Late To Waldorf? Overwhelmed?

If you are coming in late to Waldorf homeschooling or feel overwhelmed and overrun by dogma, I have a solution for you!  Please read the lectures given by Rudolf Steiner compiled in “The Renewal of Education.”  This set of lectures, given to a group of Swiss public educators only eight months after the first Waldorf school formed, is so accessible. The foreword is written by a favorite Waldorf educator of mine, Eugene Schwartz, in which he compares and contrasts Waldorf Education to John Dewey and Maria Montessori’s work and sheds light on the hallmarks of Waldorf Education:  the self –renewal and self-development of the teacher, the balance that feeling provides in education, and the approach of Waldorf education to the holistic child.

Waldorf education approaches the child from four different avenues. Continue reading

Lesson Planning: A Sample Form

In one post I shared my personal form for the rhythm of one of our days of the week, but I was recently thinking about a sample form or list that could help mothers plan their Grades One through Eight  homeschooling according to the eight pillars of artistic work of Waldorf Education that we have talked about in the past on this blog.  Academic subjects are taught through artistic work in Waldorf Education; this is an enlivening form of education for the child.

Please take this as a “I thought of this in quickly and you might be able to tweak it or use parts of  it or come up with something even better” kind of way, not as a definitive end product.  Smile

Anyway, this is what I was thinking: Continue reading

Homeschooling Fourth Grade: Norse Myths

I have enjoyed this block of Norse myths; I remember doing Greek myths in the fifth grade in my public school education but I never  formally did Norse myths so these stories are fairly new to me.  It is always very exciting as a homeschooling parent to delve into uncharted lands!

I also think Norse myths fit and match the moral ambiguity the post-nine year change child is discovering in the world.  The Norse myths, as they head along toward Ragnarok, also bring forth new depths of emotions in the complexities.  Many children are outraged, saddened, in disbelief of the ending.

One other thing that has been interesting to me and my own development as a teacher has been drawing on the blackboard for this block.  I wanted to share some of my drawings with you…

I drew this recently……Here is Odin on Sleipner, his eight-legged stallion:

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Here is another one of Odin I drew at the beginning of this block; I feel my drawing abilities have improved a lot through this block: Continue reading

Children Who Dislike Everything

I was going through some papers this weekend and came across an article by Michael Howard that I had printed out called, “Educating the Feeling-will in the Kindergarten” and this quote just popped out at me:

“The defining characteristic of feeling will is the capacity to live deeply into the inner quality of something outside us, knowing and feeling it as if we are within it or it is within us. In the early childhood years a healthy child is naturally inclined to drink in the inner mood and qualities of places and persons.  It is one of the tragedies of our times that the ways of the world, including the life of the family and school, can dull rather than foster this natural soul attachment.  Tragically, many young children come to kindergarten with a sense-nerve disposition already strongly developed.  Their thinking has become prematurely intellectual and abstract, and their feeling life inclines toward strong personal like or dislike.”

I have been seeing so many tiny children yet with so many big opinions.  Have you been seeing this as well?  Continue reading

Relaxed Waldorf Homeschooling

I wanted to thank all of you who participated and left comments in regards to the post Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool Resources on Catherine’s blog.  You can see the original post here (and do be sure to read the comments, because that is where the discussion really is, including an interesting side thread on forming the space between two siblings who are very close in age): Continue reading

Fourth Grade Local Geography Block

 

We started school on August 22, so we are finishing up our local geography block. It was a fun block, and one I expanded into covering our whole state.  I did this for two reasons:  my daughter really has a good knowledge of local things; a keen sense of direction and was already offering to draw maps of everything local before I even got there (Can I draw a map of my room?  Look, I drew a map of my neighborhood!) and because I really want to start to cover U. S. Geography so we can do Canada and Mexico next year.

I think one thing to consider in this block is how heavily you will employ history. Donna Simmons talks about this at length in her Fourth Grade Syllabus, and it was something I pondered greatly.  Geography, to me, doesn’t mean much unless we know how it impacted the people living there (or how the people impacted it). So, I tried not to go overboard, but did lay a foundation for a few future things in the process. This is how I did it: Continue reading