We are brand new to Waldorf. My 4 year old started Kindergarten and 6 year old started 1st grade just last week. When I first heard of the Waldorf School, I was interested, but it was too far away and the whole lack of emphasis on reading and science in the younger grades turned me off. But then I was more strongly turned off from the public school system after our experience with the oldest in public kindergarden. At the same time had some inspiring conversations with other parents who had kids in the Waldorf School here. So after touring and meeting with the teachers, we decided to go for it.
The kids like it so far. The youngest is shy, but seems to have bonded with the teachers. The oldest is making friends and doing well. He’s the kind of kid that will thrive anywhere.
It's me that has the problem... I just don't know if I'm cut out for the Waldorf lifestyle. I can handle the no TV, at least on weekdays. We will probably still allow them to watch some movies and nature shows on the weekends. But what I'm really struggling with is the emphasis on the imaginary world where fairies and angels and God live. I'm a practical, scientific minded atheist. When my kids ask me how something works, I have no problem telling them. In fact, I love how they want to know every detail and ask more and more questions. My six year old already knows how to read and knows fairly advanced math – I feel like he might be shunned for this? I don’t know if that’s the case, but it certainly won’t be encouraged or praised. He’s so proud of himself when he does figure out new things and I don’t want him to lose that sense of pride if it’s looked down upon by the teacher.
Tonight was the first group-parent teacher meeting. The teacher scolded (not scolded but emphasized his views in that polite Waldorf way), that when he had been telling a story about some boy following the sun; several of the kids spoke up saying that the Earth really revolves around the sun, and the sun is a ball of gas. I thought it was pretty cool that kids this age know this; and yet he wants them not to know this stuff. I guess I just can't fathom how it is wrong to explain things to these inquisitive minds.
And also he asked for no radio to be on in the car. I’m all for not letting the kids hear sexist/racy lyrics, or hear about the latest bombing in Syria. But I don’t get how children’s music would be bad? My kids love to sing out loud to the radio.
I really want to make it work at Waldorf. There are so many other aspects that I respect and cherish about it (esp when comparing it to the public school alternatives). It’s just that sometimes it feels like I’ve joined a cult that I don’t really belong in. Help!!! Are there other parents out there like me? How did you adjust?