​WHERE CHILDREN GROW AT THEIR OWN PACE...

Shannon O'Connor 

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Teacher Biography

...a school for homeschoolers, for folks who want something different

2020 © Sun Star Family Farm      2092 Marthas Chapel Road, Apex NC 27523       |   919.699.4429   |        Email Us

Shannon O’Connor has been inspired by Waldorf Education since 1986. Raised by educators herself, she was exposed to alternative pedagogy young and came to North Carolina in the early nineties to attend a conference on Cultural Diversity in the Waldorf Movement.  She knew instantly that she was home. 

Her first step was to join the Haw River Assembly which launched a seasonal 4 week Learning Festival that brought brought grade school students from 7 counties to the river to develop stewardship, cultural history, and community engagement through connecting to a place. She then paired her love of environmental education with her burgeoning Waldorf ideals to join Emerson Waldorf as their Kindergarten assistant. After her daughter was born, she founded Little Bird Pre School-one of the areas first Waldorf home preschools. She went on to teach at Carolina Friends School, where they said she “brought the magic back” to their Chapel Hill Early School campus.  Waldorf education makes sense and people who Shannon has worked with have been inspired to take up their own studies and start initiatives of their own.  Shannon started and ran the Emerson Waldorf Summer Camps, served as After-School Director, High School Art Teacher, Class Teacher, Lower-School assistant, Festivals Committee member, and more. 

After guiding her first class in 2012 from 1st through 6th grade, she came to Raleigh in 2018 to help launch the state’s first Public Waldorf School: Raleigh Oak Charter, where she took her class through grades one and two. This is where she met Haley, Heidi’s daughter, and how she learned about Sun Star Farm.

Shannon has personally witnessed how every child can be seen as an individual while being held firmly and lovingly in a group that they connect deeply to and learn from. She uses music, storytelling, nature, and art to enrich the academic possibilities waiting all around us.  Shannon holds a dual degree in Fine Arts/Liberal Arts from Parsons School of Design and The New School for Social Research in NYC with a concentration on Ecology, Creativity, and Education, as well as a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University. 

She has traveled the country and world studying Traditional Music, Dance, and Folklore, Environmental Education, and Waldorf Philosophy. She is thrilled to weave all these skills together to work with Sun Star Farm to offer you Sun Star Folk School: a mixed age natural, practical learning environment where children can grow at their own pace. 

 Sun Star Folk School

Sun Star Farm School

Sun Star Folk School is now enrolling for our NEW K -3 CLASS Fall 2020! 

What We Offer…

  • A rich, dynamic, supplemental Waldorf-inspired curriculum that supports your child’s growth in developmentally appropriate ways Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm
  • Small class size: (limited to 15 students with 1 teacher + 1 assistant)
  • A highly-trained Waldorf-certified teacher and specialist
  • Curriculum materials and necessary workbooks
  • Daily teaching and practice time on the “3R’s”.
  • A non-competitive, but physically and academically rigorous program that makes learning FUN!
  • A mixed age, one-room school house setting with individualized instruction and social inclusion



For pedagogical questions, please email Shannon.

 Please email Heidi to schedule a visit.

We may be a great fit for your child and family if you value…

  • Experiential, environmentally sound project-based, hands-on learning
  • Engaging the multiple intelligences in an integrated curriculum
  • Taking ownership of your child's education outside of a traditional classroom setting and bureaucracy. 

You Provide...

  • The overarching homeschool environment for your student outside of the Sun Star routine, including their core-work and annual testing
  • Additional support needed such as core-work completion, reteaching a concept that may not have been fully grasped in class, or supporting your student with good study habits or executive functioning skills.
  • Documentation of online certificate that your family has established a NC homeschool status (link)
  • Direct instruction at home as needed (we’ll provide links) 


We Do Not Provide...

  • Direct instruction for common core standards, though we do touch on it throughout each day.
  • Special assistance if your child needs 1:1 support to successfully move through their day.
  • A co-op experience, although parents do have many volunteer opportunities throughout the year.​


We Embrace...

  • Waldorf Education
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Holistic principles 
  • Music, Dance, and Folklore
  • Natural materials  
  • Community & Seasonal Festivals
  • Stewardship and Practical arts such as handwork, cooking, modeling, knitting, building, gardening, developmentally appropriate chores...
  • Found Art, Up-cycle projects & Bookmaking
  • An ambitious No-Waste program!