We have just begun using Oak Meadow and already I’m hooked. I’ve been looking at this program for probably 4 years and just couldn’t dish out the initial cost. This semester I finally decided this is the program we are using. I am a lover of Waldorf philosophies and teachings. However, there are a few things I can take or leave in Waldorf education. As Orthodox Christians there are few things taught in Waldorf curriculums that I would rather omit and replace with a more Christian view. However, on that note, Orthodoxy combines nearly perfectly with the Waldorf style of learning and parenting. But I’m getting into a whole topic of conversation now…
A few things appealed to me in the Oak Meadow curriculum. They are Waldorf based but are also the most main stream Waldorf curriculum I’ve found. This is important to me because they stay on track according to state requirements and they make it easy to supplement main stream programs like Singapore Math etc. The lessons are well thought out and just plain fun. Every lesson, every story you read, involves the child summarizing and drawing a picture of what took place in the story. There is so much hands on learning which I find to be essential in education. There is music, art, movement, memorization in every subject. We are using the third grade program but I supplement here and there with the preschool curriculum for my three year old. What’s amazed me is that the lessons are engaging enough in the third grade program to teach my eight year old what he needs to know but to also capture the interest of my three year old–she likes to draw a picture from the stories and participate as much as possible. This is essential to a mom with three kids from eight to less than a year.
We are only two weeks in, but from previous curriculum experiences I can already tell it’s going to work. I will write another review at the end of this semester.
Something else I’d like to mention, however, is Oak Meadow’s book “The Heart of Learning.” It’s a required read for Oak Meadow’s lower grades and it is amazing. By far this is the best parenting book I have read to date. You don’t have to be a homeschooler or even a parent to elementary aged kids. Read this book. Just do it. It’s worth every cent, every moment. More to come….