It is the time of year when many mothers are ordering resources in order to have time to plan over the spring and summer for a bright and shiny new school year! I have written before regarding choosing Waldorf curriculum in several places, including this back post.
Over the eleven years I have been homeschooling (six grade kindy year to now freshman high school year), I have used pieces of nearly every major provider on the market, plus written my own blocks, gone to Foundation Studies in the Arts and Anthroposophy (the training one takes before going to Waldorf teacher training) and attended workshops. I personally look for full curricula or curriculum pieces that meet the following criteria:
- I look for a curriculum where the author understands the foundational piece of Waldorf education, which is Rudolf Steiner’s knowledge of the human being.
- I look for a curriculum where the author understands not only Steiner’s work, the traditions of the Waldorf School because Waldorf homeschooling IS based in these traditions, but ALSO understands the differences between home and school. Working with students one on one or in small groups in a family setting is much different than a school setting. Having a practical knowledge of Waldorf in the home and in the family is paramount.
- I look for a curriculum author who is steeped in knowledge of Waldorf Education, including having attended workshops, teacher training or at least Foundation Studies, or a background of teaching in a Waldorf School AND someone who has homeschooled multiple grades, preferably through high school. The curriculum reaches a beautiful climax in the high school years, and I feel if someone hasn’t been through at least grades six through eight (and high school grades would be nice), it can be problematic if authors have not been through at least these upper grade experiences preferably with multiple children or groups of children.
There are many quality resources available, including free resources and authors who sell blocks a la carte. There are also complete curriculums, and consulting available. However, what I truly recommend is attending workshops and trainings in person if that is possible. Rudolf Steiner College (California) and Renewal (New Hampshire) offer week -long courses focused on each grade during the summer. This summer, Marsha Johnson will be holding a conference in Portland, Taproot with Barbara Dewey will be in August in Ohio, the Waldorf Homeschool Conference will be Orlando in May (I will be at this conference as well along with Jean Miller of Waldorf-Inspired Learning, Jodie Mesler of Home Music Making, Donna Ashton of The Waldorf Connection, Kristie Burns of Earthschooling ), and I believe Waldorf Essentials will also have some dates coming up this summer. There will be many opportunities to connect with mentors and other people homeschooling this way!
I would love to hear from you: how do you go about planning for a new school year?
Blessings on your planning,