How we do Main Lesson Books

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

I am a firm believer in finding what works for you and running with it! I do not believe there is a “right” way to homeschool, or a perfect curriculum. I love so many different aspects of so many different methodologies, and I use what works for us and leave behind what doesn’t. This is the beauty of learning at home.

Now, it has taken me lots of trial and error to find what works for us. Some definitely difficult seasons, a few tears, and lots of desperation trying to find ways to teach my kiddos. I am certainly a realist when it comes to home education. Being a homeschool parent is not an easy path. Some days are glorious, some are horrible. Sometimes it’s rewarding, sometimes I see the big yellow bus pass my house and want to run my kids outside and put them on it! That’s just how it is. So please don’t think me an expert in any way, shape, or form, but I have been doing this for half a decade now and have some methods that I think really work for us, and maybe they will work for you as well.

One thing that has really worked for us is our main lesson books. In Waldorf education children make a main lesson book. This is kind of like making a text book for yourself. It is suppose to be beautiful, with borders, and art so that the children can look back and have pride in what they created. I love this part of Waldorf. However, when I put a blank page in front of my kids two things happen, 1- anxiety and 2- more anxiety.

So I offer a main lesson book that has open ended questions, and slight direction on what to put on each page. Some pages are laid out, some are almost blank. This really seems to help them with anxiety, or the stress of what to put on a blank page. We still do art and try to make them beautiful, but sometimes just a slight nudge really helps. (check out the below video for a peak into one of our main lesson books)

We have also started binding our main lesson books or using loose computer paper. I understand that mistakes are learning opportunities and in Waldorf, children are encouraged to make a mistake into something else. For example if they make an A instead of an E maybe they would draw over the mistake and make it look like a tree, and while I encourage this sometimes, it doesn’t always work, especially with my perfectionist son. To him, mistakes can cause real stress. So with a binded book or loose paper a mistake can simply be tossed in the recycle bin and a new start awaits!

These are just a few examples of main lesson books. The first picture is from one of the twins while the second and third pictures are my older children’s work.

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