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 wanted to write and let you know how grateful I am to have found the Christopherus 2nd grade syllabus.
I am new to home schooling, and have always been one of those parents who said I don't have what it takes to home school a child. Due to my recently adopted 8 year old son from India (who has been labeled ADHD and has PTSD from trauma at his orphanage) I have had to dive head first into the almost overwhelming world of home schooling...
For the first time in his life he loves school work, and he is learning that he is an intelligent human being capable of many successes. He's able to get up from his work and walk around if necessary, learn kinesthetically, and discuss lessons with me aloud (not often allowed in the public school setting). He's enormously creative, visual and is excited to embark on this journey of learning with me. It has done wonders for helping him feel more secure and safe in the world, and the ADHD-like symptoms have greatly reduced.
I received the Syllabus yesterday and spent several hours looking it over. Originally, I planned to create my own curriculum based upon Waldorf philosophy, but became overwhelmed. I feel so supported now with all that you have offered-- it is a Godsend, thank you!
From time to time I've asked your thoughts or updated you on something that has happened. This time I want to say thanks! We use your year 2 curriculum, and I just love it. The content is simply beautiful with lovely stories, and of course very easy to use as per usual. The main reason I am thanking you today is for the legal information. We recently chose to register in order to make my life less complicated. In the plan I wrote, I mostly copied what you had provided. It was SO easy! I could have written it myself, but it would have taken me quite a while and used up a number of brain cells unnecessarily. PLEASE continue to have this information in your curriculum!"
Marion Carrick Australia
PS If things are ever tough, and exhausting. Please know there are many families around the world who are very grateful for what you do!
The lessons are easy to use and flow really nicely - not just a block, switch gears, another block, it all makes sense, how it flows, love that. The daily plan is so well thought out - it makes a huge impact on how easy it is to implement, and let's face it, the more user-friendly it is, the more likely it is to happen, so well done there!
I really think that the legal, etc. info is a nice touch - and one that will help people to ease their minds as to whether this is a "legit" curriculum. Nice for newbies, especially.
I also like the temperament work - I'm "into" the temperaments at the moment, so I really enjoyed that personally. I (opinion here) think that temperament work is a huge key to making "school" either joyful or stressful. It's all about relationships and working together. So, so helpful, to learn about this subject. It was a great idea to include this and get the gears turning in people's minds.
And, of course, I think the individual blocks are brilliant - Saints, Math and Animal Legends, all well chosen.
Penny Vermont USA
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