Hello Waldorf Homeschooling Mothers,
We are in a beautiful time of year right now. Candlemas, February 2nd, has just passed. This quiet day is a festival that I love and we live into in our home. In the book “All Year Round”, the authors write:
At the beginning of February, when the infant light of spring is greeted thankfully by the hoary winter earth, it seems fitting that we should celebrate a candle Festival to remember that moment when the Light of the World was received into the Temple, where the old yielded to the new.
I have been thinking about this passage for several days. Elsewhere in “All Year Round”, the authors also wrote about tapping into “much deeper sources of hope and inner confidence.”
So, I feel this time of year is a gentle and renewing time to look to the upcoming school year. If you are new to homeschooling, you will need to yes, look at your state’s requirements and laws. You will probably sit with a calendar for a while and sketch out your year of festivals and holiday dates. This back post may be of service: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2012/06/10/get-your-planning-on/ and this one: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2012/05/23/planning-tips-for-homeschooling-kindergarten-through-grade-four/
You may then even start to plan out the blocks for each grade or monthly work and play for your children in the Early Years. For the grades, I always suggest checking with the AWNSA chart to see what is listed for each grade. Homeschooling parents complain about this and say, “Well, our homeschools are not Waldorf Schools.” No, this is of course true. However, without the schools we would have no models to even really work from as the schools have done a huge amount of work to put Steiner’s pedagogical conclusions based upon the spiritual human being into practicality. So, I think there is balance and truth to be gained by looking at whatever you are teaching from both angles in a way – what might be done in a school, what would work at home and taking what resonates with you for your unique child.
Then, you can start to slowly and carefully compile your resources and read them a bit and let them sleep. You will return to them again in a few months’ time to begin planning in earnest.
Many homeschooling parents rely on curriculum or curriculum guides and then agonize over the best one to choose. I personally pull from a wide variety of resources, and take each block and make it my own. Waldorf homeschooling is a vibrant, living path and requires a good amount of will forces from the parent to really make it work. I wrote a post on choosing curriculum some time ago and I think it still stands: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/03/13/which-waldorf-curriculum-should-i-use/
This fall (of 2014) I will be teaching seventh grade, fourth grade and an early years child who will be 4 turning 5 in the fall. These are three separate developmental stages to plan, and two grades with a good amount of material to cover, so I hope to begin now so I can have hope and inner confidence. I hope you will as well.
You too have a diversity of ages of your kids. I’m new to Waldorf but have been homeschooling my 11 yr. old since the beginning. I also have a 3 1/2 yr. old. I struggle trying to create a rhythm for the 3 1/2 yr. and my 11 yr. old who needs social time out and about. We don’t have a neighborhood so no kids around us. All of my older sons friends are about 45 min. away. Any suggestions??? Thanks so much for you blog, it is very inspiring and helpful!!!/Jennifer
JCJames __ It is a struggle at time. I try to plan at least two to three days a week to just be home. I also try to remember that the needs of my early years child are just as valid, and sometimes even more valid than the social needs of my older children. I also am big on fostering sibling togetherness and that takes time. So, thinking of a plan that meet the needs of everyone, including you, is so important.
Blessings, and so glad you are here!
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