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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How is it going? what do you do? Where you always interested in Waldorf or is it something new to you?
I recently learned about Waldorf (as in the last few years). I love it so much, but I am having a hard time getting going at home, as I am not sure about so much of it. I love how it is for yopung children (I have two of those) and I like how the stuff is for the older kids too (I have two of those too! LOL) I have a few books andthings, but I feel stuck on how to get going.
Any advice would be GREAT! Thanks

H

PS this isn't a thread to bash Waldorf. I want to hear from people who are doing it and loving it. Thank you
 

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we are just starting as of a month ago. I shut the TV off for good and I took all the plastci toys and tossed them in the spare room. No one seemed to miss them at all! YAY! I have 2 autistic children and my youngest has a speech delay so I don't know anyone who homeschools waldorf let alone does it with special needs kids so I am interested in reading responses to this post


We are homeschooling so school wise we are doing what I already ordered for the year. My 7 year old uses Sonlight curriculum which I love. Not a waldorf curriculum but its very reading based and very little table work so I really like it.

My middle so is doing more waldorf now (before we did a good amount of table ABA therapy but have eased up quite a bit and we do work type stuff on the floor and its alot more led by him). I have really pulled back alot though after reading the waldorf approach and realizing I was really pushing him hard and he is still just a little guy :/ I feel bad about that but live and learn right? at least I know now.

Any my 2 year old is full waldorf lol. Just playing and imagining and enjoying the beauty of nature and life.

My Dad built us the BEST playstands and we got them 4 days ago the kids play in them ALL the time. For toys we have wooden blocks, a wooden train set (I doubt thats waldorf but its wood so I let it through
), I am making them each a waldorf doll for Christmas. I set up a nature table just using some autumny items from around the house.

Thats about it so far, after Christmas we will have more waldorfy toys
and I am hoping to learn more as I research this metho of teaching and tweak my own methods to be more waldorf
 

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Start slowly... Just add one new thing until it does become routine.. Such as lighting a candle at breakfast and reciting a morning verse...

Then add a seasonal table or shelf somewhere in your house and add items from nature or handcrafted things as you find them or make them.

Warm wishes,
Tonya - Mom of 5 - Natural Fiber Crafter
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
knittingmama: Your gnome dolls are lovely! I think I will have to oder a set for my 2 year old. He loves babies and things he can carry around.


I don't wanna do it slowly!
I just want to dive in. But since I don't know how, I guess slowly is what I will have to do. We already have a nature table, we have had one for a few years now, as my kids are always bringing stuff into the house. We have been doing the moring circle which my 5 year old loves! I guess my "problem" is trying to incoperate it into our whole lives. I have always been not wanting my kids help, but I realize they love to help out with our life stuff and Waldorf encourages that. I need to let go of my need for things to be "prefect" and let them help. Also I love the art of Waldorf but I have no idea how to teach or help my kids with it. Any ideas on books or websites that explain it good, maybe with pictures. (I am a visual learner).

H
 

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I am very new to waldorf. I have been reading up; You are your childs first teacher, Over the Rainbow Bridge, and Toymaking with Children. I've gotten rid of the plastic toys. We have slowed down our TV watching to 3 favorite shows a day, (used to be most of the day), I hand dyed my first playsilks the other day, (will be christmas presents) and am in the process of making my first waldorf doll for Christmas. Today we went for a walk, baked some cookies, read some stories, and made Granma a Thanksgiving card.
DS has been helping more with the dishes, too. More just playing int the water. I have been collecting waldorf links like crazy. Here is live eds free lessons for kindergarten, there are more for other ages;
http://www.live-education.com/Curriculum/Kindergarten

More curriculum ideas;http://www.millennialchild.com/index.htm
Here's the arts page at Wonder homeschool; http://www.wonderhs.com/wonderhomeschool/id16.html

We havent gotten our nature table, playstand or our weekly rhythm yet, but we'll get there!
 

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It's good to hear so many homes shaping up like ours!
We weren't accepted into the local waldorf school and so are doing it ourselves! Same books as Sunanthem: You are your child's first teacher I loved!
Also had recommended the Christopherus Waldorf homeschooling kindergarten book and that was great for routine ideas, etc.
I'm also so thrilled to see so many making dolls for christmas, me too (when I get round to it!)
I'm just getting over the lego my parents brought for a birthday, which I haven't denied him, but will gently store when the set becomes less interesting! (it's an entire airport
: )
I do have normal lego though, I don't mind him building from himself and he really enjoys listening to stories so he has some tapes that he listens to.
We have developed a rough weekly as well as daily routine that looks like this:
Monday-laundry
Tuesday- Ironing (what am i thinking
)
Wednesday- bread baking
Thursday- cleaning and dusting
Friday is catch up day, for anything that may need doing.

DH is building those first play stands and I am really looking forward to it.
I have bad days, days when I feel like nothing is going right, but slowly we are both adjusting to the routine and benefitting from it


And can I just say again how wonderful it is to hear about other's experiences!
 

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Us too! Well, dd is only 20 months old, but I really like a Waldorf approach to learning for her. So far that includes going to the park and taking a nature walk almost everyday, collecting rocks, leaves and other interesting things in her 'walking basket'. We cook together (well, she gets to stir flour or whatever in her bowl on the floor!) Daddy and I are getting her a Learning Tower for Christmas to help her in the kitchen. We are also very careful with toys, have filtered all plastic out, and while what we have is not strictly Waldorf, we do keep it to wooden, simple, open-ended toys. I'd love some playstands for her, but we dont have the $$ right now. I may just sew some silks for her kitchen area, it's kind of in a little blocked of area of our playroom (formerly known as the dining room!
) I am making her some playsilks for Christmas as well. It's really hard trying to explain to friends and family what we are doing. They continue to get her tacky, musical, light up toys, and think her life is boring because we dont have more of them! As for them, we are asking for passes to things like the zoo, or the petting farm. At least then I can keep the plastic cr*p down to a minimum! This year, we are focusing on the cooking, since that is what she likes to do. We are making family cook books for every one, including their favorite recipe's and dd is going to paint/color/otherwise docorate the covers. She is getting a learning tower, and a tiny apron and chef hat. I keep thinking of all the cool things we will eventually do together. I am also not very patient, I keep getting things WAY beyond her age, like gardening things....all she's done so far in the garden is try to eat a snail!
I'm going to keep checking in here, this is exactly what I wanted to know!
 

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I think Waldorf goes much deeper than exterior goods... one needs to develop an inner understanding of Steiner to truly incorporate Waldorf into your home. http://www.waldorflibrary.org has lots of free articles to give you a wonderful start.

Warm wishes,
Tonya - Homemaker and Mom of 5, Natural Fiber Artist
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks knittingmama for the link.
Can any of you explain, in plain language, anthroposophy to me. I have looked it up and it is still confusing to me. I really want to understand it, because I feel if I can get that some of the other stuff will make more since. I did look at wikipedia (sp) but the thing was like pages long and still confusing. LOL

I too feel that Waldorf is more than the toys and stuff (although they sure are lovely). That is the easy part, buying all those goodies. LOL
One of my big hurdles will be the TV. We watch a heck of alot of it. I really want to just get it down to maybe once a week or so. It isn't alot of programs as much as videos... but that isn't good either.
I am not going to ditch all my kids non-wooden toys. My older kids would rebel. I have a 12 year old and an almost 9 year old... who are both very excited about Waldorf but not wanting to get rid of Legos and Barbie. And I am cool with that. I think most toys are pretty open ended. I mean I know alot of mama's here are against Barbie, but my dd loves them. And what she does with them is just very cool. They breastfeed, homeschool, have a family bed, they have wild adventures. Barbie isn't a fashion model she is usually a mom of 5 or more kids. LOL And my sons (8 and 5) build the coolest stuff with Legos. So I am cool with all of that. That being said we are not bring more of that stuff into the house.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating it.


H
 

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I am once again looking into Waldorf as a homeschool option. Dd, who is nearly 8, is in 2nd grade at a public school. She started kinder at a Waldorf school on a reduced tuition program but we pulled her out because the cost of materials and the morning commute were killing us. She's been in public school ever since and I'm not happy with that. Ds, who just turned 5, has been in a Reggio style preschool since last Fall and I like it. He has speech difficulties and is mostly considered a high needs child, so I worried about him the most. However, as we get closer to him starting kindergarten, I am reassessing our educational approaches.

I was not happy with the superficiality of many "Waldorfers". I like the ideas and the approach, but I resent the complete material overhaul. My kids have limited tv (with occasional weeks of a bit much) and their toys are mosty natural, creativity-inspiring. Some are plastic, some are homemade, but all of them have a lot of thought put into them being in our home. When I find that something has come into our home that I feel undermines the kids natural creativity and imagination, I toss it when noone's looking.

So now I'm looking at creating a homeschool/unschool program for them that borrows concepts from Waldorf. However, I'd like it to be low-budget. I see no need to go out and buy expensive Waldorf toys if I can make them with what we have or find sufficient alternatives that are cheaper or pre-loved (thrift stores/freecycle/etc). I also have a hard time with the excessive rituals. We already incorporate our own blessings into our daily life and I see no need to subscribe entirely to the Waldorf script. Rituals and learning should be tied to each kids reality. Change things, make it up.

I am, however, looking for other Waldorf-ish Homeschooling families to bounce ideas off of and hang out with.
 

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We are a waldorf homeschooling family. I have two daughters (ages 3 and 6). We have been doing a waldorf style kindergarten for the past 18 months and I will be starting first grade work with my six year old in January.

What do we do?

Well for kindy we basically have a simple rhythm. Each day that we are home we do breakfast, chores, music, storytime, art/activity, walk, lunch, rest and playtime/crafts. For our art/activity period we do baking on Monday, coloring on Tuesday, painting on Wed, waldorf coop on Thursday and Friday is left open other activities or shopping or cleaning the house.

We do have a TV, but the kids only watch occasional videos for movie night when we do "dinner and a movie" as a family. They do listen to music cds and story tapes. The kids have a minimal number of toys (dolls, blocks, wooden figures and a treehouse and barn, playsilks, wooden kitchen and playfood, and a doll house). Everything else was given away and many of the wee dolls and the two waldorf dolls were made by me.

I do think it is worth the investment to purchase some good quality art supplies, esp stockmar crayons and some good watercolor paints and paint brushes and paper.

We are using the Christopherus kindergarten book and first grade syllabus. Both of these are fabulous resources. If you have not already done so, check out the Christopherus website and discussion forums for great ideas and support.

I agree completely that waldorf is much more than than its exterior manifestation in our homes. As for philosophy, I love waldorf for a couple reasons. First, I do think we are spiritual beings, and the spiritual grounding of waldorf is important to me. So much schooling is compartmentalized and focused on academic achievement. I am homeschooling because I want to support my girls in all aspects of their development. Second, I think the waldorf approach is respectful of children in a deep sense. It does not treat children as little adults. It recognizes that small children, and children in different stages of development are very different creatures than adults, and what may make sense to us as adults, may not be what is best for the whole develpment of the child. This approach really helps me to slow down and focus on being with my child rather than worrying about what she will become. There is so much reverence and care in the waldorf approach, it has truly made me a better parent and a better person (with, of course, a lot more room for improvement).
 

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We use a lot of the rhythms ideas of Waldorf, and I've become very thoughtful about ways to include my daughter in my daily activities. The other really inspirational idea I picked up from Waldorf is that young children are imitators, and one of the most important things for them to see is us living our own lives - tackling projects, experiencing feelings, taking care of ourselves...

Like pp, I don't use Waldorf as a single unified approach. We have plenty of toys that aren't "waldorf" - I just look to see whether something seems to be growing or stifling my daughter's creativity. I am also somewhat resistant to Waldorf's quite strict schedule for when children are ready for certain things - I'm more apt to follow my child's lead. DD is 3, and she is fascinated by numbers and counting and how numbers relate to each other - so we talk about these things as we cook (she is very good at chocolate chip cookie dough subtraction, LOL).
 

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: Hey MamaofThree!

We LOVE Waldorf homeschooling - and I think I break most of the stereotypes - I'm not so great at handwork, we do have a TV, I have two boys
: (not girls), one is in middle school, and we are not at all wealthy. (Does that cover it all?)

To me, Waldorf was something I found when my eldest (now 11) was very small and we sought out natural toys. It sort of took me in, however, as I found our more about the education as opposed to the merchandise!

I love the education
much more than the "stuff". I struggle with my
knitting right next to my son - ok I'm a bit better than him! I also balance Waldorf with several other influences.

How does it work for us? Mostly great, but like most homeschoolers we do have those rough days
: now & then. When that happens, I tend to abandon the plan for a day and go to the park or museum.

I suggest that you mostly just take the parts of Waldorf ed that you want and fill in with other things that work for you as well. My only "must" for you is DO NOT try to create a Waldorf school at home - period. The structure of the school is based in large-class dynamics and the whole, rigid school model.

Just relax it all a couple of notches.

I have lots more information on my website and there's currently a festival there with input from many, many other Waldorf families. Also, I follow several Waldorf blogs here.

Best wishes on your journey,

Lucie
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks. Your website is wonderful!


Some of the things I really like are the art, and how they introduce letters and numbers to young children. I got a math book that does math from 1-8 grade and I love the stories in it. I do want to get a routine going during our day too. I think that it will not only help my kids, but me. To have a flow to our day, to know is coming up.
And I have been lightening up when it comes to house work. I have been letting the kids help... and they love it! I always looked at kids doing house work as unfair to them. But I am noticing that when I deny them that chance to be apart of this household, that is unfair. I need to make a stepstool so my 5 year old can help with dishes... he loves to do that.
One of his holiday gifts this year is a kid sized broom. He is forever wanting to sweep, but our place is so little and the broom is so big he ends up smacking things. LOL

H
 

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When my youngest was that age, we gave him a mop. He was always spilling and seemed to want to clean it up, so he would pull out that mop and go to town - kid's mops don't pick up much at a time, so a milk spill might take him 15 minutes and three trips to the sink, but he LOVED it. Then he would put down an orange cone from our obstacle course as a caution sign.

Thanks for bringing back that memory!

Lucie
 

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Another Waldorf homeschooling family here - or at least we officially will be as of next week (this is my dd's last week in public school). My oldest will be 6 next week and started K in public school this past July (I plan to continue with K until next September and will be involving my 3yo to some degree as well). I had intended on homeschooling her using a Waldorf-based curriculum but then my twins were born and I felt overwhelmed. Now that they're 8 months old and I just can't stand having her in regular public school, I've decided that I will find a way to make this work. I've been researching Waldorf for a little over 2 years and have been trying to incorporate a Waldorf style of living in our home during that time. My dd has some special needs though and I did send her to a regular preschool (run by the city for special needs kids). This has made it really hard (impossible actually) to keep her from waking up too early (she learned her letters & numbers and now some spelling much sooner than I would have liked) and I think it will present us with a big challenge as we key things back down to simple play & housework. She still goes to speech therapy and that's something I plan to continue at this point.

I bought the Christopherus kindy curriculum book and am still working my way through it, but so far I love it. It's given me lots of ideas and hope that I *can* make this work, and as with all Waldorf things I read, it reaffirms to me that this is the right choice for us - everything just makes SO much sense to me!

Someone asked for help with Waldorf art. Check this website out: http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/waldorfart.htm

And someone else asked for info on Anthroposophy. Here's a link: http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/anthro101.htm

I've got loads of bookmarks - if anyone needs something let me know and I might have a good link.
 
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