Christopherus Homeschool Consultant: Barbara Benson
Barbara Benson is the mother of five homeschooled children, the youngest of whom is currently (2015) a homeschooled 11th grader. Barbara has had a long and fruitful relationship to Waldorf education, as she has sought to adapt it to her home and to the needs of her very different children – who include a pair of twins and two girls adopted from China. She has worked with Rahima Baldwin and Barbara Dewey. She was also very involved in the general homeschooling scene, and has worked as a volunteer homeschooling liaison for the state of Indiana.
Pre-children, Barbara worked as a lawyer and therapist. She has a Masters degree and CAGS in Counseling Psychology and a JD in law. More recently, she has worked as a meditation teacher and as a certified Chilel Qigong teacher.
Since 2007, Barbara has been a colleague of Donna’s and was a moderator for the Christopherus Waldorf at Home forum for several years, sharing her deep knowledge of children, personal growth and spiritual development with others. Her warmth and knowledge prompted Donna to choose her to work as a Christopherus consultant in 2011.
“On a personal level, I have been happily married for 42 years and my husband Craig is a business consultant. I love gardening and have a home in the country outside of Bloomington, Indiana on 18 acres of land, a family summer house on an island in Maine, and a little mobile home retreat near the ocean in Melbourne Beach Florida. All the houses have gardens that I have lovingly created and I am also the designer/gardener of a memorial garden on the island. We enjoy kayaking as a family and boating generally. I like to play tennis in the summer with my own family and with my older siblings when I am in Maine. I love long nature walks on the beach in Florida, and enjoy watching the pollinators in my Florida native butterfly garden. I meditate, practice qigong and work out regularly from my home and at the Y. My husband is a great handyman and we enjoy taking on various challenging home improvement projects together like removing our front lawn in Maine and turning it into a cottage garden complete with walkways and a stone patio; or creating an all native butterfly garden in Florida. I enjoy get-togethers with friends and Qigong retreats with other practitioners. I have taught all my children some of the Qigong practices and my husband and I practice together at home. I have also taught Qigong at Indiana University to undergraduates. I teach a meditation class from my home and lead individual and group Qigong practices.”
“Christopherus has been a great homeschooling aid for our family. I find that Donna’s materials incorporate the essence of good developmental Waldorf principles adapted to the realities of homeschooling. Her writing style is clear and well researched and the color illustrations are very good. I appreciate that the curricula can be used exactly as written or adapted to more individual homeschooling styles.
“Our family has gotten a lot of benefit from these materials. I find her work in language arts particularly valuable, as well as her various history/myth materials. She provides excellent bibliographies with each publication so a family can delve further into a topic if interested.
“As a consultant, I have enjoyed helping families adapt these excellent materials to an individual family’s specific homeschooling needs. My consulting job is also made easier because the Christopherus website itself is a helpful and user friendly source of information for families. Recently I have also been supporting the Facebook group and writing blogs for Christopherus.”
“I look forward to meeting and assisting some of you on your homeschooling journey!”