Taproot Teacher Training

2016/2017 marks with sixth year that we have been homeschooling.  I had no idea six years ago how much one simple (ok-it definitely was a not simple or easy) decision would change my life or my children’s lives.  I also had no idea what I was doing!  All I knew was what I did in school as a child.

Over the past five years, we have finally found a style of homeschooling that fits our family.  I cannot give it a name because it is a mix of a multitude of philosophies including Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason and unschooling.  With that when I read about the Taproot Teacher Training, I was hesitant.

I contacted a fellow blogger and now friend, Sheila from Sure as the World,  about her thoughts on the training.  She said that the training is something that she looks forward to each year even though she does not follow a 100% Waldorf style homeschooling.  Lucky for me, she also was one of the presenters this year.

With Sheila’s recommendation, I headed north to Ohio in route to the Taproot Teacher Training  on August 11th.  My only experience with homeschool conferences was a huge venue with a ton of speakers and a curriculum fair that made my head spin.  Taproot took place in Cuyahoga Valley National Park-a much different scene and feel.  The surroundings were an amazing feature of the program.

With only 25 of us at the program, I got a chance to speak with everyone and learn from so many other people.  The classes that were offered taught me about myself, reminded me of why I enjoy teaching at home, and inspired me to continue on this journey.  My major take-aways from the training included working on our rhythm (we have a terrific morning routine but I need to make some sacred school hours and stick to them), less is more when it comes to curriculum (and to life in general), laughter is vital, music helps with learning and is fun, creativity in learning makes it stick, plan time to plan throughout the year, life is learning, and to show up everyday no matter what (meaning to always come together for school).

I cannot think of another retreat, conference or continuing education event that I have been to that even comes close to the amazing experience I had at Taproot.  It was LIFE CHANGING.  I felt at home with all of the people there and with the environment.  I came home recharged and ready to go.

20 thoughts on “Taproot Teacher Training

  1. That’s neat. I haven’t been to a conference for years, mostly because they’re so far away out here. I went in SC. This one sounds special.

    For me this year, I realized I had to have help with the younger kids. So I have someone coming to help with the baby especially, but also the third one when she’s all done with her school work. I’m pretty optimistic this is going to feel good. Hope I’m right!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your reflections Sharon.

    When we got there the first night, I had slight anxiety about recommending it to you. What if you didn’t like it. What if I made it all up. Lol. Oh the things we think. But I remembered that I needed to trust the process. And trust the magic that is taproot – each and every year, it is different, but no less powerful.

    I have been holding all that transpired very close to my heart. No words on my blog yet. But I can echo yours: life. changing.

    So happy to have shared it all with you.


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  3. Sharon, Thank you so much for writing this!! I loved meeting you, getting to know you, and having you in many of my sessions. Lucky me!!! That’s the beauty of Taproot – we all get to share our light, right? Remember those water lilies as we were leaving? I love your blog and look forward to updates on your school year. Let’s definitely keep the conversation going!!
    XOXO Alison

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  4. SO glad you decided to come, Sharon. I loved meeting you in person (beyond this online world). Taproot is always different from year to year, as Sheila says, but it never fails to be magical. It really is a co-creation between everyone who shows up! My favorite part is meeting so many beautiful Moms (and a few Dads) from all over the world who are striving to bring learning alive for their children. And now, having had the Taproot experience, we all go into our year knowing that we’re on this journey together. And somehow, that gives each of us a little extra boost, a little extra juice for the oh so important task of homeschooling. And that’s on top of all the fun activities we did together and the ideas that were shared! Thank you for being part of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Taproot Homeschool Teacher Training strives to honor the spirit of Waldorf education without the trappings of classroom, which involves making use of other educational philosophies, whenever they fit.

        On Aug 28, 2016 9:41 PM, “Simple Days Make for an Exciting Adventure” wrote:

        Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures commented: “Barbara, Thank you for all that you have done! Without you, there wouldn’t be a Taproot! I do look forward to coming again next year.”

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post!!! Thanks for sharing!! Jean and I had a discussion about this very thing that you brought up in your post, “I cannot give it a name because it is a mix of a multitude of philosophies including Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason and unschooling..”

    We both love Waldorf, and we also love homeschooling. There are so many styles and approaches. I love your approach. I was discussing to Jean about how to not only let Waldorf inspired homeschoolers know about Taproot, but somehow get the word out to other homeschoolers that enjoy all the other wonderful approaches to learning. It is so hard to put a label on what we are all about, and we do not like confining ourselves to just Waldorf.

    We also talked about how we liked the intimacy that our group had as a whole, we were able to connect so fast and by the end we were having a blast. I really had a great time.

    As a presenter and a vacationer I gained well balanced and harmonic wealth of many things in the areas of community, health, spirit, growth, and leading edge education for a better future.

    We were really blessed by Jean’s preparation of such a great event. Her successful gathering is an example of awesome the Waldorf-inspired life can be, not to mention Barbara Dewey’s great foundational work from the early years to now, to make Taproot happen. Their great work shines through. Allison, Sheila, Royse, and Alisha were amazing shining examples, too!! As well as all the participants, people that I wish lived in my neighborhood, or go to my church!!

    We are leading edge educators with the great common goal in mind, to have our children grow into adults instilled with Reverence, Respect and Responsibility for all living things. So, how do put a label on a group such as all of us at Taproot?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: In Their Words: Reflections on Taproot Teacher Training ⋆ Waldorf-Inspired Learning

  7. Pingback: Taproot Teacher Training 2017 – Simple Days Make for an Exciting Adventure

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