Need help choosing a curriculum (Christopherus v. Oak Meadow). - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-26-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't really have anyone IRL to discuss Waldorf like curricula, so I really need some online help.  I've wanted to go in this direction for the last two years, but for a whole long list of reasons we've been using A Beka (a big factor being we were given it for free).  I realize that A Beka is very, very different from most Waldorf curricula, but I also know it's the direction I want (we need) to head.

 

While I've never been diagnosed, I likely have significant ADD. Coupled with the fact that I have four children (9, 7, 3, 1)  I don't do well when the curriculum leaves things very open ended with only suggestions of what to do-which is why I've stuck with A Beka (that and the free part).  

 

Last school year (09-10) I had purchased A Little Garden Flower, but it was much too vague for me to be able to use well.  I really need the lesson plans to be broken down on at least a weekly basis, specifically dictating what subject matter will be taught each day, not just "teach something about this today".  

 

From what I have found, Christopherus and Oak Meadow seem to be the best options for me.  Live Education and Enki seem lovely, but I'm afraid that they won't be structured enough in their instruction and plans for me to be able to use them effectively.

 

I'm so torn between Christopherus and OM, because it seems like everyone likes them, I'm just trying to surmise which might be a better fit over the other for us.  

 

The only point that makes me possibly lean more toward Christopherus, is the lesson plan page from OM seems like the child may be mostly self directed, and I'm not sure if I like the idea of that.

 

Anyway, I really need some help "talking" this through, and I'm grateful to anyone willing to do so with me.  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 05-26-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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My impression of the two is the opposite of yours, actually.  That Christopherus is more vague and general, and OM is more specifically scheduled.  

 

Not that OM is TOTALLY scheduled, of course.  It wouldn't be Waldorf if there wasn't a lot of freedom to adapt things to your family's rhythms, etc.  But I think the lessons are more clearly spelled out, whereas Christopherus is more of a "here's the material you'll want to cover, and here's how to implement it yourself".

 

To be fair, my experience with both is limited.  I've bought several Christopherus resources (form drawing, a grade 5 unit, their general instruction manual) but not like an entire grade's worth of materials... And I've looked at OM many many times but never bought anything heh.  ;)  But that's my impression.


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Old 05-26-2011, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I thought that they were about the same when it came to the level of thoroughness of lesson plans.  Good to know.

 

Do you know or can you recall if the OM lesson plans were more written for the student to read and do on their own, or did I just misinterpret what I read?


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Old 05-26-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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Okay, I went to the Oak Meadow site and had a look just to make sure I was remembering things right.  It's actually even more structured than I remembered!  And it's definitely parent-led.  Here's a sample from the grade 3 curriculum:

 

http://www.oakmeadow.com/curriculum/sample-lessons/third-grade-lesson.pdf


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Old 05-26-2011, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest will be in fourth grade this fall, and the lesson plans for fourth do read differently, as if to the student.  Even still, that doesn't really matter.

 

So OM is definitely more structured then Christopherus?  I wish Christopherus had more in depth samples.  

 

I really like the straightforward plans of OM, but I just wonder if it's not as true to Waldorf as Christopherus, which is something I've heard; since it's not so much the curriculum itself, but the ideas behind it and the when's and how's of it that led me to Waldorf in the first place.

 

I'm probably making a bigger deal out of this than I need to, I just want to make sure I choose what will work best for us.

 

 


jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.

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Old 05-27-2011, 04:32 AM
 
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Have you looked at Earthschooling? You have to dig a bit on her site to find the samples but they look quite structured to me.

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Old 05-27-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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Yes, Oak Meadow is less Waldorf-y than Christopherus -- though it's more Waldorf-y than traditional graded curriculums.  ;)

 

EarthSchooling is sort of like Christopherus in that it's relatively unstructured but gives you direction on how to schedule things to suit your family.  It is organized into months, though, with a 'bread of the month' and stuff like that, there's a definite theme and focus for each month.  

 

I love a lot of things about EarthSchooling and I'm contemplating it for my daughter next year... though I'm also re-considering Christopherus after looking at it again just now heh.  I think Christopherus is more 'polished' in terms of the quality of the text (ie, typos in ES documents... I think it's just one dedicated lady doing everything... though I think the same is true of Christopherus as well!)

 

Personally, I like the idea of a program that's slightly less scheduled, which is why I keep deciding not to go with Oak Meadow even though I keep looking at it.  My daughter is only 4 but is already reading and almost finished K-level math concepts, and even the grade 1 programs (which would generally be for 7yos) from all of these sources are focusing on individual letter sounds and very basic number concepts.  I love the concept of delayed academics, and I understand that even an advanced kid can benefit from review of the basics, and I know my daughter would LOVE some of the activities like incorporating letters in pictures that start with that letter.  But at the same time, I'm not going to hold her back artificially either.  So a program like Oak Meadow which has 'all' the math incorporated into daily schedules already leaves us no time to pursue more advanced stuff with her.  But something like ES or Christopherus, where I devise my own schedule out of their materials, would let me create our own balance of the basic number activities along with her more advanced lessons.  

 

In other words, although there's more work on our part to get it set up, it's more flexible to meet your kid's individual needs.  

 

But on the other hand, many moms prefer something more scheduled when they're first starting out in order to get a feel for things before taking the step of doing it themselves.  So that's actually an option you could consider -- OM for this year, to see if it's Waldorf-y enough for you and to have the security of a spelled-out schedule; then next year, consider shifting to Christopherus or ES now that you've got your feet wet and loosen up the scheduling a little.  Maybe that's also a way to ease into a more Waldorf-y lifestyle rather than changing all at once.  

 

 


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Old 05-27-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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tankgirl, I think our DDs sound somewhat similar. Would you mind having a look at my thread in Waldorf? I'd love your perspective on ES/Christopherus there.

Thanks
Sorry OP for hijack redface.gif

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Old 05-27-2011, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think OM might be the better fit, at least for this year.  I think going with the more structured curriculum with less planning on my end, would leave more time to really work on getting down our rhythms and incorporating some festivals and incorporating the qualities of Waldorf into our home, rather than trying to lean more Waldorf purist with our curriculum, and not having as much time to focus on our home and the inner work that goes along with the Waldorf lifestyle.  Does that seem to make sense?

 


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Old 05-27-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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I've had both curriculums, and I'd pick Christopherus in a heartbeat! As far as structure goes I've heard Christopherus is a bit more structured than ALGF, but I'm not entirely sure. Christopherus gives you a detailed outline, and you fill in the extras. Also I know there's a guide for putting together your science lessons, but I haven't bought it yet so I can't comment on it.

 

IMO OM is not Waldorf, I know of a few others who have echoed this statement in the past too. I found OM to be too structured for me, there's no room to add your own personal touches.

 

*Here's a link to Christopherus' science book:

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore-for-waldorf-homeschooling/essential-christopherus-publications/from-nature-stories-to-natural-science.html

 

*A article about Oak Meadow, and the question some ask about it being "Waldorf"

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore-for-waldorf-homeschooling/essential-christopherus-publications/from-nature-stories-to-natural-science.html

 

I've heard Live Education is very teacher intensive, and at their price it's really not for me. Enki may be a good option for you, I'm not entirely sure about structure, but I keep hearing folks say it's "a lot of information", so I interpret it as such.

 

Best of luck!


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Old 05-27-2011, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mittsy View Post

I've had both curriculums, and I'd pick Christopherus in a heartbeat! As far as structure goes I've heard Christopherus is a bit more structured than ALGF, but I'm not entirely sure. Christopherus gives you a detailed outline, and you fill in the extras. Also I know there's a guide for putting together your science lessons, but I haven't bought it yet so I can't comment on it.

 

IMO OM is not Waldorf, I know of a few others who have echoed this statement in the past too. I found OM to be too structured for me, there's no room to add your own personal touches.

 

*Here's a link to Christopherus' science book:

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore-for-waldorf-homeschooling/essential-christopherus-publications/from-nature-stories-to-natural-science.html

 

*A article about Oak Meadow, and the question some ask about it being "Waldorf"

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore-for-waldorf-homeschooling/essential-christopherus-publications/from-nature-stories-to-natural-science.html

 

I've heard Live Education is very teacher intensive, and at their price it's really not for me. Enki may be a good option for you, I'm not entirely sure about structure, but I keep hearing folks say it's "a lot of information", so I interpret it as such.

 

Best of luck!

The link for the article for OM is missing.  I'd really like to read it.  :)
 

 


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Old 05-28-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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Christopherus is not as structured as Oak Meadow.  Based on that alone, I think you'd be happier with Oak Meadow.  

 

Have you thought about emailing about your situation to Donna (founder of Christopherus)? Honestly, I've found her to be very open on why she thinks

this would or wouldn't work for you.  I've never gotten the feeling that she's just trying to sell more books. 

 

I also know that Oak Meadow has sample curricula on site--at least a week's worth, if memory serves.

 


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Old 05-28-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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We have used Oak Meadow for a few years, I just bought our new books for the fall today (last day of the sale)! First I have learned to never tell a Waldorf purist that we Waldorf homeschool with OM. I am not a purist, it sounds ideal but it just does not work for our family. And I just don't care to debate OM's level of waldorf, it does not matter to me. We enjoy many waldorf aspects in our home and schooling but I won't be limited by any philosophy.

That said, we have enjoyed OM very much, I am also like you where I need to have a plan. And if I get overwhelmed by what I need to plan I often just shut down. I think the main thing to remember about OM is that they give you LOTS of ideas but you don't have to do all of them. My 10 year old is not a self directed learner yet so he and I work together on most everything.

Sorry this is so disjointed, I have 3 kids talking to me, and one throwing a little but of a fit! :)

 

Danna

I blog about some of our OM work on our schooling blog www.bestbookslearning.blogspot.com .

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Old 04-08-2014, 11:20 AM
 
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Hello! I came across this thread from a few years ago as I myself am right now debating between purchasing Christopherus and Oak Meadow curricula for my daughters first grade year (14-15).  I am very curious to know what you decided and how it has been going for the past few years.  If you are willing, please share your experiences with either or both!  

 

I am favoring Christopherus but I am worried however, about it being our first year of homeschooling, that the open ended style of Waldorf curricula in general will be difficult to manage.  Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks for your time,

 

Emmy

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Old 04-10-2014, 07:09 PM
 
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I too would love some more input. I may end up writing my own post though as I'm deciding between Christopherus, Oak Meadow, Enki, and Earthschooling...lol. I suck at curriculum decisions!


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