Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our plan for third grade

This year for second grade we used A Journey Through Waldorf grade 1 (Waldorf starts their grades a little later than mainstream education), and for prek3.  For third grade, we plan on using A Journey Through Waldorf grade 2 partially, but are looking at using Oak Meadow grade 3 as our main curriculum, and I'm unsure if we will use WFA again for prek4, or the early years guide by Melisa over at Waldorf Essentials.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first year of Waldorf and are looking forward to continuing with the method. I realize Oak Meadow is not considered true Waldorf, but I am okay with that. I'm not the kind of person who can be hard core anything. I pick and choose what I like, what works for us, and leave what doesn't. The Waldorf method seems to be perfect for us in the natural aspects, the rhythm, handwork, stories, artistic aspects and wanting to protect childhood. But, with Jujubee being so far ahead naturally in reading, writing, and math I just couldn't keep "holding her back", so to speak. We will still learn gently, and through a living education vs textbooks/rote memorization. Oak Meadow is slightly more academic, and seems to be a better fit for where she is. For Coco Bear, we may chose the true Waldorf route, as she seems to need more time before she is ready to think about academics. They have always been very different, so I'd expect nothing less than for them to have different learning styles.

I ordered Oak Meadow 3 yesterday and am excited to get it and take a peek. I really wish you could customize it a bit. Ideally we would pick and choose from their grade 2 and 3 to make a perfect fit. Many of the literature choices in grade 3 we have already read, and we have gone over several of the history and science,topics already but I'm interested to see how it is taught in OM. This is also why we will supplement with JTW grade 2. Because I still feel Jujubee needs those stories, and honestly, I do too :)

Homeschool Helper - a planning app!

I am a planner.  I love to plan everything, so that makes homeschooling even more fun for me.  I am also an office supply and organization junkie, always on the search for the perfect homeschool planner. I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with my current paper planner.  (I totally scrapped the online planner from and

On a whim, I decided to look for homeschool apps for my iPad.  I have searched plenty of times and found nothing but figured it had been a while since I last searched.  WOW!  When I found Homeschool Helper, I immediately thought... I need this.  They had me from the beautiful design, but all the awesome features made it ridiculously necessary.  And... it is only $4.99.  Ha!  Boy are they giving the expensive planners a run for their money!  I've used them, and they fail miserably in the digital department.  Obviously some people just love paper.  I am one of those people.  But, I think I could stick with this planner.  It is SO easy to use and beautiful.

I've tried to find things to change about this app, and besides making it available on multiple devices via cloud, and allowing a student login (where they can view and check off work, but not edit) I can't think of anything it doesn't have. Attendance tracking, lesson planning, scheduling, field trips, grades, reports... You name it!  You can effortlessly use it for multiple students, add your planning information, and view your plan on a beautiful format. I was pretty skeptical at first, not wanting to be fooled by the initial "wow" factor like I had been before. Especially considering it was a fraction of the cost, and I only had to pay ONCE. How could it possibly be good?

Well, if I wasn't sold before, I am now. I love it, and will be using it to plan our next year as soon as my curriculum arrives. What do you use when planning?  Do you enjoy apps as much as I do?