If you are curioius about what we are doing now…

This year I have found a new teaching philosophy called Waldorf.  I am still a Montessorian at heart but I am finding Montessori (as far using the materials) difficult in the homeschool setting.  Waldorf Schooling is based on the ideas written by Rudolph Steiner.  He, like Maria Montessori, based his ideas of education on child development.  However, it is much less disciplined!  Many people hear Montessori and think undisciplined.  However, it is the complete opposite of undisciplined.  In fact, it has a lot of order and rules.  In a Montessori classroom, the children have a lot of choices in the work they choose, as long as they have had a lesson on the work.  The lessons are given in a particular order although the lessons are given as the child shows interest.  (Montessori teachers, please elaborate as much as you can).

Waldorf appears to me to be much more arts-based once you go beyond the early years-meaning, beyond pre-k and kindergarten.  The lessons are taught through stories and through child inquiry.  This works nicely with the way my children have learned in Montessori because they all enjoy researching items.  In my previous post, I had pictures of Sawyer’s research of the saints and Sims’ research of coyotes.  They are given an area to research but also the freedom of what specific thing they want to research and how to present the research.  I have not visited a Waldorf school yet, although I do plan to at some point.  We are following a homeschool Waldorf curriculem from Waldorf Essentials.  So far it is working very well with our other chosen curriculems including Montessori and First Language Lessons and All About Spelling.

One of my favorite parts of the Waldorf curriclum we are doing is that the curriculem is told in the form of a story.  The story is about a family.  Parks is doing the first grade story, Sawyer-second grade and Sims-fourth grade.  The fun/coincidental part is that earlier this year, my hubby told Sims that he could research a few places that he wants to go.  Then for his tenth birthday, the family would decide upon one of Sims’ choices and go on a journey in the spring.  Well, low and behold, this is exactly what happens in the fourth grade story.  When Sims and I began reading the story, we both started to laugh.  Obviously, we are on the same track as someone else in the universe.

With that said, throughout my future posts you will see several things integrated.  Montessori material will be used as necessary.  For instance, Sawyer is using the stamp game to learn addition and subtraction with carrying, and all of the kids love the metal insets.  Waldorf focuses more on form drawings for handwriting.  My kids were not drawn to this but they do pick up the metal insets and use them daily.  We will use the Waldorf stories to guide us through our curriculem.  Parks is going through the folk stories and fairy tales (actually all of them are as they all put their work down whenever I begin to read one).  Sawyer is doing saint research and some fairy/folk tale work.  Sims is studying animals presently and will begin to study the Norse myths.  We will continue with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of nature study and short lessons.

This is one of the best parts of homeschooling-we can pick and choose our curriculum.  We can also change it as our needs change!


6 thoughts on “If you are curioius about what we are doing now…

  1. Found you from Carrie’s blog, the Parenting Passageway. Waving hi from the Univeristy area of Charlotte! I have 4 kiddos, 5th grader (boy), 2nd grader (boy), 1st grader (boy) and a 3 year old (girl). This is our 5th year homeschooling using Waldorf methods. I was excited to see another family in the area as there aren’t many of us, ha ha! Maybe we could meet up sometime.


    • Tanya! We would love to meet up sometime! I have not met anyone else using the Waldorf philosophy so far. I have only read people’s blogs! Through the pictures on your blog it appears that our kiddos have some similiar interests. We are in the Lake Norman area so we are not far from you-in fact, we hit Trader Joe’s at least once a month! Maybe one day we could meet up and do some creek stomping down on the greenway!


  2. Okay, I’m extremely curious now! I’ve heard of Waldorf, and I even have some Waldorf-type things set up at home, including a nature table where my son can go and find out more about the animals he sees outside.

    So my question – with regard to Waldorf and how you’re using it, do you pick a specific topic on, say, Sunday, then let your kids decide how they’d like to spend the week learning about it? Do you give them free reign over HOW they learn, i.e. through books, video, or field trips? And do they give you any kind of report on what they’ve learned at the end of the week?

    Also – can you put up a link to the metal insets you’re talking about, please? 🙂


    • Here is a link to another blog about metal insets.

      I am new to the Waldorf philosophy so we are easing into it to see if it works for us. I am reading the “story” that is in the curriculem I purchased and linked to above to my kids each week. Some parts of the story last for longer than a week and some less than a week. For example, my son’s story has him researching different animals for the next few weeks. In the story/curriculem he is supposed to study American animals-however, he wanted to study a kangaroo as one of his animals and I am ok with that. My daughter’s curriculem has her studying the saints presently which is interesting because we are not Christian. The stories are wonderful and have terrific lessons of humility and humanity. It has also sparked a lot of discussions about the Christian faith which is good also. We are also using some of the Waldorf math curriculum also which is a guide. It has the gnome stories which are fun. As far as their assignments, I ask them for a written and an artistic assignment. They pretty much do the rest. We do the research together and I try to find stories at the library that go along with whatever they are learning about.

      We did nature study last year, so the nature table is a fabulous adddition to our nature study. The kids put their treasures on the table and any creations they have made through the week. I hope to see it expand as they understand the idea more. Let me know if I can answer anymore questions!


      • I love how child-led this sounds! My son is 6 and is asking for more control in his studies, so we’re trying out various new ideas. The Waldorf approach – especially to science – sounds right up our alley! Thank you SO much for taking the time to respond 🙂 I’m going to check out the links now…


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