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.

WLR ~ Approved Vendor

Wholistic Learning Resources is an approved vendor with a number of local charters that support home educators, including:

  • CORE Placer
  • Horizon Charter School*
  • Inspire
  • PCI Schools (Rio Valley, Heritage Peak, Sutter Peak, etc.)
  • South Sutter Charter School
  • Visions in Education*
Please note that for the 2017-18, a few schools, including those marked with * above, modified their systems/procedures with updating the vendor contracts. This caused a temporary delay in showing WLR on their “approved vendor” lists.
In the meantime, go ahead and register on the WLR website so that you can take advantage of our Early Registration Discount through 8/25/17.
WLR will officially show on your school’s list in time to obtain the P.O. or voucher required by the first day of WLR classes.
Thank you for your patience! Looking forward to another great year with all of our students and grateful to work with the various local charters that support this educational path.

Eclipse Special!

1 Day only! Get an extra $5 off any / all classes when you register today – 8/21/17. Combined with the WLR Early Reg Discount that is $15 off each class + any other applicable discounts!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Applicable to NEW registrations only.
  2. If already registered*, may ADD class(es) today to which the special may be applied.
  3. Enter the word ECLIPSE in the coupon code box. Your account will automatically adjust to a $5.00 credit toward student’s first class. WLR will then modify any other classes you choose for an $5 off each additional class. Look for the “updated” e-mailed confirmation for the total applied credits.

Make it a great day and stay safe out there!

 

 

 

*From time to time, WLR offers 1-day specials to boost classes that may be under-enrolled. This helps to ensure that our classes can go forth as scheduled without cancelling.

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.