I was wondering if any of you had experience with some of the homeschooling curriculums that are Waldorf/ Waldorf inspired. I am about 99% sure I'll be homeschooling my son for his kindergarten year. Please share any experience/ insight you might have to using a particular curriculum.
Also, I'm a bit hung up on socialization (lack of) and homeschooling. We hang out with some other kids about once a week, but I feel like DS is at an age where maybe he needs more than that. He plays a lot with his sister at home, but he doesn't have any steady friends that are his own age.
Mama to DS (7) , DD (5) and DD (2) and expecting a LO in 2/14
I have some Oak Meadow Kindergarten books, and although I really like them in general, they aren't exactly Waldorf but are instead Waldorf-inspired, because they teach the alphabet earlier. Overall, it is a really great curriculum and easy to adjust up or down depending on the needs of the child and family. Oh yeah.... You don't have to pay a lot for this stuff... they are pretty easily found used, and Oak Meadow has a seconds shop on Amazon.
As for lack of socialization, I can't speak for others, but in this area there are so many homeschoolers and homeschooling groups with activities going on all the time that DD has access to more socialization than she would in school IMHO! I'm not sure where you're located, but you could search online for local groups for support and play.
Wendy - aspiring Waldorf handwork teacher, computer geek's wife ,
mom to former 2lb preemie (now 10) & 3x
i also use oak meadows and then the secular books from sonlight.
2 or 3 friends is really all a 5/6 yr old 'needs' check for local story times, nature walks, etc for younger children once you get in the groove you will find so many 'socialization' opportunities that you will be overwhelmed.
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
My soon to be 5 yo only has one friend that we get together with on a regular basis (although we play with a few other kids that live near us when the weather is nice and everyone is outside)--if that makes you feel any better. And mine in an only child.
As for curricula: I have reviewed A Little Garden Flower and Live Ed, grade 1, as well as several Christopherus books, Waldorf Without Walls, Path of Discovery, and Enki. For price, ALGF is quite good but you'll need to do a lot of your own work with it (it provides more of a skeleton). You could combine ALGF with info from some homeschooling Waldorf yahoo groups (I haven't joined these yet but I heard Marsha Johnson's is really good and has a good archive) as well as some Waldorf blogs, like Ancient Hearth, and have a good set-up. It just takes extra footwork. I was not particularly impressed with Live Ed, esp. for the price. I got ours used on a Waldorf homeschooling yahoo group but even then we're talking $250. I didn't think grade 1 was worth it. I don't have Christopherus grade 1 but will be purchasing it soon. I do have other Christopherus books and overall like them quite a lot. They have a lot more detail than ALGF but I dislike how she talks "down" to gifted children, which is one of my peeves since dd is gifted. Of all the resources I've seen I tend toward Christopherus. I have a few Enki resources but I think Enki can be overwhelming. I have known many people who love it, though. You can get it used on yahoo groups but it's still pricey. I'm not that impressed with WWW or POD, although both are cheap. My honest recommendation, is try out Enki if you can afford it, or go with ALGF or Christopherus, keeping in mind with ALGF you'll need to supplement from other sources.
Carrie's blog, Parenting Passageway, reviews Waldorf curricula every now and then. You can poke around there and see what she says.
Oops. I just saw you're asking about kindy. For kindy, your only options are Oak Meadow, Enki, or your curriculum from sources like Gateways, Spendthrift, Wynestones seasonal books, Seasons of Joy, Little Acorn Learning. I have used Seasons of Joy and for the price quite like it, although for dd's kindy year I'm planning on using Little Acorn Learning for inspiration to change things up and because it provides more detail. They have 2 free samples you can look at on their site.
You might want to read the excerpts from the chapter on Socialization from Oak Meadow - it is available from a sample of their preschool curriculum here. You may not agree, but at least it is some thinking material and takes some stress off.
XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! :C.H.S & M.
I really enjoy Earthschooling. And I meet with two other mothers (one a more strict adherent to Waldorf homeschooling, one just interested in it enough to dabble) once a week. Then, once a week we join a more mainstream homeschooling co-op. However, my son is a sanguine (extrovert) so he needs this more than an introverted child would. I can tell how much socialization he needs by his general attitude at home. He becomes disagreeable and bored when he needs more social interaction, whereas with those two outings per week his time at home is full of imaginative play and he is very cooperative. Any book or excerpt you find about socialization will be general guidelines, but trust your own instinct for what your child needs. And do not be afraid of creating a social misfit due to lack of being part of a group- at this age his homelife is what is important. =)
There is a wonderful blogging Waldorf mother with some advice that may pertain:
I love, love, love the Seasons of Joy curricula for kindergarten. I will be using them again next year for my second child's kindy while my oldest is in first and I think that it will all be fresh. There's so much there, but it's so accessible and easy to incorporate.
I use ideas from Marsha Johnson's yahoo group, too, as well as from other blogs and sites....waldorf curriculum has some free stuff. As I plan our first grade year next year, I'm finding those sources invaluable...lots of blocks that really resonate for us.
We're part of a waldorf homeschool coop, and at the beginning of this year we had Rainbow from Live Ed come out to do a workshop. I didn't go because we had decided on Christopherus, but I sort of wish I had...the group members who do use Live Ed love it and were totally energized by that meeting....this is more for the grades, though. I'm thinking of perhaps switching to Live Ed in second grade.
Hope that helps. It can be overwhelming to negotiate your way through all the options, but if you just take your time, keep notes and be open to finding tips and advice in funny places, you'll get your mind wrapped around it. I'm now glad I did as much research as I did even though it felt like an insurmountable challenge at the time.
I also use a few sources for curriculum, but I am teaching a 3rd grader and 1st grader as well as kindy and a toddler (whew!) For kindy though, you don't need much. I really like Donna's (Christopherus) Kindergarten book. It will give you some great ideas as well as some resources you can use to create your Kindergarten year. Curriculum is such a personal choice...I have had my hands on everything and what appeals to some, may not appeal to you. If you have the opportunity to meet up with other waldorf homeschoolers (who are teaching the grades), then maybe you can borrow some materials to see what resonates and INSPIRES you. Good Luck!
I'm glad I found this thread since I am researching which curriculum I want to use for Kinder. Price is not so much a factor since our local pubic charter homeschool will purchase the curriculum for us. Now, I know everyone likes curriculum for different reason but I think what would be really helpful is for people who have used a curriculum is to say *why* they liked or didn't like it, and what some of the activites are. I am thinking about the revies for cloth diapers I read on thediaperpin and would love to see something like that :) Just sayin...