Friday, January 8, 2010

Are We Using Oak Meadow Because of Waldorf?

No and yes. I've used Waldorf methods from the beginning but we have not been hard-core followers. I use various methods and techniques when I think that it will get the job done.

For instance in math, I have often used gnome stories to introduce a new math concept, then we will make "notebooking" page (these often look like Waldorf Main lesson pages), sometimes I will pull in Montessori materials to further teach the concept in a hands-on manner and then my child will fill out work in their workbooks.

The visualness and stories of Waldorf and the hands-on of Montessori materials help to draw children in and get them to play with and then know the concept being taught.

For the past four years, I have been trying to do something like Oak Meadow on my own. I've used the Classical framework of what to study then I used Waldorf, Montessori and unit studies to do the work. It has been fun but it has also been a lot of work for me to build our lessons.

We've used some books like Spell to Write and Read, Singapore Math and Story of the World as our spines. But at times it has not been enough or it has been too much or I have been overwhelmed. There have been a few times where everything was beautiful but not as much as I would like to see.

With Oak Meadow, I was originally just looking for a good science curriculum for my older child but as I toured through the samples, I realized that I've been trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to teaching my children. So I thought that we would track down some curriculum and give it a go. What do we have to lose?

We were at a stand-still with history, didn't have a decent science curriculum and I thought the support of Oak Meadow for backing up phonics and math for second grade would be nice.

My hopes are that Oak Meadow will:

get us to be more creative
do some of the work for me
give us the unbiased history and science curriculum that we have been looking for
slowly but gently get us moving in the right direction
encourage us
give us choices
help me to relax about where we are at academically

So over the next few months, let's see how it goes. Will it be what I am looking for? Will it be too much? Too little? It will be an adventure and I hope you enjoy reading about it.


Daisy said...

I'm not very familiar with Oak Meadow but it sounds lovely. I look forward to seeing how it works out.

MissMOE said...

Looking forward to reading about your journey with Oak Meadow. I am thinking about using their science also.

HeatherLee said...

You and I have been running into each other at TWTM boards. I thought I would see how it's going for you guys. I subscribed to your feed and I'm going to keep an eye on you =)

I'm definitely ordering Grade 2 next year. I regret not getting Grade 1. I think I'll do Grade 8 with my oldest if he wants, too. They get to read some good books.

I'm so tired of planning and running around and trying to remember what to do next. My youngest will be a toddler this summer and I'm going to be so busy.

I just have to figure out what to do with my now 4th grader. He just turned 10. He is very artistic. But, he has covered the stuff in both Grade 4 and Grade 5 for Oak Meadow. I'm thinking I might try Little Acorn with him. Not sure if it will be too much planning though. Otherwise I'll keep plugging along with what we are doing. He is really sensitive though and I don't want to go to SOTW 4 yet with him.

CloseAcademy said...

Glad to have you as a reader Heather. I hope you as well as eveyone else who reads regularly find my posts helpful.

We did SOTW 1, 2 and some of 3 but the wars got a bit much for us. I looked for quite a while for a history curriculum that focused on culture and building rather than wars and death. From what I've paged through in OM5 it seems to fit the bill.


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