Christopherus Homeschool Curriculum Review

by Kristen
(Traverse City, Michigan)

Well-rounded Homeschool Learning

Well-rounded Homeschool Learning

Structured guidance. Academics with practical skills. Christopherus homeschool curriculum offers a complete and customizable Waldorf-type education.

My family has been very pleased with the Christopherus homeschool curriculum. We've used the preschool/kindergarten guides for three years and are now halfway through the first grade curriculum with my eldest child. I've liked all the materials thus far and am planning to use the second grade program next year.

I like the curriculum because it's based on Waldorf education and is completely tailored for homeschoolers. Christopherus truly understands that homeschooling is the best choice for many families and it doesn't try to completely replicate a Waldorf classroom in your home.

It does recognize the development stages of the child and I feel this is vital - it's addressing where my daughter is at now. The author takes a lot of time to help the parent understand the phase of childhood the preschooler, the kindergartener, the first grader (and I assume on up) is at. This has helped me gain an understanding of when I should push my child to keep working on something, when I should expect them to sit and absorb - and when I should let things go for that lesson.

There is a strong emphasis on teaching the child listen with quiet attention, and to persevere with work - traits sorely lacking in most children and most educational styles today.

I like the structured guidance given in the first grade curriculum and up. For me this is very nice because I appreciate having some of my lesson planning done for me. The curriculum is also written so a mother wanting to restructure and develop her own plans from it would be able to, however.

I also like how strongly the curriculum emphasizes them importance of an ordered home life and the development of practical skills - it's not just all academics. It focuses on all aspects of life: from academics, to homemaking skills, to the arts. I feel like my children are getting a complete and well-rounded education that will equip them to excel in all aspects of life (even taking care of their homes) - not just learning academic facts. I think they'll be light years ahead of where I was when I graduated from high school simply because they won't have to learn the practical "every day" aspects of life - that will have been part of their whole education.

One other thing I like about the Christopherus curriculum is that it allows me to take what I like from Waldorf education principles and also work with our own religious festivals and stories and lessons from our beliefs. And I can leave out or change anything I don't feel is right for us.

I feel like the Christopherus curriculum is very affordable. The preschool/kindergarten book is very economical and the supplemental guides (which I recommend getting) are also inexpensive. The materials for the grades are more expensive, however they are quite comprehensive and I've felt like I've certainly gotten my money's worth with them. The grade materials include all subjects and are arranged in block/unit studies.

The publisher also offers an online support and discussion forum for a low quarterly or yearly fee and I have gotten so much support there. There is also one-on-one consultation service available. I feel like these services really enhance the curriculum and can help parents who feel unsure about a situation or issue with their child(ren) to work out solutions and regain their confidence.

Many of the materials needed for the curriculum can be gathered right outside your front door or at your local park/nature trail which is very nice. There are also some expenses that are only one-time expenses - such as a small blackboard.

For me it has been very cost-efficient because this one curriculum set will be used with all my children. The few supplemental books have been inexpensive. Supplies recommended are generally sturdy - the block crayons I purchased when I started preschool are still being used 3 years later and with many years left on them. I feel such quality recommendations have saved me a lot in the long run!

The children also make their own workbooks (called Main Lesson Books) out of blank bound books which are very inexpensive. It becomes a treasure of art and academics for the child and doesn't cost much to provide each child with his or her own set.

Kristen, thanks for the wonderfully thorough review of the Christopherus homeschool curriculum. Your advice and money-saving tips are beneficial to others looking for an affordable Waldorf education. Happy Homeschooling! Heather :)

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Christopherus Curriculum: Waldorf Inspired Homeschooling

by Cassandra Torgrimson
(Redmond, OR)

Waldorf Inspired Homeschooling Curriculum

Waldorf Inspired Homeschooling Curriculum

If you're looking for an easy-to-use Waldorf curriculum, check out this mom's Christopherus homeschool curriculum review; it may be right for you!

When we started homeschooling, we were unsure which curriculum to use. After much research, I came across a wonderful Waldorf inspired homeschool curriculum from Christopherus. The curriculum is written by Donna Simmons, who has been a Waldorf student and teacher, and has also homeschooled her sons using Waldorf.

We are in our second year of using this curriculum. I love teaching with it, and our girls love learning from it. Our girls are now in Kindergarten and second grade.

There are many things we like about Waldorf, including how art and crafts, body movement and nature are used throughout the subjects. A daily syllabus is given, but there is flexibility included, so you can use your own ideas if appropriate.

The curriculum is affordable because we can use the same syllabus for both our girls as it is not consumable. So the first grade syllabus, which my older daughter used last year, is sitting waiting for my younger daughter to use it when she is in 1st grade next year.

There is not a lot of parent-planning I need to do, but the teaching is very hands-on for me, the parent-teacher. I like that. I don't want to just hand them a book or worksheets at this point and say, "Go do it." I want to be right there watching them learn, it is amazing!

Cassandra, thanks for reviewing the Christopherus homeschool curriculum; much appreciated! :)

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Comments for Christopherus Curriculum: Waldorf Inspired Homeschooling

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Jan 13, 2015
Horrible Customer Service NEW
by: Anonymous

We tried Christopherus grade 1 with my son. But we quickly ditched it. Largely it was because having started school in the traditional way, it was just too hard to transition to a Waldorf method.

However, I have other complaints:

1. Christopherus is an insane amount of money for the low-quality printing that you get. $225 just for the syllabus which nothing more than a binder of papers. The other two books you need are over $20 each and are just very thin cardstock covers with a spiral binding. Granted - this is a "Waldorf" curriculum... which is basically synonymous with extremely overpriced materials.

So, yes, you get some LA activities, some math activities, loose schedules, some ideas for crafts, music, art etc... But basically, you are paying $225 - $300 to be given some ideas. Instead I would check out Waldorf Essentials - same Waldorf philosophy for an insane fraction of the price - $40 for the year for .pdf, $45-60 for print!

2. My experience with their customer service was horrible. It began when I ordered some items, and after wondering what was taking so long, discovered they had been mailed to the wrong location - a town about 5 hours away. I immediately looked on my invoice and realized I had put the wrong town, but did indeed have everything else right, including the right zip code. Christopherus had incorrectly put the wrong zip code.

NOW - I knew that this was likely a computer generated error due to my having the wrong town, since the zip codes wouldn't match, but, on their end, they should have been checking to make sure the generated postage matched the invoice. The post office confirmed that had they shipped it to the right zip code, even though the town was wrong, it would have been fine.

So, I called, and it took several emails, during which the CSR became increasingly rude, talked to me like I was stupid, before she finally realized their mistake (I had already apologized a couple times for my part in it all, with putting the wrong town).

Fine and dandy. It all got sorted out, they reshipped my order to the correct address.

So I received my items, and in the end did have to return them, as they weren't going to work for us. This is where the real problems began.

I returned my order the second week of November. By the first of December I still had not received a refund. They confirmed that yes, they had received my books. They would forward my refund request to accounting.

Fast forward a month. Still nothing. I emailed January 6th, inquiring. I was informed their accounting clerk had taken a 3 week vacation. She would look into it the very next day.

I heard nothing back. Emailed them January 10th, asking what was going on, and here we are... still nothing. So I have had to try and go through Paypal to get reimbursed, and may even have to go through my bank.

Lesson learned.

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