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#1 of 14 Old 03-12-2011, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Along with all the other just starting out homeschool Moms, I too have a question about curriculum. A friend of mine directed me to the Bearth Institute website and the Earthschooling membership, Waldorf based curriculum.  I would love some feedback from anyone who is using it, or who has used it.

 

DS turns 5 in April and has been attending a preschool program three mornings a week this year. They have focused on the alphabet a lot, as well as writing, and he intuitively gets a lot of math already. So when I look at Waldorf based curriculum it seems like he would be more in line with the 1st grade than K curriculum. However, reading the Waldorf philosophy about reading, language, math and moving from the whole to the parts leads me to think he might benefit by focusing on foundations of story and really strengthening the visual imagination...

 

Any thoughts?

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#2 of 14 Old 03-12-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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ES would be a good fit for you in that it is flexible in ways that most Waldorf curriculum is not.  They have loose grade suggestions for their crafts, stories, etc.  It's more friendly for those people who want to introduce letters or math before the Waldorf pedagogy states it should be taught.  You can pick what you do from a higher grade level if you choose and if the curriculum states it is appropriate.  Then if you want to keep with the letters/reading earlier than Waldorf pedagogy says but in a more Waldorfy fashion.  Does that make sense?  With your DS you may choose activities from the pK, K, or 1st grade curriculum depending on what you want to do.  That is true for all levels of membership except buying the grade level package of which you only get that package. 

 

ES is also great in that it is so encompassing in information.  You get everything you possibly need except the supplies. 

 

I've seen and studied ES but haven't used it.  I was planning on buying a lifetime membership when DD is 7 but gosh darn it, typing this all out made me want to use it next year.  LOL.  What I've seen is truly amazing.  I keep flip flopping on what we do next year.  I guess my problem is simply deciding.  ES, OM, or keep on making my own curriculum. 

 

 


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#3 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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We used it for one unit, and it seemed like it would be more helpful to use these units as supplements rather than a complete curriculum. Plus, even though it's geared for younger children, Pre-K and K age, I found it gave more information than my children were either interested in or could comprehend at the time. Earthschool itself doesn't seem very Waldorf to me, since even Waldorf-inspired curriculums for this age group tell children that things like myths/fairies/gnomes... bring about seasons, weather changes, day/night, and Earthschool seemed to get into the science of it, which most Waldorf followers don't get into until after age 7 or around 1st grade, and then they just introduce the concepts.


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#4 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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Hmmm...interesting.  I know she has changed ES a bit and what I have a copy of is 2009 pk and K plus I've seen 2009 1st and 2nd.  the pK and K were crafts, stories (nature and fairy tale based), verses, yoga poses, and a bread recipe.  There was intro info on seasons/holidays which was for the parent/teacher/caregiver and not children. 

 

I know Earth*School is Waldorf inspired units and I see a Waldorf purist having those critiques because it it "inspired" and not "Waldorf" but I really think EarthSchooling is pretty Waldorf based. 

 

I'm just curious Mittsy.  Do you mean Earthschooling or Earth*School?  I'm only asking because I truly do not have the same feeling about Earthschooling as you. Maybe I got the wrong impression.  I haven't picked up my copy for a while.  Maybe I should go look at it. 

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Originally Posted by Mittsy View Post

We used it for one unit, and it seemed like it would be more helpful to use these units as supplements rather than a complete curriculum. Plus, even though it's geared for younger children, Pre-K and K age, I found it gave more information than my children were either interested in or could comprehend at the time. Earthschool itself doesn't seem very Waldorf to me, since even Waldorf-inspired curriculums for this age group tell children that things like myths/fairies/gnomes... bring about seasons, weather changes, day/night, and Earthschool seemed to get into the science of it, which most Waldorf followers don't get into until after age 7 or around 1st grade, and then they just introduce the concepts.


 

 


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#5 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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beezer75: Shoot, I got it wrong, I did mean Earth*School. Sorry!


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#6 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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sorry triple post


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#7 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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sorry triple post


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#8 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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I had this sneaky suspicion that was true.  I've used Earth*School before so I knew exactly what you were talking about.  ;)  It's easy to get the two mixed up.

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beezer75: Shoot, I got it wrong, I did mean Earth*School. Sorry!



 


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#9 of 14 Old 03-15-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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I'm subbing to this thread now because after reading it, I'm considering EarthSchooling kindy for my dd.  :)  

 

As was mentioned above, I like that it's flexible for those who want to 'bend the Waldorf rules' a bit.  I love how the Waldorf ideas help me not to PUSH my gifted daughter too much or too excitedly... but I also think that it's possible for a child to "incarnate" (using their terminology) before age 7.  I don't think there's a cosmic law saying it never happens earlier, I think children are still individuals!  And I don't believe in the anthroposophy anyway... though the description of the stages are very helpful, I think they're good DESCRIPTIONS and I don't worry about what they believe are the CAUSATIONS.  Anyway, that's just my take on it, so if my 4yo daughter is starting to read and doing K-level math already, I'm not going to push her, I'm going to make sure she's doing lots of creative play and all that sort of thing... but I'm not going to stop her either.  I'm very Montessori that way.  ;)

 

In fact when I was recently looking at Oak Meadow, I was considering the grade 1 curriculum for her (looking ahead to the fall when she'll be closer to 5) because the K was way too easy.  But I think the ES K is more appropriate for her.  

 

This morning we did a family circle time using verses and ideas from the samples and also from another smaller K curriculum I bought and DD *loved* it.  After that, we did an hour of handwriting and math... and she loved that too.  ;)  Then she helped me bake bread, then she played independently for most of the rest of the day.  

 

My 12yo son is about "grade 7", which is grade 6 in Waldorf terms... and the ES grade 6 curriculum looks like it would be a good fit for him, even for next fall when he'd be "grade 8".  We'd just do more advanced math, continuing what he's already doing, the rest of it seems fine.  So I'm actually considering trying it for BOTH kids... Anyone ever try it (or anything similar) with kids who are at such a wide age range???  He did participate in the 'circle time' today, I made him do the finger plays and physical stuff ;) ostensibly to help be a model for DD but I think he enjoyed it too.  ;)


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#10 of 14 Old 09-08-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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Ok I am confused are Earth*school and earthschooling different curriculums? I am looking at curriculum choices right now and so far I like earthschooling, OM, littleacorn, christopherson now I have to figure out which one and choose so we can get going. I have a 2,4,and 6 yr olds and am HS all and my older ones are very diff learners. One likes structure schedule worksheets etc(6) and the other is always moving (cannot sit still) and likes hands on.(4) can any of you give me your OP or advice?


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#11 of 14 Old 09-19-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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#12 of 14 Old 08-03-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to say that I love the BEarth curriculum.  I was going to go with Little Garden Flower, but their K curriculum is not available now, so I found the BEarth institute and it is everything I could hope for. There are soooo many stories and songs, fingerplays and crafts for every month.  Science is told through stories and math is done through rhymes.  The resources are endless as there are tutorials and videos for every craft. Even making modeling beeswax and block crayons.  You get access to all the videos and member benefits with your curriculum purchase.  

 

And it can easily be used to add waldorf to another curriculum if you have one already.  I am a little more "Montessori" in the fact that I leave a lot open to child-led learning.  Say if my daughter is interested in reading, or more advanced Math, I let her go. It is not a purist curriculum but you could stick to Waldorf as much or as little as you want and get so much out of it. 

 

There is not a day-by-day schedule or anything so you will need to still plan your daily lessons.  This could be good or bad depending on your personality.  But overall there is more information than you could get your hands on from anywhere else.  I highly recommend it!

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#13 of 14 Old 11-11-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarebear84 View Post

I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to say that I love the BEarth curriculum.  I was going to go with Little Garden Flower, but their K curriculum is not available now, so I found the BEarth institute and it is everything I could hope for. There are soooo many stories and songs, fingerplays and crafts for every month.  Science is told through stories and math is done through rhymes.  The resources are endless as there are tutorials and videos for every craft. Even making modeling beeswax and block crayons.  You get access to all the videos and member benefits with your curriculum purchase.  

And it can easily be used to add waldorf to another curriculum if you have one already.  I am a little more "Montessori" in the fact that I leave a lot open to child-led learning.  Say if my daughter is interested in reading, or more advanced Math, I let her go. It is not a purist curriculum but you could stick to Waldorf as much or as little as you want and get so much out of it. 

There is not a day-by-day schedule or anything so you will need to still plan your daily lessons.  This could be good or bad depending on your personality.  But overall there is more information than you could get your hands on from anywhere else.  I highly recommend it!

Clarebear84 thanks for your info, i've been searching for the right waldorf curriculum for my kids and still can't make up my mind. I hope you don't mind If I ask some more questions. I'm wondering what's on the videos? Do they have demostration videos for movements and song like enki? Or teaching how to play recorder? Do they teach second language?
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#14 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 04:19 AM
 
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Hello,

I am new to all this, and wondering if anyone had any recent experiences to share about the earthschool curriculum. Is anyone using the earthschooling curriculum in Canada, Ontario? Is anyone using the middle elementary grades? I am seriously considering it for my 10 year old.

Any comments would be much appreciated!
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