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The other day the only thing we did was needle felting. Each of my kids made a mushroom, then we did a couple of acorns, and then my girls decided they wanted to make “dolls.” It felt SO good! I also have 1st 3rd and 5th Waldorf aged and 2 yiingerz!
Yes, very helpful!
They had some great hours of fun needle felting the other day, while I was there. But I think I do need to consider what similar activity they could do on their own!
I definitely need to solve a reparative consequence! That is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestions.
We are going with a charter this year, and trying to incorporate state standards has been quite something! Fortunately, because my 4th grader by state standards is a 3rd grader by Waldorf standards, I’m planning to incorporate some state material when we do our native peoples blocks— we also have to cover California land forms for second grade standards, so I’m hoping that will inform some context…
Just out of curiosity, why not saints?
We are Jewish. Covering saints felt very odd. However, they really really really spoke to my then 8 yo daughter. She became almost obsessed with hearing mire about them, especially St. Francis. And, there are not only saints in the Christopherus block. We also then started on some Jataka tales, she treasured them, couldn’t get enough.
She wasn’t yet reading on her own, so she depended on me for stories, although we did do some audiobooks: Little House, Beatrix Potter, and later the Secret Garden.
She also really liked Pippi Longstocking, which was read to her when she was attending microschool one day a week.
My son needed preschool last year. I could not deal with his intensity, his destructiveness, his aggression, etc. In fact, I am typing on a computer that is missing the t key thanks to him.
That being said, he has spent the summer at preschool camp, and I have seen a change in him. I have also seen the oher children with whom he interacts with at preschool, and they are no different than children at the park or a preschool park day– except that their parents do not play close attention to them because they are used to other people keeping track.
Thus, I feel that being home with me, despite how immensely difficult he is (and there are children who need others to help in some cases, I truly believe that), I think the gift of being home and a part of his family will serve him better than in an institution with people paid to look after him in a large group.
There are so many opportunities for socializing in just living life. I would recommend finding a homeschooling group in your area to get some time in person for your child and yourself!
I also highly highly highly recommend the waldorf in the early years book Donna put together. I purchased it over the weekend and am devouring the wisdom therein!
Yes, I think he is twice exceptional. He has been capable of doing some formal logic exercises, particularly deductive reasoning for over a year. One day he just picked up one of his sister’s books and asked to do it. We don’t do schoolwork with him, he just occasionally likes to “play” school.
However, because he “behaves” at preschool, he doesn’t meet the criteria for any of the labels I suspect could be used to describe the way he interacts with our family. Our family doctor who is very inexperienced, we are looking to switch, has been trying to tell me that he acts this way because he’s jealous of his baby sister. However he has been acting this way for at least a year before she was born so I don’t agree.
I do think he will change a lot as he gets older, a lot of this has to do with his age and where HE is at developmentally, but unfortunately that awareness doesn’t make it any easier when he’s climbing from his car seat into the front of the car to honk the horn or taking apart his drum set, etc.
Unfortunately, an immense amount of our local homeschool groups conduct all or most of their planning for events on Facebook. In and of itself that’s not an issue, except that personally I cannot stay on Facebook because I get into an addiction loop of having to constantly check it. Needing to scroll and scroll to see if I’ve missed anything, which of course I haven’t. So I text the friends in the groups or ask them in person to please let me know when things happen because I can’t just log on to check. When I am on Facebook I do this overuse thing for a day or two and then deactivate for several months.
I hear what you’re saying and I don’t feel criticized, I am trying to grow and change to be the best me. And I also hear what you’re saying about the preschool, but I don’t know whether that’s true in this case.
My oldest daughter we sent to preschool because that’s what everyone told us to do. The result was that at the end of the day she would be even worse off emotionally and energy wise than she was when the initial challenges arised. In experiencing that and through some tough decision making, we took her out and never looked back (2012).
With this son, however, he has constantly been incredibly challenging. Yesterday, for example, he dumped out 3 bottles of glue while I was upstairs for 2 minutes? He punches me and kicks me and used to try to spit at me or bite me, and is also physically aggressive towards his siblings when they do something either accidentally or on purpose to upset him. He is unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with as a parent.
At preschool, however, where he wants to go, he feels important and honored and not stuck in the middle. He does not get into trouble and has made friends with the other children. The preschool is part of our synagogue and I talk regularly with his teachers and the director about what’s going on with him and just general matters.
In my heart I do want him to be home with me, but the reality is that when he is home he is constantly getting into things. If I have him play in the yard he is slamming and breaking things or throwing things into the neighbors yard. He has almost no screen time so it isn’t that he is being over stimulated that way. I just feel he has a constant need for big and loud and intense stimulation or 1:1 attention that I can’t always give him. His siblings don’t like to play with him because he is very reactionary and not easy going.
Does this sound like any children you’ve worked with?
I certainly welcome feedback.
I am starting to feel like I have my oldest 3 figured out but with my 4 year old I just don’t know what to do! I try incorporating him into activities and taking him to parks often, doing things he likes, but the second he is over it he is off creating some new chaos…
That is helpful to know/hear!
My 4 yo is very needy right now in terms of my full attention! My older girls like to help with the baby but have a hard time playing with 4 yo bc he is very reactionary, like he’ll punch you if you accidentally knock his tower over. We are working on it but it basically means that I am the only one interacting with him in a positive way a lot of the time, ugh!
Thank you for sharing, I have had a hard time wrapping my head around what it :could: look like!
Ok, that makes much more sense to me!
Yes it has been remarkable my 8 year old’s interest in Saints AND Jataka tales! I’ve also downloaded several books for her, like the velveteen rabbit, because while she isn’t a strong reader yet she LOVES stories.
This has been very helpful to process through, thank you!
Donna I have seen the video, thank you!
So next year my 3 big kids will be 7, 9, and almost 11.
My 9 year old is completely on track with the developmental-ness of Waldorf. She love love loved the Saints stories that we got from Christopherus, and we got a couple of Jakob Streit books on St. Francis and the like to supplement. It’s so funny because we’re Jewish. My oldest loved all the Norse Mythology.
So here’s the rub, those aren’t combined. So is the thing to do to try and do some of what’s on track for one kid and some of what’s on track for the other?
Like do I buy the whole third grade curriculum and the whole fifth, and then pick stuff out as I go? I am not opposed to this, but I’m not seeing how you can only get one and go.
I have no idea what to do with my son who will be 7. He’s already reading and doing math, and quite precocious BUT very immature, hmmm!
This is my 4 yo. I signed up for a class on early childhood behavior through the UCLA extension to find new tactics!
I realized I wasn’t really responsive to what you were saying, my apologies.
You know what I realized about my 5 Children last year? It’s not the break in schoolwork that makes them crazy, it’s the heat! I’ve done it both ways s and seen zero difference in their behavior. Summer is inherently chaotic because it’s just a completely different rhythm.
We go to park days almost every day of the week (we all have very high energy and social drives), and most park days have water sources for the kids to play in. We also do only one or two classes in activities the kids want to try just for fun but not commit to, last summer my girls took Irish dancing. We also do a camp or two in a topic that’s interesting to them. Dropping off and picking up 5 days in a row is rough! LOL
I have found that I cannot lesson plan that well, it’s really helpful for me to have someone else put it together me and try to follow it. I tried to follow a different Waldorf curriculum last year (because it was much more affordable) but it was no robust enough and I was still have to buy a bunch of separate things and invest a lot of time.
I am really interested in getting s full on christopherus curriculum this year but I am nervous because Donna said you can’t just open it and go for this level 5th. I would like to hear more about this, and I would also like to know if selling a bundle of books that go with the theme of the year is something you would consider doing Donna?
I also have 2 kids that are really close academically so I have been combining their lessons, but my oldest is just so far advanced, I feel like I need to have two separate “school times.”
Christopherus 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
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