About us

WLR supports homeschooling families by offering a variety of wholistically-based classes, inspired by significant contributors to the field of education including Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf), Charlotte Mason (Living Books), and others. Our teachers are informed and inspired by these great minds and dedicated to creating a warm, nurturing, safe learning experience for your students. Through meaningful relationships between students, parents and teachers, a sense of community and connectedness will be created.

The mission of WLR is to provide a variety of wholistically-inspired specialty classes to supplement homeschooling families within a warm, nurturing environment.

At WLR, each student will:
•        Feel welcomed and safe
•        Be respected
•        Be listened to
•        Be honored

Students at WLR are expected to show respect to teachers, other adults, and fellow students.

Like so many ideas, the definition comes down to one’s personal perspective. At WLR, a wholistic approach to education means one that is informed by several factors, including, but not limited to, an understanding of child development, an appreciation of the individual child’s needs, and an approach that encourages balanced living.

Rudolf Steiner revealed a deep understanding of these ideas, advising his teachers to “receive the child in reverence, educate her with love, send her forth in freedom.” In Waldorf schools, teachers aim to educate the hands, heart and head, balancing the thinking, feeling and willing realms of the child. Learn more about Steiner and Waldorf.

Charlotte Mason, a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s, believed that education was an “atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” She understood how a child absorbs from his environment (atmosphere), the importance of developing healthful and supportive habits (discipline), and that living books written by an author who has passion for his subject makes academic study come to “life.” Learn more about the CM approach.

Likewise, those who are inspired by a focus on Classical Education keep in mind its original intent of cultivating wisdom and virtue, nourishing the student with truth, beauty and goodness.

And families who choose a “life learning” approach (sometimes called “unschooling”) are grounded in a keen observation of the child’s growth and development in all areas, seeking ways to support the emerging wisdom of the individual unfolding before their eyes.

At WLR, our goal is to support you and your children as you pursue these, and any similar wholistic approach to home education. We understand that at the core, a deep understanding of the child and his healthful growth and development is what motivates us to pursue this path, despite seeming differences in the names and labels we may use to describe our particular methods.

The founder of WLR is Sandi Russi. While attending UC Davis in 1988, Sandi learned of Waldorf flutes with Noaheducation and soon enrolled her son in a Waldorf preschool. Eventually, he attended Waldorf grade schools, both private and public, where Sandi continued to learn about this unique approach, its founder, Rudolf Steiner, and Anthroposophy, the philosophy in which Waldorf education is rooted. She became an active and dedicated parent in the school community and never dreamed she would become a homeschooling parent.

In Spring 2002, the idea of homeschooling was presented to Sandi. At the time, she was pursuing post-graduate studies in order to obtain a teaching credential. Immersed in Emerson and Thoreau, who encouraged following her Inner Guide, she began the homeschooling journey with her youngest son, then five years old, later that year.

In 2003, Sandi founded W.I.S.H. (Waldorf-inspired Sacramento Homeschoolers). For many years, she held the vision of creating a one-day-a-week program of specialty classes for those interested in a Waldorf-inspired approach to home education.

Over the years, Sandi studied a number of other approaches including unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Latin-Centered Education, the Moore Formula, and Thomas Jefferson Education. Each of these studies drove her to deeper study and understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s work.

Sandi continues to enjoy reading and researching about education. She has presentated at the annual Homeschool Association of California’s Conference in Sacramento and Rahima Baldwin’s Conferences in Fair Oaks. Sandi’s blog can be found here.

In addition to managing WLR, Sandi is a professional proofreader and copy editor, and a certified Ananda Yoga instructor, teaching at the Sacramento Yoga Center. Sandi has also been a guest teacher for Golden Valley Charter School and John Morse (now Alice Birney) Waldorf Methods Magnet School, and has taught Business Writing Skills and Grammar classes to adults at ISInc.

Sandi’s youngest son, Noah, is currently taking a gap year between high school and college — an unschooling year (2015-16)! Still committed and inspired by the path of home education, Sandi enjoys staying connected with the homeschooling community through her endeavors at WLR and her connection with WISH families.

In the future, WLR plans to offer additional classes inspired by Waldorf as well as other wholistic approaches to education. If you are interested in something particular, e-mail Sandi. If you would like to receive updates on our course offerings, join the mailing list.

If you are a teacher interested in working with WLR, visit the Employment page for more information.