Christopherus Curriculum Guides

The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers

Donna Simmons

Spiral Bound, 239 pages

$55.00

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As would be expected from her previous publications, Donna Simmons has given us a masterful presentation of Waldorf Education as a living approach toward the development of capable, healthy human beings. More than this, she has placed it in the context of homeschooling, then gone further to paint beautifully detailed pictures of what each subject can be within such a setting.

The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview fills a need that has been palpable in my experience -- and it fills it to overflowing. Simmons' deep understanding of Steiner's pedagogy, her experience inside Waldorf schools as both student and teacher, and her abilities as a writer have combined to give homeschool teachers a vision of this education that meets the modern world -- and carries Steiner's intent forward with joy and purpose.

I should also add that I believe that teachers within Waldorf schools could also benefit enormously from this Curriculum Overview. Simmons' approach, by not predicating the delivery of the education on a formal school setting, serves to focus on the goals, the intent, the wide-ranging possibilities of Steiner's pedagogy. I find it to be like a brisk fall breeze coming on the heels of a sultry summer: blowing change, waking us up, showing us the remarkable harvest that lies ahead.

Contents:

Part One

  • Chapter 1: Waldorf Education and Homeschooling
  • Chapter 2: A Visit to a Waldorf School
  • Chapter 3: The Waldorf Home
  • Chapter 4: Homeschooling with Waldorf

Part Two

  • Chapter 5: Grade by Grade
  • Chapter 6: Topic by Topic
    • Language Arts
    • Handwork, Crafts and Gardening
    • Foreign Language
    • Math
    • Music
    • History (including Fairy Tales, Legends & Myths)
    • Art - Drawing, Painting and Modeling
    • Geography
    • Form Drawing
    • Science
    • Movement, Games and Sports
    • Chapter 7: Home is Not School
    • Chapter 8: Nuts and Bolts
    • Chapter 9: Questions and Answers
    • Chapter 10: A Peek at the Future: High School

Part Three

    • Chapter 7: Home is Not School
    • Chapter 8: Nuts and Bolts
    • Chapter 9: Questions and Answers
    • Chapter 10: A Peek at the Future: High School

    Kindergarten with Your Three to Six Year Old

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources Practical Waldorf at Home

    Donna Simmons

    Spiralbound

    $30.00

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    Donna Simmons has done it again! This time she has produced a comprehensive, life-filled overview of the nature of the Waldorf Kindergarten, most especially, what it might look like in a home setting. Her background information sings with love and understanding of the young child; her explanations and examples are family-centered, warm and inspiring.

    If you've been looking for a resource that would take you inside a Waldorf kindergarten and show you how to give these gifts to your young child(ren) at home, this is it. Thank you, again, Donna!

    Contents:

    • Introduction
    • The Kindergarten Child
    • Family Life
    • A Typical Day
    • Elements of the Day
    • How to Do It
    • Other People
    • The Six Year Old
    • Questions and Answers
    • For You to Use

    Animal Legends

    A 2nd Grade Language Arts Block

    Donna Simmons

    Spiral Bound

    $23.00

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    Donna has taken beloved fables from Aesop, African legends, Jataka traditions, the Middle East, Mexico and many other sources and woven them into a magical language arts block, just right for 2nd Graders and their lovably contrary ways. I truly believe that these stories, told in succession over the 2-4 week block, will melt the resistance of any student. Not to mention teach them a great deal about language and the ways of the human heart. This is a lesson block for everyone to love!

    Contents:

    • Introduction
    • How to Proceed: The basics of a Main Lesson Block
    • Notes on Writing and Drawing
    • Telling Stories
    • Materials Needed
    • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
    • The Wise Goat and the Wolves
    • The Tortoise and the Hare
    • The Hungry Fox
    • Rabbit's Money Crop
    • The Wolf and the Lamb
    • Foolish Words
    • The Mouse and the Lion
    • The Hare and the Crocodile
    • The Old Man and the Bear
    • Sample Main Lesson Pages

    Mathematics - 2nd Grade Curriculum

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Donna Simmons

    Spiral Bound

    $35.00

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    Everyone who's been hoping for this book, raise their hands. I thought so -- my hand is also raised, so I believe that makes all of us.

    Here at last is a complete curriculum guide for 2nd Grade Mathematics. Housed within its pages are the materials and lesson plans for the 4 Math Blocks taught during the 2nd Grade year. Additionally, Donna Simmons has provided guiding articles and introductions, overviews and instructions for specific types of teaching activities as well as stories to help students learn basic math processes.

    I have a feeling that this book is destined to smooth the way for many a homeschooling parent and student. Another thank-you goes out to Donna Simmons for her wonderful work!

    Contents:

    • Second Grade Mathematics
    • How to Proceed
    • Making a Schedule
    • Main Lessons, Practice Sessions and Circle Time
    • Roman Numerals
    • The Squirrel Story
    • Math Block I (2 weeks)
    • Math Block II (4 weeks)
    • Math Block III (3 weeks)
    • Math Block IV (3 weeks)
    • Practice Sessions/Games
    • Painting Geometric Shapes
    • Number Journeys

    Saints and Heroes - a 2nd Grade Language Arts block

    Christopherus Unit Studies: Main Lessons for Homeschoolers - Number 3

    Donna Simmons

    Spiral Bound

    $23.00

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    I am as excited as you are to see this long-awaited main lesson guide in print. Not only does it cover one of my very favorite subjects (who doesn't love stories about saints and heroes?), but Donna Simmons brings us wonderful tales from around the world alongside beloved Western favorites. Additionally, each beautifully told story concludes with suggested activities to accompany it - I found the activities so interesting that I found myself wanting to do them straight off. The lessons that can evolve from this book will be warm and rich -- and remembered long after 2nd grade is over.

    It seems simplest just to tell you what you'll find inside:

    • An Introduction about Main Lessons
    • An essay, "What to Expect of a Second Grader"
    • How to Proceed: The Basics of Main Lesson Block
    • Other Points
    • Materials Needed

    The stories are about:

    • Genevieve of Paris
    • Kun and Yu
    • Rabia of Basra
    • Nandanar and Lord Shiva
    • Fin MacCool, Hero of Ireland
    • Judah Maccabee and the Temple Miracle
    • Elizabeth of the Roses
    • Hiawatha, Bringer of Peace
    • Martin, Servant of the Christ
    • Francis and Clare
    • Basil the Holy Fool
    • The Baal Shem Tov

    And, there's more:

    • Sample Main Lesson Pages
    • Other 2nd Grade Language Arts Blocks
    • More Ideas for Saints and Heroes

    I have to confess that Saints and Heroes makes me want to adopt a second grader just so I can teach this block!

    Old Testament Stories Manual and Stories from the Books of Moses

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources Third Grade Curriculum

    Donna Simmons

    Manual is 3-hole punched in protective sleeve
    Stories from the Book of Moses is perfect bound

    $36.00

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    Stories from the Books of Moses
    Stories from the Books of Moses

    The Old Testament block for the Waldorf third grade is one of my favorites.  It answers so well the third grader's awakening awareness that they are no longer in the paradise of early childhood, but have stepped out of the "garden" and into a world where they may often feel a bit lost, a bit homeless as it were. 

    This block begins with just that event, as told in the West by the foundational writings of Moses.  Once they are forced out of the Garden of Eden, the children of Adam wander, settle, prosper, fall into slavery and then emerge into freedom and a new land of milk and honey.  This block ends with Moses watching the Children of Israel cross the Jordan river into Canaan and their new home, and a beautiful culmination for our third graders.  (Following this block comes the practical activies block which includes cooking, farming and, yes, house building - as the stories sleep within the students, they spring to life through the work of their hands.)

    Donna Simmons' Old Testament Stories Manual artistically and thoroughly captures the life of the Old Testament Block, as her Stories from the Books of Moses sensitively retells the key events in the seminal journey of the Hebrew people.  Whether you are using it at home or in a classroom, her guidance is just the right balance of detail and inspiring suggestions.  We think it is simply wonderful that she has made this curriculum available for so many children. 

    Contents of the Manual:

    • Introduction
      • Thoughts on Old Testament Stories
    • How to Proceed
      • Sample Schedule for a Six Week Block
      • Materials Needed
      • Artistic Activities
      • Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting
      • Writing Summaries
      • Related Activities
    • A Puppet Play: Joseph and His Brothers
    • Plus 7 templates for the puppet play and 10 full-page color reproductions of watercolor paintings

    Contents of Stories from the Books of Moses:

    • The Days of Creation
    • Adam and Eve
    • Cain and Abel
    • Noah and the Flood
    • The Tower of Babel
    • Abraham
    • Isaac
    • Jacob
    • Joseph and His Brothers
    • Moses in Egypt
    • Moses in the Wilderness

     

    The Human Being and the Animal World

    Two 4th Grade Main Lesson Blocks

    Donna Simmons

    Spiral bound

    $26.00

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    The contrast between human beings and animals is something that children begin to become interested in at about Grade 4, making this an excellent time for the Waldorf block formerly called "Man and Animal."  The approach to introducting the variety of fauna to 4th grade students is one of always creating a relationship of understanding between the nature of a given animal group and that of human beings.  It is a wonderful way for a child to meet the animal world, because they can gain not only an appreciation of the animals as observed creatures, but also gain an understanding of them because, in part, we have aspects of our being that are very much like that of the animal being considered.  For a child, this way of looking at things creates a lifelong bond between him/herself and the lives of animals, a compasionate understanding if you will.  That such a viewpoint can be fostered so beautifully that it guides the understanding throughout life is simply priceless.

    Donna Simmons' guide to The Human Being and the Animal World is filled with enthusiasm, information and ideas that you can use to teach your own children at home or to teach a room full of students in a classroom.  It is simply lovely.

    Contents:

    • The Man and Animal Main Lesson
    • How to Proceed
    • Block 1: The Threefold Human Being and the Animal World
    • Block 2: The Animal World
    • The Mouse
    • The Lion
    • The Cow
    • Gifts from the Animals
    • How Coyote Stole Fire
    • Prometheus and Epimetheus
    • Sea Creatures
    • Insects and Similar Land Creatures
    • Fish
    • Amphibians and Reptiles
    • Birds
    • Mammals
    • Poems
    • A Trip to the Zoo
    • Other Field Trips

    Botany

    Second Edition

    Donna Simmons

    An essential companion to Charles Kovac's Botany 

    Spiral Bound

    $19.00

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    I've always been partial to the Waldorf school fifth grade curriculum -- to me it is balanced and beautiful the way children at that age are, each subject bearing itself gracefully into the classroom.

    Botany is one of those subjects, and Donna Simmon's introduction and overview of this main lesson block is as inviting and lively as the subject itself. It seems to me that she has given both children and the adults who teach them a guided tour of the plant world that will leave everyone in love with nature and knowledgeable about our leafy and rooted friends. Needless to say, I'm smitten -- I think you will be, too, after you see this Unit Study.

    Donna has rewritten her original Botany curriculum guide as a companion to Charles Kovac's beautiful Botany curriculum guide.  Together, they simply sing for our 5th graders!

    Contents:

    • Main Lessons for Homeschoolers
    • Why Study Botany
    • Goals for this Block
    • Lesson Plans
    • Looking at Plants
    • Development of the Senses
    • Botany Activities
    • Plants and Their Environment
    • Herbs
    • Summaries
    • Flower Families
    • Trees
    • Visit to a Botanical Garden
    • Botany Scavenger Hunt
    • Resources

    Roman History - Main Lesson

    Fully Revised 2nd Edition

    Donna Simmons

    Binder Bound

    $19.00

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    It is my hope that this "Main Lesson for Homeschoolers" reaches not only into many, many homeschools, but also beyond them and into classrooms. I also hope it finds its way not only into Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired teaching, but beyond it and out into the world. There is so much information and inspiration regarding the Roman History block, that teachers of all persuasions and in all situations can benefit from Donna Simmons' good work.

    Roman History includes:

    • Why Study Roman History?
    • How to Use This Unit Study
    • Working with Teens
    • Key Elements in Roman History
    • Important Dates in Roman History
    • Summaries - written to be used as inspiration or "as is"
    • Drawings and Maps
    • Instructions for Two Art Projects
    • Quotes
    • Poems
    • Study Guides
    • Examples of Student Work
    • Resources

    Recommended without reserve!

    Medieval History

    6th or 7th Grade Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Donna Simmons with Gabriel Newton Simmons

    Clear Folder Bound

    $19.00

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    Tour the Medieval world with Donna Simmons! And do it with confidence and enthusiasm under her expert tutelage.

    If you've ever wondered how on earth to boil down the Middle Ages so that it can be presented meaningfully to 6th or 7th graders, here's your answer. Donna describes and then presents a symptomatic approach to history that offers students real insight without the need to mention every interesting detail (of which there are an overabundance for this period of history - something fascinating around every corner).

    Along with enthusiasm and experience, you'll find these contents and more:

    • The Waldorf Approach to History
    • How to Use This Book - presentation and conversation, writing assignments, making a main lesson book
    • Key elements and dates of the Middle Ages
    • Summaries - written by Donna for your use as inspiration or class material
    • Charlemagne and Haroun Al-Rashid
    • How to Approach the Crusades
    • Sample work from the main lesson book of Gabriel (Donna's son) - drawings, a map and a short story.
    • Suggestions for art and craft projects
    • Vocabulary and Spelling
    • Quiz
    • Biographical sketches - William the Conqueror, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas à Becket, Saladin
    • Medieval Literature
    • An annotated booklist

    Joyful Movement

    A Resource for Nurturing Balance, Movement and the Senses

    Donna Simmons

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Spiral bound

    $26.00

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    Donna Simmons always seems to know what I want her to write next -- perhaps because she is so tuned in to what we all want for our children and what we need that is missing from available resources. Joyful Movement answers the longing for a simple, do-able approach to integrating movement (and joy!) into home and homeschool life. Even when the integrator is not a dancer, eurythmist, gymnast or even particularly graceful. Donna, in her wonderful spirit of warm practicality, takes even the least "movement trained" of us by the hands, soothes away our sense of guilt and inadequacy, and then playfully leads us into as much delight as our children experience. This is so much more than just a book about movement -- this is a book about moving into life with joy, about awakening all our senses to the wonder of the world -- and while we're at it, learning to move with beauty and grace. Joyful Movement focuses primarily on the needs of children from birth to 9 and is ever aware of what an adult teaching them needs as support. Wonderful!!!!

    Contents:

    • Waldorf as Therapeutic Education
    • Creating a Nurturing Environment
    • Ideas and Advice - Body & Spatial Awareness; Fine Motor Skils, etc.; the Senses; Memory; Calming Down
    • A Waldorf-inspired Backyard Assault Course (that's British for "Obstacle Course")
    • Songs, Fingerplays, Movement, Verses
    • Tongue-Twisters, Clapping Verses (Hand Games)
    • Groups

    Joyful Movement is a joyful resource for any parent or teacher wishing to embrace a joyful approach to learning.

    Form Drawing for Beginners

    written and illustrated by Donna Simmons

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Spiral Bound

    $23.00

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    I had intended to quickly review this amazing introduction to form drawing -- to capture it's contents and let you know what you could find in it. You know, the usual. And I will still do that, but first I want to share with you what I found that completely redirected my original intention.

    I fully expected Donna's presentation to be what all her work has been: thorough, to-the-point, completely explained, intensely engaging. It is all that, but it is something much more, also. What I discovered when I opened the book was that Donna has explained in the warmest, friendliest and (as though as an added bonus) most concise way I've encountered just WHY form drawing is so important for our children, and for us. Her explanation is so simple, yet goes straight to the heart of not just form drawing, but the purpose of Waldorf education and of life itself. In two pages she allows us to step with her into a way of looking at life that is rich and vast with possibilities for growth. I've seen nothing in writing that is more alive than Donna Simmons' short introduction to form drawing -- it just doesn't get better than this.

    And the content -- the perfect beginning! After addressing FAQs such as "Do I always have to tell a story?" and "How do I know when to move on to the next form?", Donna offers a check list of things to remember about form drawing, how to help yourself and your child, etc.

    Finally, the remainder of the book is devoted to sequential forms for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade and covers all the basics from Curves and Straight Lines to Crossing the Midline and Advanced Forms.

    One cannot develop moral forces by talking at children or by moralizing, but by doing certain things with the cildren over and over again, by emphasis on the element of will. One must count on the metamorphosis of soul forces: what one has incorporated into the will of the growing child changes and comes to life later as moral feeling and moral imagination. It awakens as a new moral consciousness with the impulse to do in freedom and with love what necessity and duty require.

    Neidermeyer and Frohlich Form Drawing from the beginning of Form Drawing for Beginners

    From Nature Stories to Natural Science

    A Holistic Approach to Science for Families

    Donna Simmons

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Spiral Bound

    Expanded 2nd Edition!

    $39.00

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    Here's the science curriculum guide we've been hoping for - a beautiful and specific presentation of the Waldorf approach to science from Kindergarten through 8th Grade! From Nature Stories to Natural Science is written especially for homeschoolers, but the wealth of suggestions and resources makes it golden for classroom teachers as well.

    In it you will find:

    1. an essay on homeschooling and Waldorf Education
    2. a discussion of Goethe's Way of Science
    3. a really good article on Science in the Waldorf Curriculum
    4. suggestions for setting up for science lessons
    5. how your garden plays a primary role
    6. class-by-class curriculum overviews, suggestions, resources
    7. an afterword

    If you are teaching early childhood, primary or secondary students, you will love this book!

    Drawing with Your Four- to Eleven-Year-Old

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources Practial Waldorf at Home

    Donna Simmons

    Folder bound

    $23.00

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    This is just the ticket for anyone who is a beginner at teaching drawing to children within a Waldorf context. (It's also great for anyone who is a beginner at drawing, period!)

    Donna Simmons clearly covers all the bases, sharing with us her enthusiasm and encouragement to take up this task -- and then giving us the step-by-step instruction for art along the path of the four- to eleven-year-old. There are ample illustrations in black-and-white and full color of both teacher's examples and student's responses. I found that both serve to not only make clear the written directions, but especially to keep the task within realistic proportions. From my perspective, this may be the most important aspect of this book -- it is empowering without ever once being overwhelming. After reviewing it, I was excited to return to my earlier years and pick up the crayons and pencils once again. I think you'll feel this same excitement and the children around you will ride the coattails of your enthusiasm as together you venture into rainbow painted worlds brimming with imagination. Our highest recommendations!

    The Breman Town Musicians

    A Short Play for Homeschoolers

    Adapted by Donna Simmons

    Softbound

    $7.00

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    Donna Simmons as adapted this favorite Grimm's tale into a charming play for 8 or more players, each with a markedly different character, making it an excellent choice within the context of Waldorf education. There's a part for everyone in this little gem, from the most tidy and organized to most unkempt and boisterous (and all the places in between).

    In addition to the script, Donna has included

    • an excellent essay on the nature of drama and its use in Waldorf and home education,
    • a list of characters with costuming suggestions,
    • props and scenery descriptions
    • and even staging suggestions and tips for the director.

    With Donna's play in hand, everyone will enjoy the performance!

    The Magic of Patience - A Jataka Tale

    A Short Play Using the Four Temperaments

    Adapted by Donna Simmons

    Christopherus Homeschool Resources

    Softbound Booklet

    $5.50

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    Donna Simmons has crafted a beautiful play that can be used with equal success in classroom or homeschool. It calls for characters who can be of different ages and differently levels of participation. And best, it is an engaging story, one which dramatizes well at levels ranging from mixed classroom presentation to sophisticated professional performances.

    Donna's inspiration to transform this beloved Jataka Tale (Jataka tales are stories of Buddha's previous incarnations) into a play when she realized that the principle characters were outstanding presentations of the qualities of the four temperaments.

    With very simple props, a few children and a bit of joy this lovely play can come to life for you and the children you teach.

    The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

    An Easter Play for Homeschoolers

    Adapted by Donna Simmons

    $8.50

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    Donna's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's story of rebirth and redemption gives us a quiet, beautiful moment of the heart. The simple story can be played with different aged children, with the simplicity of the story transforming the uncomplicated set and dialogue into a vividly imagined feast about love and renewal. Truly a gem!

    Comedy and Tragedy

    Notes for a High School Main Lesson

    Donna Simmons

    Stapled booklet

    $10.00

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    Donna Simmons was asked by the Youth Initiative High School in Viroqua, Wisconsin to teach a 4-week block on Comedy & Tragedy.  Her experience inspired her to share her notes with others - we are so very glad that she did.

    In this little booklet is one of the most insightful and sensitive approaches to teaching adolescents about the world of drama that we've seen.  Donna's approach is engaging, fascinating in it's information, and designed to call forth in the student a discernment and love for the stories and wisdom that have appeared on the stage throughout history.  She begins with Greek Theater and closes with the modern play - throughout the block students learn about the structure of the play, the nature of characters and their creation, and discover the wonder of the seminal plays of Western theater. 

    As I reviewed this little book, I found myself longing to go back and reread (or see again) many of the plays Donna teaches.  I can't help but think that her block lesson will inspire the same enthusiasm in high school students.  This is a lively and invigorating block lesson!