Holistic/Waldorf homeschooler check-in - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 43 Old 08-29-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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Day 1 Report:

I am pleased! This may work well for us orngbiggrin.gif

We got started later than I anticipated, but got back on track after breakfast. We are starting with a form drawing block, and I was pretty happy with my off the cuff stories about Sun Shines In Your Heart beginning with his eightth birthday and Father presenting himwith a bow and string (straight line and curved).i even spontaneously threw in some affirmations and a verse: sun shines in my heart and I make my home upon the Earth smile.gif which dd copied. I could tell she really enjoyed the forms and stories and working from me at the chalkboard, which is new to us. We were on dangerous footing with the writing part, and dd started to lose it with the copywork, but we made it through. She struggles with the physical act of writing, but it will be our main focus with all our subjectsto help her overcome her anxiety about it.

I skipped some stuff since it was our first day and didnt wnat to overload, we didnt do a specific memory verse since we are learning opening and closing verse. We didnt do tea time since dad took her to play football, which is good anyway.

We modeled eggs in beeswax, our first beeswax modeling. Dd is obsessed with egss since our chicks just started laying, and it was easy enough to be successful with a new material.

Thoguh I must say, beeswax modeling is tough with a 13mo around butnhe was so cute taking turns holding my and then dd's egg and smelling them so deeply, not even eating it! Really adorable.

I am going to need some ides for the active math/spelling time. We threw a beanbag back n forth and I asked her addition from 1-12 which, to my chagrin, she has very few of them down pat. We didnthe same with spelling. Any tips on a guide for the math?

All in all, a really good start with a balance of learning time, chores, outside, and free play/free reading!

Oh, btw, dd just turned 8 which I know is younger than the usual for the 3rd G curric, but I thought long and hard and meditated on it, and I feel really strongly that she is "there" in the 9 yr change/fall from the garden/needing the stories and activities/knowing she can make her home upon this earth, contribute with meaningful work and provide with the emphasis on farming, etc. So to me that is more important, meeting her where her needs are, rather than doing the 2nd G stories just for the sake of doing what Waldorf does, kwim?

Loving this thread and our new year in homeschool!

Happy and in love with my family!
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#32 of 43 Old 08-31-2011, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Oh, btw, dd just turned 8 which I know is younger than the usual for the 3rd G curric, but I thought long and hard and meditated on it, and I feel really strongly that she is "there" in the 9 yr change/fall from the garden/needing the stories and activities/knowing she can make her home upon this earth, contribute with meaningful work and provide with the emphasis on farming, etc. So to me that is more important, meeting her where her needs are, rather than doing the 2nd G stories just for the sake of doing what Waldorf does, kwim?

Loving this thread and our new year in homeschool!


Sounds like you had a GREAT first day!  I think that girls often mature faster than boys and that following you child is more important than the usual curricula.  Nick & I have been doing our morning walks and lunch plus playing games this week.  He's now beaten me at chess twice.  We'll start for real on Tuesday. 

 

On the math, try step-counting before you go into official tables.  It might build confidence, then the tables seem easy.  We used several books.  Making Math Meaningful has a guide now for games and activities.  The book I used a LOT in the early grades was Looking Forward (more general with ideas for all curriculum areas) and, more recently, the Research Teachers' Developmental Exercise Manual from the Assoc. for Healing Education. We still use that one.  A lot of Waldorf math games are designed for groups, but don't be afraid to adapt them.  We also did loads of hop scotch and trampoline games. 

 

Warm regards from my day off,

 

Lucie

 

 

 

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#33 of 43 Old 08-31-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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Hi everyone!

 

We're still here...currently on the 31st floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. winky.gif We have started our 3rd grade year with some math review and a form drawing block. Our form drawing has finally come into its own, soooo beautiful.

 

Next week we are moving into our house, so we will have to once again establish a new rhythm...but how perfect, just in time for autumn in New England.

 

Lucie, I think "Looking Forward" is out of print now, sadly. I have a Waldorf book order to put in once we get settled...yay! We also like and use Making Math Meaningful. I'm looking forward to checking out their new games edition.

 

Hope you're all off to an inspired start!

 

 


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#34 of 43 Old 09-06-2011, 11:38 PM
 
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Calynde, that sounds great!

I have to say, there is a marked absence of whining, cajoling, and melt downsthus far this school year. Granted, we are only on week 2, but dd really seems to be enjoying everything we've done so far.

We're doing dry and liquid measure this week.

We must get a proper tray for a nature table. I think having a tray will be best so that it's contained-I can see it getting out of hand here! Maybe our nature table will come along with Fall Equinox.

Speaking of which, does anyone have stories to share for the equinox? I have an idea of a story with a Fall hermit, but no real idea beyond that character. We may till the garden under that week, too.

I am counting on the festival weeks as building in some pressure release time while still providing enrichment, but letting us focus on our "real lives" away from the academics a bit.I would like to make a little tradition of having a seasonal fairy and maybe a little gift for each change of the seasons--sure wish I knew how to needle felt a fall fairy!

Happy and in love with my family!
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#35 of 43 Old 09-07-2011, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm jealous of the festivals.  I don't have much time OR a holistic community here, so we won't do much more than our usual Day of the Dead and our religious holidays this year. With working almost full-time, I have to be realistic.  We just started school yesterday - went great.  

 

Opened with a short lesson on desert ecosystem. (We're building a zen-garden-inspired diorama for this unit), then our main lesson right now is Simple Machines/Inventions using The New Way Things Work with tons of experiments. Afternoon lessons were guitar, World of Mathematics and an independent study grammar review. We're finishing each day building Paper Airplanes together. Next month we start the Civil War.

 

I have to keep a tighter schdule than usual, but I'm grateful for the privilege of homeschooling again. 

 

Warm regards,

 

Lucie

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#36 of 43 Old 09-07-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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LuxPerpetua: This is the article I usually refer people to when I hear the "is OM really Waldorf?" question. IMO from using it for part of dd(6.5) K year, I think it deviates too far and in too many instances for me to be comfortable even labeling it Waldorf inspired/influenced. I would say it is uses a holistic approach though. HTH!

 

http://christopherushomeschool.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/defending_oak_m.html

 

I also like this response from the authors of Live Education! on their FAQ page:

What is the difference between Live Education! and Oak Meadow?

  • Oak Meadow is designed to help conventional homeschoolers en masse to satisfy state requirements with a Waldorf flavor. Their curriculum is mostly designed for the student to work on their own and not for the parents to be trained as main lesson presenters.

 

DharmaDisciple: We are using Christopherus for Grade 1 with dd as well, and LOVING it!! Good luck with planning!

 

Can anyone give me advice on how to keep younger siblings busy while you're teaching the older? DS(4.5) would love to join in with dd during the main lesson, currently form drawing, but he frustrates himself as he's not quite ready for this yet. He can play on his own, but prefers to do whatever dd is doing.

 

I'm amazed at how well dd is handling form drawing, she has some fine motor issues we're working on with a OT so I expected this to be a difficult area, but the only help she really needs is for me to place my hand on hers while she is putting the forms in her main lesson book. She says that the extra pressure I put on her hand is calming and helps her focus on her work. Does anyone have suggestions for a book to help out with Science/Nature Studies? My plans in this area are really bare. Also, has anyone used Movement For The Young Child by Estelle Bryer as a guide for Eurythmy?

 

 


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#37 of 43 Old 09-07-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Hi, I'd love to jump in with you ladies.

 

We're in our third year of 'doing' Waldorf, whatever that means.  I've got a 7YO just starting Grade One (tomorrow!  We're doing the whole rose ceremony and starting up with Form Drawing.  Fun!  And YIKES!).  I have a Kindergartener who is doing his 'bridge' year.  He'll be 6 in January.  And we have a wee one who will be 2 just after Thanksgiving.  All boys.

 

We're using Christopherus mostly for Grade One.  We are using mostly Seasons of Joy for Kindy and the baby.  Well of course the baby doesn't have a curriculum, but there are great baby-specific ideas in Seasons of Joy.  We are also using elements of Charlotte Mason, and I like to remember to read a little about unschooling every so often to keep myself from becoming too dogmatic about any one method and to keep the focus on what my children actually need rather than what Steiner or Mason or whoever it is says they need.

 

We have been incredibly blessed this past year in that we've had the opportunity to be part of building a really robust Waldorf Homeschool group in our area.  It's been amazing; we started with something like 6 families a year and a half ago and now we have 35 families and six small spin-off groups, including two real co-ops, both of which we are attending.  I'm sort of worried that I've overstretched us this year.  Not much home time at all, and Monday is the only day that we don't leave the house for at least something.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  Not a bad problem to have, though....too many things to do that are Waldorf!  We celebrate Festivals in community and thus far they have been absolutely magical.

 

I haven't read the whole thread in detail yet, apologies.  Looking forward to having a place to chat!

 

 


Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
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#38 of 43 Old 09-12-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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DD doesn't like to draw really at all, she's much more musically than artistically inclined, we're working on our introduction to letters block right now but she does not want any part of the making the letters look like pictures part. Any suggestions? I've tried having dh take over this subject and dd couldn't have cared, and she's perfectly content with just copying the letters along the golden path. Is this something I should push or just leave be?


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#39 of 43 Old 09-16-2011, 10:06 PM
 
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My DH and I are suppose to be offering something up to our 4 yr old son this year, together, while the 2 yr old daughter joins. We are not clear about anything really to each other because it feels so wild around here. DH doesn't want to unschool, likes nature a ton, but I am very overwhelmed by what to do as a whole family unit. What should be a dream come true is kind of a mess. I am thinking Oak Meadows would be a common ground for us to use. But DS is a strong and powerful character who spontaneously hates or loves things...


Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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#40 of 43 Old 09-17-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wonderactivist View Post

I'm jealous of the festivals.  I don't have much time OR a holistic community here, so we won't do much more than our usual Day of the Dead and our religious holidays this year. With working almost full-time, I have to be realistic.&>


I hear you, Lucie! We have a Waldorf K program here that I guess I should get friendly with and see if they have any community events for the holidays. I am making up our own traditions for the wheel of the year. Next week, for the Fall Equinox, we are doing our block on measuring weight ie balance (Ithought it was a good time to do it since the equinox is like the balance of light and dark?), tilling our garden under after transplanting the tomatoes to pots, and (hopefully), building a cold frame for our winter veggies.

I am having trouble balancing time for work and homeschooling--we havent yet been able to consistently fit in hand work, painting, or picture study. And music, lol. But the ML stuf is going well. I am feeling keenly our great struggle with rhythm and order; it's like I put thehousehold stuff on the back burner for homeschool, thinking I will catch up to it later, but later need that energy to WAHM. My job is super flexible--but it is still a huge exercise in balance, and I have to admit that I often feel like I am floundering!

Also, when do you all fit in your planning time? I amseeing that I am not so good for working effectively in the evenings, which is when I had envisioned myself doing hs planning.

Happy and in love with my family!
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#41 of 43 Old 09-19-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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Hello mamas,

I wanted to take a moment to chime in. We are Holistic Homeskoolers and this year are delving deeper into our Waldorf-y roots. We have two boys ages 6 & 8. I am a yoga teacher and birth educator, and my DH, Bhagavan, is a Simplicity Parenting leader and life coach.

 

Though I have just used resources that I find online for our homeskooling, I am considering purchasing a packaged curriculum, this year, for grades 1-3. We've had secondhand copies of OM, Live-Ed, Christopherus, Enki and Little Garden Flower (Melissa Nielsen) Kindergarten. Grade One is an important transition and I wanted to be more "prepared". I'm pretty sure we won't be going back to OM or Enki because we can use some of the previous resources we have from them. I like Melissa Nielsen's A Little Garden Flower and DH says he likes what he sees of Chirstopherus. Any reviews on the Earthschooling Waldorf curriculum?

 

It's great to have this community available.

 


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#42 of 43 Old 09-26-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Anybody else have a child who loves handwork, but is really stumped and starting to get frustrated by the "knitting mushroom"?


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#43 of 43 Old 09-28-2011, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear lovesprout,

I recommend that you look at your goals for 1st Grade and go with the one that you think will help you to meet it the best. They're all good people running tiny businesses.

Christopherus has been around for several years now and Donna has a solid reputation in the community. When she first opened up, I bought her science curriculum and still refer to it at times, though we chose a non-Waldorf science approach based in Inquiry. My kids were too old for any of these others, however, because they normally get started with K and move on. I know that Little Garden Flower started up a few years ago, Melissa had been active online in a Waldorf group, and she seems very nice, but I have no experience with her. Kristie Burns has also been around for a while and consulted with international families for years--I think that's still a part of her business.

Best wishes oin finding the right match,

Lucie
who has been off the list for a couple weeks--busy homeschooling and working and going on a 13 mile canoe trip with the scouts, but the school year is settling in nicely
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