I appreciate each and every one of you who come here daily and read my words, however, if you are not reading the corresponding comments, you are missing out. I have found such a sense of community in the dialogue that follows something I post – such thoughtful, honest words that further the conversation in ways I could have never, ever imagined. (One comment – on this post – made me see myself differently and crystalized a new vision for my future. It’s absolutely true. More on that soon . . . Thank you Emmie.)
Jean Miller‘s comment on my recent post “What’s Working” deserved to be posted all by itself – and that is what you will find below. I know Jean in real life. She is a mentor and a friend and a light on my path. She offers homeschooling consulting and I highly, highly, highly recommend it. (You can read more about our experience together here and here.)
Anyway, what I really want to say is yes, please, read the comments – but even more than that, comment yourself. I would love you to add your voice to this growing community and know what you’re thinking. Be brave. Say what you think. You never know when your words might change someone’s life . . .
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I know I’m late to the party here, but there’s just so much in this post and I had to do some digging! First of all, as I read Steiner’s lectures to the first teachers, there really is NO “looking like Waldorf” to begin with, so you can’t be less Waldorf now! OK, well there is admittedly the rhythm of main lesson work; but even Steiner knew this would look different in each classroom. It’s Waldorf schools that are so homogeneous and make us feel like there is some particular way this is all supposed to “look.” Seriously.
So glad you’re enjoying Mapping the World. I want to try that curriculum for myself! Brave Writer is nice to have around to help Moms generate writing activities. I also have appreciated her book lists. I think everyone with kids over age 12 should try notebooking! Lots of kids really like it and appreciate a break from the main lesson book routine or whatever routine you’ve had going. We used Teaching Textbooks here too, and also Right Start Math (very hands-on and Montessori-based) for middle school. Love the Maestro Classics recordings. They seem just right and are easy to use; local public libraries have many of them to borrow. Plus, we love going to the education concerts at our city’s orchestra; fun to match the recordings with concerts when that can work.
Ok, now for reading. Not all kids are going to take to reading fiction for pleasure in a big way. When they do, we’re lucky! But I also think that once kids reach a certain age and aren’t picking up fiction on their own, it’s fine for us to “assign” a title. Maybe assign one book each season, or each block if they can handle it. Sometimes it helps to give kids a list of six books with a little description and they get to choose one. Or have a conversation (together) with your local librarian. If your’re already having them read say historical fiction that ties in with a particular block, that may be the best it gets! My boys way in was Harry Potter, too. But I don’t think my husband has ever picked up a novel to read for pleasure. Ever. Not in school; not as an adult. Sad but true! Another fun approach is to have a movie in mind (from a book) and require the book to be read first. Then have a big movie night party with pizza, popcorn, root beer floats or whatever! Yup, a whole post on this one!!! Hugs to you. Jean