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Education is more than filling a child with facts. It starts with posing questions.
Here is a start on where to look for Steiner and Waldorf resources, from a New Zealand perspective. If you have something to add please let us know.
Thanks to Cathy for this compilation (completely revised March 2015):
First of all, it’s important to point out that the Waldorf Kindergarten was modeled upon being at home with mother. So, if your child is 6 or under, you do not need to buy anything. Just enjoy life together at home. Don’t get sucked into thinking you have to be DOING something. Simply pick an activity for each day of the week such as cooking, painting, walking, crafting, cleaning then do that thing on the same day each week. Tell a story, do a bit of singing and recite some nursery rhymes or short poems with movement together and that’s it!
For supplies the first stop would be Humanity Books in Hastings - they sell a range of educational/teacher’s reference books and children's books, plus the Stockmar and Lyra art materials needed for wet-on-wet painting and pencil or crayon drawing.
Once you get to class/grade one (around age 7) there are many great free resources available online. It has changed a lot since we first started, there is a great danger of information overwhelm! The following are probably the main ones, but it changes all the time!
For up to class/grade 3 (age 9) the East African teacher training manuals are very useful and are free in PDF format. There is a document on child development, which gives an overview of the curriculum and is a great place to start, one each for language arts and maths and a guide to grade 3. In addition, they also have a few guides for middle grades. The link may not work (it seems to change regularly) in which case try a Google search for “Waldorf East African teacher training manual”.
If you are looking for a simple overview chart of the curriculum, here’s a great one from Raphael House.
Steiner Education Australia outlines the curriculum in some detail - useful if you are planning and also for writing an exemption application. Here’s the link for primary level, high school is also available under curriculum, left hand side bar.
From time to time this site is updated and the curriculum is unavailable. Just keep trying at regular intervals.
The Online Waldorf library has lots of e-books, journals and articles all available free to download.
New books are added all the time. It is an amazing treasure!
Waldorf Inspirations has many great teaching ideas.
Waldorf Teacher Resources requires membership but it is free.
Then there are blogs, facebook and yahoo groups…..
Waldorf Home Educators yahoo group has the largest membership and has a selection of free files which are well worth a read. I would caution use of blogs and groups however. These are places where you can learn a lot but the price can be a loss of confidence if what’s going on in your real life doesn’t match up, or misery if you change everything to fit the “Waldorf ideal”. Home education probably looks different for every family and it’s important to figure out what works for you. Only you can do that. It is dangerous for your mental health to think there is only one “right” way .
The main curriculums available to purchase are:
They are all different, and each has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately choice will come down to personal preference. Christopherus probably gives the most guidance on how to teach. Earthschooling can be purchased block by block so can be tried fairly cheaply. Live Education! gives great guidance on art work such as main lesson book drawings and paintings. Waldorf Essentials is the most affordable and has a variety of additional support options.
Oak Meadow is also an option. It is Waldorf-inspired, but nothing like the other curriculum options or a Steiner/Waldorf school.
Finally, there is the "Golden Beetle" set of books by Alan Whitehead. They are not lesson plans and are very different to all the other resources that I know of. My advice would be to try and get hold of a copy of one before purchasing to see if it's the kind of thing you want. The good thing about reading these is that they show you there is more than one way to interpret the curriculum, which is very freeing!
They can also be purchased from Waldorf Books.
Waldorf Books sell a range of books useful for the Steiner/Waldorf home educator, but postage is always high from America so it is always best to check at The Online Waldorf library first, then The Book Depository or a used book seller such as Abe books.
When it comes to buying books, these ones have been my best purchases, but again, it is very subjective!
|Waldorf Education in Practice||Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools|
School as a journey
There is a 2-chapter preview on Google books.
Finally, it’s worth joining The Waldorf Connection. Donna offers support, has a variety of resources for sale and runs a free annual online conference (usually held around June) which I highly recommend!