Category Archives: Unschooling

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.

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.

Getting Started ~ Part 1

About this time of year, I often get calls from parents who are brand new to home education. They need some basic information on how to get started… and how NOT to get overwhelmed!

With such a vast amount of information on the internet, it is so easy to get lost in the myriad of curriculum and resources that are available to those who choose this amazing path.

But like so many other things in life, I have found that keeping things simple typically brings the best results for our children, our family, our homes and for ourselves.

The first thing a new homeschooler will want to determine is which legal path to home education the family will choose. In California, there are several ways to home educate, but these are the most common and likely choices for the majority of families:

  1. As an independent homeschooler. In this scenario, you are basically declaring your home as a private school. You fill out a form and file it with the state. Learn more about the process here. Plus side: total freedom. Down side: no financial support from state-sponsored schools.
  2. As a charter school student. In California, there are a number of charter schools designed specifically to support home educators. Your student will be registered as a public school student and you will meet with your credentialed teacher about once a month. Plus side: most of these schools provide you with a funding budget that you can used for “approved vendors” for classes, supplies, curriculum, etc. (WLR is an approved vendor with a number of local charters.) Down side: your student will be required to participate in state-mandated testing and possibly other types of testing. You will likely need to provide a number of work samples to your teacher. Check with any charter you are considering and be sure to ask about the number of required work samples per semester and the amount of testing. They vary. You may want to ask other homeschoolers which schools they like and which teachers. You can usually request a preferred teacher. The teacher’s role is more as a support person to assist with getting materials, supplies and guidance – as little or as much, usually, as you prefer. After a few meetings you will know if the teacher is a good fit for your family. If not, you can request to change teachers.
  3. Register with a PSP (Private Satellite Program). This is similar to #2, except it is a private school entity and you pay for the services. Some offer this at a low price with minimal services; others will offer much more, or several options, and the price will go up accordingly. Be sure to check around, ask for references and compare programs. A private PSP with minimal services is basically taking care of the paperwork for you that you can do yourself if you choose #1, above.

If you are withdrawing your child from a traditional public or private school midyear, you will want to take a look at this information as well.

Once you have determine your chosen route, complete the necessary paperwork. Then take a deep breath and relax! Taking care of yourself is an important step on the homeschooling journey. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once.

Next: Part 2 ~ “De-schooling”

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.