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#1 of 7 Old 07-29-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, a bit of background - I have a 3yr old, almost 2 yr old and a 3 month old.  So I will be busy, which is a big factor in what type of homeschooling I do. 

 

I am immediately drawn to Oak Meadow. A major thing that holds me back is I feel like we wouldn't be able to relate to some of the content, mostly the stories, but seeing how storytelling in  so important for young children, I feel like that is a big thing.  

 

We are Mexican-American and fairies and gnomes and things like that just don't have any meaning to us.  I looked through the books that Oak Meadow suggests, like Little house on the prairie for example, and although I bet they are awesome books with great points of views, and I totally love the historical aspect of it, if I homeschool, I want our point of view to shine through, you know? We have books with amazing stories of gods and goddesses of the Aztecs.  Christoper Columbus is a sore subject with my dh (lol) so even though he is a historical figure that would be taught, he would never be seen as a "hero" who found America in this house (or even in this region haha.) If I sign up through Oak Meadow, could I swap out the stories? Make them our own? And I don't mean to upset anyone that teaches with that point of view, it is just very important for our family to pass down our own  history.  Our family never settled anywhere (at least recently.) Most of our family never even came to the US from Mexico.  The border moved then all of a sudden, they were in the US!   

 

I like the feeling and the pace of Waldorf type curriculum, but I need something more meaningful to my family as a whole. How do I do that? I don't know enough about homeschooling to pick and choose what I like from different web sites.  I need a starting off point, starting from scratch or unschooling will not work.  My husband and I have met in the middle - he wants a structured, professional curriculum and I want something that is sensitive to my own learning and teaching abilities, and to my kids own learning style.  I feel like kids don't need any formal type of schooling until they are much older, and here in CA, kids don't need to start school until age 6, if I am correct, yet my dh would like ds1 to do a "preschool." So that is another reason Oak Meadow appealed to me, since it is so play based and more about "rhythms" than number learning. 

 

Did anyone go through this? I feel like this is a cultural issue, and in our families, absolutely no one is homeschooling or doing anything of this sort. I am reaching out to anyone that has any help for me!

 

Thank you!

(sorry for any typos, NAK here.)


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#2 of 7 Old 07-29-2012, 02:02 PM
 
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I wrote a whole thing and my computer ate it. So really quick. Play is so imporant at 3. So you have time. I will come back later. 

 

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#3 of 7 Old 07-29-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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I wonder if the best approach might be to buy a general overview of Waldorf-style early years education in the home, like Donna Simmons "Kindergarten With Your 3 to 6-year-old" so that you could figure out how to make the Waldorf framework work for you ... and so that your dh would feel that there was some sort of structure and curriculum being used, and then drop your own more culturally-relevant content into that framework. For instance, if there's a block of time suggested for fairy story, substitute a story from your anthology of Aztec tales. If there's a suggestion to do a snow-related craft to celebrate the coming of winter, substitute a craft that fits more with your climate and the seasonal celebrations you know of from your own culture and family history. I think the guide actually suggests a lot of this sort of personalized enrichment and adaptation. 

 

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#4 of 7 Old 07-29-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

I wonder if the best approach might be to buy a general overview of Waldorf-style early years education in the home, like Donna Simmons "Kindergarten With Your 3 to 6-year-old" so that you could figure out how to make the Waldorf framework work for you ... and so that your dh would feel that there was some sort of structure and curriculum being used, and then drop your own more culturally-relevant content into that framework. For instance, if there's a block of time suggested for fairy story, substitute a story from your anthology of Aztec tales. If there's a suggestion to do a snow-related craft to celebrate the coming of winter, substitute a craft that fits more with your climate and the seasonal celebrations you know of from your own culture and family history. I think the guide actually suggests a lot of this sort of personalized enrichment and adaptation. 

 

Miranda

Thank you for this!

 

And yes, I know 3 is very young to do any kind of formal schooling, but my dh is very traditional and believes in the preschool/early learning system. I just can't ignore his ideas.  That is why Waldorf is so appealing.  It is super play based for age 3. As much as I tell him what we do all day, he doesn't see it, so if I have a "curriculum" written out for him, it will give him peace of mind.  That is the only reason I am asking.  


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#5 of 7 Old 07-30-2012, 09:10 AM
 
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We did a school-based Waldorf early childhood program so I thought I would share my thoughts on it in the hopes that it will help you. I feel as if the most valuable elements of following a Waldorf pre-k curriculum is how it helps the child and the adults structure their days in a sensitive, child-focused way. There is a time for everything, and everything has its time. 

 

The basic idea in Waldorf, especially pre-k, is to "educate them with love." You'll do that best if you feel as if your most authentic self is able to shine forth when you are with them as their "teacher." To me, this means telling them stories that you find important, inspiring and move you in some way. You conveying your own awe for the beauty and goodness of the world is what's important. I'd say use whatever stories nourish your soul because those will be the ones that you will convey to the kids best during story time. These may not be what is proposed in the homeschool curriculum but you might be surprised to find some that do. I would read what has been suggested and notice what they offer in terms of engaging characters with real problems to overcome and how the world is depicted. This might help you find other stories that feel culturally and developmentally appropriate to you (not to mention seasonally appropriate.) Our private school put a strong emphasis on multicultural stories. This is just my personal opinion (!!!) but I think its good for kids to be exposed to the sounds, names and sound patterns from across the globe even if they don't understand "this is a story from Japan." Over the long haul, I think offering multicultural stories encourages interest in world languages, different forms of music and the different way people live across the globe. But again, pick the stories that most inspire you because its the process of storytelling that is most important.

 

One more thing. You mention that their dad is pretty conservative in terms of education. The daily structure of the pre-K curriculum and the focus on repeating songs, verses, and finger games gives Waldorf teachers an opportunity to observe a lot about the kids. Teachers can observe things like: Do they have more difficulty hopping in their left food than their right? Is matching pitch difficult? Do they try to "scrub" their paintbrush onto the paper or do they dab gently? Observing and writing down these kinds of things can provide you with a wealth of information about your child's temperament and how they seem to learn best. If I were you, I'd stress the value of that to their Dad. Eventually, the kids will learn how to read and do math, etc., but figuring out what will fuel their "hunger" for learning over the long haul is where you'll find the value in approaching their education in this way. Hope my thoughts were helpful in some way...Good luck to you!

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#6 of 7 Old 07-30-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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We are starting to homeschool this year too. It is also important for me to have a curriculum to have some sort of the plan on what to do. DD is 5 and interested in learning things but I don't want to push her too much, so I was leaning towards Waldorf, on other hand DD is interested in facts, reading and writing, I can not in good concience tell her that no we have to wait until you are seven to start learning. I am not interested in Steiner philosophy very much but I like the general points. 

When I started researching I was looking online for free curriculum and came across Ambleside online which is Charlotte Mason based. Some parts of it I like, especially the emphasis on living books versus textbooks approach, nature study, art appreciation, short lessons unless child is interested in the subject and emphasis on outdoor time for preschool children. 

I was going back and forth and researched Oak Meadow kindergarten curriculum for Waldorf ed. and we will be using as our homebase. It is not strict Waldorf, since they introduce letters and numbers this early but it is still very very gentle and light curriculum because of Waldorf base, so it can be supplemented. It will provide structure and a security feeling like we are doing Kindergarten. Also from what I understand about it (I am getting my books next week) they have updated their curriculum and now it is heavily based on Beatrix Potter  instead of fairy tales with gnomes and fairies. It also bases some of the learning activities on the stories read. Like in writing lesson  it is explained that the letter "g" has a neck like a goose", supposedly you have read a story about a golden goose before hand.

We will supplement it with nature study and art appreciation curriculum that I bought from Harmony Art Mom. 

We are also a bicultural and bilingual family and passing down our traditions is somewhat important. Since we have been transplanted to US, I feel what we can do for our children is to pass down the heritage but it will never be a living thing since our way of life is US based. 

I believe that good classical books provide good base for education instead of textbooks and I do not see why you can't supplement them with books of your choice that will teach your children about your culture. 

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#7 of 7 Old 07-30-2012, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquelin View Post

One more thing. You mention that their dad is pretty conservative in terms of education. The daily structure of the pre-K curriculum and the focus on repeating songs, verses, and finger games gives Waldorf teachers an opportunity to observe a lot about the kids. Teachers can observe things like: Do they have more difficulty hopping in their left food than their right? Is matching pitch difficult? Do they try to "scrub" their paintbrush onto the paper or do they dab gently? Observing and writing down these kinds of things can provide you with a wealth of information about your child's temperament and how they seem to learn best. If I were you, I'd stress the value of that to their Dad. Eventually, the kids will learn how to read and do math, etc., but figuring out what will fuel their "hunger" for learning over the long haul is where you'll find the value in approaching their education in this way. Hope my thoughts were helpful in some way...Good luck to you!

 

yeahthat.gif  And you might add in that these are the advantages you have BECAUSE you homeschool... kwim?

 

But I'm with you that Oak Meadow was just not for us as a family no matter how much I personally liked it.  But what I'd like to add is that I pulled my son as he would've entered the Pre-K year and he would be entering third grade next month.  We have JUST found what works for us and I don't know that it will always work for us as he changes.  I'm eternally grateful that we had 2 years of hellacious life circumstances (multiple deaths, moves, court case--you name it and it was thrown at us in force) to keep me from being able to do too much with him other than let him play, watch him and try to comfort him through our family difficulties.  When I was able to catch my breath and see how much he learned anyway, I relaxed.

 

Now, we use a very eclectic mix of things that work with who he is in different areas of his little person.  He loves to read and he loves Legos.  We found things to work around those.

 

I'm also fond of this preschool curriculum by Lillian Jones--which I'm now using with my 3yo:  http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_ps_kdgtn.html


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