Thanks for this thread and the reviews therein. :) I'm sure I've looked at Oak Meadow before but for some reason, this isn't what I remembered or thought it was lol...
I'm very Waldorfy-inspired too, but my 4yo daughter is precocious, so it's difficult to balance the delayed academics with her capacity for early learning in some areas. For instance, we're already doing RightStart math... she's doing simple addition with the abacus, finds symmetry lines in shapes, we're up to about lesson 38 I think in level A and she loves it. She can also read simple words -- so something that includes beginning-level phonics, or that teaches the numerals, is not a good fit for us. But the stories, the crafts, the songs (she's learning the piano, can read off-the-staff notation), the nature study etc -- I'd love something spelled out for us along those lines.
We're currently using a lot of the Teachers Book Bag unit studies, which have book recommendations, crafts, projects, etc. But I'd love something that's actually Waldorf, since we have the paints and the beeswax crayons and the lesson books and the playsilks... I've got some Christopherus materials, and they're useful, but not really what I'm looking for.
So now I'm re-looking at the Oak Meadow, and like a lot of what I'm seeing. I actually think the grade 1 level might be the best match for us. A few questions, though:
Holy smokes that's expensive stuff. I'm guessing the Syllabus must have a gazillion pages to cost $190 all by itself?? We wouldn't need the craft kit, we already have all the stuff in fact (and then some). We can also get the storybooks from the library (and own a couple of them already too). How interdependent are the rest of the things? Could I use another recorder book (I have several -- I'm a music teacher by profession) or are the stories too integrated into those lessons?
We're learning cursive handwriting, not printing (though she prints several letters on her own -- was never taught it, she just figured them out). I don't mind doing an alphabet book with her, in fact I think she'd love it, even though she's known her letters for years. But since the shapes of the letters are drawn from the stories -- would it be compatible if we substituted in the cursive shapes?
How essential is the Word Families book? What about the teachers' manuals, which must be purchased separately? I think the "Process Manual" must be essential, it seems to include the actual instructions for crafts, form drawing, etc (though I have other Form Drawing materials) -- but is the Heart of Learning essential? If it's only about the philosophy of home learning and Waldorfiness, I'm already VERY well read on that and have strong ideas on how we do our scheduling, etc, already. :)
If these are truly great and $200-$300 is all I have to spend each year for my daughter (well, plus the RightStart materials but that's a given for us anyway heehee), then it's not a bad deal. But I need to be more sure before committing that much...
Also, I just noticed that there's an Online Curriculum option -- $200 which says it includes everything. Just on your computer screen rather than printed format. I'm a big fan of e-books, in fact it saves on shipping for me since I'm not in the US. Has anyone here used the Online option?
I'm curious about the upper level studies as well, for my 12yo son who is "in" grade 7. I glanced at their grade 8 curriculum looking ahead for next year... The math reviews fractions, decimals, etc and introduces early algebra. That's what he's doing this year. And the novels -- he's already read 2/3 of them lol... And I'd bet the "Civics" stuff is all American ("Champions of Freedom"???) Oh well... maybe for high school then. ;)
Like many others have said we use OM as a baseline. I call it my safety net. I can easily see taking off and ending up way beyond my son's capabilities, OM reminds me where a first grader should be no matter where his "peers" might jet off to in school. My son taught himself to read early but in K he enjoyed that the intro to letters was done in such an artistic way. He seemed to just see it as a way to make fun pictures...guessing he'll feel the same about 1st grade. I'm a little worried about the word families since he does already read fluently, but I have a feeling it will be met the same as the letter pictures.
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