Donna Simmons' curriculum materials are so clear and accessible.
I often recommend them, both as a starting point for new parents who are just beginning to study Waldorf Ed., and to more seasoned homeschoolers looking for curriculum ideas. Donna's words are like an offer of a reassuring hand, to make me feel: 'I can do it' and to help me relax and know that my instincts are right.
She deeply understands developmental readiness, and her encouraging words have often helped me to observe my child with a fresh perspective, and to relax, knowing that I don't need to push the learning process ... Having Donna's books to refer to is like having a wry and witty best friend, just an arm's length away, ready to share her wisdom and encouragement.
Thea Bodger, homeschooler and Waldorf early years teacher
We received our books this morning. They are absolutely fantastic.
We feel blessed to have come across your website under Waldorf homeschooling. Have always wanted to incorporate Steiner into our lives, but had no access to the school itself and found some Steiner books over my head/ hard to read. Everything in the books I have skimmed through rings so true and feels so right. They incorporate humor and give me all the ideas and info that I have been seeking in this technocratic world! Thank you so very much for these books.
Anneke and Craig
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your work.
I'm finding the whole homeschool thing very challenging, and one downfall of all this waldorf stuff for me is that I now have such high standards of how I want things to be. When things get hard, and I yell at the children, act like a child myself and totally lose it,(which is daily) I come back to your books, your audios and this forum [Waldorf at Home]. And now, as I read the books, I can sort of hear your voice and your intonations. I really like your sense of humour, and combination of common sense and yet strong opinions. Anyway, I just wanted you to know. Thank you.
Thank you SO much for your follow-up!
I did receive both the order and the audio download. I was so impressed with each and every item that I ordered and am anxious to listen to the audio download. In fact, I am going to use the Christopherus Curriculum with my daughter! What I have read, so far, answers a multitude of questions and fills so many gaps that I am experiencing with [another homeschool] curriculum.
Many, many thanks for providing such creative, thoughtful, fulfilling and practical ways to connect and teach my daughter! These resources truly exceed my expectations! (I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the schedule provided with each block, as well as the blocks, themselves.) THANK YOU! Sincerely,
You make homeschooling do-able.
Reflecting back on all the wonderful Christopherus works that I own, Joyful Movement, the overview, the nature book, form drawing, the Kindergarten book, the drawing book, several of your second grade materials (animal legends and the math book), and now Living Language, I just wanted to send another big thank you to Donna and the entire Christopherus gang.
Two years ago we started our homeschooling journey with Enki and I was overwhelmed! I loved the story materials, but the guidance was very lacking. Without Donna's materials I would have never figured out how to use the wonderful Enki stories. (and I'm a self-educated, intelligent gal! I just didn't have the time to wade through all those binders and binders of resources and read through the vast amount of theory. And I lacked the teaching experience to be able to turn all that theory into something useable and do-able).
I find Donna's take on Waldorf, homeschooling, and unschooling echoes my own very closely, and so I find comfort in her practical, down-to-earth guidance. She has helped me to be able to navigate our own course on our homeschooling journey. I just want to make sure she knows how much I appreciate these materials, and the heart and soul that she and her entire family have poured into them. Thank you so very much.
Chris Ohio, USA
I just placed an order.
I was trying to get along without ordering Saints and Heroes and 2nd Grade Mathematics, using the many other resources that I have, but I was realizing that I was missing your voice, conciseness and direction. I constantly struggle with the balance of unschooling and getting in the Waldorf framework. Your books make me feel like I can check off certain Waldorf principles balancing it with our natural family rhythms and my interests.
I found Christopherus a couple of weeks ago and it has been such a blessing.
I think I read nearly every word on your website in the first few days! I've listened to several of your audio downloads. Your voice is so calming and reassuring, to say nothing of the helpful content.
All I can say is that I feel inspired and empowered, in a word, nurtured, in my role as a mother and as a woman. I felt myself exhale. I hadn't realized I was holding my breath! It was like 'oh my god, somebody out there gets me. Somebody out there knows what I'm trying to do better than I do and she's done it, AND she's willing to share her insight and wisdom!'
Thank you! Thank you!
I can't tell you what your work has meant in my life, and I can't imagine my life without the many gifts of Christopherus.
The Overview, especially, has been my guide since the day I first held it in my hands, and although we drift off to this and that, it's the backbone of what I do here at the Egan Family Homeschool. How can I ever thank you?
I listened to the therapeutic talk yesterday and it was so interesting, and then, at the end, you said a sentence that knocked me off my feet and made me remember why I chose Waldorf and why it's healing "powers" are so important in this day and age. My youngest daughter is "gifted" (whatever that means) and is nowhere near appropriately incarnated into her body. That's what happens when you let in-laws and "experts" and fear lead you astray from what you know is truth. Thank goodness for your voice of reason Donna. You help me in more ways than I can ever express.
And as to the Overview, when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed I often just flop it open and pick a phrase or sentence that will inspire me in that moment. This trick has *never* failed me. Never.
As you know, I love to buy your books - for myself, as gifts, and for any reason I can think of! I will continue to support Christopherus this way as long as I can. I couldn't do it without you.
I'm absolutely thrilled with the books that I've purchased from you!
We are into our Language Arts block, and Madison, my six year old, is loving every minute of the Prince's adventure with the Wise Woman. I am too. This is the most creative and fun way to learn! Maddie asked me today on her way down the hall......."Mom how does a "j" go again?"......and then before she turned the corner.....in the most satisfied voice she said, " never mind, I know, ....like the jester."
My husband is in school full time right now, and very busy with his studies. Maddie can't wait to show him, when he comes home, her latest pictures in her main lesson book. She's so proud of what she's learned and of her artwork.
It feels so rewarding to watch her shine like this. As I've shared with you before, we are new to the Waldorf approach, and I am continually grateful that we've found it, and you. What a difference your books have brought to our home. We love circle time so much more now that we've been using the Joyful Movement book. My two year old son and four year old daughter join in singing and clapping.
Many, many thanks for all your hard work!
I have been using your 1st Grade Syllabus, and almost every other book in your homeschool series that is age appropriate for my 5 and almost 8 year old daughters! I am thoroughly enjoying the whole concept, and experience, of teaching this way, even though I had had no previous experience with Waldorf at all. You have done a super job and really made our first year of homeschooling a great experience. Our almost 8 year old was in public school for 1st grade last year and I took her out of there in March because it was not working well, to say the least, for her. She was actually diagnosed with anxiety, but her teacher had repeatedly talked to me because she thought my daughter had Asperger's syndrome or something along that line due to her behavior. We are all at home now and everything is going great!
I am so glad I bought your first grade curriculum. So far homeschooling has been a joyous and therapeutic experience for our family because of the encouragement we receive in the Waldorf at Home forum and through your curriculum.
Although you are probably swamped with pictures from your fans I thought I would send along a few. I don't know anyone using Waldorf where we live so I have no one to share this stuff with!!! We just finished our first Language Arts block and used the story about the puffed up prince. My girls love this story and at dinner time they puff up their chests and pretend to be puffed up and petulant.
I love your down to earth advice and flexible guidelines.
This is our first year homeschooling and in the past weeks I have sometimes doubted our decision to do this. But when I doubt I take out my girls "Good Books" and see their progress and marvel at the beauty of this form of education. Thank you for helping us make Waldorf a reality in our home.
I ordered a first grade syllabus along with a few other curriculum books from Christopherus about 3 weeks ago. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful all of it is. It amazes me how thorough and organized it is. It is exactly what I had been hoping for in my homeschooling adventures. I just want to let you know how impressed I am. Once I get a bit more organized, I will surely be using more of your resources. Thank you again!
I just completed reading through and then planning out my blocks for first grade using Christopherus Homeschool Resources' First Grade Syllabus. What a wealth of information and help! I have always chosen to use a more labor intensive curriculum and have avoided the ones that are laid out for you day by day. Donna’s syllabus strikes the balance between "here it is, spoon fed to you" and 'here are a few ideas, now go make up your own". I feel that with her syllabus I have the freedom to meet my first grader’s interests and needs as well as make sure he is receiving a good solid Waldorf first grade education.
I was pleased to find Donna’s scheduling ideas, her advice on teaching and storytelling, as well as the stories! Each subject is discussed in ample detail and then each block is laid out for you to use. Each block contains ideas as well a good direction and choices for what to do on the subject. And, the true help for me….the part I have difficulties with…..she has a Lesson A and B for each block (recorder, painting, drawing, modeling, baking, etc.) there too! No more sitting with all my Waldorf books piled around me looking for crafts that I don’t have the stuff to do.
Because I also have a 5th grader this year, and it looks to be a very intense year, Donna’s syllabus has saved me so much time and struggle. I am not entering this year as prepared as I wanted to be, but I have great confidence that my load will be lighter using Donna’s syllabus.
Thank you Donna for making a Waldorf education possible for my children, and thank you for making it easier.
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