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Monday, October 1, 2012

Early Adventures in Homeschooling

We are three weeks into homeschooling and loving it, not that everything goes according to the smooth rhythm I had envisioned, but having fun nonetheless.On a few of the forums I joined, other homeschooling moms have asked for ideas on incorporating Waldorf techniques in a Charlotte Mason education.  While I certainly do not have it perfected, I thought I would share a few ideas that we are using.

To start, I try to set up a rhythm of the day, keeping in mind that a daily rhythm is not a schedule based around time, but more of a way to gently transition from one activity to another.  Young children work well with a song or fingerplay to transition, but my seven year old son wants something more concrete and visual, so I wrote different subjects and activities on small strips of cardstock and attach the ones we plan on doing to a string with a little clothespin.  As we complete each activity, we take it off  the line and move to the next. It sets up the day for him in such a way that he can literally see what we still need to accomplish and gives him the satisfaction of seeing a task finished.  Along with the subjects to be covered and activities to do are fun things, like "Play Outside for 30 minutes" & "Play with Legos" etc.  

In the next few weeks, I plan on refining our weekly rhythm and daily rhythm to include morning circle time, festivals - there are so many coming up - as well as incorporating additional subjects such as Nature Study and form drawing, and keeping a main lesson  book for math.

One of Aidan's favorite subjects is copywork in which he copies a short passage slowly and neetly.  It is a standard in Mason education and helps him learn to focus and appreciate the idea of doing his best instead of writing quickly.

For our first two weeks his copywork came in the for of a poem, writing one stanza per day and discussing the meaning of each stanza and looking at pictures that resemble the scene.

by Helen Hunt Jackson
The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bearing down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.

From dewey lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

Later in the second week, he copied some history facts as we moved from prehistoric times to ancient Egypt in our history lessons.  To make the lessons hands-on, I hid a secret message in our back yard and the boys pretended to be explorers/archaeologists looking for their Rosetta Stone, then deciphered our simplified "hieroglyphics" to reveal that in the next lesson they would build a pyramid out of Legos - oh that Aidan would be so excited about every history lesson! 

This last week, we began using wet-on-wet painting techniques in our studies.  Primarily by painting the cover of the books the boys will use to draw pieces of nature when they do their Nature Studies - but more on that later.

I am happy to see that so many of the traditional Waldorf techniques are fitting in nicely with our Charlotte Mason education.


  1. I love how you blend Waldorf with Charlotte Mason to create something that works so well for your family. Would you please consider posting this on the Waldorf Wednesday link up? This is just the sort of thing we're looking for-- people showing us how Waldorf works in their homes.

  2. So glad to have found your blog through the Waldorf Wednesday link up (found through Simple Homeschool). I also consider myself a Charlotte Mason/Waldorf homeschooler, with a healthy dose of Leadership/Thomas Jefferson Education thrown in there, too. I can't wait to read more of your posts!


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