Waldorf education is a part of waldorf homeschooling curriculum being used today. If you are thinking about using Waldorf for your homeschoolers education, you will need waldorf books, learn about waldorf parenting, and about Waldorf homeschool curriculum for homeschoolers today.
There are a lot of different types of homeschooling families today. These range from highly structured approaches to homeschooling to those that don’t even look like homeschoolers at all (i.e. unschoolers).
Structured Approaches To Homeschooling
The structured homeschooling forms include those that are more conventional, such as the school-at-home approach that imitates conventional schooling. Of course, there are also other forms of structured homeschooling as well (i.e. theme-based unit studies). These forms will usually include grading and testing.
Less Structured Approaches To Homeschooling
There are also some less structured approaches to homeschooling, which are oftentimes referred to as eclectic or relaxed forms of homeschooling. These approaches will usually take on a structured approach to certain subjects while taking on a much less structured, even unschooling, approach to others. Some examples of commonly used curriculum here include:
- Enki Homeschooling is a curriculum that weaves together aspects of Waldorf and Montessori homeschooling methods
- Charlotte Mason Homeschooling is a homeschooling method that approaches education through the areas of atmosphere, discipline and life
- Classical Homeschooling is an educational method that promote promotes creativity, independent thought, life experience and appreciation for great works
Unstructured Approaches To Homeschooling
Unschooling and radical unschooling approaches will vary greatly one from family to the next. Usually unschooling families allow learning to occur spontaneously throughout their daily lives. This is based upon the learner’s motivation and supported by their family, especially their parents. For this reason, attempts to create a concise unschooling definition have been unsuccessful.
Waldorf Education As A Homeschooling Method
The Waldorf Education system was “born” in Europe with the first school being opened in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. By 935 there were numerous schools throughout Great Britaina nd the United States. Today there are numerous schools throughout the world that adhere to the Waldorf philosophy. In fact, as of 2008 there were more than 950 Waldorf Schools throughout the world.
Waldorf Education is a type of educational system that teaches children about their own personal uniqueness, as well as encouraging them to be at peace with and tolerate others. For this reason, lessons will oftentimes include promoting a child’s imagination through the use of role-playing and theatrics.
It is important to understand that there are 3 stages in this form of Waldorf Homeschooling:
- Preschool (birth to 7-years-old): Children learn through guided free play. Herein they are encouraged to imitate their surroundings. This allows children to learn in very natural settings. Parents restrict their children’s exposure to television, gaming systems, computers and media so that they don’t stifle their creativity and intellectual growth.
- Elementary (7-years-old to 14-years-old): This is the beginning of a child’s formal education. During this time curriculum is arts-based and encourages children to learn through drama, dance, art, music and crafts. Foreign language begins and other subjects are taught through storytelling, reading, artwork and other forms of artistic expression and exposure.
- Secondary (14-years-old until graduation): Themed lessons that change on a monthly basis are used throughout this period. Children create and illustrate a course book that is used to track their learning. This is a time that has a more academic focus, with the primary focus being on creative thinking, intellectual understanding and social responsibility.
The Unschooling Philosophy As A Homeschooling Method
The philosophy behind unschooling is actually quite simple: Babies are born with a desire to learn. They work hard to learn about their world, how to control their bodies and how to communicate their needs and desires.
Unschoolers believe that this striving to learn will continue until someone or something (i.e. schooling, undermining children, making children feel dumb, trust being broken, children being turned away when they ask a question, children being told they are too young to learn something) comes along and stifles it.
Regardless of what stifles this learning, children will start to think of learning as a chore that is to be avoided. Unschooling parents strive to make sure that these things don’t happen to their children. As such, they are there to willingly answer their children’s questions and accept them for who they are without forcing them to do lessons just because they are age appropriate.
Where You Are On Your Homeschool Journey
Most homeschooling families will find themselves at different points on the homeschooling spectrum at different points in their lives. This is even true within just one family where multiple children may prefer varying levels of structure and guidance. The important thing is to figure out what really works well for your family and honors the needs of each family member. Clearly it is possible to combine a variety of homeschool methods to create something that will work best for you. This is where the idea of Waldorf unschooling comes from.