helps you see the big picture of how Waldorf progresses, beyond the early years. I imagine I'll probably use Christopherus or Live Ed when we go beyond Enki grade 2 (Grade 3 is not ready and may not be ready for years), since I do love the big picture of Waldorf education. But, I don't worry too much about what to do later. Reality is that everything can change in 3 years!

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#87 of 109 Old 07-23-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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I'm bumping this back up because it has some great info in it and I can see that I'm not alone
Did you all start a new thread? This one was going so well then stopped so just wondered what everyone was up to in their Waldorf journey?

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#88 of 109 Old 07-25-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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hey- just found this too. I'd love to get the discussion going again. I just enrolled my daughter in 2 mornings a week waldorf preschool. I love it. She's really into letters and reading and stuff (but found it on her own- we're more of an unschooling approach to learning right now), but I still think she'll really enjoy it because it's so imaginative and she just loves art and creative stuff. I'm looking for some ideas about how to incorporate a little more Waldorf into our home life. I'm not sure if I'm a hardcore Waldorfer or anything, but I really like a lot of the ideas and I think it's gentle approach goes well with our parenting
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#89 of 109 Old 07-31-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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This thread is great, thank you to all who have contributed. My name is Sarah and I have a ds 4 and a dd 2.5.
I stumbled upon "waldorf living" a few years back and immediately it seemed to fit right in with what comes natural to me. I have always been very connected to the natural world and found out quickly that having a rhythm to our day worked best for everyone. I never liked the idea of plastic toys made from China and so very early on I started acquiring nicer wooden toys, mostly made in USA.
However, the more purist blogs I read and the more books I skim through, the more I feel guilty. Like I am not doing enough.
I constantly battle things like allowing a super hero plastic toy into the house and TV. We live with my parents and they have a tv in their space downstairs. We live upstairs and we don't have a TV. We would be completely TV free if we lived on our own, but that isn't going to happen for a few more years. So what we do is we have "TV" days, every Tues. and Thurs. the kids can watch up to an hour of carefully selected shows with my mom. My mom is disabled so this is a very special time since the kids crawl up into her lap to watch. I am mostly at peace with this because 5 days a week they are exposed to no media.
What has been hard for me lately is my son is no longer interested in things like silks, shells, blocks, his beautiful toy kitchen. He mainly wants to play bad guys-good guys, which I am sure is normal. He is also very into ironman, spiderman, and batman...even though he has never seen any of this on TV, but he didn't find the comic section at our library, and his friends are always talking to him about star wars, ect.....
So in essence this thread is great for me, because I am trying hard to get to a place where I accept what I can do instead of focus on what I am not doing.
I knit, have needle-felted, but when push comes to shove, I am mostly on walks, at the park, or in the forest with the kids. I would like to bake more, do art more, and start celebrating seasons and festivals more...but life keeps passing me by and I don't seem to get it all done.
That said, I cherish my time with my kids, we build castles with blocks, play dress up, bake together, read together, sing together and greatly enjoy each others company.
I know I am all over the place here.
One question: For those of you who have boys 4 and older, was there a time when they really wanted super hero toys, or where they outgrew some of the beautiful toys that worked so well when they were younger.
It has been hard for me to see my sweet, curious, little boy suddenly want to play guns, bad guys and heros all day long, but I am trying to loosen up and allow him to be who he wants to be.
Thanks for reading.
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#90 of 109 Old 07-31-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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I am homeschooling 4th, 3rd, and Kindy/1st grade this year. I also have a LO due in November, so our schedule is a little off and we are starting next week.

I've been working on planning everything and it's soooo hard to plan the day for three seperate main lessons! I know some people combine them but the older two at least are really pulled to the "traditional" MLBs for this year-my oldest wants to do zoology and Norse Myths and my ds is into the NA and creation stories as well as farming. So that is complicating things a bit. Usually I just combine them. I am using bits of Christopherus and Live Ed as well as stuff on the web, but we are more Waldorf-inspired since we are doing art lessons and SOTW history once a week each, as well. I'm trying to cram in a bunch before baby gets here and we really slacked off last year.

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