A Few Questions For My Waldorf Homeschooling Mammas

Hi fellow Waldorf mothers,

I am trying to gather some feedback.  Typically when I recommend consultants to folks I use this list here:

and the three curriculum/guides I send folks to check out are Christopherus by Donna Simmons, A Little Garden Flower by Melisa Nielsen and Live  Ed! (although I have to admit that Live Ed! is too pricey for me and I have never touched it in person).  I also like to tell people about Marsha Johnson’s Yahoo!Group.

I know many people do use Seasons of Joy and A Little Acorn as well.

I guess what I would like to know from you all is, well, what you are looking for because it still seems like there is a lot of confusion out there regarding curriculum, implementing Waldorf in the home, at what age to start, etc.

What would be most helpful to you personally and other parents in terms of curriculum?  What baffles you about all  the curriculum out on the market?  What is most challenging when looking for curriculum?  What would you like to see on the Waldorf homeschooling market that does not exist?  I have had several mothers request a Waldorf homeschooling  curriculum more tailored to the Christian family; are there other specific needs/wants that you all are searching for and just do not exist?

I am curious to hear what you all are thinking out there!

Many blessings and thank you for helping me understand!

Carrie

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12 thoughts on “A Few Questions For My Waldorf Homeschooling Mammas

  1. I’m glad you asked, Carrie- I’ve just been thinking about this very thing. I would like to see more about how to use Waldorf in the home with multiple age children- it seems like all the curriculum out there is arranged by grades (for obvious reasons, as Waldorf schools operate in this manner), but that makes it a bit tricky when considering the Waldorf homeschool. I would love to read more on what subjects I can combine (and how I would do that), and how to arrange the rhythm of a day when working with several ages. For now, I think Donna Simmon’s Christopherus Curriculum Overview has been the most helpful resource I’ve seen, but still… I wonder if someone (you, perhaps? my hints are subtle, aren’t they. ;)) could give me a better handle on what a day would look like with multiple aged children.

    And yes! Christian waldorf curriculum would be much appreciated by the homeschooling community, I’m sure of it.

  2. Carrie, these are great questions. I hear them every day in my consulting practice and through our discussion forum. I too had these same questions with my children and the “A Journey through Waldorf” curriculum grew out of my need to homeschool my own children. Over the years, I’ve learned to simplify the Waldorf approach and make it work in large or small families. Mothers want to be with their children and enjoying life rather than constantly researching and planning. Through our books, radio show, blog, and video tutorials my husband and I have tried to provide busy mothers with the tools they need to bring Waldorf education to their children in a meaningful way. We are strongly driven by faith, and you will often hear me talking about ways to tie it in with all aspects of homeschooling and family life. As the mother of a large family, I understand how homeschooling can impact the family budget and, following Steiner’s wish that this method be available to everyone, I want it to be affordable. We don’t want finances to stand in the way of bringing this education to children and so we have striven to include most everything one would need in each grade.

    To the previous commenter, Sarah – I work with mothers each day who are raising and teaching multiple ages, and it can be a challenge. We’ve set up our curriculum so that the same subjects generally fall at the same time so that mom can narrow her focus but still bring the developmentally appropriate material to her children.

    Thank you again, Carrie, for bringing up these important questions. The concerns are as varied as the number of families and it is important that each one find their unique way to homeschool.

    Melisa & Erik Nielsen
    http://www.alittlegardenflower.com

  3. I have used all of the curriculums but Live Ed and I have used Enki which isn’t on your list. I am not Christian, and have found all but Enki to be exceptionally catered to the Christian family. Enki is more like a UU approach showing many different faiths and is very inclusive (though it only goes to 2nd grade!). I do love Christopherus, though. And it is accommodating to the non-Christian crowd with resources for Jewish and Muslim families. I just received my 2nd and 3rd grade. It arrived very fast and I have read through it already and am just floored because now it all just *clicks*. It was definitely just the resource I’ve always needed.

    I think what took me so long to finally find one is honestly the price, they are all so very expensive except Seasons Of Joy (which is more for the preschool crowd), and ALGF is inexpensive but not at all near a full curriculum, and I suppose a big problem that I have heard people talk about (which I am also going through now) is the very, very long wait for shipping from ALGF.

    There are so many reviews out there. I wish there was a spreadsheet out there that has markings for what all it includes: meaningful insights, schedule, extra resources, movement, art activities, price, religious wiggle room, and everything laid out. It’s expensive to use trial and error with these curriculums! Especially when many of them do not “allow” you to sell them if they are not a good fit for your family.

    • These are great points! :) It would be interesting to have a site where all of this is laid out for new homeschooling mothers who have not quite found that curriculum fit yet!

  4. As I’m moving out of the early childhood years and into the upper elementary grades, one thing I’m really missing are resources that go into the why and how of the main lesson blocks. I prefer to research on my own and piece together my own main lesson blocks. I don’t know why; I guess it makes me feel closer to the material than just doing what someone else tells me to. But it can be difficult to find information beyond the early years. Likewise, there’s much out there on inner work for moms during the early years, but not so much once your kids are older and you have multiple children running around. Which I guess would be the final thing on my wish list– what to do when you have a larger family.

  5. Carrie, these are great questions. I hear them every day in my consulting practice and through our discussion forum. I too had these same questions with my children and the “A Journey through Waldorf” curriculum grew out of my need to homeschool my own children. Over the years, I’ve learned to simplify the Waldorf approach and make it work in large or small families. Mothers want to be with their children and enjoying life rather than constantly researching and planning. Through our books, radio show, blog, and video tutorials my husband and I have tried to provide busy mothers with the tools they need to bring Waldorf education to their children in a meaningful way. We are strongly driven by faith, and you will often hear me talking about ways to tie it in with all aspects of homeschooling and family life. As the mother of a large family, I understand how homeschooling can impact the family budget and, following Steiner’s wish that this method be available to everyone, I want it to be affordable. We don’t want finances to stand in the way of bringing this education to children and so we have striven to include most everything one would need in each grade.

    To the previous commenter, Sarah – I work with mothers each day who are raising and teaching multiple ages, and it can be a challenge. We’ve set up our curriculum so that the same subjects generally fall at the same time so that mom can narrow her focus but still bring the developmentally appropriate material to her children.

    Thank you again, Carrie, for bringing up these important questions. The concerns are as varied as the number of families and it is important that each one find their unique way to homeschool.

    Blessings.

    Melisa Nielsen

  6. I also wanted folks to be aware I personally have never experienced any problems with shipping from A Little Garden Flower, and many of Melisa’s items are ebooks, which require no shipping at all!

    Much love,
    Carrie

  7. I have used Live Ed for 2 years now, and I find is to be of exceptional depth and quality. I have tried everything else available.

    • Thank you Olga, I think Live Ed! is a wonderful product and I know many mothers who are happy with that choice. It is one I recommend.
      Sincerely,
      Carrie

  8. I am curious to know if you have found anything regarding what you mentioned in your post above: “a Waldorf homeschooling curriculum more tailored to the Christian family.” This is something I have wondered for years, and now that my children are getting into school age, I really wish there was such a curriculum out there.

    • Susan,
      Obviously, most of the Waldorf curriculums have spirituality in them, as does the curriculum at a Waldorf school, but none are overtly Christian. However, this is fairly easy to do in the home environment. I feel I do it successfully. You may also want to search “Christian” in the search engine box on The Parenting Passageway. If you would like to talk more about this, feel free to email me – my email is at the bottom of the “About” page.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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