Holistic/Waldorf homeschooler check-in - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Howdy Everyone!

 

I haven't been around for a while so I wanted to first ask if there are still some other Holistic/Waldorf homeschoolers in the forum?  I'd appreciate y'all checking in and introducing yourselves for the new school year.  We used to have an ongoing Holistic/Waldorf thread here and it would be great if there was enough interest to start that up again.  

 

I've been homeschooling with Holistic and Waldorf methods for about eleven years now.  My younger son is still homeschooling with me - 6th grade this year. My eldest went on to the public high school last year where he has straight As. We supplement his education at home.  My own life has changed drastically since I was last here.  I work full time and write fiction (my first love).  Still, homeschooling remains a passion of ours and I look forward to at least three more years of it.  

 

Last year when I was transitioning to working full time, Waldorf had to take a back seat to our family needs and we went through the second half of the school year very traditionally, with a few holistic lessons interspersed between workbooks and reading.  I'm glad that at least a few parts of our rhythm survived.  This year, I'm using the Waldorf rhythm as the foundation of my work/homeschool balance. Very excited.  

 

Look forward to hearing about what y'all are up to,

 

Lucie

 

 

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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Hi! We're holistic hs'ers. We're using Enki this year for the first time and after spending most of the summer so far reading and planning through the program, I am very much looking forward to the year with my boys, a 2nd grader and a K'er.

For K and 1st with my oldest we used a Waldorf-inspired program and that was angreat, gentle beginning for us. Now that he's getting older I think we're ready for delving a bit deeper. We're planning to stretch K out for 2 years with my youngest, this year being mostly folk and nature stories, movement, seasonal songs and finger plays, and watercoloring.

One thing I noticed last year was that the crafts didn't get done as often as we'd all like. I'm sure this had everyone to do with pre-planning time and supplies, so we're including time for this in our weekly rhythm. I've also been stocking up this summer on what we'll need for these weekly projects.

Another element that I'm focusing on is dropping too many outside activities. We moved to a new area last year and we were so excited to connect with other hs'ers and try all the fun hs'ing classes that the week felt rushed. Funny, since a major reason we moved was to give our kids seasons and slow down a bit more with them! So lesson learned, this year we're limiting those outside classes to one each season for each child.

Other than that, I plan to enjoy these guys who are growing very fast all of a sudden! And keep checking in here, on the Enki yahoo group, and Soulemama for daily inspiration!

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Old 07-25-2011, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nice to connect, briansmama.  I completely agree about limiting your outside activities. They can derail any method of homeschooling--even unschooling.  I'm green with envy of your doing K this year.  Sixth grade can be magical, but not THAT magical!

 

Have a great time!   

 

Lucie

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Old 07-25-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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we (dd is 8 and me) do the holistic/waldorfy/unschooly thing and love it. our semi focus this year will be growing her reading skills - i feel like that is the key to learning anything that she would have interest in, especially being a homeschooler. glad this thread is up and going again :-)

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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We are doing some sort of Waldorf/holistic schooling THING. Right now it's crazy, we are moving from the city to a more rural area (thank goodness) and so a lot of packing, seeing homes, and going through our stuff is happening in between crafting and enjoying the summer and all it's festivals and fun. 

 

I'm hoping to work on our rhythm when we move 


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Old 07-27-2011, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mommarrific, best of luck with your move.  We used to move a lot when my husband was still a contractor - about every 18 months - so I totally feel for you.  Hard with kids, isn't it?  If you can keep a rhythm of just park playtime, nap & daily story times during the move it helps a lot.  What fun to discover the new place when you get there. 

 

Hi konamama!  Learning to read is such a magical time.  I know they have all sorts of new Waldorf "readers" out, but I personally found nursery rhymes to be priceless in the process.  We also have a book of old-fashioned alphabet rhymes. Like Peter Piper and Four Fat Frogs.  Fun stuff!  

 

Warm regards! 

 

Lucie

 

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:38 AM
 
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hi everyone!

i remember you, Lucie! nice to see you here again.

we are doing a waldorfy third grade this year. it feels extra special to be planning it and thinking about it, as it is really the first year i feel like i truly GET waldorf, thanks to some wonderful resources that i found in german as well as the inspiration of a very good friend who is further along the waldorf path than i.

we have a lot going on right now, though, so we are going to start the main lesson stuff a bit later than usual. not only did i just have a baby in june but we are moving from europe to the nyc metro area in two weeks! (sort of the reverse of you mommarific)...and then we have to find a house and settle in etc. A crazy but wonderful time!

i would love for this thread to pick up, but the boards seem so dead lately...innocent.gif

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Calynde! 

 

It's so nice to see you again too.  You can definitely do Waldorf-inspired, holistic teaching without the Main Lesson format.  We're doing Main Lesson this year but didn't most of last year.  The difference is just in daytime rhythms and they can be just as reinforcing switching subjects as in moving to different parts of the ML. 

 

One reason I'm going heavy back into Waldorf is that I think my 6th grader hasn't responded well to my working full time.  Instead of stepping up to his added responsibilities around the house, he's sort of been fighting them and ignoring his personal daily routines.  My hope is that through the Main Lessons and loads of mom-attention, we can help him find a balance.  Working full time is no longer an option for me. 

 

Have a beautiful day!

 

Lucie

 

 

 

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Old 07-29-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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We are planning to cover the main lesson material for third grade, just instead of producing so many lesson books, we hope to focus on all the wonderful things we normally skimp on (the fun stuff...go figure)...so we will explore the old testament stories through watercolor (i have an amazing resource in german for this!), and native american stories through puppetry (handwork!)....plus all of the other wonderful hands on stuff for third grade! A year of DOING! My DS is totally in his head, so it should be really great for us. :-)

Lucie, i love your plans for your 6th grader, i'm sure it will be wonderful for him. And you!

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Old 08-15-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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Hi, I'd love to see this thread pick up again!

 

This is our third year hs-ing and our first year full-on with Waldorf. We are doing the third grade work with an emphasis on the Native American stories, and we will be celebrating the agricultural holidays (the pagan wheel of the year) because I felt like it was important for us to establish our own family traditions instead of just doing the Jewish holidays for the sake of sticking to the "Waldorf" curriculum.

 

I have to admit, I am intimidated and could really use some support! With only a couple of weeks left for planning . . . I'm nervous! I've got our first week more or less planned out--we're doing a form drawing block, and I'm telling stories for the forms from the adventures of a Native American boy "Sun-Shines-In-Your-Heart" ;) and I have our blocks outlined and what we will cover, but not the meat of the material for each week--I'm hoping that will come as needed to some extent because I am super overwhelmed at the prospect of planning the entire year in all its details!

 

I think dd is really going to dig the creative approach, she is very artistic.

 

The hardest part that I'm struggling with is RHYTHM and I think that is the most important facet of the whole picture. I have written out our routine, but we just have trouble sticking to it; I guess I fight against guidance, and that's probably where dd gets the same tendency! 

 

I am also worried about the story-telling and whether I will be hitting the right "inner material" with the stories or just sticking to the outside image of what we are "supposed" to do in the Third Grade year.

 

Anyway, I'd love to chat it up with you mamas and compare notes!

 

-Jes


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Old 08-15-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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nak at the moment so i can't elaborate too much, but i wanted to join in this conversation!  :)  we've been mostly unschooling up to this point (with some nature/holistic/waldorfy elements thrown in) but this year we're definitely moving more toward waldorf inspired homeschooling.  we'll be doing 3rd grade with my oldest and some fun activities from seasons of joy with my 4 year old (as much as the baby will allow anyway).  we're also getting ready to move in a few weeks so i'm really looking forward to finding our rhythm again.  so nice to meet you all! :)

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Old 08-16-2011, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree about the rhythm.  To us, it's the one thing that makes the rest easy.  It's nice to see y'all and especially comforting to know that there's a good chance that we have enough interest to keep up a support thread here.  When do y'all plan to start the school year?  We start the day after Labor Day, so my son & I will be enjoying lots of down time til then.  

 

Warm regards,

 

Lucie

 

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Old 08-16-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I'd love to be part of this conversation too!  We're starting our second year of Waldorf homeschooling.  I'll have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener, and I also have a 9-month-old.  It sounds like a lot of us are doing 3rd grade this year!  My 9-year-old's year is pretty much all planned, I just have to add in a few details. I've put together my own curriculum by combining suggestions from Marsha Johnson's files on the Waldorf Home Educator's yahoo group and posts on the Our Little Nature Nest blog.   And my 5-year-olds kindergarten planning is coming along.  We start next week.

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Old 08-16-2011, 11:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post

It sounds like a lot of us are doing 3rd grade this year!  


Yes! That's great--I have been thinking how helpful it would be to be able to discuss in particular the 3rd grade year with some other folks. I know it will look different for every family, but still nice just to kind of be on the same ride together ;)

 

I'm really looking forward to hearing how everyone implements the lessons/stories as the year progresses treehugger.gif

 

We are starting the day after Labor Day, too, though the week before we will be doing a three day rhythm "trial run" with Form Drawing and mostly just working really hard at the rhythm aspect. After that, we will roll into a Measure Block with liquid measure and weight, hopefully we'll be picking a lot of tomatoes and canning (Mother Nature willing) to start us out with the farming theme, too.

 

I'm so excited! But a little nervous, too. ;)

 


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Old 08-17-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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I am homeschooling my son, in 4th grade, through a charter school and have chosen the Oak Meadow curriculum to use this year. We're no stranger to Waldorf education. My daughter (now in 7th grade and going back to public school this year) went to a Waldorf kindergarten. I've tried to use Waldorf and holistic principles with both kids over the years and end up doing something sort of hybrid rather than subscribing wholly to the Waldorf philosophy. The rhythm takes some work.

 

My son is very intelligent and high functioning autistic. I am thinking that an entire Waldorf curriculum might be a good framework for helping him with balance for his hi tech scientific brain. I'd love to stay connected to other parents working with holistic and Waldorf philosophies for homeschooling.


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Old 08-17-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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Nice to see everyone here! We are another Waldorf-inspired HS family struggling with rhythm! :)

We have a grown up son HS'd all the way through, a 4 1/2 yo daughter and a 10 month old daughter.

We use, and have used in the past, elements from lots of different approaches. Most of our

inspiration comes from Waldorf, Enki, Charlotte Mason, Classical methods and unschooling.

 

Hopefully, this will be an active thread!

 

Wonderactivist: what is the name of the book you're using?

 

 


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Old 08-18-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Hi everyone!

 

happy to see this thread. I have 3 yo & 4 yo boys, and am planning on starting a waldorf-inspired curriculum in a couple of weeks. I'm not at all worried about my 3yo this year, but my 4yo is definitely needing something.

 

I also struggle with rhythm and am a little nervous about this as I know how important it is. i am also freaking out a bit lately because my 4yo is asking for interaction more. I have an appt with a waldorf preschool and was going to send him 2 days per week, but I feel like it is sort of a cop out for me, as I really believe homeschooling is the best route for us. I know myself and I fear that I will just begin to let go of what I truly want, and look back in 10 years and wish I would have stuck to my true wishes.


I hear what everyone is saying about too much outside activites, but I wonder what your thoughts are for such young children that want that interaction with other kids.

 

Thanks and looking forward to following along!!
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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Question-

What do you think is most important, the curriculum or the rhythm?

For example, in using a pre-made curric like Oak Meadow in order to focus more on the family life and rhythm versus spending energy developing your own curric when you are already struggling with rhythm, wht do you think is more preferable?

I feel the 3rd G stories and experience of "making her home on the earth" are really crucial for dd this year and I really want to write our curric (I hve every yr so far), but I have OM 3 and am thinking how easy it would be to open and go and really focus on the home, decluttering, handwork, baking, art, etc which is really really important and necessary, and kind of our weak point:shy


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Old 08-19-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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I think if I were in your shoes I'd focus on rhythm.  But that's a hard one!  I like to create my own curriculum too!  I LOVE the planning aspect of things.  I've done all my planning and writing over the summer, so it won't interfere with our rhythm during the school year... but it's definitely interfered with our summer rhythm.  I thought of getting a pre-packaged curriculum last spring and decided against it.  I think it was the right choice, but I know that not writing my own would have had it's benefits.

 

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Old 08-19-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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I feel like I do both, even with a curriculum! I spend lots of time planning and prepping our year, with the bulk of planning done in the summer and ongoing prep work done weekly throughout the year.

But, I agree- rhythm is most important for us. I try to hold the spaces in our day and it makes everything else so much easier! For example, every afternoon my boys have downtime, and that gives me over an hour to prep if I need it. Sometimes I use this time to track down resources from the library, amazon, and such, but often I use this time to read upcoming stories, learn, choose and load new circle songs, gather crafts and recipes, etc.

We use Enki though, which admittedly is not open and go.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrpurro View Post
Wonderactivist: what is the name of the book you're using?

 

 



I'm pretty eclectic.  For the first block this year, I mainly referred to my notes from last spring and reflected on where my son is right now. Also used Alan Whitehead's Syllabus, Arthur Auer's Modeling and Making Math Meaningful by York.  My younger son has an affinity with animals and is soothed by nature so we always start the school year with a special extra morning lesson--an ecosystem study.  This year we're going to do nature study to start for the whole year.  

 

We should help each other adjust by sharing rhythms.  Here's where we're headed this Sept.  I'm giving us a full two weeks to get to this.  We started the nature walks this week and are adding something each day. 

 

Morning Walk with Poem

 

(about 9am) Nature Study:  Desert Ecosystem   (Activities include building a diorama starting with a zen garden/cactii and adding animal/plant models in origami, clay and felt, Onto the Desert game, and a copper etching) This is a short, 30-minutes-ish opening unit that is pretty much just based on the game and a Deserts book I picked up used.  The modeling of animals is based in Auer plus some good desert stories from Bruchac and a Southwest lit book I picked up

 

snack

 

Main Lesson:  Inventions  (our central books are The New Way Things Work and Janice VanCleave's 101 Science Experiments; daily experiments to finish up the Simple Machines we didn't finish last year, to studying/building some major inventions that changed the course of history to building a small motor from a kit)

 

lunch

 

Afternoon Lesson:  Wonderful World of Math (Our books for this are Making Math Meaningful and G is for Googol) This block is hands-on and involves loads of movement

 

Since we're in Jr Hi now, he has a couple worksheets in english and math to do each day as well 

 

Gotta run,

 

Lucie

 

 

 

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Old 08-26-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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Hi, everyone.  We're Waldorf-inspired but dd is only kindy age.  

 

I've been looking at curricula for grade 1 and am curious if anyone has used Oak Meadow, and what that experience was like.  From looking at their website it seems like of all the Waldorf curricula I've seen this one would more easily adapt to the weekly rhythm we've already established.  I also like the color pictures, as I'm not very good at making a goose look like a G unless I can copy what someone else has done, ykwim?  I've heard other people say that OM isn't Waldorf, which is fine since we don't care to be dogmatically "purist", but does anyone know why it isn't considered Waldorf?

 

Thanks!


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Old 08-27-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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Hi everyone, I am in the process of pulling my son out of school so he won't start 1st grade this september. We will be following Christopherus's 1st Grade as I had that for my daughter a few years back. I will be spending my next week planning for that and gathering resources ready to start a new phase in our lives. I also need to think about rhythm for the family, I think we can all benefit from this.


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Old 08-27-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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I'm sure there are several reasons, but one I can think of off the top of my head is that Oak Meadow introduces academics (the alphabet) in it's kindergarten curriculum, while in a strict Waldorf curriculum, this would be reserved for first grade.  That's a biggie! 
 

Quote:
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 I've heard other people say that OM isn't Waldorf, which is fine since we don't care to be dogmatically "purist", but does anyone know why it isn't considered Waldorf?

 

 

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Old 08-27-2011, 10:55 PM
 
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Our daily rhythm goals, please give input as I am a newb to intentional Waldorf.

Wake, dress, make beds, hygeine

Start brek

Dd feeds and waters chickens and cats outside while I am cooking

Eat brek and clean up table, wash AM dishes, AM chores

Light candle and opening verse
Sing songs at little piano
Movement/active review of math/spelling, verbally or in game form
Memory verse (we have always done this, and I am not going to entirely shake our classical roots off), alternating every couple weeks or so
Weekly class: 20/30 mins devoted to M form drawing, T Ready Set Happy W intro new math concepts Th ferments/cooking F baking
Main lesson time: M intro story and model, T drawing for MLB and verbally summarize story which I will help her write on scratch paper, W enter summary into MLB and then any other relevant craft/activity/recipe (3 day rhythm, thurs and fri will be more mellow and not so focused on the ML material) Th nature walk with packed lunch, bring sketchbooks (we may discuss a nature subject/plant or have relevant read aloud before we go), F watercolor painting
Closing verse, blow out candle, clean up table, outside time, make lunch
Lunch, free time reading, riding bike, playing in room, free art time, also doing daily chores
Around 3ish have Tea Time for abt half an hr
We will have tea, listen to quiet calming music, and do handwork-I am planning on 8 wk blocks of differnt fibers: sewing felt pieces, crochet, knitting, free form embroidery, dyeing/spinning/weaving
Also at tea time, we will sit close to a framed art piece, being in the presence of a beautiful abstract expressionist art piece rotating blocks along with the handwork : Marc Chagall, Piet Mondrian (the soft stuff, not the Broadway Boogie Woogie, yuck!), Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Frankenthaler--I know this is more classical "picture study " but I feel the abstract expressionist stuff dovetails nicely
More chores, free time, prep dinner
Dinner, clean up
Free time again, bedtime routine, she may read in bed if ready for bed early, if not then just read aloud together story with books tht go along with 3rd G material, Farmer Boy, etc.

Ack! What do you all think? I am nervous, we start Monday! We have been working on this rhythm with all the household stuff but minus the school time and handwork time.

My goal for the first week is to do the circle/movement stuff and main lesson and start tea time with sewing a dice bag for our math basket.

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Old 08-28-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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These rhythms are inspiring!


We are still (predictably) all over. We are doing some weird "holy crap we move in a month" rhythm which includes packing and simplifying after breakfast, until nap. After nap I make a point to get outside, or go on an adventure. We have been going to parks, playing in the yard, going on nature walks etc..in the evening we do a craft, have dinner, and after bed it's more of the same -- packing packing packing!

 

I'm planning for fall, can't wait to share what I have in store! 


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Old 08-28-2011, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So nice to see so many of y'all here! 

 

craftmedihero, I think your rhythm looks great.  I forgot, how old are the kids?  Just keep it flexible and it sounds like you're going to have a fun school year.  Love the art too, esp Kandinsky!  (Great minds-and moms-think alike.) I picked up a huge art book last year that we keep open, leaning against the hearth.  Each week the boys and I turn the page and read about a new great work of art. The book is about 2 1/2 ft tall, so the paintings have as much of an effect as possible though the hands-down fave so far has been a Roman sculpture of a king.

 

momariffic, LOVE that holy-crap-we're-moving rhythm. Sounds perfect for your family at this moment in time.  

 

DharmaDisciple, Laurel was right about OM introducing letters earlier than a usual Waldorf school, but the big differences come later - after 3rd grade.  At that point they diverge quite far from Waldorf. That isn't to cut them down, though. I personally think OM is quite holistically-minded for a pre-packaged curriculum. I used it our first year myself.  It was a gift from a friend and having it to rely on was a boost to my confidence.  My advice is just to use it flexibly and to take 5-10 minutes each day to reflect on your child, like a Waldorf teacher does.  The child always trumps the curricula, no matter what you're using.  

 

Forgot to mention the music.  My 6th grader plays guitar so he'll be learning a new song each block, after lunch.  

 

Warm regards,

 

Lucie

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderactivist View Post

 

 

DharmaDisciple, Laurel was right about OM introducing letters earlier than a usual Waldorf school, but the big differences come later - after 3rd grade.  At that point they diverge quite far from Waldorf. That isn't to cut them down, though. I personally think OM is quite holistically-minded for a pre-packaged curriculum. I used it our first year myself.  It was a gift from a friend and having it to rely on was a boost to my confidence.  My advice is just to use it flexibly and to take 5-10 minutes each day to reflect on your child, like a Waldorf teacher does.  The child always trumps the curricula, no matter what you're using.  

 

 

 

Warm regards,

 

Lucie

 

    

 

 

 

 



I will be following Christopherus 1st Grade, I did look at OM but decided it was not Waldorf enough plus I like I can flex a lot with Christopherus, I have loads of their books and I absolutely love them


Amanda treehugger.gif , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Davesurf.gif . Mum to Emily blahblah.gif (20), Jasmine  dust.gif(11) and Theo fencing.gif(7):

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Old 08-29-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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Hello :)

 

So happy this thread is up! I have DS who is 4 and DD who is 2. I dont know exactly what we are doing this year yet (even though its september! eeek!) I have had little acorn for a year and have yet to use this beauty of a program! I also have the Christopherous kindy books. While feeling overwhelmed with it all I ordered Before Five In A Row just in case I couldn't pull a holistic program together, definitly have days of waldorf blog overload/overwhelming"ness" LOL.

 

Our rhythm is currently non-existant. It was a really great rhythm until summer/vacations started happening. So september I am going to attempt to stay on top of LAL and get our rhthm back.

 

 


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Old 08-29-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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A quick hello!  We are new to homeschooling this year.  My eldest DD is in her second year of Waldorf kindergarten, and I also have a preschooler and a baby helping us out.  winky.gif

 

 


boogiemonster | the hairy scotsman | anna the elf | lucy the sprite | wee faerie faye, born 01/02/11

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