Category Archives: Anthroposophy

What is the Pentathlon Training?

The WLR Pentathlon Training program is offered every 2-3 years and is inspired by the Waldorf 5th grade curriculum. Around this age, students’ understanding of the world is broadened and deepened through exploration of various ancient cultures, typically finishing with Greek history and mythology. The highlight of the year is a physical education training program culminating in the Greek Pentathlon.

Students demonstrate “Draw back and aim” command.

The WLR Greek Pentathlon training is open to students in Grades 5-8. The 12-week program meets for 2 hours each week. Students learn and practice the 5 traditional pentathlon events:

  • Discus
  • Running
  • Javelin
  • Running long jump
  • Greek wrestling

Safety is emphasized throughout the training. Also important: students learn by focusing first on form; as they become confident in form and technique, grace and poise develop. You may see your student begin to walk a bit taller! Athletes are encouraged to practice at home 3-5 times a week for 15-20 minutes.

The throwing events are modified for safety; students throw from a stationary stance (rather than running). Running events include both a long distance run (about a mile) and a sprint.

Greek wrestling provides a unique opportunity for the developing student to meet both him/herself and his/her peers. Decorum is paramount. First, students greet one another with a firm handshake in a show of goodwill and good faith toward their opponent. Then with feet well-grounded, the athletes take their stance and form the “golden circle,” clasping hands as indicated. The stance itself brings the student into the here and now, into the presence of the human being before them, with honor and respect. They share energy; they share space; they look into one another’s eyes and learn from each other while as they challenge each other. Practicing again and again, the athletes become not only more skilled in the wrestling itself, but perhaps more importantly, they become accustomed to meeting their fellow human being with honor and respect.

The Greek Pentathlon training is about much more than simply developing physical skills; the program aims to create a deep, meaningful experience on many levels, planting seeds that have a profound and lasting effect.

The handshake: precursor to each Greek wrestling match.

Students prepare to engage in Greek wrestling match.

Student prepares to recite ‘ode’ before Discus throw.

Student demonstrating “stand” command in preparation for Javelin throw.

Each week includes warm-ups, training and practice in 1-3 events, and cool down/stretching.

The Pentathlon Training is the perfect complement to your student’s study of Greek History or Mythology, bringing learning to life while creating lasting memories. To enhance the Pentathlon experience, consider registering your student for WLR’s Greek Mythology, History & Art class on Mondays. The program is also ideal for students who may have previously studied Greek History & Mythology.

Requirements: Students should come ready for active participation wearing appropriate clothing and footwear (well-fitting athletic shoes); long hair must be tied back securely. Bring water and light snacks; a short break (about 10 minutes) will occur about halfway through each class. Regular attendance is important as students learn important safety precautions and refine their developing skills each week. In addition, students will identify and practice speaking a short ‘ode’ to the Greek god / goddess of his/ her choice to be recited at the final event. Class is designed for grades 5-8; minimum age is 10 years old.

Recommended Reading: Ideally, prior to first class meeting, students will be familiar with Greek history and/or mythology. Choose a solid, classic source to read with your child or on his/her own. Below are a few possibilities:

  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
  • Ancient Greece, Charles Kovac
  • The Golden Fleece & the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, Padriac Colum

Students relaxing before the gods arrive to oversee the Pentathlon.

The training program culminates in the final Pentathlon Event, a community endeavor. Parents participate with some light set up tasks and organizing the Greek feast, a potluck luncheon to follow the event. Judges for the event include several Greek gods and goddesses who oversee the festivities. Awards are granted not only for fastest/furthest but also for those who excel in demonstration of beauty, poise and grace as they execute their feats. Parents, siblings, relatives and friends are all welcome to cheer on the pentathletes!

The training sessions take place on Wednesday mornings with at least half of the sessions at Ancil Hoffman Park in Carmichael. The remaining sessions take place at Tahoe Park in Sacramento, close to Highway 50 & 65th Street. For details, including class dates and times, click here.

The 2018 Pentathlon final event is scheduled for May 9, 2018.

Early Registration discount for the Greek Pentathlon ends December 30th. The training begins Wednesday, January 17th.

Go to WLR Registration Page.

 

 

New! Singing & Dancing Games

Music! Movement! Dancing! Singing! What an excellent way to start the day, to start the week!

Singing and dancing is much more than simply a fun class. In fact, few subjects can potentially do as much for children as a program of singing games and folk dancing. Through these activities, children experience the musical elements of rhythm, melody, and form. They also sharpen their listening skills and tone motor performance. In addition, singing and dancing help pave the way for cognitive learning. Patterns and sequencing are important aspects of learning both math and language arts; singing and dancing require students to follow patterns, remember sequences and put their bodies into motion to experience those patterns. Such delightful movement is an excellent way to meet the needs of various learning styles including kinesthetic and aural learners.

And while all of this is going on, the students enjoy themselves immensely! The program provides the opportunity for parents to share in joyful movement and song alongside their children.

In addition to paving the way for cognitive skill development, dancing and singing games are an excellent way for students to develop socially. The collective activity is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both children and parents.

Each week, Ms. Christiana Quick-Cleveland will lead students in learning songs, performing steps and playing games that are part of North American traditions.

Parent participation is optional. If you are attending with your student, please participate! The more the merrier! Our Singing & Dancing class is an excellent opportunity for parents to learn alongside their children and they can continue to sing and dance at home as well.

Singing & Dancing Games is offered on Mondays at the American River Grange for Grades 1-4. Class begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. Please arrive a few minutes early.

Go to WLR Registration Page.

2018 Winter-Spring Registration is OPEN!

Registration is open for the upcoming 2018 Winter-Spring Session. Take a look below and then register soon — classes are filling fast.

WLR has been serving the local homeschooling community for over 8 years, offering:

  • excellent, experienced teachers
  • developmentally appropriate, wholistic programming
  • a warm, nurturing environment at 4 convenient locations
  • fresh air and large play yards at all locations
  • supervised recess for students enrolled before & after lunch
  • many Waldorf specialty classes
  • classes appreciated by Charlotte Mason & unschooling aficionados

Highlights for the upcoming session include:

  • K-1 Program now at 2 locations! The programs are similar but will each have their own unique feel and rhythm. Excellent teachers at both locations receive our youngest students into a warm, nurturing environment: Ms. Audra at the Grange and Ms. Ciana in Sacramento.
  • Ms. Audra will also teach Math Logic & Skills for the upper grades at the Grange.
  • And Ms. Ciana will teach our new K-1 Afternoon Extension in Sacramento.
  • New! Ms. Belson will teach Handiworks: students will learn practical skills in both handwork and woodworking.
  • New! Greek History, Mythology & Art is offered on Mondays — an excellent complement to the Greek Pentathlon Training for upper grades offered on Wednesdays.
  • New! Singing & Dancing Games with Ms. Christiana includes optional parent participation. Come join the fun with your 1st – 4th graders on Mondays!
  • New! Ms. Springwind will teach Art at the Grange, exploring 3 unique modalities, 4 weeks of each medium.
  • Looking for an inspiring, intriguing science class? Mr. Huff is adept at bringing the wonder and joy of science to life and will lead two excellent classes for the upper grades — Mechanics: the Science of Motion on Mondays at the Grange and Science of the Weather: Meteorology on Thursdays in Sacramento.
  • New! For many years, we have wanted to add gardening – and now we have it! Gardening & Carpentry is an exciting new program available at our Sacramento site.
  • Musical Theatre returns to Davis along with many Waldorf favorites. Dr. & Mrs. Tan lead the Davis program, often integrating material from one class into others.
  • The popular Movement & Games class returns to the Grange with Mr. Huff!
  • Clay & Ceramics returns to Sacramento along with Movement & Games / P.E. for both upper & lower grades.
  • Mr. Huff will also teach Math & Movement for grades 2-4 on Thursdays: through hands-on activities, games, movement and social interaction, students will learn math facts of the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) along with simple concepts from geometry, pattern recognition, and sequencing.

To see full class descriptions, go to the Class Descriptions pages; start here.

To see the class schedules for Sacramento, Davis & Rancho Cordova locations, click here.

For information on the Greek Pentathlon Training, including dates, location and other details, click here.

New to WLR? Take a look around; feel free to call with any questions and take a moment to review the Participation in WLR classes page.

We are excited and looking forward to another great session with the many wonderful families who choose WLR to supplement their children’s home-based education! Many blessings to you on the journey!

Go to WLR Registration Page.

2018 Tentative Schedules!

Our 2018 Tentative Schedules are available for review.

Questions and comments on the Sacramento (Thursdays) and Rancho Cordova (Mondays) schedules are welcome as we finalize the details. We are especially interested in specific feedback on the Science (Sac & R.C.) and Art (R.C.) classes with Mr. Huff. Possible areas of Science focus include:

  • Physics (General overview, covering several areas such as light, sound, etc.)
  • Mechanics (1 aspect of Physics)
  • Meteorology
  • Botany

For the Arts:

  • Renaissance Arts
  • Greek Art/History
  • Mechanic-inspired cardboard construction (as an extension of Mechanics class)

Mondays in R.C. will run for 12 weeks with 3 scheduled days off.

Thursdays in Sacramento will run for 10 weeks with 1 scheduled day off.

The Davis Schedule on Tuesdays is final. Davis will run for 10 weeks with no holidays.

Click here to review the 2018 Winter-Spring Schedules and other details.

Finalized schedules including fees are expected to be available by mid-November; Registration will open shortly thereafter.

Extending the Lesson: WLR Classes

Most of WLR classes are hands-on. When students are immersed in engaging activities, learning is fun! By focusing on the experiential aspects of learning, WLR instructors maximize class time by leaving most skilled-based activities to the home educating parent or caregiver who knows the child’s strengths and areas that need extra support. So for instance, if a student is challenged with fine motor skills, writing a single word or sentence may take 10-20 minutes. Rather than use class time, this is an activity better suited to the one-on-one attention he/she is receiving at home.

However, there are several ways that parents can extend WLR lessons into their home learning environment, using the WLR lesson as inspiration for continued learning at home. Below are a few suggestions.

  1.  Telling back/oral narration. This is a common practice in Waldorf schools as well as those who use Charlotte Mason methods. It is simple and lays a strong foundation for composition as the child grows. How? Simply ask your child to tell you what he did in class. Avoid the temptation to interrupt with questions, but rather let the child “narrate” as if telling you a story about his/her day. In Waldorf schools, the telling back usually occurs the day after the lesson, allowing the images from the story or lesson to enter the subconscious during sleep; with Charlotte Mason methods, this is done shortly after the lesson. Telling back/narration is an excellent practice while the student is still developing the fine motor skills required for writing – especially when the hand cannot keep up with the mind! Narrating what he/she did in class or learned reinforces that learning and helps it to sink in. In addition, your child is naturally practicing the skills required for basic writing: sequencing of ideas, sentence composition, using adjectives, etc. The process strengthens the memory and speaking skills as well.
  2. Written narration. This is similar to #1 above, but can be done on paper. You can actually have your child do the oral narration first and then at another time, they can do the written narration. Again, this will extend and reinforce what has been covered in class. Depending on the child’s age and development, they may write for 2 – 20 minutes about their learning experiences in class. Rather than marking or grade the composition, simply observe any misspelled words or other errors that you can focus on during a separate lesson.
  3. Drawing or other artistic activity – In a Waldorf school, the main lesson often includes a teacher-led drawing from the story or subject matter. At home, you can simply have your child draw a picture related to what was learned in class that day or the day before. Alternatively, your student can sculpt, paint or engage in another artistic activity to help extend and reinforce the lesson.
  4. Creating a lesson book. If desired, your child can compile his/her written compositions and/or drawings into a lesson book, with a card stock cover that can also include an illustration and a title.

During the Fall 2017 Session, we have a number of classes that will work well with any of the above ideas including:

  • Science – Meteorology
  • Science – Rockets!
  • Hands-on Geology
  • Math: History & Mysteries
  • Biographies
  • Nature Stories & Crafts
  • Singing
  • Storytelling & Drama
  • Handwork: Farm to Fiber
  • Hero Stories
  • Musical Theatre
  • Games
  • Woodworking
  • Clay & World Crafts
  • Ceramics
  • Learning is Fun K-1 program

For any of our art-based classes, you may prefer an oral or written narration since the artistic activity has already been done in class.

You know your child best, of course. Modify any of the above ideas to your child’s developmental age, skill level, interest and any other considerations. Ideally, any of these activities will be a joyful extension of your child’s experience at Wholistic Learning Resources.

Check the Class Schedule pages to see what is currently being offered at WLR. You may also wish to visit the Class Description pages for details.

 

 

 

Getting Started ~ Part 2: “Deschooling”

For brand new homeschoolers with children previously enrolled in a public or a private school, “deschooling” — not to be confused with “unschooling” — is a term you will want to learn about.

Although deschooling may look like unschooling, it is used to serve a specific purpose for both the student and the primary home educating parent.

The purpose of deschooling is to allow the child time to decompress from the previous classroom experiences, whether those experiences were positive or negative. The general recommendation is to allow one month of de-schooling for every year the child has spent in school.

So what does deschooling look like? It looks like what some people call child-led learning or delight-led learning. By giving the child space and time to connect with those activities of high interest, she can begin to recover her natural love of learning that traditional schooling may have depleted.

A gentle rhythm to the day and the week can support the entire family during deschooling. So for instance, perhaps one day a week is library day or park day. For your daily rhythm, choose a time to read to your child each day and perhaps another time when she reads to you. Keep any academics short and focused – maybe just 2-3x/week, 5-30 minutes long depending on your child’s developmental age, interest level and willingness.

The deschooling period also supports the parent new to home education. While your children pursue enjoyable activities that they can do independently, you can use this “down” time to explore various educational methods, philosophies and curriculum. There is no need to rush out and buy a full curriculum set! There are now volumes of resources for home educators to choose from, so it is helpful to find a philosophy/approach that resonates with you before making any major purchases. Also realize that your philosophy may change over time as you continue to learn and grow together.

There are numerous articles on the internet on this topic. Do a search or check out the links below for more information.

And welcome to the amazing journey of home education! Be patient with yourself and your children as you adjust to this new and exciting life and lifestyle. Over time, you will develop your family rhythm and rituals to support the journey.

From School to Homeschool: What is Deschooling?

Deschooling: Starting out Right

The Truth about Deschooling that will Blow Your Mind

 

 

 

Last Day!

Today is the LAST day to get the Early Registration Discount. Click image below to register with WLR today! After setting up your profile and choosing classes, the system will automatically take $10 off each class.

You can still register after today, but will miss out on the discount ~ so act now. It only takes a few minutes to register.

You may wish to check out the Class Schedule pages and the Class Description pages first.

Go to the Meet Our Teachers page  to learn more about our excellent instructors.

Why Games Class?

At Wholistic Learning Resources, we honor the natural unfolding of the developing human being, offering supplemental classes to support all that you do at home with, and for, your children. Our Movement & Games classes are rooted in this same understanding. In modern culture, organized team sports are held in high status which can cause children to think of movement only in those terms.

Our Movement classes give students basic coordination and movement skills that will help them if and when they decide to play organized sports. Depending on the grade, children will play games, do relay races or learn dances that serve to develop skills that may also be beneficial for a conventional sport.

 

Not only do our movement classes provide the opportunity to play games and have fun, they also works with their social interaction: their activity teaches them to play with each other before they play against each other, to acknowledge each other, to play safely, and to gain an appreciation for all kinds of movement. Our Games classes enable students to move fully, know who they are, and enter into a more healthy relationship with the world. Various games help develop an enhanced awareness of personal space, with clearly defined boundaries. As the children develop, these skills lay the foundation for healthy participation in other activities and organized sports.

For the upcoming WLR Fall 2017 program, Games & Movement is offered on Tuesdays in Davis and on Thursdays in Sacramento. Click here to view the class schedule pages.

 

 

New! Biographies: People Who Changed the World

Combining History, Language Arts, and Science, students will travel through time to meet people who changed the world. After each historical figure (such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Marie Curie) is introduced through story, students will step into their shoes by experiencing hands-on activities that relate to their lives. By creating lesson book pages will reinforce their learning and expand their skills through summarizing, writing and drawing. Students will complete a page for each historical figure into their lesson books  If desired, parent home educators can extend the lessons at home, using the completed lesson book pages as inspiration for extending their student’s learning. The 10-week course will cover approximately five historical figures; possible historical figures may include:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci (mirror writing, experiments with water)
  • Avicenna, a doctor & author born in 980 (Indian number system, Arabic writing, memorizing)
  • Aristotle
  • Plato
  • Sacajewea (invaluable to helping Lewis & Clark travel to the Pacific coast)
  • Marie Curie (first woman to win Nobel Prize, radium, x-ray machine with daughter)
  • Maria Mitchell (self educated Astronomer, first to photograph the sun, studied Jupiter & Saturn)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt (United Nations committee that wrote the Declaration of Human Rights)
  • Florence Nighingale (nursing)
  • Einstein (experiments)

Biographies is offered at the WLR Rancho Cordova site on Mondays for Grades 5-8, and is led by the enthusiastic Ms. Audra Sterrett. Ms Sterrett also teaches Heroes & Fables for Grades 1-4 on Mondays.

Go to WLR Registration Page.

New class! Herbal Alchemy in Davis

WLR is pleased to announce this new class just added to the Davis Schedule: Herbal Alchemy.

Instructor Jennifer Tan will engage students in this hands-on class of discovery, learning all about the natural world of herbs. Students will gather herbal seeds, plant and harvest herbs, and blend herbs for teas and scent sachets, creating a variety projects that are sure to delight the senses. With soothing lavender, invigorating rosemary and others, students will have a scent-sational time, as they deepen their understanding and appreciation for nature’s gifts.

Herbal Alchemy is offered at our Davis location on Tuesdays, beginning September 12th. Click here to register and save your child’s place in class.