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Can giftedness and Waldorf education coexist? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
Can giftedness and Waldorf education coexist?
No.

And again no.
post #22 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by expecting-joy View Post
No.

And again no.
Well, that settles it then.
post #23 of 32
I am so glad I found this thread! I've been struggling with this as well. My 4 yo dd is reading. Last year she was in Waldorf, this year she is regular pre school 3 days per week because we moved out of the area. She LOVES her pre-school because of all of the focus on letters and reading.

We are moving back into a Waldorf school area in a few months, but I don't think I'm going to enroll her. I want her to continue with what excites her and apparently, that's reading and writing! I may switch her to Waldorf in second grade when most kids should be reading well.

Anyway, I was really worrying about this until I found this thread. I'm glad to hear the frank reply that many kids are bored in WAldorf if they're already reading at age 4 and 5. I'll probably look for Montessouri!
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessJoy View Post
I am so glad I found this thread! I've been struggling with this as well. My 4 yo dd is reading. Last year she was in Waldorf, this year she is regular pre school 3 days per week because we moved out of the area. She LOVES her pre-school because of all of the focus on letters and reading.

We are moving back into a Waldorf school area in a few months, but I don't think I'm going to enroll her. I want her to continue with what excites her and apparently, that's reading and writing! I may switch her to Waldorf in second grade when most kids should be reading well.

Anyway, I was really worrying about this until I found this thread. I'm glad to hear the frank reply that many kids are bored in WAldorf if they're already reading at age 4 and 5. I'll probably look for Montessouri!
I, too, wonder if giftedness is more compatible with Waldorf as the child ages. It seems to me it would be.
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
I, too, wonder if giftedness is more compatible with Waldorf as the child ages. It seems to me it would be.
I've been thinking about this. Personally I find myself leaning to the public school for at least the first few years. Since I wonder what it would be like to teach my own daughter 7 years from now (which sounds like an eternity!), I know that there is the possibility of moving her to the Waldorf school for 6th-8th grade, at which point all the kids might have been taught about the same set of basic skills. But I'd have to teach her how to knit and play recorder before then, wouldn't I?
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
I've been thinking about this. Personally I find myself leaning to the public school for at least the first few years. Since I wonder what it would be like to teach my own daughter 7 years from now (which sounds like an eternity!), I know that there is the possibility of moving her to the Waldorf school for 6th-8th grade, at which point all the kids might have been taught about the same set of basic skills. But I'd have to teach her how to knit and play recorder before then, wouldn't I?
I'm not sure of the transition from public to Waldorf, might be a bit rough, but certainly doable. We'll go from Waldorfy homeschool to (maybe) Waldorf school, and likely not until 12 or so.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
I've been thinking about this. Personally I find myself leaning to the public school for at least the first few years. Since I wonder what it would be like to teach my own daughter 7 years from now (which sounds like an eternity!), I know that there is the possibility of moving her to the Waldorf school for 6th-8th grade, at which point all the kids might have been taught about the same set of basic skills. But I'd have to teach her how to knit and play recorder before then, wouldn't I?
The thing is, if your child is gifted, they will have passed 'basic skills"long before 6th grade. It's not the giftedness, per se, that's the issue, it's what's done with it that matters. Waldorf elementary is not about individualized education, it's teaching to the middle. While the focus on waldorf art might be fun and interesting, as well as drama, the academics don't meet the needs of most gifted kids. You might do better to wait for high school.
post #28 of 32
Borrow a waldorf book from the library. I did and it made it very clear to me that although the atmosphere/aura of it is wonderful, the stance on giftedness is very negative. I got about halfway through the book and it started saying things like kids who read are not actually experiencing things and are essentially being ruined by reading instead of doing. And that learning factual information "too early" squelches the imagination and somehow pollutes the mind (like you aren't supposed to tell kids what rain is, but say that the rain faries made it).

The book I read (most of) was Children at Play.

I don't know when kids are "allowed" to learn certain things according to Waldorf principles. I suppose when it got to your child being upper elementary you could find out if he/she was "allowed" to know what they know then and decide if the school would work then.

I hate the feeling I was left with about it, because I really like the beauty of Waldorf - the arts, the spirituality, the natural aspects...

Tjej
post #29 of 32
We looked at Waldorf. The one school near us says very clearly on their website that they do not cater to gifted children. We didn't need to look further.

We are fairly Waldorf-like at home - not so much by conscious decision but just because that fits with how DH and I are and with DC's interests.

In our area, there is a group of parents (of which we are tangentially a part) looking at opening a Waldorf co-op that would be 2 days a week. I would consider that because it could feed the arts/spirituality/creativity but still leave me plenty of time to homeschool for academics.

Don't try too hard to fit your daughter into the program. I've had to watch myself with this for Montessori. I love the Montessori idea, but I realized when I started investigating schools that it would not fit DS' personality. There were a lot of arbitrary rules that they couldn't really explain, and DS would rebel against that. (no idea where he gets that ) In the end, it was hard, but I had to accept that our family wouldn't fit with the way Montessori schools near us work. So be wary of doing the same with Waldorf. While the philosophy may be beautiful, the reality may not work.
post #30 of 32
I thought that this thread in the Waldorf forum was revealing:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1189963

Some of the responses explaining the Waldorf approach were very thoughtful and interesting.

Some gifted children may thrive in a Waldorf school. I would be alert though, for teachers who consciously or unconsciously, squashed a child's interest and enthusiasm for discovering facts about their world. I know my 2 y.o's asked endless "Why" and "How" questions - "Why is the sky blue" "Why is it cold in winter?" "How does water make ice?"....They wanted to understand the world, and while they enjoyed some make-belief and storytelling, they wanted facts and knowledge. I always tried to respect that desire for knowledge and their ability to comprehend.

I also think it's important to nurture the natural fascination for science and exploration that children have. It's just as amazing to understand how a rainbow is created by light shining through the prisms of raindrops, and to use crystals to demonstrate it, as it is to believe that there are rainbow fairies. I would be unhappy if a teacher dismissed my child's interest in the scientific explanation on the basis that it is flat and uninspiring.
post #31 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I also think it's important to nurture the natural fascination for science and exploration that children have. It's just as amazing to understand how a rainbow is created by light shining through the prisms of raindrops, and to use crystals to demonstrate it, as it is to believe that there are rainbow fairies. I would be unhappy if a teacher dismissed my child's interest in the scientific explanation on the basis that it is flat and uninspiring.
YES. Since I am a science teacher, when dd asks questions about her natural surroundings (which is all the time, especially since we live on 85 acres of forest and most of our friends are back-to-the-land types), I explain things to her factually. I find magic in scientific reality. DH is much more fanciful and imaginative in his version of things.

Also, thanks for the link to that other thread. There are some good points there.
post #32 of 32
I was so glad to find this post...we are wrestling with a similiar issue.

DS1 has been in a Waldporf Kindy for the last two years. Overall, it's been a positive expereince for him, although I think he's beginning to get bored now. He loves his friends, the stories, the imaginative play and that they spend half the morning in the woods. The fact that the school introduces no academics during this time felt comfortable to me, he needed the play time & the social interaction.

BUT, he has been working at home on reading, writing & math. He's 'normal' in language arts (where you would expect-he's been writing his own stories in all caps, with phonetic spelling), but has an intuitive math sense & a deeply analytical/scientific curiosity about the world. Gifted? I don't know. He knows how to add, subtract, multiply, understands fractions, is figuring out his own times table. All pretty much self-directed.

WE're trying to figure out if the grades would be a good fit for him. He loves stories, is deeply imaginative, magic & spirituality speak to him. He also wants to know how everything works (scientific explainations do not decrease the wonder & magic for him), explore his own interests at his own times (he's been immersed in electricity for days - building looped circuits), and has that math thing. Although, Waldorf doesn't have the same gap/delay (compared to public school) in math that they do in reading.

Waldorf supports alot about our family's lifestyle that are not supported by public school or even other private schools (very little media, minimal consumerism/branding, crafty, spiritual, etc.). But, is he going to be damaged or stifled by attending the grades? Can I stand the rigidity of the curriculum? Can he?

I'm reading this thread (and the other thread that was linked) with great interest.
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