What is our background?

Our older two children were educated at home in a pretty classical style: lots of grammar, history, logic, latin.  We threw in a lot of nature study, journaling & 'telling back' Charlotte Mason-style, and experimented with various math & science curriculum.  History was the core of what we did for literature, writing, art, bible study, etc, and the books they made as they first narrated to me & later wrote & drew their thoughts are a treasure - much like the main lesson books used in Waldorf (I think?  I'm still learning what it all looks like)!  I love that we were doing some Waldorfy things even without ever having known of it - something so natural must be right ;0)

Fast forward a bit - we moved to the boonies when they were 10 & 12 - perfect!  We all love it & they were able to soak up even more time outside.  A couple more years & BAM!  Here comes baby #3 (musta been all that fresh air)!  Stopped us dead in our classical education tracks.  Older ones were 12 & 14 and we had our first experiment in unschooling.  Our 14 yodd has always been into all kinds of art, so she focused on that along w/ designing clothing & learning to sew (she is now an accomplished seamstress - see crashlandingcouture.com).  I still did a lot of read alouds, 12 yods had more structured lessons than his sister, but it was like having our first baby all over again so I didn't think I could keep up w/ the rigors of classical through high school.  We did Veritas Press's Omnibus their 5th & 7th grade years - wow - then Tapestry of Grace the next year - then chilled a great deal. Dd read Jane Austen novels & did some Ace Paces & lots of other stuff I can't remember; Ds continued w/ Apologia Science, Math U See, Lang. Lessons for High School Students & other stuff I can't remember while I nursed the baby & then had another one when the big ones were 14 & 16!  Yes, I keep great records & we covered all the bases, but you can maybe see why I was a bit preoccupied during the high school years.  And, oh, I can't help but brag a bit...my children ARE AMAZING!  Dd took 2 college art classes last semester (one art history for college jrs & srs w/ LOTS of writing) & she aced both w/ extra credit & has THREE pieces in the honors art show (one w/ the Presidents Award and a Merit Award).  Ds has had the lead in 2 drama productions through high school with our homeschool co-op & is apprenticing with an awesome chef so he can learn to cook lots of yummy REAL food :0)  He is an amazing, complex young man who has become a picture of Christ - so giving to others, genuine, contemplative, loving.  Not once did I consider sending them away for high school.  No way would I have missed out on getting to know these awesome people!  Oh, did I mention our oldest dd was a huge fan of fairies til she was in her mid-teens??

Now we're trying to decide what we'll be doing w/ our littles.   They are almost 3 & just turned 5...I started reading Montessori stuff when baby #4 was born so we did a lot of that the last couple of years.  Funny how one thing leads to another & here I am no longer trying to create Montessori-ish stuff I see & am overwhelmed by in blogland.  Whew!  I do still love a lot of what it teaches, but not as much as my love for so many things Waldorf - and I know I can combine all aspects of what I love from various philosophies which is a great freedom.  I am not a purist in any sense - but I DO need to read a lot more on what & how things are taught in the grades using Waldorf so I know where we could be headed & how that may mesh (or not) with my other loves.  Now I'm moving to the next topic so we'll start another post (plus this is so long!).