Successful Waldorf homeschool planning is a little like planning anything else….
Where are we doing this?
We are doing this at home and within our family unit, and perhaps within a broader homeschool community. The where is important, because this makes it different than a school.
Why are we doing this? Sometimes questions beginning are helpful discernment, and helps provide motivation.
- Our idea of a wonderful homeschooling education is…
- OUr idea of a wonderful family life is..
- Our idea of a healthy adult is…
- Our children need…
- Our family needs…
That should be a little motivation. To get specifically motivated and discover “why” regarding the broader picture outside of our family about Waldorf Education, there are helpers such as…
- Rudolf Steiner Audio
- Rudolf Steiner Archives
- Rudolf Steiner’s lectures about education
- You Tube videos about Waldorf Education made by the schools and Waldorf-trained teachers
- Articles and books that discuss why we are teaching for each grade the subjects we teach – this is the developmental piece that anthroposophical education hangs upon, so if you don’t understand this developmental approach, you will not understand why you are teaching what you are teaching!
- Great books that are inspiring about Waldorf Education
Then we need the what –
- what are we teaching? This becomes the basis for the larger picture plan of blocks. A list of the blocks by grade can be easily found; the pieces that often are missing is how that ties to your place in which you live, and how that ties to the child in front of you, or even your family culture. Waldorf at home starts with the wholeness of the family at home. This is different than a block outline by grade that has served schools, and yet is a template that we also cannot ignore as it fits so strongly into the archetypal development of the human being that is a centerpiece of Waldorf Education.
How are we teaching it? These are the details that become important in the day to day planning.
- Artistry – we need not only creative ideas, but HOW to teach these artistic techniques.
- Academics – we need to know an academic progression and sequencing, which many curriculums honestly do not provide well. We also need to know how to teach these skills.
- Combining – HOW can we combine our children so we are not teaching 3-5 separate main lessons, which I highly doubt Rudolf Steiner would have recommended for the homeschooling mother. I think the essence of combining comes with looking at field trips and experiential learning as the basis for the blocks and academic work – which goes back to looking at where your specific family lives and your specific family culture.
It seems like a super tall order! I find many curriculums do well in providing the motivation, the why, even the “what” (although the blocks, cannot often fill in the approach of your family’s geographic place and culture), but often really lack details as to the art of teaching, the scope and sequence of academic and artistic progression, and definitely in the combining. These pieces may need to be filled in by you, the teacher, as part of your approach to education.