for Waldorf homeschoolers | August 2-5, 2018 | taught by The Taproot Team

Do you dream of seeing all the wonderful hands-on facets of Waldorf education come to life?

 Like circle time with singing, puppet shows, storytelling, painting and drawing, recorder, main lessons, and handwork?

All while being surrounded by parents just like you who are on the same homeschooing journey? 

This dream is real and it happens ever year at Taproot! 

Where you get to see for yourself and discover the beauty behind the wonderful Waldorf approach. 

All while on your very own weekend getaway where someone else prepares the meals!

Do you long to meet other Waldorf homeschoolers?

Do you sometimes feel exhausted, lonely or drained on your homeschooling path? 

And then you start second guessing yourself. 

Wondering if you are even capable of bringing this Waldorf approach to your children.

Then join us for the 12th annual Taproot Teacher Training for Waldorf homeschoolers, August 2-5, 2018.

Come to Taproot to be surrounded by people who are encouraging and supportive. 

Taproot brings together Waldorf homeschoolers from all over North America for workshops in the main lessons and lively arts led by a team of experienced presenters.

Together, we will sing, create, share stories, learn, hike, and play.

Immerse yourself in all this for one long weekend.

And return home confident rather than mired in doubt.

Taproot is...

  • a retreat for you,
  • Waldorf homeschool training, and
  • summer camp experience for Moms (and a few Dads) all rolled into one!

WHEN: AUGUST 2 - 5, 2018





  • Four days of workshops with EXPERIENCED PRESENTERS all of whom have homeschooled or worked with Waldorf homeschoolers.

  • ALL workshops, accommodations, meals, and snacks for the entire weekend. Your REGISTRATION is ALL-INCLUSIVE!

  • TWO eBOOKS on Waldorf homeschooling: Homeschooling with Waldorf: Getting Started by Barbara and Planning for Waldorf Homeschooling: Keeping It Simple by Jean.

  • MP3 RECORDINGS and song sheets of all the songs we sing at Taproot to take home.

  • All sorts of goodies including on-site GIVEAWAYS and COUPONS from Waldorf suppliers.

  • Small, intimate workshops providing HANDS-ON TRAINING and support. (Plus, we're all at camp together! So you'll get to chat with presenters and new friends over tea, snacks, walks, and meals.)

  • Membership in a private FACEBOOK GROUP where you can coordinate travel plans before Taproot, and ask questions after you return home. 

  • An invitation to 2 LIVE WEBINARS for Taproot 2018 participants only. We'll have two online Meet & Greets with some Waldorf Q & A in July before Taproot even begins.

  • Two BONUS Discounts of 10% off Mentor Sessions with Jean and 50% off Jean's Plan It Out online coaching program.


Come enjoy the beautiful Shaw Retreat Center and learn alongside other Waldorf homeschoolers. 

You'll leave with new homeschooling friends!

The magic of Taproot is the warmth and community, support, great conversations and laughter that emerge during this four-day weekend. 

This training is designed for you as a homeschooling parent or teacher of a small group to help you apply Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy to your own unique needs.

The REGISTRATION FEE includes all workshops, dormitory accommodations, meals and snacks for the entire weekend, Thursday through Sunday.

The Camp Asbury staff provides a delicious menu of meals using local and/or organic ingredients where possible. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options are be available. Let us know about food allergies and we will do our best to work with them. For other special dietary needs, you may need to bring food to supplement what is offered.

The Shaw Retreat Center is set in the woods, surrounded by a spacious deck, hiking trails, and an outdoor fire circle.

Nursing babies are welcome with a participant caregiver who can step out if the child becomes disruptive. We are unable to provide childcare.

Think of Taproot as a learning retreat for Mom (or Dad)!


Includes ALL workshops, meals & accommodations.
Breakdown: $300 for 10 workshops + Morning Circles
$225 for 3 days & nights lodging + 9 meals & all snacks

Alumni Discount: $50 off
Use coupon code "Taproot18Alumni"

Commuter Discount: $125 off
Use coupon code "Taproot18Commuter"
Commuter rate includes ALL workshops, lunch & dinner each day. You arrange your own lodging elsewhere.

Meals Only Discount: $425 off
Use coupon code "Taproot18MealsOnly"
This is for the Caregiver who attends to help with the baby. 


1. Click the "Sign Me Up" button at the top or bottom of this page. You will be asked to create a login. If one of the discount codes listed above applies to you, click "Have a coupon?" on the next screen and enter your Coupon Code and click on "Apply."

2. Next, click on "Checkout with PayPal." Payment can then be made via your PayPal balance or by credit card. If you would prefer to pay by check, please send an email to jean(at)waldorfinspiredlearning(dot)com.

3. Once your payment goes through, log into the Taproot portal and read you Welcome Letter

4. Be sure to finish your registration by clicking the link in the Registration Form section. Complete the form and select the workshops you want to participate in.


There aren't Waldorf homeschoolers near me, so I loved gathering with like-minded people & knowing that ther e is a support network out there. The singing and self-reflection made it feel like a retreat for me, as well as inspiration for our homeschool year.  -Kylie

Before Taproot, I really felt like I had just brushed the surface of a Waldorf education. But I was feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about how to move forward. This training really helped me build confidence to continue this journey.  -Moriah

Taproot has become a place of spiritual learning, a communal family learning haven where I add tools and resources every year to sharpen my skills to become a better parent, teacher, husband, and person. The things I learn do not just apply to homeschooling my children but to enriching all aspects of my life. Thank you for caring enough to make others in the world whole.  -Joe


The Shaw Retreat Center at Camp Asbury in Hiram, Ohio


Our long weekend together begins on Thursday, August 2, 2018. Please plan to arrive between 1:00-3:00 pm on Thursday. Our opening workshop begins at 3:30 pm. 

During the three main workshop times on Friday and Saturday, you will choose your breakout sessions from four or five different options. You can find the workshops & descriptions in the section below.

When you register, you will be asked to choose the workshop topics you are most interested in. We will then build the schedule based on all the participants' input.

On Sunday, we will finish up around 1:30 pm. 

Arrival (1:00-3:00 pm)
Snack (3:00 - 3:30 pm)
Opening Workshop (3:30-5:00 pm)
Centering Ourselves & Making Journals 
Dinner (5:30-6:30 pm)
Evening Program (7:00-8:30 pm)
Puppet Show & 5 Essential Elements of Waldorf Homeschooling 

Morning Walk or Yoga (7:15 am)
Breakfast (8:00-9:00 am)
Morning Circle (9:00-9:45 am)
Morning Workshops (10:00-11:30 am)
Lunch (Noon-1:00 pm)
Early Afternoon Workshops (1:30-3:00 pm)
Snack (3:00-3:30 pm)
Late Afternoon Workshops (3:30-5:00 pm)  
Dinner (5:30-6:30 pm)
Evening Program (7:00-9:00 pm)
Group Games & Campfire - Friday
Waldorf LIVE! Sharing & Campfire - Saturday


Morning Walk or Yoga (7:15 am)
Breakfast (8:00-9:00 am)
Morning Circle (9:00-9:45 am)
Morning Workshop (10:00-11:30 am)
Putting It All Together: Panel Discussion & Artistic Visioning
Lunch (Noon-1:00 pm)
Departure (1:30 pm)



Main Lessons for Grade 1 with Barbara
In this workshop, we will experience the magic of grade one including fairy tales, fables and math stories, reading, math presentation, and how to make a main lesson book, along with the rhythm of the morning. You are welcome to come either day, but to get the full experience of the two-day rhythm and all topics, you should plan to come both Friday and Saturday. Spans two days.

Main Lessons for Grade 2 with Rebecca
Come experience grade two with me! I'm a homeschooling Mom who has been coming to Taproot for years. I've taught Grade 2 three times at my house. We will explore main lesson blocks with you for math, Aesop's fables, and legends of the saints. You will experience a sample of actual lessons following a two-day rhythm. You are welcome to come either day, but to get the full experience of the two-day rhythm and all topics, you should plan to come both Friday and Saturday. Spans two days.

Main Lessons for Grade 3 & 4 with Jean
Come with a beginner’s mind and see what it feels like to be a student in our Taproot homeschool. Together, we will immerse ourselves in main lesson time from opening to closing circle. We will co-create a two-day rhythm for one or two main lesson topics such as clothing and fiber, houses and homes, or Norse Myths. You are welcome to come either day, but to get the full experience of the two-day rhythm and all topics, you should plan to come both Friday and Saturday. Spans two days.

Main Lessons for Grades 5 & 6 with Jean & Alison
Come explore grades five and six. Together, we will immerse ourselves in main lesson time from opening to closing circle. We will co-create a main lesson block on a history, geography, or science topic, as well as explore geometric drawing. You are welcome to come either day, but to get the full experience of the two-day rhythm and all topics, you should plan to come both Friday and Saturday. Spans two days.

Main Lesson for Grades 7 & 8 with Alison
Come explore the transition years of grades seven and eight. In this workshop, we will reflect on the emerging social, emotional, and intellectual needs of the middle school years. We will discuss adapting the Waldorf main lesson pedagogy in order to best support and challenge your homeschooling teen. Together, we will experience creative, easy, and fun approaches to using classic texts, film, art, and biography in order to secure your student's interest and your peace of mind. Spans two days.



Kindergarten with Barbara
In this workshop, Barbara will provide an overview of the philosophy behind the early childhood years in Waldorf education, with a tour of the toys and simply made playthings for young children. We will also explore how to arrange your home and create a rhythm that more fully engages the kindergarten child within the family.

Storytelling for Grades 1-6 with Royse
Learn some helpful techniques on how to pick a story for the appropriate grade and how to memorize a story. We will also do some speech exercises and work with the voice in retelling stories.

The Lively Art of Music with Jodie
We will discuss the big picture of music and create a music plan especially for your family. From singing, to circle time, to recorder, to private lessons, to ensembles, to song writing and improvisation. In the end you will fully understand the importance of music and how to help develop your child’s soul connection via music from Rudolf Steiner’s perspective. Music is a beautiful art. “Art is a kind of knowledge that leads more directly to the Divine than is possible for intellectual knowledge.” R.S. This is an overview and it is for parents with children from the early years through high school.

Watercolor Painting for Grades 1-4 with Royse
Learn to work with watercolor and to find form in wet-on-wet painting. We will also explore how to work with complimentary colors in our paintings. This session will offer an overview of painting through the grades 1-4 curriculum and participants will create paintings from a few different grades’ main lessons.

Painting & Drawing for Grades 5-8 with Royse
Learn to work with watercolor and to find form in wet-on-wet painting. As well as how to work with beeswax crayons and different drawing techniques. This session will offer an overview of painting and drawing through the grades 5-8 curriculum. Participants will create paintings and drawings from a few different grades’ main lessons. We will also explore shading, blending, and color. 

Handwork: Beginning Knitting with Alisha
Beginning in first grade, the Waldorf handwork curriculum introduces knitting to the awakening child. In our Taproot session, the beginning knitter will make knitting needles from wooden dowels and learn the basics of knitting (the slipknot, casting on, knit stitch, and casting off). Alisha will demonstrate what little animals you can make with a knitted square.

Handwork: Felting Finger Puppets with Alisha
Wet felting is a centuries old craft used to make everything from tents to clothing. In our session, we will combine wool and water to make a finger puppet or two! Wet felting is a great activity for all ages and we will also incorporate some needle felting into our projects. Let's have some fun creating a finger puppet for you to use in lessons, circle time, or anytime.

Handwork: Crocheted String Bag with Alisha
       "Steer your boat under the bridge of two.
       Catch one fish and pull it through.
       Catch another and pull through two.
       Now you have one and you're done."

Crocheting is often introduced in second grade as it requires more wakefulness than first grade knitting. It is pointed and direct and, with each stitch, the child must determine if she is going under the "right bridge". The movement of the hook in the dominant hand should flow and be rhythmic. In this workshop, we will build on your basic crochet skills and make a crocheted string shopping bag. Made with cotton yarn, the bag is crocheted in the round with a solid bottom, is washable and reusable.

Crayon Drawing for Grades 1-4 with Royse
Learn to work with beeswax crayons and different drawing techniques. We will explore shading, blending, and color. This session will offer an overview of drawing through the curriculum and participants will create drawings from a few different grades’ main lessons.

Math Movement Games with Barbara
We will learn and practice the Waldorf math movement games which help the children memorize basic math facts in a fun and exciting way, by marching, passing bean bags, skipping, jumping rope, and playing with rhythm sticks. Get ready to MOVE!

Conversations with Alison
Over tea, Alison will be available to facilitate a discussion focused on taking the ideas and information you have been gathering during your workshop sessions and applying them to YOUR family's homeschool. Join us as we brainstorm and share ideas and plans that will make your unique, one-of-a-kind homeschool blossom in the coming year. Some topics include: learning challenges, balancing everyone's needs, creating a multi-age, family-centered approach, and fostering community and social connections.

Tabletop Puppets with Barbara
Each person will make a felt standing puppet character which would be useful for kindergarten, to illustrate and tell stories for grades 1-3, or for older children to make for younger children.

Nature Study with Jean
In this workshop, we will put together simple nature journals and head out on a nature walk to explore the trails. We will stop to sketch and observe some of the flora and fauna we encounter along the way. We will also discuss where these nature topics fit into the Waldorf curriculum and peruse some great resources. Nature study is a wonderful mixed-ages learning activity and one that fosters reverence and wonder in our children and ourselves.

The Heart and Hands (un)Workshop with Sheila
Taproot can be intense, with a desire to squeeze every last drop of information about anything and everything related to Waldorf homeschooling. (Ask me how I know! Lol I was a participant for four years and fried my circuits more than once . . . ahem.) In order to bring a bit of balance to our days, I will be holding space in what I'm calling The Heart and Hands (un)Workshop. Your time here can be spent in whatever way helps to process and integrate what has been arising in you. Bring your journal. Write. Make a collage. Do some handwork. Sit quietly and color. If something is weighing on your heart, I will be available for private conversation as well. As homeschooling parents, we know our children need unstructured time to dream, to create and to imagine, because this is the place where learning becomes embodied and the soul speaks. We need such open-ended time as well, maybe even more so. I encourage you to schedule some into your day. 
This is a drop-in (un)Workshop that you can do anytime.


Q: Can I bring my family and children with me to Taproot?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have a children’s program or childcare. Think of Taproot as a retreat for Mom (or the primary homeschooling parent)! Nursing babies are welcome with a registered participant familiar with the child who can step out if the baby becomes disruptive. With a very active or vocal baby, or with a nursing toddler, it is best to come with a companion (think Grandma or Dad) and register both of you so that your child also gets the attention he or she needs. If you wish to travel to Ohio with your family, please look into other accommodations nearby and then register at the commuter rate as we do not have sleeping accommodations for families or children. Another possible scenario is for the family to stay elsewhere together, register Mama at the commuter rate and register Papa (or Grandma) for Meals Only and have them join us for meals (a good time for nursing the baby!)

Q: Can I pay by check rather than PayPal or credit card?

A: Yes! You can pay by check. Just email jean(at)waldorfinspiredlearning(dot)com and she will respond with the address for sending the check. Then Jean will send details for creating a login to the learning platform that has all additional details.

Q. What is the Cancellation Policy?

A. If you need to cancel your registration, your registration fee will be refunded minus a $25 processing fee up until August 1st. After August 1st, 50% of the registration fee is refundable. 

Q: What do I need to know if I plan to fly to Taproot?

A: You have two choices of airports. Both Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) are good choices, and both are less than an hour from Camp Asbury. 

To get from the airport to the Shaw Retreat Center at Camp Asbury, we suggest you rent a car or share a ride with other Mamas who will be coming. You could share the cost of a rental car or arrange for a driver. We suggest posting in the Facebook group your desire to share a ride from the airport along with your arrival and departure times.

Please keep in mind that you will need to pack and bring your own bedding and towels with you to Taproot.

Q: Do attendees ever drive to Taproot together?

A: Yes! We have had participants meet new friends this way! If you would like to try coordinating rides with others from your area, please join the private Facebook group and post there.

Q: Are there camping facilities near the Retreat Center?

A: There are not any camping facilities on site, but there are two campgrounds within a twenty minute drive. Punderson State Park is a wonderful place for families to stay and offers a lodge, cabins, and camping facilities.

Q: Are there any scholarships or discounts?

A: We offer an early bird discount until March 15th. And a discount for returning Taproot alumni. We also have two Taproot Assistants who come for a reduced fee. (The Assistants have already been selected for Taproot 2018.)

The Taproot Team
The Taproot Team

Barbara Dewey, of  Waldorf Without Walls, consults with homeschooling families throughout the world, writes publications, provides training workshops, and spends her spare time enjoying her unique solar home, and developing her farmland. Barbara, a Master Gardener, and her husband Quimby, a Forest Entomologist, lead workshops and field days on the environment and backyard food production. She is the mother of four and grandmother to six. Barbara holds an M.S. in Waldorf education from the Waldorf Institute of Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY. She's been teaching in various settings since 1960.

Jean Miller is the mother of three and has been on the Waldorf homeschooling journey for over 20 years. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching and has taught in public and private schools, homeschooled her own children and led small groups. Jean has studied and practiced Waldorf methods since 1992 by attending numerous local and national conferences and trainings, read extensively, planned and implemented many lessons. She now presents at conferences and workshops around the U.S. Jean mentors homeschoolers and writes at Waldorf-Inspired Learning. She lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband (they are now empty-nesters!) where she loves to sing, garden, cook, and go bird watching.

Alison Manzer resides in Austin, Texas. This will be her sixth year serving as a presenter at Taproot, and before that, she attended for many years as a parent. Alison has a degree in history from the University of Chicago. Alison and her husband, Rob, have homeschooled their three grown sons with Waldorf-inspired methods, and Alison credits this journey with allowing her to discover and develop her passion for teaching history through stories and the lively arts. Over the years, she has led academic clubs and taught classes on a variety of history topics to groups of homeschoolers. This past fall, Alison began teaching middle-schoolers and high-schoolers at Fusion Academy in Austin. Very similar to homeschooling, Fusion is based on a one-to-one instruction model.

Royse Crall has taken two classes from grades one through eight at Spring Garden Waldorf School where she now substitute teaches from time to time. Royse began incorporating Waldorf lessons in painting, knitting, and history into her fourth grade public school classroom in 1995. She then taught Waldorf main lesson blocks to homeschooled children in kindergarten through grade five from 1997-1999. She received her Waldorf training from the Great Lakes Regional Training Center (2000-2002) and has attended numerous Waldorf grades trainings and conferences from 1993 to today. Royse has taught at Taproot since its beginnings in 2007. She has three grown children of her own, along with three grandchildren, and loves knitting, Eurythmy and drama, and working on her art.

With an artist’s eye, a mystic’s heart and a Jersey girl’s attitude, Sheila Petruccelli brings 12 years of homeschooling experience coupled with her spiritual direction certification to Taproot. She believes inner work to be not some secret curriculum of the soul, but rather a unique path that must be defined by us, not for us. Her own path includes walking in nature, recording her nightly dreams, exploring the mysteries of heaven and laughing like hell. You can count on her to always have a smudge stick, a pack of oracle cards, her journal and more candles than probably allowed under local fire codes. She loves poetry, collage and chai lattes.

As a music teacher and Waldorf homeschooling parent of the early grades, Jodie Mesler wrote Living Music From the Heart: Music Curriculum for her children and for homeschooling parents to teach their children music in a living way. She has been teaching music since 1996. Jodie currently teaches her curriculum to students who take private lessons at her home and with other families over Skype. She has been a presenter for the Waldorf Homeschool Conference in Orlando, Florida; for the Taproot Teacher Training in Cleveland, Ohio; for Waldorf Essentials in Atlanta, Georgia; and on-line for The Waldorf Connection. Other than teaching, Jodie's favorite thing about music is songwriting and she is currently writing an album of original inspirational instrumental songs called Rays of Grace.

Alisha Trammell is the mother of four and was a Waldorf-inspired homeschooler for over ten years. She has a profound appreciation of the Waldorf curriculum and how it speaks to the development of the child. She also understands the beauty and challenges of teaching from home. Alisha attended the Applied Arts program at Sunbridge Institute and teaches handwork at Urban Oak School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She is eager to share her love of handwork with you.

Rebecca Christie is the mother of four and has homeschooled her children since the beginning. The former industrial engineer discovered Waldorf the year her eldest was born when her husband, Rob, bought her You Are Your Child’s First Teacher as a Christmas gift! They have been on this incredible homeschooling journey ever since. Rebecca also teaches at Lilac Children’s Garden, a Waldorf-inspired homeschool group in Rochester, NY, as well as Confirmation classes at her church. She enjoys learning about new things, traveling with her family, reading, and yoga. She has attended Taproot many times as a participant and is excited to be teaching this year.

Amber Sharipov is the mother of five and has been Waldorf homeschooling for the past 8 years. She understands the challenge of homeschooling with a large family and working with multiple grades. Amber has degrees in history and art, and appreciates the way that Waldorf-inspired curriculum and philosophy bring such beauty to learning in the home and to family culture. In her free time she enjoys sketching, hiking, handwork, and playing with her children.