Taproot Homeschool Teacher Training

IMG_5194This is the road that leads to Barbara Dewey’s farm, Taproot. It reminds me so much of the road I live on, that the first time I attended Taproot (you know, the time Andrea sent me ALONE) I had a vague, disconcerting feeling that I had just driven 8 hours and gone in a perfect circle. Over the past few years, I have grown to appreciate that visual familiarity and find it more than comforting. It reminds me of that quotation by TS Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” Taproot is a safe place to explore where I am going on this crazy ride of Waldorf-inspired homeschooling. It also provides time to strengthen my resolve, deepen my commitment and remember why I choose to homeschool this way in the first place.


I don’t seem to write at length about Taproot, even though I mention it frequently in my posts throughout the year. For me, those four days in August are difficult to capture and render into words. They have the feeling of summer camp mixed with the energy of a women’s dormitory. What I can tell you is this: Without Taproot, I would not be the same person I am now. I have had life-changing conversations with friends who frankly, I couldn’t imagine life without. I have laughed so hard I thought I was either going to have asthma attack or wet my pants. Invariably, I have found connection, community and continuity at Taproot and that is why I make the trip to Ohio every August. Plus, now that Andrea drives, it’s a piece of cake.


Yes, there are classes in the grades, special sessions on Waldorf-specific art forms, panel discussions on planning, organization and homeschooling multiple children which give the days a solid structure and provide a grounding in the nuts and bolts of actually homeschooling with Waldorf-inspired methods. However, the pockets of times in between are my real reason for traveling all that way: the soulful conversations, the morning eurythmy, the group singing, the communal meals, the long walks on the gravel road, and the laughs – the laughs have a lot to do with it. It is in these moments where I am convinced again and again that it is not about special crayons, sanctioned resources or if Steiner really said this or that. It is a validation that this is a way to homeschool from a place that goes deeper than the trappings of curriculum and methodology and gets to what I believe is the heart of the matter: goodness, soul connection, spiritual awakening, balance and grounding. It helps me to come to my children from a place of wholeness and mirror that possibility for them.


So mark your calendars: Thursday July 31 – Sunday August 3, 2014. And although no information for this year’s teacher training has been posted yet, you can check out Barbara’s website, Waldorf Without Walls or read the back posts listed below for some more information. Think about it. I would love, love, love to see you there.

Share the Cake

Destination: Taproot Farm

When in Doubt

19 thoughts on “Taproot Homeschool Teacher Training

  1. I’m going to try! I wish the logistics from Tulsa were a bit less daunting. You sure make a strong case for attendance. It sounds magical.

  2. I remember reading your post last year about Taproot and it does sound like such a magical and invigorating place for my soul. I hope that everything works out and I can attend this year!

  3. Yes, the laughter and the pilgrimage there. And it warms my heart to be among parents who are striving deeply for the good – for themselves and for their children. There is deep love and respect at Taproot. I can’t wait! Thanks for your touching post, Sheila. (And I always choose a polka dot mug!)

    • One year I’m going to steal a polka-dotted mug. I love them and have never seen them anywhere else. Andrea stole a butter knife 2 years ago (to cut that cake!) I remembered to bring it back last year and then forgot to leave it! It is still in my silverware drawer.

      • Hah! So funny you should mention mugs. Must be time for true confessions. Last summer, I “borrowed” a sweet mug with ducks on it. For tea for the long ride home. I fully intend to return it this year! Promise!

  4. It sounds magical. I love this, “It is a validation that this is a way to homeschool from a place that goes deeper than the trappings of curriculum and methodology and gets to what I believe is the heart of the matter: goodness, soul connection, spiritual awakening, balance and grounding. It helps me to come to my children from a place of wholeness and mirror that possibility for them.”

    • I really do believe that to be the essence of things. I have been struggling as to where I want to take this little blog of mine – what I want to say in this space – and what you quoted is what I want to talk about. Waldorf seems to get so easily mucked up in the details and the stuff. I want to change the conversation, bc for me, it is not about the details and the stuff. It so much bigger and conversely, so much smaller.

      Hope you are well my friend.

  5. I am so glad that you posted this. This year has been a struggle with homeschooling my older boys. I seem to get bogged down in the doing and getting the “school work” done that some of the magic of Waldorf is lost in the bustle. I am in need of some inspiration and planning for next year. I am seriously considering this weekend. I will actually be in Indiana the week before. I have also come across Eugene Schwarz’s waldorf online training. It is a two week on-line course which offers a lot of material. I am trying to sit with both to choose. I think that I am in dire need of some female companionship and emotional support more than anything else.

    • Hey Blythe,
      I’m sure you will make the right decision. Jean Miller and Alison Manzer are teaching the upper grades at Taproot. Both have graduated 2 children (all boys) and both still have 1 at home. I find them to be very realistic as far as how to do things. For example, a bunch of us were starting middle school this year. The gave some great advice as far as a new rhythm and also suggested moving around a lot (as in changing locations in the house). It expanding my perception, so I was not thinking so rigidly (as can be with the elementary model). Someone who reads this blog loves the Eugene Schwartz training. Maybe Cathy? Hmmm . . . I will have to think about that. I have never done those trainings myself, but people rave about them.

      Keep me posted.

  6. Pingback: What Is The Taproot Teacher Training Like? ⋆ Waldorf-Inspired Learning

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