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Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum – Method and Philosophy
Finding the right curriculum for your children can be very tough, especially if the motivation behind homeschooling your children is to make sure that they can attain holistic knowledge and are educated in disciplines and study areas that the standard state curriculums cannot cover.
Some homeschool mothers have experimented with different homeschool curriculums for their kids until they finally found the one that worked best for their families. I believe that for full-time homeschool mothers, the best homeschool curriculum is the one that blends beautifully with their home life, cuts down on time needed for planning and research, and which the children enjoy.
Homeschools should provide maximum flexibility for children in terms of timing, coursework, and extra-curricular activities. Hence, sticking to a curriculum that took its roots in an institutionalized setting may defeat the purpose of homeschooling unless you are not willing to modify the curriculum based on your family’s needs.
Remember, you are not just a full-time homeschool mother; you are also a homemaker, caretaker, and loving partner who has to manage and juggle all her roles and responsibilities equally well; therefore, your homeschool curriculum choice should complement your family life.
Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum – Roots and Philosophy
In the early 20th century, an Austrian philosopher and social reformer named Rudolf Steiner developed an education system that came to be known as the Waldorf School. He created this system based on his knowledge of anthroposophy. He believed that liberal arts could be the foundation for all other disciplines necessary to get a holistic education.
The Waldorf Philosophy focuses on early childhood development and uses arts to grow and develop children’s minds, bodies, and spirits. It focuses on creativity, imagination, and experiential learning to help children discover the beauty and purpose of life.
Waldorf education aims to help children explore and polish their artistic abilities, intellectual capabilities, and practical skills. Through a series of inspiring and knowledge-driven arts and crafts activities and interactive learning strategies, children learn to consciously utilize their mind, body, and spirit in the learning process. This ensures that they evolve into well-rounded, well-aware, intuitive human beings.
Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum – Oak Meadow
Oak Meadow will prove to be a helpful resource for the homeschool moms who are trying to incorporate the Waldorf school education into their homeschool curriculum. The Oak Meadow curriculum was developed by a couple, Lawrence and Bonnie Williams, in 1975 when they were trying to homeschool their four children. They decided to open a daycare center based on Waldorf education’s philosophy and reiterated the fact that children are sensitive, intelligent and learning should always be an enjoyable experience.
The Oak Meadow homeschool curriculum includes activities based on the Waldorf philosophy and covers coursework from kindergarten to grade 12. It focuses on “experiential education for curious and creative learners” and includes activities like exploring nature, building treehouses, painting canvases, and cooking meals.
At the Oak Meadow homeschool, Waldorf certified teachers and mentors can assist students and parents with their educational needs through distance learning programs. It ensures that Waldorf schooled children have access to personalized and student-led activities and course guides that will help them to nurture their bodies, minds, and souls.
Oak Meadow’s Elementary school curriculum considers that from the age of 3 to 10, children are naturally attuned to learning when they get the chance to explore and interact with their physical environments. For this reason, the elementary school curriculum is focused on fun-filled physical activities that actively engage children’s minds, bodies, and imagination.
It motivates them to act, think, feel and create. Every stage of the curriculum helps them explore their inner feelings and capabilities. Children have access to a multi-sensory education as they explore numbers, letters, songs, colors, rhythms, and verses while interacting with the world around them. It will not be wrong to say that, unlike the traditional school curriculums, the Waldorf homeschool curriculum designed by Oak Meadow lets children be children… young, happy, and carefree.
From middle to high school, the Oak Meadow Waldorf homeschool curriculum focuses on critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and synthesis by considering real-life problems and everyday challenges. The students are taught to think on their feet, explore the world around them and come up with creative solutions to solve the problems that they encounter while learning through exploration. It builds and nurtures their survival skills, and they learn to use the resources that nature has bestowed on them to live sustainably.
Oak Meadow teaches children to embrace their authentic selves and discover their identity, passions, and place in this world during their high school years. The curriculum focuses on intellectual development and practical knowledge to prepare students for demanding adult life. Children are geared up for a life outside of school, and they are taught to inculcate a love for life-long learning.
However, some homeschool mothers like Sarah Baldwin believe that the Waldorf homeschool curriculum designed and taught by Oak Meadows is vigorous, inflexible, and does not stand true to the Waldorf philosophy. She thinks that the curriculum is not suited for a homeschool setting and fails to consider the life of a homeschool mother and her children.
It fails to take into consideration that children like to go by their mood. They cannot be made to sit still in one place for an hour because their young and curious minds are constantly receiving stimulations, and they want to be up on their feet to answer those stimulations. She suggests that the Oak Meadow Waldorf homeschool curriculum can be used as the first step, but it needs to evolve and adapt to suit your family’s needs and lifestyle.
The Best Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum
The best Waldorf Homeschool Curriculum is undoubtedly the Christopherus homeschool curriculum. It was designed and taught by a Waldorf schooled mother, Donna Simmons. She founded the Christopherus homeschool curriculum in 2003. Since then, this curriculum has played an instrumental role in many young children’s lives, teaching them to be fully aware, well-rounded, grounded, and happy individuals.
As a homeschool mother, Donna perfectly understood the busy and demanding lives of full-time mothers and homemakers. While staying true to the Walford philosophy, she developed a curriculum that allowed children to learn through everyday life activities and scenarios, helping them hone their thinking and practical skills.
She offers a wide range of resources for her Christopherus curriculum that teaches homeschool mothers step-by-step techniques, methods, and practices to educate their children using the Walford school system.
Suppose you are a new homeschool mother and are still trying to navigate your way through this exciting journey. In that case, I will recommend that you look into the two Waldorf homeschool curriculums that I have mentioned above.
Liberal arts can be the best foundation for your children’s early education as it will allow them to explore the world around them, sync mind, body, and spirit, and use their imagination, creativity, feelings, and analytical skills to make sense of the word and all that exists in it. If you want your children to be young, happy, and carefree, then the Waldorf homeschool curriculum is the best stepping stone for them.