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Homeschooling Waldorf Style Kindergarten and State Regulations

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Hello everyone!

I had some questions about homeschooling Kindergarten using a waldorf style for the 2014-2015 year. I have researched a great deal about Waldorf and I know that typically in the early years or Kindergarten years that diving into heavy academics is discouraged. I plan to create a loose curriculum around the fundamentals such as storytelling, home environment contribution, imaginative play, arts and crafts etc. I also know that by state law in South Carolina we are required to teach certain information to our children each year, like reading, history, math, science etc. So my question is, what exactly qualifies as teaching these subjects in a waldorf homeschool kindergarten? Can reading a story about harvest time and then cutting an apple open and explaining about how it grows into an apple tree counts as a lesson in science? Or counting all the leaves we collected that afternoon in a basket and dividing them equally amongst ourselves count as math etc. Etc. I understand that waldorf has a less mainstream approach to education and that they dont believe you should necessarily be adding and subtracting in kindergarten or learning heavy academics as it were, but I want to be instructing her in accordancewith state law and wasn't sure if I needed to create a more defined curriculum while still including all the beautiful aspects of Waldorf in each topic. Any help or advice would be so greatly appreciated as I we head into this new adventure!

Thank you!!!

Sincerely, Jessica

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Are you going through an accountability group for kindergarten or signing a waiver instead?  If you do a waiver, then you can do anything you want and not record it.  That's what we did - but we unschool kindergarten.  It does mean that the school district knows you exist, but that really wasn't an issue to me.  If it is an issue to you and you don't do a waiver, then you will need to keep records for kindergarten.  (And either way, records need to be kept starting at legal first grade age). 

You don't need a defined curriculum because no one has to approve anything.  You do need to have math, reading, language arts, science, and social studies.  You can list it like math - reading- and what you did.  Or, you could do it in journal form, which might be easier for the type of schooling you're doing. The examples you provided are definitely acceptable.  Learning doesn't have to come in the form of worksheets or formal curriculums. 

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Thank you kohlby for your response. I am registered with Carolina Homeschooler as my third party association which is acceptable by South Carolina State Law and will be homeschooling under the Third Option which allows a great deal of creative control over curriculum choices or non choices but we still record for the year what was taught and create a portfolio of sorts. I myself tend to work best with a bit of flexible order. It helps keep my thoughts and goals organized hence the "what counts as what subject" questions so I can report them correctly. Thank you again very much I appreciate your reply!

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Hi Jessica, it sounds like you have a wonderful curriculum planned for the coming year. Up until 7th grade, SC requires that we teach reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. What we teach within those broad areas, how we teach it, and what resources we use are completely up to us.

 

Reading a story about harvest time and then cutting an apple open and explaining about how it grows into an apple tree counts as reading and science. It may also count as social studies, depending on what the book covers (farm life, for example). Counting leaves counts as math, and if you also identify what types of trees the leaves belong to, talk about photosynthesis, etc., it can also count as science.

 

You don't need a more defined curriculum than this - it sounds perfect the way it is. Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Edited to add: All learning counts, whether it's planned or not, whether it comes from a textbook or not. :)

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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Dianna thank you so much! This really clears up a lot of my concern around the issue! I am very excited to have a gentler start to my homeschooling and have more creative control. My other question is about recording and documenting these activities...should I journal at the end of the day that we counted leaves for math, read the Apple book for reading and science etc. And add in some photos so at the end of the year I can have a week by week portfolio or does it need to be more in depth or less? I appreciate any advice and you taking the time to answer my questions! Thank you again!

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You're welcome. :)

 

You can journal daily, or weekly, or whatever format works best for you. Take pictures, and keep any brochures and ticket stubs from museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, etc., that you visit to further document your activities. We use very few textbooks/tests/workbooks in our family, so we've had to be creative with record-keeping, too!

 

Have you had a chance to visit our member's area yet? I have record-keeping forms there you can download and use, if you haven't found something you like. I personally use an excel file to record what we do, but others prefer different formats.

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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Great! No I have not! I would love to check it out! How do I access the members only area? I may have missed it on the site. Thank you so much for your help!

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No worries, I'll resend the Member's Area access email to you. (I send it out with your application confirmation, but I think sometimes it gets overlooked, or stuck in spam folders.)

 

Let me know if you don't receive it in a few minutes.

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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Hey Dianna,

I just checked my email and have not recieved the email with the members only link yet. I've checked my spam folders and I haven't found anything. I do recieve emails from Carolina Homeschooler but they are about the daily posts. Hopefully we can send it again and ill recieve it this time :)

Thank you!

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Dianna,

Okay lol :) I found the email in my spam folder that said resending in the inside but there was no link to click on or anything else. Just your email a ddressn. Harumph.... is there something im doing wrong? I apologize this is such an ordeal!

Thanks again

Sincerely Jessica

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