Where to Find Information About Waldorf Homeschooling

 

In the past, many mothers found information about Waldorf Education by attending something at a school, a Steiner playgroup, or attending a curriculum fair at a Waldorf homeschooling group.  It was an in-person experience and it was an experience that perhaps built through a school year or through seasons.  There is something so wonderful about experiencing Waldorf education in person through a group, a workshop, a study group.  It may be at a “school” and yes, school is different than homeschooling children of different grades, but it is not a bad starting point to gleam ideas and understand the atmosphere a great teacher can hold.

 

At some point, gathering information seems to have moved from an in-person experience to an experience of Yahoo groups or forums and then into blogs.  Now it seems the information gathering has moved to mainly Facebook groups.  I am not currently on ANY Waldorf homeschooling or Steiner-related Facebook groups due to the tone of these groups and the lack of information presented in a detailed way.

 

  • If you are truly interested in Waldorf homeschooling and want to learn more, here are some ideas to support and encourage you:
  • Look for programs based from a Waldorf school, a Waldorf farm program or other Waldorf based program where trained teachers could be helpful.
  • You could also look at trainings through Lifeways, Sophia’s Hearth, a Foundation Studies program that has come to your city, or  other training program.
  • You could read Steiner, and look at curriculum and resources for yourself and decide what is right for you and your family after you discern what you are looking for.  In the United States,  you can join the Rudolf Steiner College Library to see even more books, including many that are out of print.   There are also many free e-books available at the Waldorf Library On-Line.  Many, many free ebooks!! Check there before you buy something because you may be surprised that it is there!  Get with other Waldorf homeschooling mothers in your area, and look at each other’s resources.
  • You could contact a Waldorf homeschooling group or even a single Waldorf homeschooling family in your area.  Christopherus Homeschool Resources Inc keeps an international list here: http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/resources-for-waldorf-homeschooling-and-conscious-parenting/networking-for-groups-and-individuals.html
  • I maintain an impartial presence regarding curriculum. or curriculum providers.  Again, some are more true to Waldorf pedagogy than others so if you are looking for curriculum that is true to Steiner’s work, do your research for yourself.   If I use something and I love it, I will say it in my posts on different grades.    Different curriculum and different resources speaks to different people.  Do your research. If you want this path, then you will find places to ask questions and take the time to study yourself.
  • The free files at Marsha Johnson’s waldorfhomeeducators@yahoogroups.com are wonderful and show how a homeschooler could put a Main Lesson together,  but I do not recommend any Yahoo!Groups nor Facebook groups.
  • A curriculum consultant could be helpful, if it is the right person for where you are.  Again though, I  STRONGLY feel more that the tools for this path lie within you and less within outside people.  I absolutely will not comment on curriculum consultants because I feel you can do this!

 

If you really want to do this, like anything in life, you can do it with some work and striving.  I have been homeschool planning on and off since February, and I am a busy person.  You can do this too!

Blessings and love,

Carrie

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9 thoughts on “Where to Find Information About Waldorf Homeschooling

  1. Wise counsel, Carrie. As I continue to homeschool with Waldorf-inspired methods, I find I need less and less in the way of formal curriculum. (Good thing too, as it’s slim pickin’ for the upper grades, lol.) However, even the few resources I do use are very, very specific to my needs and the needs of my children.

    It is looking within . . .

    Love to you, my friend.
    So glad to be on the journey with you.
    Sheila

  2. Carrie, I hope you know by now how much I respect and value your expertise and knowledge. (But, if not, allow me to say it again!) I only very recently discovered the plethora of FB groups focused on Waldorf because I’ve been on FB for less than a year. I find myself drawn to it because I live in a vast, barren, Waldorf desert. I have NOTHING here. No groups, no homeschoolers, no schools, and no training programs that visit this state. Please believe me when I tell you I’ve looked, and I’ve looked intensively. To get to a Waldorf school, I would have to drive to another state. Even the LLL here — the leader is moving out-of-state, so who knows if we’ll still have a group. I have made some great mommy friends, but none of them homeschool, let alone have any interest in Waldorf.

    All that to explain how very isolated I am in this Waldorf homeschooling endeavor. At the same time, I’m not thrilled with the amount of time I’m spending online, looking for answers. I never realized how great of a time suck FB could be until I joined! But, more importantly, I’m hoping you can expand for me on why you don’t recommend any of them. As someone new to homeschooling in the grades, I thought I was getting great information. But . . . no? I guess I’m not sure how to discern the good from the bad, or the helpful from the unhelpful.

    I hope I’m making some sense. I already mentioned to you that I’d like to read Steiner, and I plan to do so. But, what if I can’t figure him out?? I guess I need you to address how those of us who literally have no one we can bounce things off of face-to-face get by. And, please, know that I am absolutely NOT trying to argue with you or defend FB. I’d be the very last person to do that. I am honestly looking for valuable alternatives. I’m happy to give FB the heave-ho if I can create a learning environment for myself some other way, especially knowing that you and Sheila aren’t there. ;-)

    Thank you so much, Carrie!
    Tracie

    • HI Tracie!
      I personally just don’t like the fight and defensiveness that so many of those threads turn into. It is a lot of negative energy for me and I feel like there are great polarities on these groups; “I do this and I call it Waldorf” yet it has nothing to do with Waldorf homeschooling at all or the opposite is true “this is the only way” or it is a game of “Steiner Says” with isolated quotes taken out of context. So, I say know your resources – what is the background and training of the people talking, their experience, do they resonate with you? Some of the Foundation Studies are on line. I don’t know as that is the best, because I did Foundation Studies in person and it was a great experience. If you gather enough people, some Foundation Studies will come to your specific area. Money and time are always issues with these sorts of things, but they can be helpful. The Renewal Courses (again, a week long, time and money) that cover specific grades in the summer are another way to learn. Read, read and read some more too and engage yourself in your own artistic work to learn and grow, and in your own inner work.
      I guess FB may be the only option for some folks due to time, money, circumstances — but I would screen carefully and let it all sit inside you before you accept it “as is”.
      Love,
      Carrie

    • Thanks very much for this, Carrie. I found it so helpful. Really, something clicked with me in reading your explanation. I don’t know that I’ll be abandoning my online resources altogether, but I do want to focus more on reading and studying materials myself. I suppose this all ties in with trusting ourselves and looking for answers inside of ourselves, but I think your response helped me go one step further — my situation, while possibly not unique, is definitely challenging. And so maybe even more so for me than some other homeschooling parents, I need to be my own expert. I like to use the expression my grad school advisor instilled in me, “The only thing I’m an expert in is not being an expert.” However, I’m really good at striving. And that’s what I”ll keep doing. :-)

  3. This is a wonderful post, Carrie. I do think it’s sad about the tone of the Facebook groups. I think it is important to remember, as homeschooling parents, that Rudolf Steiner himself warned against becoming too dogmatic – and often in his lectures to teachers said one thing in the morning that he directly contradicted in a lecture in the afternoon. The teachers would ask, “but you said X in the morning,” and he would acknowledge that things change. We, as Parent-Teacher, need to be flexible!

    Also, it is important to remember that we all have different temperaments – we all would be met with different approaches were we, as parents, in a Waldorf classroom, because the teacher would be meditating on us and pondering the question of how best to bring the lessons to us. I see this reflected in the fact that many parents choose different curricular resources or consultants – perhaps one speaks to you because of your temperament while another is not a good fit. This is not a condemnation of one, it is just a reflection of the fact that we are all on a different path and have different ways of learning. There is no reason for discord among Waldorf homeschooling parents.

    And as you so beautifully say, Carrie and Sheila, the most important work is the inner work that we as Parent-Teacher do. I am currently two thirds of the way through my teacher training and we spend every week focusing intently on Steiner’s inner work exercises. The exercises for the day of the week, based on Buddha’s eightfold path, are wonderful for building self-confidence and inner knowing. And Steiner stresses to lay aside antipathy and sympathy. Do not judge your neighbor, in either a positive or negative way. Just hold the space for them to come to their own wisdom and knowledge, and work on yourself first.

    Thank you for this lovely post!

    Michelle

  4. Gosh Carrie, are you watching us here somehow?! This is exactly what’s been my main preoccupation this week! My oldest daughter will turn seven next Autumn and so I’m looking to begin class 1 then, probably with Christopherus. I was hoping to train as a Waldorf teacher at the same time, to offer our homeschooling to others in the parent and child group we run. However in the UK, the three teaching locations are too far away. So I have been rather excited to discover resources akin to Waldorf teacher training online, though I do need to explore how suitable they or not they may be. There are various online seminars and e-courses, it seems. If you do have any recommendations, I’d be very grateful for your shared wisdom on this. Thank you to you too, as one of my main inspirations and teachers! Your work reaches through me and out into our group of twelve families every Friday morning here in England. They love you too. Hurrah!

  5. Hi Carrie,
    This is an interesting subject to me because I am constantly trying to find the right balance between finding my own answers and needing support and community, which is lacking for me outside of my family due to our geographical situation and choice of Steiner/Waldorf inspired homeschooling. I too have chosen not to participate in Facebook, largely because when I looked at it I felt it did not meet my needs and I saw it as a potential black hole for my time! I am a member of Waldorf Home Educators, however I have very mixed feelings about it and so largely use it as a place to ask the odd question. I tend to delete without reading most of the posts (sorry folks!) because I just don’t have time and have found that, now we are in the middle grades, the vast majority refer to K and G1 and lifestyle choices which I have moved on from.
    But I truly miss the community at Homespun Waldorf (everyone has left!) and I wish I had others with whom to discuss lesson plans, teaching tips and problems, and just to chat about homeschooling, because that’s what really interests me and it’s such a major part of my life yet I have nobody to talk to about it.
    Blessings to you,
    Cathy

  6. Hi Carrie,

    Another LOVELY and validating post! Last week I had the opportunity to sit in on a first grade main lesson, second grade german class, and a second grade handwork class at a top Waldorf school. It was absolutely WONDERFUL and brought everything I have read together with even more a-ha moments. It does something to the soul to actually EXPERIENCE the intangibles of a Waldorf education. From first graders singing in the pentatonic during the attendance roll call to hearing the halls filled with singing during my visit, it truly inspired me as a homeschooling mother. To see the rhythm and flow and watch how master teachers work with kids who are not listening was so helpful. Yes, blogs and such can be informative, but, witnessing and experiencing it LIVE takes it to such a different level.

    Thank you for this post!

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