The Genius of Home: Teaching Your Children at Home Using the Waldorf Curriculum
A family’s path of homeschooling from kindergarten through high school grade eleven.
“School at home with the Waldorf curriculum; to some this is a contradiction. The Waldorf curriculum was originated by Rudolf Steiner in answer to the question of how school could be provided for all students, at that time specifically for children of workers in Emil Molt’s Waldorf Cigarette Factory. The school begun for that purpose was in Stuttgart, Germany, and continues today. In these times, especially in the United States, many families realize that for various reasons their children will thrive better through an education at home rather than in an institution. Some see the strength of the Waldorf curriculum in its intimate connection with a deep understanding of the human being and of child development in the context of body, life, soul, and spirit. When a parent is their own child’s teacher, one individual fulfills two roles in a child’s life—it can be done! (from the introduction).
There are as many possible approaches to teaching children at home—i.e., “homeschooling”—as there are homes and families who choose to take up this individualized approach to education.
Catherine Read chose to model her homeschool approach on the curriculum used in Waldorf schools, drawing insight and guidance from the pedagogical principles articulated by Rudolf Steiner.
Part memoir, part how-to, this book is the story of her journey as the primary teacher of her two daughters through the entire Waldorf curriculum from early childhood to high school: what she did, when she did it, and why.
Along the way, this flexible, artistic, challenging, and ultimately rewarding approach to education comes into focus. Inspiring and instructional, practical and personal, Ms. Read’s account of her years as a parent who teaches her own children will benefit anyone considering or already engaged in homeschooling.
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction: When You Are Your Child’s Teacher
1. What Is School at Home with the Waldorf Curriculum?
2. Connecting with the Curriculum
3. Making the Lessons One’s Own
4. Individualizing the Lessons and the School
5. Rhythms of Teaching and Learning
6. From Kindergarten to Grade Twelve: Growing New Faculties
7. Creativity and the Waldorf Curriculum
Epilogue: Waldorf after High School
Bibliography and Resources
1. Anthroposophic Homeschooling: Fostering the Life of the Soul
2 Colored Shadows and Afterimages
3. Seeing the Twelve Grades through the Lens of the Twelve Senses
About the Author
Catherine Read holds a PhD in developmental psychology from UCLA and is a Visiting Scientist at Rutgers University and an Associate at Ithaca College. She is the editor, with P. Zukow-Goldring of Evolving Explanations of Development (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press, 1997). She homeschooled her two daughters from kindergarten through the eleventh grade using the Waldorf curriculum. Catherine studied Waldorf Teaching in the Lower School at the Waldorf Institute of Teacher Training in Los Angeles and in Orange County, California, where she also taught craft work. She took summer courses for Waldorf Teachers at Gradalis, Sunbridge College, and Rudolf Steiner College. She has conducted workshops on a variety of topics, including music in the mood of the fifth, festivals, dyeing with plant dyes, nature meditations, and on homeschooling grades one through eight. She took Waldorf Teacher Training for the High School through the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire, where she majored in Physics and minored in English. Catherine has served on the Board of the Lyre Association of North America, and taught in the Resonare Music Foundation Course and the Dorion School of Music Therapy. She is now on the faculty of a new one-year program for students post High School, the M. C. Richards program, offered by Free Columbia in Philmont, New York.