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Christopherus vs. OM vs. ???


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My sister will be hs'ing her 6yo DD next year...My niece is currently in a Waldorf kindergarten, and my sister is looking for a similar curriculum for 1st grade. I recommended OM because it was the only Waldorf curriculum I'm familiar with, and I think I've read fairly positive things about it. She's also looking at Christopherus, but I haven't seen it talked about here, and searching for people who've actually used it hasn't gotten me far.

 

Any suggestions? (Especially interested because I may try to buy whatever she uses off of her next year.)

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Christopherus is more fully Waldorf.  Not to mention, IMHO it's meatier and a very enjoyable read.  OM is good, too, but not quite Waldorf.  You may be able to find both used, but Christopherus will be more expensive.  If money is an issue, the new Waldorf Essential books are good, but honestly not "full" like you will get with OM and Christopherus.  But you really can't beat the price.

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I am wondering why you are thinking to do Waldorf? Or are you not planning to do it, but think a used Waldorf curriculum could be a good supplement?  My ds went to a Waldorf school for 2 1/2 years. Waldorf K's can be just lovely, wonderful and nurturing places, but I found the academics part of Waldorf post K level to be unacceptable (though the arts part was very good). I too had at first thought to continue with a home Waldorf curriculum, thinking the problem was just my son's particular teacher, and had some Christopherus a la carte, and a full package of Live-Ed, but I ended up leaving all of that for an eclectic mix that was a good bit more academic and more toward the "classical" WTM style.  Looking at your sig line, what you are doing would be at odds with Waldorf philosophy which would be too keep your child away from things like math, phonics, readers, and God-forbid, a science program like BFSU (which I think is excellent, my comment is to give the Waldorf perspective), as a 4 year old, lest you have their thinking develop too quickly and in advance of other aspects of them. Thus you (your child) would be likely very out of step with any traditional Waldorf program.  In fact, with BFSU, she could end up knowing more science by the end of the first book, than some Waldorf programs I've seen would give by the end of high school.

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Thank you all so much for your suggestions! So much to look through...I'll pass the links and thoughts on!

 

Pen, this is for my sister who has always been drawn to Waldorf for her 6yo. I am too, in some ways, the gentleness, focus on nature and imagination and self-awareness, education of the whole child, but I'm obviously adding in academics on top of it. If I buy something Waldorf-y from her once she's done, I'd only be using the songs/stories/nature studies, and adding them to our current plans. My DD is very internally driven, is always asking to "do school" which is why she has so much on her plate, but as my siggy says I've been trying to push back on this for awhile because her intensity worries me at times, I feel like I need to keep her from driving herself too hard, being too self-critical and burning out early. I think reading/working through those aspects of the program would help me find more/better ways for incorporating more stillness into our days.

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Waldorf is mostly vintage ideas, with a little Northern European paganism and a little of Steiner's own turn of the century religion. Using Steiner's SOURCES is often cheaper and more palatable to some people, than to use Steiner's work, or the more modern commercialized resources.

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Thank you all so much for your suggestions! So much to look through...I'll pass the links and thoughts on!

 

Pen, this is for my sister who has always been drawn to Waldorf for her 6yo. I am too, in some ways, the gentleness, focus on nature and imagination and self-awareness, education of the whole child, but I'm obviously adding in academics on top of it. If I buy something Waldorf-y from her once she's done, I'd only be using the songs/stories/nature studies, and adding them to our current plans. My DD is very internally driven, is always asking to "do school" which is why she has so much on her plate, but as my siggy says I've been trying to push back on this for awhile because her intensity worries me at times, I feel like I need to keep her from driving herself too hard, being too self-critical and burning out early. I think reading/working through those aspects of the program would help me find more/better ways for incorporating more stillness into our days.

 

 

Yes.  In that situation it makes sense. For you, the best choice might be Little Garden Flower, which I think has more on adopting a Waldorf "lifestyle"--though you might find that information just on their website; or perhaps, some of the nature parts of Christopherus, and again check out their website where you may find ideas without the curriculum. The art and stories from Live-Ed were especially well done, though I did not see it at the 1st grade level, it can feel peaceful just to look at their materials, similar to the feel of being in a Waldorf K room, and we did use and enjoy their stories (second grade) very much.  I ended up sitting with my son on my lap and reading them, rather than memorizing  them and telling him them from memory as one should in True Waldorf. He did not care for the Christopherus stories as much--they were "darker." if that makes any sense.

 

Another Waldorf-"inspired," but not actually Waldorf program to consider is Enki.  It tends to be more multicultural and has a little different feel, not as far off from basic Waldorf as OM though. Well, IMHO.

 

Live-Ed is probably the most strictly Waldorf, rather than just Waldorf inspired that I know of. It would be my top recommendation to someone wanting to continue what a brick and mortar school did.  Technically, they restrict resale of their materials, and if she chooses that, she may think them so beautiful that she will not want to part with them anyway, just as one often wants to keep some favorite books past the point when first used.  

 

There is also a Waldorf homeschool group on Yahoo where you/she can get a lot of information, songs, recipes, etc.   ...free... but more work.

 

OM is sort of Waldorfy, but only slightly behind mainstream regular academics. It could be a happy medium for your sister.

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My son spent pre-school to grade 2 in a Steiner school. We used Christopherus from grade 2 to grade 5 (Christopherus finished after grade 5). It is an excellent curriculum and rigorous enough that our transition to a more classical style in grade 6 was seamless. Live ed is very beautiful but not as academically strong, and the science is pretty loopy. OM is closer to classical than Steiner, IMHO. I have used all three and they are all good, but Christopherus would be my pick. It's also easy to remove most of Steiner's spiritualism from this curriculum. Waldorf Essentials is very good and very gentle, but does not lay out each unit lesson by lesson. If your sister doesn't want or need something overly prescriptive, it may be perfect, but I didn't have the time or confidence to do that much work on my own at the beginning of our journey.

D

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Thank you for your insight and the links! This is all so helpful.

 

I'm going to look through Waldorf Essentials/Little Garden Flower myself today, join the yahoo group and see how much I can use with DD now. It's good to know it would be easy enough to transition from Christopherus to another non-Waldorf program, since I'm pretty sure my sister wants her DD to be able to go to college someday (if she chooses to do so.) That's one of the things I was a little worried about myself--Beautiful and nurturing is wonderful, but you don't want it to be limiting...

 

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Thank you for your insight and the links! This is all so helpful.

 

I'm going to look through Waldorf Essentials/Little Garden Flower myself today, join the yahoo group and see how much I can use with DD now. It's good to know it would be easy enough to transition from Christopherus to another non-Waldorf program, since I'm pretty sure my sister wants her DD to be able to go to college someday (if she chooses to do so.) That's one of the things I was a little worried about myself--Beautiful and nurturing is wonderful, but you don't want it to be limiting...

 

 

I would not worry about the child not being able to go to a college if she does a traditional Waldorf program, but it would be hard to do it in a STEM area, and probably hard to go to a first tier college where a stronger academic background would be expected even for a non-STEM major. 

 

The reality is that there are only so many hours in a day and you cannot do it all. So everything is limiting one way or another, and even running around like crazy trying to do everything is its own form of limiting.  Each person has to figure out what a good balance is for their family.

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  • 6 months later...

I know I'm really late jumping in here, just doing some more comparison on these two & the conversation came up.....I tried Waldorf Essentials k and the 1st grade & they were not laid out enough for us.  I currently have them for sale for $25 each if your sister or friend or you is still interested.  I think it looks like I'll probably go w/ Christopherus, although I am also so classically inclined from homeschooling our older children that Oak Meadow also is appealing ;0)  Too much research just leads to more confusion sometimes!!!

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