Today’s post is the first in a mini-series of posts by some of my lovely and inspirational friends who have talents and tips to share to help others live their best lives, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
Annie Haas has been gracious enough to share about how she came to find Waldorf Education and Steiner’s spiritual science and a bit about her journey with it so far, as well as the gift she is sharing with the world in her creating of the Threefold Human Calendar to help us establish and maintain rhythm to our days.
My name is Annie Haas and I am a Waldorf Homeschooling mom of three children, ages 18, 11, and 7. I was raised in Vermont where I studied and played music, and went to art school in the mountains of North Carolina. I came to Waldorf around 2007 when I had my second child through our rhythm and home lifestyle. Later on, I started seriously committing to Waldorf homeschooling in 2011 when my son was in 5th Grade. Though he went to one of the best public schools in the country and state, he was still struggling with the curriculum. He was even having a hard time meeting the daily 20 minute homework reading requirement, and about a month after pulling him out of school he was reading 4 hours per day with no requirement!
We started using Christophorus homeschool guides even though it didn’t have a full 6th Grade curriculum at the time, so I just kind of pieced the year together myself. It was one of the best and most memorable and fun years of my life! We explored local caverns and rock walls for Geology, wrote a play and went to the Renaissance Festival for Middle Ages, he created his own coat of arms, went to archery tournaments, went to play with big machines for Physics, calculated the cost of building a castle with today’s prices, and did business math outside our little to-go restaurant. I became enthralled and ecstatic with how very HUMAN this way of learning was, and how very much we need to better understand the inner nature of the child to find success!
When my husband graduated finance school, we needed to sell our restaurant and move to a city where he could get a job in finance. We decided to move to Chapel Hill because it had a Waldorf School, and I was craving community and to study more Steiner with like-minded people. We attended the school for many years before it was no longer a great fit for our family, and we decided to homeschool all three of our children and focus on family! I continued to study Steiner intensely and read his lectures for hours every night. I studied more intensely than I did even at university! I was already a long time anarchist at heart, but it was missing something. I felt at long last it was the philosopher I had been looking for since my teenage years… one that would have filled the void in my soul. The spirit was always left out of everything it seemed. Steiner never left it out.
My teenager, who in 8th Grade at the Waldorf school had taken apart a computer and put it back together again, wanted to make one at home from scratch and expressed interest in being a graphic designer in 9th Grade. Wanting to nurture his creative interests and still keep to a Waldorf inspired way of learning, I had him do many creative projects including main lesson book pages done in Adobe, two Waldorf inspired planners, and finally in 12th Grade helping me build our website! He also worked on logos and did practical work Steiner recommended for teens such as learning to write a business letter. At his job he learned to make ice cream cakes, and became a shift manager. All the while, I started writing my own curriculum for my daughters who were in 4th grade and Kindergarten.
Currently I am still creating my own curriculum blocks, using our website to continue studying Steiner and sharing creative ideas for homeschooling, and planning my days in the Threefold Human Calendar that we made! I’m hoping to help others feel the same empowerment and excitement that we do with this way of learning. Everything can be found at www.thechildisthecurriculum.com