Wednesday, May 03, 2006

 

Waldorf Inspired Homeschooling Group Information Email

Thanks for expressing interest in our "Waldorf Inspired" Homeschool group. I'm a homeschooling Mum of two children 6 and 3. Education is a passion of mine. I'm a trained Montessori primary teacher and did a MEd in Integrative Learning. My in class experience with Montessori along with the needs of my highly sensitive daughter and her negative response to Montessori preschool lead me on a journey back to Waldorf. I have been torn between the two for years, but presently feel that Montessori lacked the artistic soul expression that my daughter needs. She has responded so positively to the crayon drawing that she is drawing stories all the time. She had stopped drawing before attending this group and it has been a positive experience for her, which is why I am so keen on it.

A typical day would entail:-
The children start with circle time in which they share something that is happy to them this week, i.e. something the 'sun shines' on for them. Then they do a mix of about 10-12 verses, finger rhymes, songs, and marches. The rhymes, verses and songs incorporate full body movement and actions that are good for coordination and memory by integrating their brains left and right hemispheres - like brain gym but more fun. And most important it is fun and a positive social experience!!! My daughter comes home singing songs and doing movements and she teaches them to me and we all do them together then at home. Still in the circle - they also sometimes do a counting rhythm with movement to help them feel, sing, and say skip-counting for multiplication like taking five steps while clapping and then stopping and opening their arms and emphasising 5 then the 10 for skip counting by 5. They also do work with Maori pois sometime to strengthen their wrists and for rhymn.

Still in the circle they have a story told or read to them. The story is to spark their imagination. If she reads a story from a book she will also have children pick out words on a page. Then at a communal table they all draw a scene or their impression of the story with the Waldorf block crayons and write a sentence or a paragraph about the story depending on their ability. A child who does yet read learns to read through writing by reading the words he/she writes.

They have a short tea break outside. Then do some maths. The teacher will tell the story of one of the operations, where the math operation is embodied in the character. For instance, she develops a story about a single character like "Devina Divider" who is generous and likes to share equally. The children presently have been enjoying making their own bingo board and putting in numbers within a range determined by the teacher, i.e. like 10-20. They also make up their own math stories. She will give them problems and they mark off their bingo boards if they have the answer. They also sometimes write out the equations - depending on their age and ability. Because of the different age groups she gives the children individual problems to suit their math level. They can use shells as manipulatives if they want or need to in order to solve the problems. They also then sometimes do a form drawing after hearing a short story and doing some movement like tracing the form in the air with the whole arm or making a mountain form each time the teacher said mountain in the story. The drawing is a crystallization of the movement made by the person drawing the form. Form drawing uses all four of the lower senses: spatial orientation, body geography, inner visualization and observation.

At 12:30 the children have lunch together and run around playing games. I come and have lunch with the children and then after lunch I have been doing handworks with the children. We have made clay animals on several occasions, fairies with wood beads felt and silk flowers, felted balls, planted seeds and made a seed chart, and visited the gardens. I will teach finger knitting to those who don't know it, some weaving with cardboard looms that we will make ourselves, and possibly sewing depending on the children and their needs and desires. I am open to suggestions and parent participation.


The group meets Mondays in a meeting room in the admin building of the Opawa Community Church, which is on the corner of Ansley Terrace and Opawa Road where Garland road ends - just south of Brougham. It is a sunny warm room with, a kitchen and toilets just down the hall. We use the Opawa Community Gardens just 1 minute walk from us, there is a playground right around the corner (3 minute walk), and we are just at the river by theOpawa children's library and walking distance to Hansons park and playground and Rapaki track. We are also walking distance to the Opawa shops and the Steiner school. We are a nondenominational group.

Our first teacher had started the group and then I took over managing the organization of the group when she was preparing for maternity leave. At the moment we have 4 children ages 6-9. I also organize a homeschooling watercolour painting class.

Our teacher is Steiner trained teacher from England who teaches at the Steiner school both in the upper and lower school. The day runs from 10am to 3pm. You can come for 1/2 of it or all of it. It is $15 per child if the child comes for the teacher session, as this is the teacher's fee. Possibly the teacher would give a discount for 2 children - I can ask. I don't charge for my time. I haven't charged for handiwork resources either, but people bring in wool sometimes or clay if we need to supplement my stocks. Then we split the charge of the room hire amongst families. So room hire is $4 per family if we have 5 families. You pay on the day as you come to classes not per term, but we would ask that people pay the church fee for missed days.

Hope you find this information helpful.

Any more queries just email me back or phone me.

Comments:
Hi . Wondering if you were still contactable
 
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