A Simple Start

Homeschooling, for me, is a journey.

I began this journey with my son nearly five years ago, and a lot has changed in that time. We originally began by following the philosophy of Montessori, as Elki went to a Montessori school for his early years. But over time I was drawn to the art and beauty of Waldorf schooling and in the past year have introduced this into our home. I have been using a bought curriculum, which I really needed to begin with, but recently I have been questioning, do I really need to follow someone else’s curriculum? Is this hindering my imagination and our families freedom? Is it causing me to have feelings of inadequacy when I don’t live up to the curriculum’s schedule? Is it preventing us from homeschooling in an authentic way, suited to our needs, interests, and circumstance? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer to all of these is Yes.

So, this year I will plan for Elki and Anusha (who is starting first grade!) from a wide range of resources, the least of which not being our beautiful Earth that inspires me everyday.

This week I have made a simple start by doing some activities with Anusha, one of which was a very eagerly awaited first knitting lesson! Anusha had her knitting needles that she got for Christmas and a ball of second hand wool given to her by a friend in a bag ready to go. We sat down together and I got out ‘A First Book of Knitting for Children’ by Bonnie Gosse and Jill Allerton for her to have a look at, and then I showed her how to make the slipknot,

“Around two fingers, over the yarn,
 pull a loop through,
 jump out of the barn!”

Then I showed her how to cast on,

“In through the front door, dance around the back,
 peek through the window,
 on jumps Jack!”

We cast on ten stitches together, and then I showed her how to knit her first row (using the same verse as for casting on but in the last line saying “off jumps Jack”). She ended up knitting several rows and was so happy to now know how to knit like mum and her big brother,

Image

It was really interesting how quickly she picked it up, and she enjoyed it so much more than Elki when he learnt, such different little people. I can see us knitting together for a long time to come!

 

Waldorf Wednesday

 

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8 thoughts on “A Simple Start

  1. Such an adorable picture of your little girl! I can’t wait for the day I can start teaching my now 4 year old how to knit!

  2. Danielle, I recently started reading your old blog. We too are Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers. I really like this post, it has made me think. Although I don’t follow a set curriculum as it’s written, I’m still following a Waldorf plan and sometimes it feels very overwhelming! I sometimes wonder if the cost is too high? I think I need to figure out which bits are important and not feel guilty/inadequate for letting the rest go. That it’s a choice I’m making rather than some kind of failure. Thanks for this.

    • Lovely to hear from you Cathy, and thank you for visiting! I know that a lot of homeschooling mothers (and I’m sure fathers too) go through feelings of guilt or inadequacy about not living up to the standards they set for themselves, I certainly have and still do at times, but am trying as you have said to make choices for our family that are right for us and to let the rest go. I do feel that I understand and connect much more with Waldorf philosophy than I did with Montessori, and this has helped me to come to a decision of planning our own curriculum. I do believe that the cost of being overwhelmed and stressed by our own expectations can be too high, and can take away from quality time that we could be spending with our children. I will of course keep you posted on how we go!

  3. It is so good to see you. Although the thought of knitting makes my fingers sweat. Makes sure you visit if you are travelling this year.

    • Aaaah, Jodi, so great to hear from you! We will hopefully be travelling to Adelaide later in the year, perhaps a rather large detour could be a goer! Must have been a mad rush for you before you left, I will keep in touch xx

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