Can you help a homeschooler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After researching online, I think Waldorf is perfect for my twin toddlers (26 mos.). I wish I could send all 3 to the local Waldorf school. Unfortunately even with a full-time job right now, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

I would like to incorporate some of the routines in our daily play. What would you suggest? Is there a primer I could get that would explain the whole thing to me, like circle time (which I don't get), etc.?

Also, is reading to them discouraged?

I have cut the tv out of our daily life. It does go on after 8, but they are in bed by 9, so there isn't much exposure and they don't seem interested as long as dh isn't watching cartoons. What about the radio or books on tape? Are those no-nos too?

I am considering that one day I might be able to send them to the school and would like them to have a similar level of experience to the routine and rhythms of what they would get at school.
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#2 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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You are your child's first teacher by Rahima Baldwin is a good book for working with newborn's through 3 or 4 year olds.

http://www.waldorfbooks.com/

has a nice selection of waldorf type books. I'd suggest making a list and getting them from your local library first (if they don't have them they can get them via inter-library loan.

There are also waldorf homeschooler resources, but I don't know much about it, so I'm hoping someone else will jump in.

Nana
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#3 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laralou
I would like to incorporate some of the routines in our daily play. What would you suggest? Is there a primer I could get that would explain the whole thing to me, like circle time (which I don't get), etc.?
Circle time can vary a lot. My daughter does a waldorf style day care. She does perhaps 10 or 15 minutes of circle time, doing simple rhymes, songs and activities. It is nice if you do the same thing every day, the same way. Every once in awhile you can drop one thing and add another, but little kids love predictability and routine with stuff like that.

The important things my daughter does with children that age are:

having a nice play area with toys that encourage creative play-that is toys that can be used for a lot of different activities-rather than being specific to one.

having a very predictable routine, with play time, outside time, snack time and so forth. she sings the transitions and other activities, for example she has a little song for handwashing

she doesn't actually play with the children, just leaves them to play on their own, intervenes if needed, but stays available and active in appropriate background activities, sweeping the floor, preparing the snack, folding laundry

Quote:
Also, is reading to them discouraged?
This is one waldorf kindergarten thing that is often misunderstood. Waldorf kindergartens see the primary activity for children between say birth and six years old as being play. Children learn more of what they need to know through play than through any organized adult directed activity. We just need to give them the right tools and the space.

On the other hand, it is great to expose children to books, both to look at and to be read to. My daughter sees the books as being an extension of toys, so she has a small selection of board books for the children to play with.

As part of home life, she reads to her kids regularly, takes them to the library and so on.

Hope this helps,
Nana
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#4 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Hi!!

I know there are a lot of Waldorf homeschoolers on the homeschooling forum here at MDC, so if you haven't asked the same question over there it might be worth doing that in addition to asking here. My DD goes to Waldorf preschool and we've borrowed some of the ideas to use at home. Also, there are a couple Waldorf inspired homeschooling cirriculums.

You could try:

http://waldorfhomeschoolers.com/
http://www.oakmeadow.com/
http://www.enkieducation.org/ -- I'm not sure if this is really Waldorf based, but I believe it shares some similarities.

We try to have mostly natural fiber toys available to the girls, to spend lots of time with nature, to be present in the moment instead of rushing through our day, and I try to let the girls see me enjoying my work (cooking, cleaning, etc. along with my outside the family work) and to join in when they can.

I like the book Seven Times the Sun for songs, verses, etc. to incorporate into your day.

Good luck to you.

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#5 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got most of the Waldorf homeschool sites. I just wanted some perspective from the schoolers since many of the homeschoolers don't follow the same routines, etc., as the schools do.
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#6 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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Aaah, I see.

Okay, well here's what my DD does at her preschool. I'm sure each school is different as all the ones we visited were slightly different.

1. Arrive. Put on weather appropriate gear and play in the backyard.
2. Go for a long walk outside. They play at a creek, go through "the woods" and spend some time at a park each day. They roll down hills, sing songs, and generally just have fun.
3. Arrive back at school and have a snack. Snack time has it's own song. They have the same snack each Monday, each Tuesday and each Wednesday. My DD asks me is today bread and jam day or oatmeal day?
4. Acitivity time. Monday is color. Tuesday is bake. Wed is cleaning day where each kid gets a wet sponge and is welcome to "wash" pretty much anything besides the windows. :LOL
5. Free play.
6. Circle time. Starts with a song and a candle is lit. Then they either hear a story, see a puppet show of the story or act out the story.
7. Lunch. They have a food song or verse for lunch as well.
8. Home.

Is that more what you wanted?

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#7 of 10 Old 01-19-2005, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wrote that reply after Deborah's first answer so I didn't mean to say I wasn't grateful for the links and info. I didn't ask over there but I searched for the threads about waldorf homeschooling and read as much as I could find.

So all this advice is helpful.
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#8 of 10 Old 02-06-2005, 06:30 AM
 
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Lara is talking about Waldorf 'techniques' for very young children: her twins are 26 months old.

There are child care homes that try to integrate Waldorf ideas about early childhood development certainly but there are no Waldorf preschools because the Waldorf approach to childhood development does not endorse having children in preschools. I know some people have to have childcare and I am glad they can get childcare that embraces Waldorf ideas. . .

but the ideal for two year olds is to be in a happy, warm, artistic environment with daily rhythmns.

A circle is a nice rhythm

Meals are the same time each day give a rhythm, just like going to bed each day at the same time gives rhythmn.

Color is good for two year olds.

Music is nice: choose it carefully. It gives rhythym, it soothes, it stimulates, it enlivens the soul and the imagination.

Reading is nice, in limited amounts. Storytelling is very good.

I agree with what has been said about playing. If you provide a safe and nurturing environment for two year olds, enlivened with love, a two year old will get what they needs.

Two year olds should not be near television from 8 to 9 p.m. or anytime.
No television.

Radio, the same.

The problem with contemporary approach to raising children is that children are awakened to the larger world much too early. The overriding goal of a Waldorf approach is to keep the child 'asleep' to the outside world: to awaken too soon is to truncate the development of inner capacities that a human being needs to carry them through life.

Field trips. Art museums without lectures. Sand boxes. Forests. Parks. Everything is enrichment to a two year old if they are free to be two.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmergingGrandma
There are child care homes that try to integrate Waldorf ideas about early childhood development certainly but there are no Waldorf preschools because the Waldorf approach to childhood development does not endorse having children in preschools.

Our local Waldorf school accepts students age 2 to 7th grade. It isn't a child care home. It is a school. And it is separate from the parent/child playgroup offered. Perhaps that isn't in keeping with the traditions of Waldorf, but they do it.

I guess what I really want to understand is the specifics about the rhythms. Maybe this is one of those things I won't get until I see it for myself.
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#10 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 02:55 PM
 
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This school is doing one thing which is different, accepting 2 year olds. They may have a different rhythm to the day, too. Waldorf school can vary quite a bit from school to school and even from class to class. You probably do need to see for yourself!

Nana
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