Friday, July 22, 2016

Setting up Homeschool Co-ops

I'm supporting a homeschool consulting client who is putting together a Waldorf preschool co-op in MD two days a week. They are doing Monday ("Bread Day") 9 am to 3 pm, and Thursday ("Soup Day") 9 am to noon.

Here is the draft schedule we came up with:

Her booklist can be found in a previous post on my blog.

I am also in the process of setting up a Waldorf homeschool co-op myself in IL. We are looking at Monday and Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, Tuesday and Thursday from noon - 3 pm, and Wednesday as a full day at Dayempur Farm.

Monday 9 am - 3 pm
Tuesday noon - 3 pm
Wednesday Farm Day
Thursday noon - 3 pm
Friday 9 am - 3 pm

For children who need Extra Lesson work, Tuesday and Thursday mornings are set aside for that one-on-one.

I went to visit the farm on Wednesday to have a tour and interview the farm staff. There were beautiful heritage turkey toms strutting, chickens running free and milling around Zac's stroller, baby chicks, rows and rows of vegetables, apple trees laden with fruit, greenhouses, fishing ponds, and lots of friendly adults and children enjoying the farm experience. They have projects in sustainable building like a straw bale house and solar showers, and a beautiful herb garden filled with medicinal herbs. Their herbal salve is famous around our farmer's markets!

Our special subjects will be Art, Handwork, Philosophy, Agriculture (obviously), Yoga, and American Sign Language.

Monday and Friday from 9 am to 9:30 am will be Yoga.

Monday after Yoga will be Philosophy and Friday after Yoga will be Art.

ASL will be Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Clearly, in order to have a consistent main lesson time, it needs to be Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri afternoons. Yes, afternoons. I absolutely believe in Hands / Heart / Head and I think that movement and play and free choice should start your day. And the academics should come after you feel refreshed and are ready to be peaceful and do work that is a little quieter. Not that Waldorf doesn't infuse movement and art into everything!

All in all, we are super excited for the upcoming school year!

My schedule of blocks has been revised from what I posted a while back (2016-17 School Year Blocks). My oldest daughter will be starting high school this fall. She is fourteen. My middle daughter is in 7th grade and has decided to try public school. So my youngest daughter will be homeschooling with me, as well as the children in our co-op. So my range of grades is more like 1st/2nd/3rd and 6th/7th. Here are my current main lesson block notes:

Block One: Math I

Form Drawing

Quality of Numbers

The Story of Geometry

Block Two: Cultural I

Aesop's Fables


Ancient Mythologies: India, Persia, Babylon, Egypt

Block Three: Language I


Old Testament I

Block Four: Science I

4 Seasons



Block Five: Math II

4 Processes

Baking: Time, Temperature, Weight, Volume

Block Six: Cultural II

Native American Legends

Middle Ages

Block Seven: Language II


Old Testament II

Block Eight: Science II

Nature Study / Thornton Burgess



Block Nine: Math III


Column Algorithms

Business Math: Fractions, Decimals, Percents, Ratios, Graphing

Block Ten: Cultural III

Biomes of the World

Fundamental Needs of Man

Local History & Geography

Block Eleven: Language III

Creative Writing

Old Testament III

Block Twelve: Science III



Geology, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Local History & Geography are the blocks that will be new to me this year. I'm very excited!

I already have a few things, like Teaching Geography by Roy Wilkinson, and

Don't forget to check out the amazing collection of Waldorf books available as a free download in PDF form at the Online Waldorf Library, including

Chemistry Reader: An Orientation to Developing Chemistry Instruction in Waldorf Schools by Dr. Dirk Rohde, for grades 7 - 12

Some possible resources to buy:

Geology and Astronomy

by Charles Kovacs

Geology Underfoot in Illinois

by Raymond Wiggers

Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History

by Bill Nunes

The Wonders of Waldorf Chemistry

by David Mitchell

Photographic Card Deck of the Elements

by Theodore Gray

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

by Theodore Gray

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