Thursday, August 12, 2010

Balancing Waldorf, Montessori and Classical Methods

How do I mix and balance Classical, Waldorf and Montessori methods?

1. I don't worry about trying to do it all for each method.

2. I don't worry about doing it perfect for each method.

3. I pick and choose which pieces will work best for us.

How does this work? What does it look like?

My oldest daughter has had more of a Classical education. We followed the 4-year cycle for history years 1-3. She has studied Latin and grammar. But there were times when we got frustrated with Classical education and dropped to just doing Waldorf and we always used Waldorf stories for math and turned her notebooking pages into something that was more closely resembled Waldorf main lesson books.

For my youngest, we have followed more of a Waldorf path. She did fairy tales in K and first and fables/animals in second. You've all seen our plans for third.

Basically here is what I do:

Waldorf & Classical education match-up for grades 5-8 for history
Oak Meadow/Waldorf dictate our content or what we study
We use Waldorf techniques for our work
I use Montessori materials to make things more hands-on

This is how it may look:

Sun and Moon studies (Oak Meadow 3)
we go over the material in the syllabus each week
I add in folk tales about the Sun and the Moon
we do some neat handcrafts
watercolor the moon phases
look at the Montessori 3-part cards on the phases of the moon

Place Value (Oak Meadow 2 & 3)
I bring out the place value rainbow & gnomes and tell a story
we use Montessori place value materials to work with objects hands-on to learn about place value
she does activities in her Rod and Staff workbook as they come up on place value

Basically to balance the three, I use Waldorf/Classical to choose the topics and I use Waldorf and Montessori methods to teach, enrich, and help the child to learn. It is a nice balance. I hope this helps other understand better what we do.


lisa elizarraras said...

thank you, thank you!! very helpful.
just a quick question. do you find yourself doing the rod/staff books daily, or just when you feel like it applies?
have a great day!

CloseAcademy said...

She works in Rod and Staff daily doing the next thing. I tried to match up concepts but it didn't work as well as I wanted it to.

I think it works best to introduce concepts and stories then down the road she works with them in Rod and Staff. There is time there for things to sink in and take root.

Glad this helped.


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