I’ve been looking into different homeschooling methodologies, from unschooling to Montessori to Waldorf to conventional public school at home.
choosing waldorf homeschooling
After deciding and changing my mind a few times, I’ve settled on Waldorf, and spent money on a curriculum and mom-training to really cement my commitment.
Waldorf concentrates on art, creativity, and storytelling, and delays formal academic instruction until 1st grade, which begins when the child will be 7 for most of the school year.
For us, that means that Leon will start the final year of kindergarten next year, and Peter and Phillip will start K1 next year. Honestly, I’ll probably just do K2 for everybody.
You want me to do what?
My first task as a Waldorf mom is learning how to tell a story by heart. (There’s a phrase I haven’t used since I was a kid. Memorization just sounds so clinical. By heart is definitely more apt for story-telling).
I wasn’t sure I was up to it. I’m so used to reading stories. But after reading Waldorf training all day, I found myself in the car with a few squirrely boys.
I launched into a retelling of the Giant Turnip. I’ll give a quick summary: A man plants turnip seeds (we changed it to carrot) and prays for an extra big harvest. When they finally germinate, only one came up, but it was the biggest carrot anyone had ever seen. When it was time to harvest, it was as big as a house.
Leon hates when I sing, which I love to do, so that’s unfortunate, so I wasn’t expecting him to listen to my story. But I was thrilled to discover that I had his rapt attention at this point. This is especially important since the others follow whatever he wants to do.
So now the boys had settled down and were listening closely.
The man pulled and pulled on the carrot, but he couldn’t pull it out. So he called for his wife. They pulled and pulled, but it didn’t come out. So they called for their son, Leon. Leon pulled on Mommy (changed it up here), who pulled on Daddy, but it still wouldn’t come up. I think you can imagine what happens next. One by one, we called Peter, then Phillip, then Ryan, and finally Rosie.
Here Leon interjected.
“Mama! Que Rosie la rompe con sus dientes!”
“Ooh, good idea Leon!” So along came Rosie and she dug with her claws and gnashed with her teeth and chopped the carrot up into pieces. Then we all put the pieces into the wheelbarrow and made carrot soup.
At this point we had arrived at our destination and we happily disembarked.
Wow! It was an encouraging start to this homeschooling journey.
I learned that I can tell stories. I learned that story-telling is fun, creative, engaging, and the pace can be perfectly calibrated so that we finish just as we need to.
I think storytelling will be incredibly beneficial to my boys. They are less eloquent than other children their age and produce very little English (most of their speech is in Spanish, though they understand English).
I think this concentration on storytelling will be help boost their English prowess. And I’m looking forward to a bit of storytelling therapy, where I can help impart wisdom to get them through the struggles of their days through a fun story whose characters they identify with.