Monday, 2 June 2008

Still Waldorf Inspired?

This is something I've been giving some thought to lately. Sonlight is, well much much easier to use. You look at the days plan, get the books off the shelf and do it, adapting it a bit to suit yourselves. On the whole its well written and the extra resources are great. So can you use a mix of the two? I think you can use the principles behind a Waldorf approach and apply them to teaching anything in the main. So for instance today I read Charlotte's Web while they made beeswax models of Wilbur and Charlotte. We've been doing copywork, something we would do with Waldorf and I read out loud/teach and then we discuss it. We have no tv except at breaktime and no computer games until we're done. Both the girls are still knitting away and we're getting our sheep fleece to look at wool making. I take more account of their maturity in approaching a subject and never push them to do more than they can manage. We spend time together as a family. I constantly refer to all my Waldorf books for teaching ideas.

Isn't that the beauty of home education that you learn and adapt as you go along. Hettie will probably revert to a Waldorf curriculum again in the future, she enjoys it and it suits her. But I feel we need more focus on the maths, english and reading at the moment. I need them working together for most areas or it will be mayhem, and its working out pretty well so far, although there is now a lot of giggling! Both girls are doing really well with the Language Arts and readers so far. They're loving map work and reading about different people around the world. We fit all the scheduled work in a day easily with time to spare for other more Waldorfy things.

Something that really struck the heart of me this week in Jenny's wonderful 'Taking Stock' post was, if a square peg doesn't fit in a round hole, change the hole and leave the peg just as it is. She's spot on right - our children are all unique and wonderful.

We're following Sonlight but are we still Waldorf inspired? You bet we are! Purists of Waldorf may disagree, but I never claimed to be pure! So here's todays pics of my lovely, unique girls:

Busy with a writing assignment about describing an animal.

Looking up countries around the world. We read about various forms of make up and jewellery, and so that led to face painting this afternoon. (The tv isn't on - it's paused until lunchtime)

Isobel painting Hettie.

A Clown!

A Flower!
Oh, and a few tears when I had to get it all off.


ruth said...

I think we have ended up very similar here. I am sort of doing Waldorf in that we still have MLB, copywriting and handicrafts e.t.c but the boys didn't like blocks of one thing so we are doing everything each week on a plan I have stored in my head lol. However it is also getting very C.M around here again with living book curriculums and Sonlight readers, maths workbooks and I just think we are eclectic now. Whatever works is my motto :)

Bridget said...

Totally agree- if it isn't broke-don't fix it!

Dawn said...

This is why I love homeschooling as's so great to be able to customize your teaching style to meet the needs of your children. I'm right with you on the Sonlight/Waldorf mix. We're finishing up our Core 4 curriculum but will take a break from Sonlight and do more Waldorf next year (the maturity level of the SL books were getting a little too much for my daughter, age 9) but I fully intend to come back to Sonlight again in the future.

Tammy said...

Oh I definitely agree. While I like to say we are Waldorf, I still use some non-Waldorfy stuff. lol. I don't think there is one exact thing that is a perfect fit for every single family. We all have our own quirks, styles, family dynamics, etc. :)

Looks like they had a fun day! And seriously, that's what homeschooling is all about....learning in your own particular style and having FUN with it!

Mary said...

I think your mixture sounds fantastic! I really enjoy the Waldorf hands on activities and low-technology stand.

Looks like some good successful learning going on over there!