New and Updated Publications

After more than 15 years, it was time to update our popular Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers. And while I was at it, I decided to also update–a second time–our guide to Waldorf science, From Nature Stories to Natural Science. And why not bring back three of the plays we used to sell! They are also now available!

Next? The First Grade Syllabus is being updated again (available late February). And our Kindergarten with Your Three to Six Year Old is being replaced with a new publication: First Steps on the Journey, A Guide to Pre-k and Kindergarten at Home (available late February or early March).

For the most part, we are doing this because it is high time–the Overview was embarrassingly out-of-date. Still useful, but full of references that no longer hold, it needed serious rewriting. We also added more illustrations and deepened the sections on methodology and pedagogy to help parents understand what it is they are doing. We also brought it much more in line with how the Christopherus curriculum unfolds through the grades—the original was, after all, written before I wrote the syllabuses! It s now a longer, deeper and far superior publication. It is an invaluable guide for those wishing to understand how the Christopherus curriculum and Waldorf education unfold through the grades, whether one is a homeschooler, using Christopherus or not, a teacher or a DIY Waldorf homeschooler.

From Nature Stories also needed a bit of tidying up and adjusting though, because it had been edited not so long ago, there wasn’t quite as much to do. Although improved, it is not a new publication like the others.

The new first grade syllabus has the same stories as the last edition (and the first edition) but there is much more pedagogical and teaching advice and more step-by-step instruction. It is greatly improved.

As for the kindergarten materials, in many ways this is an entirely new publication. I am working on it at present (mid January 2020) and although there is much that I am keeping, there is an awful lot more that I am adding. I am slowing it all down as well–having gone on to do a lot more middle grades and high school teaching (of homeschooled children and in schools) than I had when I first created those kindergarten materials, I have seen that early childhood needs to be waaay slowed down and simplified.

And I feel that unwittingly, I contributed to some of the speeding up of the early years: the title of our old kindergarten book was Kindergarten with Your 3-6 Year Old--and the reasoning behind that was to clearly insist that 6 year olds belong in kindergarten and not first grade (not at least until past that half year birthday). But instead, many people took this title to mean that one should be doing kindergarten with one’s 3 year old!! Yikes–that wasn’t the intention at all. Over the years more and more people have sought–and others have provided–full programs for tiny little children at home. To my mind this undermines the ‘no little schools at home’ approach that Christopherus is based on. A 3 year old needs healthy family rhythms and appropriate activities, not kindergarten!

After all, the healthy Waldorf kindergarten is meant to be based on the healthy home–and not the other way around. But with tiny little ones of just 3 years of age routinely being included in Waldorf kindergartens, that healthy impulse seems to have been put to one side. See our Early Years section of this website for more.

In order to help emphasize this great difference between the tinies and then the great big 6 year olds, I am providing different sections devoted to the different ages, with advice, activities and so on so one can really understand why kindergarten–which is really for children aged 4 1/2 to 6 1/2–is not appropriate for tiny ones. And, critically, how children over 6 really need more than the younger ones as they head toward first grade.

So…if you already have these publications do you need the new one? Overview–definitely yes. Science–no if you have the second edition (definitely yes if you’re still hanging on to your old first edition). First grade–well, if you can, I think it is better than the old one. Plays? Same as they were so no need if you have the plays from several years ago. Kindergarten–definitely. This is a much improved publication.

I should also say that another nudge which¬† gave me the final shove I needed to do this updating is the fact that we are now transitioning to print on demand. There are a number of reasons for this but the main one is financial–we save so much money this way. Or publications continue to be shared and resold–even pirated!!–and this all has implications for how we can function as a business. Read more here if you would like to help ensure that Christopherus flourishes into the future, continuing to provide first rate materials for Waldorf homeschoolers.

Back to print on demand, what this means is that we will have even less of an office than now and so just about no customer care–and we already can provide very little. We have no customer care staff (we used to a few years ago) and I am now teaching again. We realize this is hard on people but we are sorry–there isn’t anything we can do about this.

Lastly–print on demand means that your purchase will take a little longer to receive–the print on demand folks have to get the order from us and then it takes them a few days to print your order. Only then can they ship. So we ask that people order well in advance and be patient!

We thank all our customers and friends and look forward to providing you with further Christopherus homeschooling materials!

Posted on January 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

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