Monday, September 30, 2013

Rudolf, Charlotte and Maria - Part One

We are an inspired homeschool family.

Inspired by a whole bunch of people.

This is the first year of homeschooling where I really feel like we have developed a path, are thriving on this path and can see the path lead us in a direction where there is light at the end of it instead of uncertainty.

Over the summer, I was nose-in-book.  I was really searching for something more for our family.  I found our homeschool becoming too school like and I wasn't thrilled with that.

One thing I knew that I was looking for was a way to bring more spiritualism and calmness to our daily activities.  And by spiritualism, I don't mean religious spiritualism.  I mean a sense of self, a sense of connection between us and the world around us, and a sense of being. 

The other thing I knew I wanted was to incorporate were stories and singing.  During the last year of homeschooling the song had left our family and we rarely made time for stories anymore. We were a bleak bunch!

Next up, nature.  The kids thrive in nature so I wanted to make sure that it was a huge part of our lives.  I didn't want to be stuck at a table when the sun was calling us outside.

And lastly, I really wanted a focus.  Not a schedule, but something that would keep us gently moving in the right direction, but not make me feel all stressy and hassled and a slave to check lists and goals.

I found most of my answers with Rudolf, Charlotte and Maria.

Rudolf Steiner, a philosopher and creator Waldorf Education.  (If you are wondering where the name Waldorf comes from, Steiner was approached by the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette company to create a school for the children of his workers. Tada! The first Waldorf school was created.)

Charlotte Mason, an educator who believed that children were people and should be treated as such, and who believed that children should be taught facts through stories instead of just the dry fact based text books.  Sign me up!

Maria Montessori, a doctor and educator, who's main focus started with children who had special needs.  Her educational philosophy is very scientific and based largely on providing manipulatives and sensory exploration for children to develop specific skills.

These are just loose descriptions of these wonderful people.  In the next few blog posts I will outline in more detail each educator's philosophy and the bits and pieces that we have adopted for our homeschool.


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