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Well, it's been a long time since I've been here!  Good to be back.  Our 2 oldest have graduated, married (both this summer!!) & now we've got littles to educate ;0)  1 year old, (new) 6 year old & 8 year old.  I'm thinking about doing a semester more of kindy w/ the 6 yob & starting 1st in January.  8yog is solid third although math always needs more help!  Has anyone tried to combine this many different styles??  The notebooking/narration part of the classical approach using SOTW that we did with our older ones is very similar to Waldorf's (somewhat) unit study approach to Main Lesson Books, although my brain needs workbooks for spelling, most of math, & handwriting (sorry about that sentence, not even gonna correct it bc it's too late at night)!  We'll be on SOTW book 3 this fall but I really would love to encorporate the Waldorf studies of gardens, shelters, fiber arts & Native Americans.  Any ideas welcome!



mama to 5 ages 1-22, homeschool mama since 2002

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I'm surprised you haven't gotten any responses yet! If there is any place to find Waldorf/Classical people, this forum would be it. If you do a tag search on "Waldorf," you will get quite a few hits.


We do some Waldorf and some Classical, but they run more consecutively than parallel. For instance, pre-K through 2nd grade looks more Waldorf, 3rd through 8th looks Charlotte Mason, 9th through 12th is going more Classical/Traditional.


A lot of people mix the two by just adding Waldorf ideas to a Charlotte Mason (which already looks kind of like a Classical/Waldorf mix) school. Such as a nature table, low-media lifestyle, fairy tales, festivals, Waldorf crafts, baking, etc. I was inspired to try block scheduling from the Waldorf people, but most of us are not comfortable block scheduling the skills subjects of math and language arts. So I use that concept more with science and history. As you mentioned, the Waldorf concept of Main Lesson Books is similar to the notebooking that Classical and CM-ers do.


My favorite grammar program is a Waldorf-insprired book called The Sentence Family. I use this right alongside of the practices of copywork and dictation of classic literature.


For a whole book on Waldorf project ideas, check out Earthways. This is the same book a local Waldorf school uses here. I also recommend Christopherus Kindergarten manual and the book Heaven on Earth. Baking Bread with Children was inspirational to me as well.


Look at the Wee Folk Art homeschool guides for a free K program that is a CM/Waldorf mix.


Your idea of adding enrichment to SOTW sounds great. There is quite a bit of Waldorf ideas and inspiration on Pinterest. Find what works for you and brings joy to you as a teacher. 

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I do like main lesson blocks for the 3R's.


Ray's Arithmetic and Blumenfeld's How to Tutor supplemented with picture books from the library are usable with block scheduling for math.


I don't have it anymore, but the main Principle Approach Red Book teaches notebooking ideas that can be used with block scheduling, and even math block scheduling. https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Learning-Americas-Christian-History/dp/B000I1QPTQ


Block scheduling works best with teasing out a subject and defining it and stating the rules and being totally OCD about something. And maybe over simplifying it. Single title books instead of textbooks are easier to use.


Main lesson blocks overlap with unit studies.


Ruth Beechick's ideas work well with reviewing language arts skills when not doing a language arts block. The K-3 Book The Three R's is applicable to older grades, especially the spelling.


For block scheduling Grammar, yes, Sentence family is awesome. Harvey's is also good. If you need the ultimate grammar checklist for K-6/8 or even through general highschool, I like Marvin Terban's Checking Your Grammar. https://www.amazon.com/Scholastic-Guide-Checking-Grammar-Guides/dp/0590494554/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471628579&sr=1-1&keywords=checking+your+grammar


When using vintage books the older rules based ungraded textbook of the 1870's are better than the 1920 graded and chattier textbooks.


Some of the main lesson blocks are modeled after the vintage home geographies. Waldorf was just following the general trend of home geography before starting history. CC Long, Charlotte Mason, Payne's Geographical Nature Studies and Florence Holbrook's Elementary Geography are all good.



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Books like Constructive Form Work are what Waldorf geometry is based on.



Blackboard drawing was based off of books like this.



Grube's Method is where the teaching of all four processes at once comes from.


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The core of Waldorf education is that the child's education should mirror the inner developmental world of the child.  For example, when a child is becoming more grounded in the world, around age 9, you study measurement.  When a child is around 13 and starting to spread his wings, you study the age of exploration and discovery.  Main lesson blocks are to immerse the child in his own inner reality.  History is usually the backbone of main lessons in Waldorf.  When we refer to Grade 4 we talk about Norse Mythology.  When we refer to grade 5 we are talking about immersion into ancient history.  Grade 6 is Rome, Grade 7 is Middle Ages, etc. 

That said, Waldorf homeschooling is very, very intense, and very teacher-heavy!  I would not really say that Waldorf is a unit-studies method, because again, the point is that you are helping the child discover his world.  You don't focus on subjects.  You focus on educating the head (academics,) the heart (spiritual development,) and the hands (handwork, using the body, etc.) Everything is based around that.  But yes, you use many different ways to explore one topic in depth.  If you are studying Old Testament, you are going to be building an ark and making a LOT of little creatures out of beeswax.

You definitely could use the idea of main lesson blocks and immersion into one topic at a time.  All of my kids LOVE main lesson time - it is their favorite part of the day. 

I do not find that Waldorf Main Lesson Books are anything at all like notebooking.  I have done notebooking or lapbooking with my kids from time to time, thinking it would be fun, and found it tedious and disjointed. For our family, MLB's are much more meaningful and rich.  Notebooks I would throw away.  MLB's we treasure and keep.  They are diverse, with writing, copywork, paintings, drawings, poems, charts, maps.  Each book is so unique and is something the child can look back on with pride.  

I think it is enriching to understand the philosophy behind the educational strategies you use, especially with Waldorf because it is very complex.  At the end of the day, everyone has to do what works best for each family and each child.  The most important thing is to keep the joy and wonder in their learning.


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Pre-Y2K style Principle Approach notebooking is nothing like the current printable lapbooks and notebook pages. Nothing. I'm getting so outdated. :lol: I'm like a grandmother that says, "I feel so gay today!"

Literally laughing out loud hunter

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This is very much how we approach our studies with the use of Main Lesson Books and handwork. We still do use a workbook and/or text for math, Latin, French and a couple other workbooks that my children enjoy using. For science, Literature, History and geography topics, spelling, penmanship  (i'm sure there's more but I can't think of them now) basically we use a Lesson Book. It's been really great for us. I realize that there is a lot more to it. We are eclectic, so not fully immersed in any one methodology. I feel like the mix of Classical, Charlotte Mason and Waldorf combine well for us without having to be prescriptive about it.

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