Barbara

  • Teaching Parzival in 11th Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson   In a Waldorf school, Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s  Parzival  is taught in the 11th grade English Literature class. It dovetails nicely with the history classes for 11th graders which cover Rome, Medieval and Renaissance history. In my…

  • Why do Calligraphy?

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson Sometime early in my homeschooling, a Waldorf resource mentioned doing calligraphy in 6th and continuing through 8th as both an art form and a lovely embellishment for main lesson books, particularly in history. Over the years, I…

  • Bean Bag Games for Grades 1-3

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson Many years ago, I attended a Waldorf conference for homeschoolers hosted by Rahima Baldwin. One of the presenters was discussing circle time games for early elementary grades. The games that really resonated with me were the bean…

  • CREATIVE WRITING in 8th Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson Short Story Writing and Grammar/Vocabulary On page 5 of Christopherus’ A Rough Guide to Eighth Grade, one of her suggestions for Language Arts is to help your homeschooled child write a short story using Writing for 100 Days…

  • Creative Writing in 7th Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson   In A Rough Guide to Seventh Grade, Donna has this to say about a main lesson unit in Waldorf schools called Wish, Wonder and Surprise: “We have not scheduled this as a main lesson because I…

  • Local Geography in Fourth Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson   I think that Donna has done an excellent job of laying out a comprehensive geography curriculum starting in 4th grade. The very first three week main lesson block, Local Geography, covers the geography of your home…

  • Keep Calm and Homeschool On

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson Guidelines for homeschooling multiple ages of children   One of the most frequently asked consulting questions I receive is how to homeschool multiple ages of children and keep one’s sanity! It is a challenge and I remember…

  • Reflections on Creating a 12th grade World Literature course

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson I have finally reached that “last class” as a homeschooling educator. My youngest is entering her homeschooling senior year in high school in the fall. I am truly her specialist teacher now as most of her classes…

  • Charcoal Drawing in 6th Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson There is not any discussion of charcoal drawing in the Rough Guide to Sixth Grade. As an artistic activity, I found it to be a very helpful exercise for my girls and this type of drawing is…

  • A Mathematics Main Lesson: Geometry in Man and Nature (7th and 8th)

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson The  primary reference text recommended in A Rough Guide for Seventh Grade  is Mathematics Around Us. The primary text for Eighth Grade is Mathematics  in Nature, Space and Time. These are both great books with wonderful illustrations….

  • Coping with Chemistry-7th Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson In Donna’s From Nature Stories to Natural Science (104-106), she suggests organizing the Chemistry main lesson for grade 7 around the traditional elements of Fire, Water Earth and Air, with Fire (combustion) being the natural starting point.  Since…

  • Highlights and Challenges of 7th Grade: Geography ( Focus on Africa)

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson   In Donna’s  A Rough Guide to Seventh Grade, she states that” this year’s focus is on Latin America, Asia and Africa.” (12). That is a lot of geographical ground to cover! There is also an emphasis…

  • Managing Main Lessons with Multiples: 5th and 7th grade combined unit on China

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson There are times in the main lessons scheduled throughout the grades when combining a main lesson for multiple ages is actually ideal. One of these times is the unit study on Ancient China, highlighted in the Fifth…

  • A Freshman to Senior Timeline for High School Homeschoolers interested in College

    Posted by Christopherus

    by Barbara Benson I realize that there are few of you homeschoolers that are currently teaching high school, but since it is very much on my mind these days with my youngest daughter, I thought I would share a brief…

  • Highlights and Challenges of 6th Grade: The Science Main Lesson in Geology

    Posted by Christopherus

    Sixth grade is a wonderful time to begin the exploration of the earth in a science main lesson. As Donna notes in her book, From Nature Stories to Natural Science: ” Geology is usually taught in Waldorf schools in the…

  • The Importance of Form Drawing

    Posted by Christopherus

    This blog will not address how to do form drawing or its esoteric benefits to the twelve senses. Donna’s book, Form Drawing for Beginners as well as supplemental books like Form Drawing Grades One through Four by Stine and Schuberth…

  • Rhythms of Learning

    Posted by Christopherus

    In Waldorf inspired homeschooling we talk about establishing a good daily weekly, monthly and seasonal rhythm. What do we really mean when we say rhythm? In Donna’s Waldorf Curriculum Overview, Chapter 7, she discusses the daily rhythm of ” active…

  • Working Moms and Homeschooling

    Posted by Christopherus

      In truth, every mom is a working mom. The job of taking care of a family is a large one. For those of us who add on paid employment, either outside the home or at home, the task of…

  • Transitioning from School to Homeschooling

    Posted by Christopherus

    Taking your child out of public school or a private school in order to homeschool is a major life decision for the family. In my experience as a consultant, this decision can often occur in early elementary, middle school, or…

  • TAKING STOCK- A Midwinter Evaluation of Your Homeschooling

    Posted by Christopherus

    January or early February is a good time of year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere to take stock of where we are with our homeschooling. Here are a few suggestions to keep your homeschooling rhythm on track:…

  • Tone Drawing

    Posted by Christopherus

    TONE DRAWING for 4th and 5th grade Tone drawing was a favorite artistic activity of all of my children. I incorporated it into our natural science work ( Man and Animal/Zoology and Botany) in 4th and 5th grades. My inspiration…

  • Managing Multiple Main Lessons

    Posted by Christopherus

    It takes organization, dedication and some flexibility to homeschool multiple children. The simple fact is that you are not going to be able to follow each syllabus thoroughly with each child. As a parent of five children who were all…

  • Homeschooling High School

    Posted by Christopherus

    It’s a big decision to homeschool for the high school years. Assuming that you have considered all your options and everyone is clear that homeschooling is the right choice for your family, here are some considerations for a Waldorf inspired…

  • Transitioning to High School

    Posted by Christopherus

    The Waldorf inspired curriculum at Christopherus is largely focused on grades 1-8, those years when a homeschooling parent is analogous to the class teacher in a Waldorf school. In high school, however, Waldorf schools focus on specialist teachers to work…

  • A Challenge of Seventh Grade: A Physiology Unit on Human Sexuality

    Posted by Christopherus

    My last blog covered a general overview of the free rough guides available for the middle school years with a focus on highlights and challenges of Sixth grade. In this blog I would like to discuss one possible way to…

  • Highlights and Challenges of Homeschooling in Sixth Grade

    Posted by Christopherus

    If you have been working with the Christopherus curriculum for a number of years prior to sixth grade, it can be disconcerting to go from a comprehensive yearly syllabus to a free rough download for the middle school years, reinforced…

  • Personal Growth: Awareness Exercises

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson Several people responded to my request for blog topics on the Christopherus Facebook support group, Christopherus Homeschooling Families, with suggestions such as personal development, personal growth and re-centering during chaotic moments. I thought I would share with…

  • Role of Non-Teaching Spouse

    Posted by Christopherus

      Many couples that do Waldorf inspired homeschooling share similar values on education and adopting a Waldorf inspired rhythm to homeschooling. There are times, however, when one person "discovers" Waldorf and is determined to augment it into the family lifestyle,…

  • The Rhythms of Reverence in Homeschooling Daily Life

    Posted by Christopherus

    By Barbara Benson The Rhythms of Reverence in Homeschooling Daily Life Why is it important to instill a sense of reverence into our homeschooling daily life?  Reverence is a fundamental ” mood of the soul”, a sense of love and…

  • Recentering During Chaotic Moments

    Posted by Christopherus

    My twins are grown now but I still recall that endless early evening hour struggle between 5 and 6 pm when I was prone to lose my parenting patience with my three boys who were all under 6 years old….

  • Circle Time in a Homeschooling Setting

    Posted by Christopherus

    Although it can be challenging to do circle time in a home school setting, particularly with an only child, I believe that circle can be a great benefit to your early elementary homeschooling rhythm of the day. Circle time in…

  • When is a Consultant Helpful?

    Posted by Christopherus

    Spring has moved forward rapidly in all her blossoming glory. Aside from my duties as a consultant, homeschooling mother and avid gardener, this time of year also reminds me to take stock of my current homeschooling year and begin to envision…

  • The Child and the Community

    Posted by Christopherus

    Here is an article by Christopherus forum moderator, workshop presenter and consultant Barbara Benson about her experience as a homeschooler encouraging her older children to expand their horizons into the larger community, something that anyone homeschooling older children must do. While over…

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