If I'm totally off base, please fill me in.
We plan on homeschooling our children. Since the fall is drawing near, and I'm stumbling upon more and more homeschool threads, I've been thinking about it.
My DD1 is currently 4, and will turn 5 at the end of December. For 1st grade purposes, would you start the curriculum the fall that she is 5 about to turn 6, or the fall where she is 6 about to turn 7? My gut is telling me the latter, but I wanted to gain opinions on this.
And until then, what do I do? I know that Waldorf kindy is mostly just making things homey, establishing a rhythm, keeping the child close to nature, lots of storytelling, etc. But is there something I'm missing? Should we be doing something differently for the next two years as she gets older? I guess she'll grow, she'll eventually be able to do different and more complex handwork tasks. I don't know. What is your take on it?
ETA : Can anyone recommend the Christopherus "Kindergarten with your 3-6 year old" book? It's part of their Early Years package, but I'm not sure I want the whole thing.
We used Little Acorn Learning for both Pre-K and K, I don't think there is too much difference between the two based on Waldorf philosophy. From a grade/age standpoint if your child has a late birthday or you feel isn't ready I would wait until they are already 6 or the fall they would be turning 6 to start K. I usually tend to side with a Better Late than Early approach, which is one of the appeals of Waldorf for us;)
From every thing I've read I would go with the later age they should be 6 going on 7 for grade 1. I personally highly recommend the Thinking Feeling Willing program from Waldorf Essentials. You get the full kindergarten curriculum plus amazing parent training. It is like Waldorf teacher training for home schoolers. Melissa who runs the program offers incredible support too. You could also get the kindergarten program from there on it's own.
Thanks! After doing more research I think I'm going to use Little Acorn Learning to supplement our daily things.
I have a new babe due mid-September, but I don't really find newborns too taxing. Pop them in a sling, give them a boob, they're good! I'll be off of work through December 1st, and then I'll just work evenings, and since the kids go to bed at 6pm anyhow, it will all work out.
Are there any additional supplies I'll need? I'm going to revamp our art stuff as our beeswax crayons have taken a beating. I'm looking into Lyra pencils, maybe not for the LAL stuff, but for my artistically inclined DD. I want to get a chalkboard to hang over my desk as well.. better start stalking Craigslist!
I do have a question regarding the curriculum... what will I do *next* year if we do LAL's thing *this* year? Same thing, different views on it because she's older? I do like that the LAL curriculum is something my 2 going on 3 year old can be involved with as well (as far as the cooking and circle time goes).
Have you ever read Carrie's blog theparentingpassageway.com? She is a wealth of knowledge on all things from homeschooling to child development to discipline. Anyways, you can hit the tab labeled "kindergarten" and it should give you a good idea of what to expect. To be honest, I never really "do" a lot for kindy other than home life and throw in some age appropriate stories. Carrie has a great post on the 6 year old kindergartner which may be helpful to you as well.
I wouldn't start 1st grade any sooner than 6 1/2 years of age. There is lots and lots of resources out there as to why you start later (one being that the Waldorf curriculum is tailored to the development of the child, so if you start sooner, it will always be "off" i.e. not meeting your child's needs).
I whole-heartedly wish an easy, low-maintenance babe on you! I had a low maintenance one after a super high maintenance one... I'm hoping and praying this third one will be another low one!! (For you and me both. ;) )