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I occasionally get these spasms where I want to use a packaged curriculum like Oak Meadow(I know others on this board have similar daydreams...."oooh pretty package...all in one box.....all planned out......sigh...")

 

Here's the deal, and once I have laid it all out you tell me what you think.

 

For older: he needs less "rigor" right now. Don't know for how long. Perhaps 6 months, maybe more. He is entering 6th, and s ahead is every subject, so I think it is okay to back off for a while. He will obviously still be learning, whatever route we choose, but I am trying to approach next year wi a more relaxed attitude. Also, I am working more, and cannot do parent intensive schooling (and by this i mean thati am pulling him along when he is not emotionally or psychologically ready for the work his intellect can handle). For his sake, we need to re-inject joy i to learning, and for him, that also means doing more "light" work, playful work, crafts, hands on projects like building, sewing, designing.

 

Regardless of what we choose, we will continue Latin, but using a less intense approach. He will be attending a Music and Science coop with his brother next year for one full afternoon, where he will be doing physical science, music theory, guitar and piano.

 

Iam looking at Oak Meadow, which would be a major departure for us. I mean MAJOR.

 

For younger..I just don't know. He is advanced academically, but does not enjoy being challenged EXTERNALLY (meaning he challenges himself in amazing ways, but does not like to be pushed by others)and prefers to spend his time on his "own thing", which is right now running a doll repair shop for his stuffed animals (and his friends), learning to sew, writing minecraft mods, and drawing comics. He has always been an avid reader, but seems to be uninterested now except for Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts. School is something to be endured so he can get back to his "stuff". So I don't quite know what to do with him, and am unsure if we should just approach school as a "get her done" proposition, or if should try and re-engage him in school on different terms.

 

I also have a confession: for the last month or two we have really eased up with school and i am finding again the true pleasure of my children's company, particulalry the older who has once again become the loving, funny and easy going child he truly is. And easygoing is the key word here. HE is easygoing...._I_ am not. Crucial difference there! I need to find a curriculum or an approach that works with his personality, which is not as intense as mine (and that is a very good thing!) he appreciates a challenge, for sure, but truly doesn't care about "performing" or being "the smart kid". Wen he does poorly on a test, he doesnt hold onto it, kwim? he just says, oh well, i better study that material harder next time. no big to-do.

 

At the same time, I want to continue to expose him to challenges, but on different terms.

 

Thoughts?

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Would Oak Meadow really meet your goal of being LESS rigorous with your oldest? Would it serve your kids' styles well (it sounds like they prefer to be self-motivated)? Will a "big departure" from your usual way of schooling be a relief, or more stressful? Those are some of the questions I'd think through to try to decide.

 

Have you asked your kids what they would like to do? If they drive the process, they'll be more likely to keep up with things. You could go with audio/video resources for history and science, or things they can read, maybe projects they could choose from.

 

OR...you could consider a more "unschooling" kind of approach. Focus on the 3 r's and then consider how their self-motivated activities might actually meet requirements in those areas or in others. Art? Crafts? Computer Science?

 

Is OM very hands on? I'm concerned it might not meet their needs in that way...

 

Merry :-)

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Thank you Merry! Food for thought. I do think OM is more hands on and crafty, based on my research. And certainly the math and science have a more relaxed approach. I think I would do 4th grade for younger and 6 for older, though I might do 7th grade math.

 

I Am just not sure right now.

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You know, I am wondering the exact same thing about my 6th & 4th grade boys. My 6th grade son is high-strung and burned out. My 4th grade son is easy going, when I give him space to be. I've pushed and pushed and pushed and now we're all just cranky! I love the *idea* of a more hands-on, relaxed day with them. I love the idea of a central theme, with assignments all wrapped around, like a well-designed unit study. I love the idea of working with them instead of managing them, if that makes sense.

 

I bought a copy of OM 6th grade, but it's the same content we covered this year! Argh! I even bought a unit from Moving Beyond the Page, but the book was just...inappropriate.

 

And, for what it's worth, I think the big question is, do you think *you* would enjoy something like OM? If you do make the switch, I'd stick with your current math, only because jumping around in math usually creates problems for the student.

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I ended up doing this for next school year (we are using Catholic Heritage). I have used OM in the past - 4th grade - and really enjoyed it; we really needed a change that year and I did it with my oldest who was 5th at the time and middle who was 3rd at the time. We didn't do everything according to OM - I kept a few things the same - but what we did was enough to "shift" our days and our attitudes. This year I didn't order everything for each grade level, but by using the lesson plans and some of the spines/texts, I have reduced the mom-intensive time a bit. I feel that ds-almost-12 especially needs a bit more independence, and I need a bit more time to begin PreK with dd. Plus, I'm excited about what we are doing, what they will be learning, and the materials themselves, which I think alone makes a huge difference. We seemed to have lost our groove this last year and I'm looking forward to the "shift" again.

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I hear ya. This spring I was thinking that maybe we just needed a big box to show up from Calvert for next year. Ultimately, I just purchased a lot of the same things or things similar to things that Calvert uses in grade 6 and signed ds up for composition through writeathome.

 

If you think OM may work, give it a shot.

Mandy

 

 

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Oak Meadow would be a complete opposite. You can try it, but I think, for you at least, it would be too much of swining the opposite way on the pendulum.

 

I think for this to work you need something between Oak Meadow and your current approach, a balance, because that is probably where you will end up anyway after swinging too much one way, and that also gets you going down that road, as it could be a transition program for a year before transferring to Oak Meadow (if that ends up being your final destination).

 

It really does sound like Oak Meadow "feel" would suit you guys, but after doing a more classical approach, its hard to find a suitable year to put the child in (especially when OM is based off of Steiner, which is meant to be about Developmentally Appropriate material, and if used properly, means your children should be in 1st & 4th Grade judging by the ages listed) if using that timeline, your younger one will be learning about math signs & letters of the alphabet, so then you are going to put one child in 3rd/4th and the other in 6th/7th, which is not going to be developmentally appropriate for the children, and really probably won't end up working out, because they are in the wrong year, you'll drop it, and run far away from programs like that. Which would be a great pity.

 

Have you looked at other options for basing stuff more around art? (Visual Manna has a series Art through.... (science/history), if you spend a day or two searching round rainbow resource (especially in the supplemental/extras areas of each category) you could probably end up with some fun stuff and a "boxed" curriculum ;) lol.

 

Project-Based Homeschooling/Interest-Led learning is intensive, in the way that you have to be aware, facilitating, be there, and be a few steps ahead of your child, all ready.

 

What about just looking at waldorf blocks, and you could put the children together? Your could have a house-building block, math block, etc.

 

Another option, which I actually think would work quite well, would be Konos, if you get the in a bag/box version everything is pretty much there (I would reccommend the original volumes, but then that requires planning & getting supplies, although they do have yellow planning pages already done for you in the volumes now (although I would suggest still looking through, as somtimes they miss great activites). The kids could work together with Konos too, and its project based (but its project-kid based, meaning you don't have to have anything to do with it, unlike other "project" based stuff where it seems in the end, you have to end up putting half of it together yourself. I really actually think Konos would work extremely well for you, but I don't want to seem biased (I probably already have lol).

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I can't advise about OM, but I do understand the attraction to a shiny new box. What if you came up with your own plan, using your new goals, and then compare it back to OM to see how it compares? You might like what you come up with better and it might give you more flexibility. I also agree with pp who said not to change math.

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Timberdoodle also has "school in a box" that you could customize for your guys. I agree with pp that Oak Meadow seems like a total swing in the opposite direction for you but maybe that's what you need at this point. So glad to hear that your summer is going well and you are enjoying your boys!;)

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I'm all for doing boxes.

 

I'm all for doing Waldorf.

 

I'm just not sure that you can transition your children into a Waldorf box, from where they currently are. Does that make sense?

 

When trying to transition a child into a box with a very different philosophy and methods, it usually means dropping back quite a bit, and doing some "busywork", while being quite frustratingly challenged in others areas. If a parent knows they are going to stick with the new box long term, it's worth it. Some boxes have grades that are set up to be more easily transitioned into, or provide catch up units.

 

Some moms can afford to buy multiple years of a curriculum and for the first year or so, pick and choose what to do. Then at the end of the year decide whether to get the child lined up to use it as a box at some point.

 

I believe that some children do very well with boxes even when NOT being fully challenged in every subject while doing their box. They challenge themselves after the box is done, if the box is not overwhelming in VOLUME of work. They just coast through "school" and then do their own thing.

 

Is it Waldorf or the box that is most appealing to you? Do you have the time and money to use multiple years of OM, kind of haphazardly this year? And then as the year progresses, decide whether getting them established in a grade level box is appealing to you?

 

There were times when I had my youngest working below grade level in some areas to try and get him lined up with CLE when we were attending the Mennonite church. Ultimately I switched him to American School, because :lol: more ultra conservative Mennonites and Amish use American School than CLE for highschool, but it was worth it to me at the time to keep him a bit under-challenged to experience the pluses we were experiencing from having him enrolled in CLE.

 

Our children are so much more than their brains. There are so many more important things than making sure they are working at peak level in all subjects.

 

You have been drooling over OM for a long time. I think this is significant.

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I used packaged curriculum for half of the 20yrs doing homeschooling and do not feel my children had a bad education because of it. Packaged curriculum has a bunch of good to it. It could be just for a season or for the whole education. I just wanted to add that because packaged curriculum gets a bad stigma here.

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I drooled over OM forever. Then I started to use some of their components this past year. We started the year with OM 4th grade, using our own math, and I dropped it halfway through. I also got the teacher support book (Learning Processes) and some art books for my younger, crafts and clay. Nothing like drooling over something and finally having some materials in your hand to finally know it was not for me. I'm glad I tried it, because now I know.

 

My advice would be to find OM used, do not get rid of your other materials, have a back up plan, in case it's not for you. Sometimes you just have to take a plunge and try something.

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Never used Oak Meadow so I can't comment on it, but I am struck (as others are) by your return to the thought of OM. You have a lot of insight about your needs, your kids' needs and how your current situation is more satisfying for your relationship with your oldest son. That is also really significant information.

 

At this point, if I were in your shoes, I would order OM or a similar packaged curriculum. It seems that nothing can be lost, as your kids are far ahead, and much may be gained. If it doesn't work well, you can put it aside and not wonder about it any further. If it does, bravo.

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Oh, I also want to say that if you were thinking about buying a box of books from ABeka or BJUP, especially if you were thinking of doing the DVD/streaming *and* enrolling in ABeka Academy, yeah then I'd tell you that you were crazy and I'd plan an intervention. :laugh:

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Moving Beyond the Page has a lot of hands on activities, it is all scheduled for you. You do have to add in your own math. The older age level's are written to the student, not the parent so it becomes self directed. We used on concept of it this past year and it provided a good break for my son who used it.

 

 

I've been eyeing OM too for my boys. The lure of having everything all planned out is strong. MBTP and OM are the two I am vacilitating between at this time.

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The same scenario is happening here with ds11. Ds8 is so different from spawn-elder.....more crafty, hands-on, project-based. In looking at how to HS him, I was inspired to explore ds11's options, too. I ended up going with my gut and going in "halvsies" with a box curriculum. I only bought their lit/LA. IF it works out, I will wade farther into the unknown and try their other components.

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I jumped all in with OM this year. It was a total about face for me. This past year was nuts and just didn't flow like the others. I've been doing this for 16 years, so you'd think I'd have it down, but it felt disjointed and none of us enjoyed school. We all needed something different and OM has been on my radar for a while. I've felt drawn to Waldorf & PBL for a couple of years now, but I've been schooling classically well, since forever it seems. I feel a little bit guilty moving away from it.... However, OM seems like the perfect compromise.

 

We'll be doing grades 3, 6 & 7 here. I chose two of those levels because they work on the skills that those children need to work on, even though some of the content will be a repeat, for example 6th grade history.

 

Now that I have it in hand I'm glad I decided to go for it. I was sweating bullets while I waited for those boxes ;) That said I wish that they had better/longer samples on their site, or a math placement test. If I'd had more complete information I would not have ordered the grade 6 math book. The child that it's intended for just completed Singapore 5B (US Ed.) I think there may be 2 topics that he doesn't already know well, as well as 1/2 of the grade 7 book.

 

I knew going in that the grade 3 math would just be a fluff extra for youngest, however it will solidify his multiplication facts, so all is not lost :) Next year, I won't be buying packages that include math. The rest of what he'll be covering is perfect.

 

I'm so looking forward to this next year :)

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I believe that some children do very well with boxes even when NOT being fully challenged in every subject while doing their box. They challenge themselves after the box is done, if the box is not overwhelming in VOLUME of work. They just coast through "school" and then do their own thing.

 

Our children are so much more than their brains. There are so many more important things than making sure they are working at peak level in all subjects.

 

 

 

As usual, I agree with Hunter...;)

 

The past few years have been umm...stretching... in our household, in many ways. Financial crisis, one boy's learning issues (SPD, ADHD) have skyrocketed to a new level, another boy has had a medical issue for over 8 months (and all the dr. visits, tests, etc. involved with that--AND we still don't have answers), plus all the day to day stuff that has to get done. I too was losing the JOY of being with my children. They were burnt out as well. Part way through last year I looked in a bag of stuff one of my homeschooling friends had passed on to me, and I found a load of Spectrum workbooks, for all subjects. You know, those workbooks aligned with (insert gasp of horror here) public school standards! Well, they turned out to be just what one of my boys needed. He finished out the year doing Spectrum for a few of his subjects (math, phonics, spelling, and reading), and I just let the other subjects (history, science) be more loosely scheduled than I had originally planned for (more read-alouds and Libirvox, less written work). My son did not seem to make fabulous academic leaps and bounds using the Spectrum books, BUT he didn't loose ground either (his end of year testing was consistent with other years). His work habits increased, his attitude was *much* better, and school was not a battle every day. He told me he felt smart!

 

Now this year I'm not doing Spectrum books with that child, BUT I am letting go of how much work I *schedule* for all of us. Each child has one subject that they enjoy, and I am purposely seeking out more time/books/materials for that subject. On the flip side, I am scheduling in more time/different materials for an area where each needs more help. The rest of the subjects, we can tread water this year. Really. I will meet state requirements, they will have instruction in all the subjects they need, but I am not worrying about making it to the next level (whatever that may be).

 

Soooooo, what materials *might* help you find that sweet spot for your boys? Umm, maybe Spectrum (or some other workbook like book) might work for a subject or two ;); my two oldest are doing Famous Men of Rome next year (using audio from Librivox and the workbooks from Memoria Press), and 2 TOPS modules for science. Memoria's grade level packages look tempting, even though I know your boys are ahead in some of their recs; their history recs and lit guides may be that consistent and easy to schedule part of your day that leaves more room for the FUN things you and your boys need.

 

My ideas may be way off, I've never been tempted by OM or Waldorf.

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This is all so interesting, reading about everyone's experiences. There seems to be something about OM that draws people to it, even those who aren't really Waldorf inclined. I don't think it is for everyone, and may not even be for us, but I think we are going to give it a try. I am going to order OM4 and OM6, and do our own math. I showed Grade 6 to my older, and he was intrigued, particularly with the hands-on projects and the writing ideas.

 

I am going to call OM today and discuss grade level for younger, in particular. I want to discuss whether OM4 would work for an accelerated 8 year old.

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This is all so interesting, reading about everyone's experiences. There seems to be something about OM that draws people to it, even those who aren't really Waldorf inclined. I don't think it is for everyone, and may not even be for us, but I think we are going to give it a try. I am going to order OM4 and OM6, and do our own math. I showed Grade 6 to my older, and he was intrigued, particularly with the hands-on projects and the writing ideas.

 

I am going to call OM today and discuss grade level for younger, in particular. I want to discuss whether OM4 would work for an accelerated 8 year old.

 

That sounds like a wonderful plan :)

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Would any of the catch up units from Waldorf Essentials help catch a students up for OM?

 

These are very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

 

ETA: I checked out the sample, and she focuses heavily on the spiritual side of Waldorf and seems to idolize Steiner.

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I agree with everyone who is saying that while OM might be a great curriculum, making it work for your family specifically doesn't seem like it would necessarily be the best option.

 

I second looking at Moving Beyond the Page as an alternative. It would cover literature, science, social studies, and art. You could just add math and your Latin and be done. It might not be as crafty as you want, but the people I know who use it like it a lot.

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I jumped all in with OM this year. It was a total about face for me. This past year was nuts and just didn't flow like the others. I've been doing this for 16 years, so you'd think I'd have it down, but it felt disjointed and none of us enjoyed school. We all needed something different and OM has been on my radar for a while. I've felt drawn to Waldorf & PBL for a couple of years now, but I've been schooling classically well, since forever it seems. I feel a little bit guilty moving away from it.... However, OM seems like the perfect compromise.

 

We'll be doing grades 3, 6 & 7 here. I chose two of those levels because they work on the skills that those children need to work on, even though some of the content will be a repeat, for example 6th grade history.

 

Now that I have it in hand I'm glad I decided to go for it. I was sweating bullets while I waited for those boxes ;) That said I wish that they had better/longer samples on their site, or a math placement test. If I'd had more complete information I would not have ordered the grade 6 math book. The child that it's intended for just completed Singapore 5B (US Ed.) I think there may be 2 topics that he doesn't already know well, as well as 1/2 of the grade 7 book.

 

I knew going in that the grade 3 math would just be a fluff extra for youngest, however it will solidify his multiplication facts, so all is not lost :) Next year, I won't be buying packages that include math. The rest of what he'll be covering is perfect.

 

I'm so looking forward to this next year :)

 

 

Did you end up buying directly from OM? That's the route I will likely go, so I have the "latest" versions if I need to resell.

 

I feel that this is worth a try for us, at this point. I feel at peace with the decision. I will stick with Dolciani Pre-A for math, and then likely move into Dolciani Algebra or TabletMath online--I have heard good things about it. But I wonder if using OM will allow my son to blossom on his own more, as opposed to being "cultivated" by mom. Does that make sense?

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I agree with everyone who is saying that while OM might be a great curriculum, making it work for your family specifically doesn't seem like it would necessarily be the best option.

 

I second looking at Moving Beyond the Page as an alternative. It would cover literature, science, social studies, and art. You could just add math and your Latin and be done. It might not be as crafty as you want, but the people I know who use it like it a lot.

 

 

Thank you. I will definitely take a look before I hit the Buy button on OM.

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As usual, I agree with Hunter... ;)

 

The past few years have been umm...stretching... in our household, in many ways. Financial crisis, one boy's learning issues (SPD, ADHD) have skyrocketed to a new level, another boy has had a medical issue for over 8 months (and all the dr. visits, tests, etc. involved with that--AND we still don't have answers), plus all the day to day stuff that has to get done. I too was losing the JOY of being with my children. They were burnt out as well. Part way through last year I looked in a bag of stuff one of my homeschooling friends had passed on to me, and I found a load of Spectrum workbooks, for all subjects. You know, those workbooks aligned with (insert gasp of horror here) public school standards! Well, they turned out to be just what one of my boys needed. He finished out the year doing Spectrum for a few of his subjects (math, phonics, spelling, and reading), and I just let the other subjects (history, science) be more loosely scheduled than I had originally planned for (more read-alouds and Libirvox, less written work). My son did not seem to make fabulous academic leaps and bounds using the Spectrum books, BUT he didn't loose ground either (his end of year testing was consistent with other years). His work habits increased, his attitude was *much* better, and school was not a battle every day. He told me he felt smart!

 

Now this year I'm not doing Spectrum books with that child, BUT I am letting go of how much work I *schedule* for all of us. Each child has one subject that they enjoy, and I am purposely seeking out more time/books/materials for that subject. On the flip side, I am scheduling in more time/different materials for an area where each needs more help. The rest of the subjects, we can tread water this year. Really. I will meet state requirements, they will have instruction in all the subjects they need, but I am not worrying about making it to the next level (whatever that may be).

 

Soooooo, what materials *might* help you find that sweet spot for your boys? Umm, maybe Spectrum (or some other workbook like book) might work for a subject or two ;); my two oldest are doing Famous Men of Rome next year (using audio from Librivox and the workbooks from Memoria Press), and 2 TOPS modules for science. Memoria's grade level packages look tempting, even though I know your boys are ahead in some of their recs; their history recs and lit guides may be that consistent and easy to schedule part of your day that leaves more room for the FUN things you and your boys need.

 

My ideas may be way off, I've never been tempted by OM or Waldorf.

 

Thank you! We actually did use some Evan Moor and Spectrum workbooks, (the Science one) and my older liked them. I think he mostly liked that they were easier than KISS grammar and CPO Life Science LOL. I also liked the topics introduced in the Spectrum Science books--very interesting, and things I didn't even know about myself.

 

I am going to sit on this for a couple of days--I will also eyeball Memoria Press./

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The same scenario is happening here with ds11. Ds8 is so different from spawn-elder.....more crafty, hands-on, project-based. In looking at how to HS him, I was inspired to explore ds11's options, too. I ended up going with my gut and going in "halvsies" with a box curriculum. I only bought their lit/LA. IF it works out, I will wade farther into the unknown and try their other components.

 

 

I would love an update once you get started with this. It's an interesting idea, to try it out without going all in. Thank you!

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Moving Beyond the Page has a lot of hands on activities, it is all scheduled for you. You do have to add in your own math. The older age level's are written to the student, not the parent so it becomes self directed. We used on concept of it this past year and it provided a good break for my son who used it.

 

 

I've been eyeing OM too for my boys. The lure of having everything all planned out is strong. MBTP and OM are the two I am vacilitating between at this time.

 

 

I am going to check out MBTP right now. Thanks.

 

ETA: Okay, MBTP likely won't work for us. Too fussy. Reminds me of Elemental Science which was a bust--cutting, gluing, labeling. We need more discussion, games, and play. But thank you for the suggestion---it helps me better clarify what I am looking for.

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Oh, I also want to say that if you were thinking about buying a box of books from ABeka or BJUP, especially if you were thinking of doing the DVD/streaming *and* enrolling in ABeka Academy, yeah then I'd tell you that you were crazy and I'd plan an intervention. :laugh:

 

I just did this for 6th grade after educating classically for 5 years. I am feeling a bit guilty. I am trying to deal with a lot of stressful life changes that will be occurring over the next year. We have used the videos for a week, and I am already thinking about tweaking them. I may be in for a long year.

 

It is really difficult to go with a boxed curriculum because not every aspect will line up with your plans. I chose Bob Jones video for 6th. I have a daughter who is strong in science, so I was originally drawn to it for that reason. The history, however, is only a semester long covering ancients and middle ages. We covered ancients last year. I had already purchased the VP online Middle Ages when they had their special, so I will be substituting that. It is really difficult to make a boxed curriculum fit when coming from a flexible pieced together homeschool environment.

 

 

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This is all so interesting, reading about everyone's experiences. There seems to be something about OM that draws people to it, even those who aren't really Waldorf inclined. I don't think it is for everyone, and may not even be for us, but I think we are going to give it a try. I am going to order OM4 and OM6, and do our own math. I showed Grade 6 to my older, and he was intrigued, particularly with the hands-on projects and the writing ideas.

 

I am going to call OM today and discuss grade level for younger, in particular. I want to discuss whether OM4 would work for an accelerated 8 year old.

 

Keep us posted, I'm curious to know how it works for you.

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Why would it be crazy? :confused1:

 

Oak Meadow has always looked interesting to me. If you think your dc would enjoy it, and you would enjoy teaching it, why not?

 

 

Thank you for keeping it simple, Ellie, as always :D

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I agree with everyone who is saying that while OM might be a great curriculum, making it work for your family specifically doesn't seem like it would necessarily be the best option.

I second looking at Moving Beyond the Page as an alternative. It would cover literature, science, social studies, and art. You could just add math and your Latin and be done. It might not be as crafty as you want, but the people I know who use it like it a lot.

 

 

I vacillated between the two for awhile. Ultimately, for me, it came down to price. Even with the international shipping, for three kids OM was cheaper than MBtP, esp. since they were having their 20% off sale at the time :) We will still be doing the concept that includes the Biome Unit from MBtP because ds1 fell in love when he saw it.

 

Did you end up buying directly from OM? That's the route I will likely go, so I have the "latest" versions if I need to resell.

I feel that this is worth a try for us, at this point. I feel at peace with the decision. I will stick with Dolciani Pre-A for math, and then likely move into Dolciani Algebra or TabletMath online--I have heard good things about it. But I wonder if using OM will allow my son to blossom on his own more, as opposed to being "cultivated" by mom. Does that make sense?

 

 

This is what I'm hoping for with my sons as well. The projects and writing assignments are so varied and there are so many to choose from! I foresee many rabbit trails.

 

I did buy directly from OM. And like you I'm going to be sticking with my original math plan for both of my boys.

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I teach SO much better when I have all the grades of a curriculum to look through at the same time. That is expensive upfront, especially when I'm not sure I will continue with the curriculum, though!

 

When I look at just one grade, I often under or over estimate how much I will like the WHOLE. Each grade is just a small piece of the WHOLE and needs to be evaluated in CONTEXT.

 

I own the whole Waldorf Essentials curriculum, because it was the only one I could afford and store the whole. What I have been left with from my Waldorf studies, is the methods, but not the scope and sequence, or trendy "stuff". Watercolors don't match my OCD ways; not enough control. The crayons smear and stain. The beeswax and crayons are hard in the cold and melt in the heat. Chalk makes dust, and I cannot afford a board, or hang it on my apartment walls.

 

What I did keep from Waldorf is learning to retell a too difficult text. Creating copywork for the student to copy; I use paper instead of a blackboard. Having the student analyze their OWN writing or the copywork to teach English, and NOT the too difficult text itself. This all made me such a better teacher and allowed me greater adaptability in choosing resources.

 

Knitting is an important activity for people with any brain issues. It can actually heal damage as well as temporarily slow and even out brain waves. We do knitting here.

 

When it comes to boxes, I prefer ultra lean workbook style, used a bit below level, and supplemented with a lot of unschooling and work and BIble study. I don't think I would be able to complete a Waldorf box. I'd love to see OM though!

 

If I needed a box, and wanted to add some Waldorf "stuff", I think I'd do them separately, as weird as that sounds.

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snapback.pngHunter, on 27 June 2013 - 08:04 AM, said:

 

Would any of the catch up units from Waldorf Essentials help catch a students up for OM?

 

These are very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

 

ETA: I checked out the sample, and she focuses heavily on the spiritual side of Waldorf and seems to idolize Steiner.

 

 

The author is Mormon/Christian. She is careful what she puts in the curriculum. The curriculum is anthroposophy lite. It's not Waldorf if there is NO anthroposophy involved at ALL. From what I have heard OM included even less anthroposophy, and is less developmentally scheduled and focused in the early grades.

 

I saw NOTHING in the Essentials curriculum that would be inappropriate for anyone other than conservative Christians with more rigid ideas. But those people generally are not looking at Waldorf!

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I have added a Waldorf twist to Evan Moor Daily science. We followed the grade 1 lessons, but I created copywork for the student, instead of having her fill out the pages. She seldom saw the book. That also might be an option for you. Workbooks as a scope and sequence, that you prepare copywork from.

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I haven't read any of the replies, but your post resonated with me. I, too, experienced something like this several times during my home educating journey. And I indulged myself and bought a few of those packaged programs. There is nothing wrong with that; and in the end, I think it saved my sanity as well as my boys' sanity. Sometimes it's good to take a step back and view the coming years. During that "viewing" you spend time assessing strengths/weaknesses/goals/passions in order to plan for the coming years. I did not find that any of my boys were harmed in any way by having a little down time. And sometimes it doesn't have to be a whole year, sometimes it doesn't have to be in every subject.

 

One of the things I learned over the years is that hormones and life often get in the way of our goals for our students. Sometimes those goals need to be tweaked to reflect our current lives. Sometimes momma needs a break; sometimes the kids need a break. Then, I found, the boys and I were ready to tackle the subjects in a much more rigorous manner.

 

I've never used Oak Meadow, but I hear good things about it. If you think it would make your life and your kids' lives better, then give it a try. Or give part of it a try. Tweak away :) Make it work for you.

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This spring we ordered Waldorf Essentials 5th grade, geometry from Waldorf Without Walls, and looked through another homeschooler's 5th grade from Live Ed. (I loved Live Ed, but didn't want to spend that much for 15weeks and the few units I wanted. Live Ed doesn't sell individual units, but their geometry is fabulous.) I used some ideas from waldorfinspirations.com. Anyway, if you are interested in Waldorf, there is more out there than just OM. I found great blogs and stuff on pintrest and YouTube. millennialchild.wordpress.com was helpful.

 

I was put off by some of the anthroposophy feel in the botany, even in Waldorf Essentials, and ended up using Montessori middle grades botany guidelines as a spine while pulling in stories, poems, drawings, and some guidance from Waldorf. At best I was underwhelmed with the Waldorf history studies I viewed. Other that a few ideas, I used very little from Waldorf grade 5 for history even though I covered two of the 5th grade history topics, ancient Persia and ancient India.

 

We also purchased the Moving Beyond the Page literature unit over The Tree That Time Built for poetry. We used it one day each week instead of every day and it wasn't fussy at this age range.

 

In the end, though, I am not a Waldorf teacher. I don't mean that I am not trained as a Waldorf teacher although I am not. I mean that so much of Waldorf is the teacher as the ultimate storyteller and guide. I find it exhausting. Also, my son doesn't learn any more effectively this way and frankly doesn't appreciate me trying to be a knowledge guru. At some point in homeschooling your children know more about something than you do or they need to learn things that you don't know. Then, the gig is up.

 

I am not trying to discourage you from giving Waldorf a go. It's an interesting departure from classical. It can be fun to view the world upside down and see the value in another educational approach. :) Also, OM is Waldorf inspired rather than pure Waldorf. It becomes less and less Waldorf as it goes up in grade, and I think part of the reason that it moves away from Waldorf is because the omniscient teacher-guide gig is very difficult to pull off in a homeschool.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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I'm going to be homeschooling dd7 for the first time this year. I have definitely flirted with the idea of OM for her. I get the appeal, I totally do. I don't think I'm going to do it, because of the cost (an issue at the moment) and because I really do have everything on hand I need to teach 2nd grade . . . . but no doubt I will go drool over the website again after reading this thread!

 

I wanted to comment on the deeper issue here. Over the past couple of years I've noticed how much your ds10 and my dd10 sound similar, and that you and I have similarly, um, driven personalities, so this is coming from a place of deep internal reflection!!

 

In your OP, you seem to have put your finger on something really critical and important: that is, your relationship with your son, and how it has been strained/challenged by the potential mismatch between your styles, and between what you need for him (i.e., to be challenged, to be working up to his intellectual potential) and what he want for himself: to chill out, to be a "regular kid", to have time for his own projects and stuff. I think this insight is what I would focus on and hold on to if I were you. It rings really, really true to me, both based on my own experience and what I've seen you write about your son over the past few months. Whatever you decide about curriculum, hold onto this knowledge and make your decisions based on what is best for him, emotionally and psychologically as well as academically.

 

It's sooooo hard to let go of encouraging (pushing?) kids to meet their potential. It's hard to trust that what they want to do and are interested in is enough. Especially when you suspect that their preferences are driven by the desire to take the easy road! I feel this way all the time with my dd.

 

I really don't have any answers at all, I just wanted to say that your OP really resonated with me, and good for you for seeing this and thinking about how to move forward in the way that's best for your family. I've been reading two books that have really been speaking to me, and you might like them if you haven't read them already: One is Free Range Learning http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/193538709X and the other is Simplicity Parenting http://www.amazon.co...,stripbooks,288

 

 

Let us know what you decide and how it works for you! Off to drool over OM again . . . :drool5:

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We also purchased the Moving Beyond the Page literature unit over The Tree That Time Built for poetry. We used it one day each week instead of every day and it wasn't fussy at this age range.

Do not try to type online conversations while your head hurts and you can only open one eye. lol

 

I have only used a few Moving Beyond the Page Units over the years. Their younger units are very craftsy, but from the two older units that I have seen (The Tree that Time Built from 10-12 and A Wrinkle in Time from 9-11) it seems that they older units don't require as much drawing as Waldorf and require more composition than Waldorf. I don't know that this is true of all MBtP vs all Waldorf products, but it is true of the little bit I have seen. Also, the MBtP science will contain no anthroposophy and, from what I can tell, less drawing in favor of more experiments/ hands on learning.

 

Not that I am arguing for MBtP. I can only bring myself to use it as a supplement.

Mandy

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I'm going to be homeschooling dd7 for the first time this year. I have definitely flirted with the idea of OM for her. I get the appeal, I totally do. I don't think I'm going to do it, because of the cost (an issue at the moment) and because I really do have everything on hand I need to teach 2nd grade . . . . but no doubt I will go drool over the website again after reading this thread!

 

I wanted to comment on the deeper issue here. Over the past couple of years I've noticed how much your ds10 and my dd10 sound similar, and that you and I have similarly, um, driven personalities, so this is coming from a place of deep internal reflection!!

 

In your OP, you seem to have put your finger on something really critical and important: that is, your relationship with your son, and how it has been strained/challenged by the potential mismatch between your styles, and between what you need for him (i.e., to be challenged, to be working up to his intellectual potential) and what he want for himself: to chill out, to be a "regular kid", to have time for his own projects and stuff. I think this insight is what I would focus on and hold on to if I were you. It rings really, really true to me, both based on my own experience and what I've seen you write about your son over the past few months. Whatever you decide about curriculum, hold onto this knowledge and make your decisions based on what is best for him, emotionally and psychologically as well as academically.

 

It's sooooo hard to let go of encouraging (pushing?) kids to meet their potential. It's hard to trust that what they want to do and are interested in is enough. Especially when you suspect that their preferences are driven by the desire to take the easy road! I feel this way all the time with my dd.

 

I really don't have any answers at all, I just wanted to say that your OP really resonated with me, and good for you for seeing this and thinking about how to move forward in the way that's best for your family. I've been reading two books that have really been speaking to me, and you might like them if you haven't read them already: One is Free Range Learning http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/193538709X and the other is Simplicity Parenting http://www.amazon.co...,stripbooks,288

 

 

Let us know what you decide and how it works for you! Off to drool over OM again . . . :drool5:

 

Thank you for posting. It is so interesting to me that I am just now, after 5 years of homeschooling older, coming to see this style clashing as an issue. Perhaps for a while he WAS more like me, because he was younger, and modeling after me. But now he seems to be coming into his own as a young person, and I want to honor that and not get caught up in my own ideas of what success is, which to be honest is a narrow ideal at best, and didnt even serve ME particularly well in my young adulthood. Finding your own passion is something i really want to focus on with him, but at the same time, NOT focus on...just let it evolve organically by taking some pressure off him.

 

You do sound like me!

 

Eta: I just finished Free Range Learning, and LOVE simplicity parenting :)

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It is so interesting to me that I am just now, after 5 years of homeschooling older, coming to see this style clashing as an issue. Perhaps for a while he WAS more like me, because he was younger, and modeling after me. But now he seems to be coming into his own as a young person, and I want to honor that and not get caught up in my own ideas of what success is, which to be honest is a narrow ideal at best, and didnt even serve ME particularly well in my young adulthood. Finding your own passion is something i really want to focus on with him, but at the same time, NOT focus on...just let it evolve organically by taking some pressure off him.

I have absolutely nothing helpful to offer and have already posted in this thread, but I just want to say how much I admire this approach and the humility it takes to evaluate this and come to this conclusion. Your son will benefit greatly from it. I find it very inspirational, as well.
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I have absolutely nothing helpful to offer and have already posted in this thread, but I just want to say how much I admire this approach and the humility it takes to evaluate this and come to this conclusion. Your son will benefit greatly from it. I find it very inspirational, as well.

 

Thank you. I really appreciate your words.

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I'm leaning toward doing this with Sonlight for grades 4 and 8 this year - but I would not use Oak Meadow - we tried that once and hated it - not nearly rigorous enough.

 

Thank you. I think that less rigorous is what we need at this juncture LOL. But I hear you.

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I don't see OM as less rigorous, I see it as concentrating more on skill areas than rote learning and learning in context rather than from a workbook. It requires a complete change in approach and outlook which can be no bad thing! I look forward to hearing how you get on as we are in exactly the same position!

 

I have OM6 on my shelf and have been encouraged by this post to try and take the plunge! Either OM or beautiful feet, or perhaps a combination!

Stephanie

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Here is an email I got from Waldorf Essentials

 

Do you ever goof up? LOL! Well I completely miscalculated the last day of the 30% off code, so I am extending it for one more day! SUMMER1 for 30% through tomorrow.

 

 

Then enjoy 25% off through the 3rd of July with the code SUMMER2

 

 

Don't forget you can can through Paypal and chose the Bill Me Later option too! This is a good time to get all of your school needs on the way to you!

 

 

SHOP NOW

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