Hi! I'm Mrs. McDonnell.

I'm a teacher here at Hillendale Day School, and I'm always happy to tell what I can about New Liberty Village's educational program. We have novel and exciting features you may be interested in, both for yourself, and for your children. Take a look around. If you have questions, just ask them and I'll post them on the Education Discussion Group bulletin board, and someone around here can answer them ... at least try! We especially encourage you to tell us what you know, or have experienced, on this important subject of education.
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January 31, 2000

One of the difficulties surrounding what people think of homeschooling has much to do with parent impression of how "hard" it is. When exploring this, it will generally be found that the parent is thinking "school in the home" rather than homeschooling --- a different animal altogether. And "unschooling" is WAY different from that. Homeschooling, of ANY type, (while it DOES embody the difficulties of personalities immersed in loads of time together) actually can be an incredibly easy project to partake in.

I hope that discussion will be stimulated on your site, simply to give parents and children options to explore. Simply feeling there are alternatives can ease up intense schooling experiences for students, even if the choice remains the same.  Ellen


Please POST any articles, comments, links you believe would be of help related to these subjects. Thank You!


A good education should support children to grow up to be free and responsible adults ready and able to take their place in society. All elements of the Waldorf curriculum and teaching methods fit together in service of this central objective.

Children are children, not miniature adults. They learn in different and quite distinct ways at different stages in their development. For example, pre-schooler's receive the world primarily through their physical senses while grade school children engage the world more with their emotions. Only once they have entered their teenage years do young people begin to think about matters conceptually, as adults do. Waldorf schools teach all subjects in an age-appropriate way that corresponds to the developmental level of the children.

Children have different temperaments and different learning styles. A Waldorf teacher is trained to meet the children on each one's own terms in order to provide each with proper guidance. There is no grading and only infrequent testing at a Waldorf elementary school because such methods emphasize uniform retention of content rather than learning. Instead, each child's progress is closely monitored by the classroom teacher who moves from grade to grade with the class.

Education should be a wondrous journey, not a race. Learning needs time to take root in a child's growing awareness. This cannot happen if the child is hurried by artificial goals or scattered by a disjointed daily schedule.

Imagination is central to the learning process. A good education makes development of the imagination a high priority.

Children are whole people. Education that truly serves the child must integrate the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Story telling is an effective, time-honored method to introduce role models and moral principles. Children love stories that come alive for them through their imaginations. Waldorf schools use story telling to bring choices and values to life.

The arts are a critical element in a well-rounded education. They enhance knowledge by linking together inner and outer experience. Music is especially important, and the children at a Waldorf school learn to sing and play both wind and string instruments. Manual arts such as woodworking and handwork help the brain develop the capacity for organized thought. Seeing the physical results of their work gives children a sense of accomplishment and builds their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Children, until around age 12 or 14, learn best through the direct experience of their physical senses and their imagination. Experiential learning keeps subjects vital and alive. For example, body movement in rhythmic patterns contributes to a fuller comprehension of arithmetic. In the upper grades science is taught largely through hands-on experimentation and demonstration. Adults learn primarily through concepts and abstract ideas. For young children, however, abstraction is an inappropriate teaching method which confuses a child's growing understanding of the world. Adults often fail to realize how differently a child receives and integrates knowledge.

The class is a social unit, not just a series of individuals. Children learn a great deal from each other as well as from the teacher. Sometimes the teacher acts almost like an orchestra conductor, seeing that the whole class moves forward so that everyone benefits.

The approach used to teach a given subject and its timing are as important as the content of the teaching. For example, geography is taught starting locally and then spreading to the rest of the world. This mirrors a child's scale of view from the local to the universal. The study of history begins with the oldest stories of humanity and works toward the present. In this way the children acquire a firm sense of rooted-ness.




Home Schooling Web Sites

Suppliers of new textbooks and curriculum materials
A Beka Books (Christian textbook publisher)
Alpha Omega Publications (Biblically based homeschool curriculum)
Critical Thinking Books and Software (original texts and workbooks)
Greenleaf Press (Religious based history books for children)
Liftetime Books and Gifts (Books, music, toys, and games for homeschoolers)
Saxon Publishers (math and phonics books for school and home study)
The Elijah Co.(catalog of materials from a family that has homeschooled for 16 years)
Five In A Row (Christian-oriented, literature-based unit study)
Writing Strands (Language arts materials for homeschoolers)


Suppliers of Used Curriculum Materials
Bookmobile Online.Com (A division of Homeschool Associates -- new and used materials)
HIS WAY Homeschool Resources (Christian-oriented, new and used materials)
SchoolSource (a division of Vegsource -- curriculum swap)

Creations Unlimited (The New (Almost) All Used Homeschool Classified Ads)


Suppliers of Lesson Plans
Education World ("Where Educators go to Learn" -- not just for homeschoolers)
Mr and Mrs Donn's Ancient History
Kids Domain Craft Exchange (craft projects for young children)
Teaching Unit for "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (Catholic classical liberal arts program)


Electronic Field Trips
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Canadian Museum of Civilization ("The Great Adventure")
The Library of Congress
The Exploratorium - The Museum of Science. Art, and Human Perception
Eleven Virtual Field Trips on the internet (courtesy of Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Henry County Schools, Georgia; includes the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) Virtual tour of the Tower of London


House of Math -- Word Problems for Children (hundreds of pages, all levels of difficulty)
Johnson Space Center (space-related education links)


General Information about Homeschool Sites
Homeschool Central (Links to other organizations)
Homeschool Central's High School links
Homeschool Legal Defense Association


Protestant Sites
Christian Home Education Association of Central Texas
Southeast Texas Homeschool Association


Catholic Sites
Traditions of Roman Catholic Homes
Catholic Homeschool Sites


Muslim Sites
Islamic Educational and Muslim Home School Resources
Arabesq. Islamic Homeschooling and Arabic Resources


Jewish Site
Jewish Home Educator's Network



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