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Wow, I'm totally freaked out about Waldorf now... - Page 4

post #61 of 171
Sheesh - that was only ONE school that did that with only having peach-colored people. Public, Montessorri, and yes, even waldorf can have bad apples. Please don't judge the whole system on what has happened in only a handful of schools.
post #62 of 171
Tracey Kidder sat in a 5th grade public school class for a whole year in preparation to write Among Schollchildren. For me the take home message of the book is that the teacher is everything - one of the principles of Waldorf education. When the door to the classroom shuts in the morning it is not that the children are shut in, it's that everything, educational philosophies, cirriculum, school board mandates, and parents are shut out. The teacher is everything. I find both public school and Waldorf school teachers to be highly commited to the education of the child. I also find Waldorf school teachers struggle to model the best they can and to present an aesthetic view of life; things beyond the academic.
Because the teacher is everything then what somebody said a century ago doesn't matter. I look to the teacher and if one teacher I've heard about in the publc school system does something inappropriate I wouldn't condemn the entire system and if a Waldorf teacher I knew suggested a child use a different color crayon I might ask why before assuming the reason. I've changed colors for my children when the crayon was too short for them to comfortably use. Doesn't teaching, like parenting, involves many issues and shifting priorities with each individual child?
Concerning race as a school issue, I learned that on the 50th anniversary of Brown vs Board of education there has been no progress on segregation. The Midwest and Northeast are more segregated than the South and thousands of black teachers have lost their jobs. "In 1954, about 82,000 black teachers were responsible for teaching 2 million black children. In the 11 years immediately following Brown, more than 38,000 black teachers and administrators in 17 Southern and border states lost their jobs.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...wn-side2_x.htm "
post #63 of 171

Many teachers have addressed the attachment issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacrab
The more I learn about Waldorf philosophy the more distasteful I find it to be. It seems to be racist, sexist, AND anti-attachment. I really don't get why it is so popular among the attachment-parenting community?

And they actively support and practice attatchment parenting - slings, family bed, child led weaning. This is another area that has been growing and refining Steiner's philosophy. Not all teachers are pro-attachment (just like many in mainstream schools aren't) but many are.
post #64 of 171
Just one comment on the color theory issue.

I am fairly ignorant about Steiner's theory of color, but I venture it is not the same as that I studied in art college!

Now, on the dreaded "mud color." Why dis mud? It is decayed organic material, clay and silica. If they support nature study, why denigrate wet earth (our Mother Earth) in this way? Does not make sense.
post #65 of 171

Why dis mud?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Just one comment on the color theory issue.

I am fairly ignorant about Steiner's theory of color, but I venture it is not the same as that I studied in art college!

Now, on the dreaded "mud color." Why dis mud? It is decayed organic material, clay and silica. If they support nature study, why denigrate wet earth (our Mother Earth) in this way? Does not make sense.
I don't know. At our Waldorf school they certainly support the digging in and the loving of mud. I have to wash my kid's clothes 3 times sometimes to get all the mud out! I affectionately call my kid 'dirtball'. This is a 2nd grader we are talking about here not a preschooler!

Thus far, I have never heard brown refered to as a mud color nor have I seen the black crayon withheld. Anything can be taken to the extreme.
post #66 of 171
Steiner wrote a book on color, based on Goethe's color theories apparently. He said stuff about black and thought it should be used at older ages. a quote

"Now submerge yourself in black; you are completely surrounded by black--in this black darkness a physical being can do nothing. Life is driven out of the plant when it becomes carbon. Black shows itself alien to life, hostile to life; when plants are carbonized they turn black. Life, then can do nothing in blackness. And the soul? Our soul life deserts us when this awful blackness is within us.

Black represents the spiritual image of the lifeless."

http://www.openwaldorf.com/art.html

The whole light = good dark = bad is a problem. Now of course, brown, the color of mud and earth and wood and people - that's not what he was talking about. Since most thing are wood, the classroom has a lot of brown. Does anyone have the color book to know what he said about brown? The other wacky racial theories seem seperate from the color stuff....but interestingly, almost identical to a chart I have in an american public school geography textbook from the turn of the century. Since waldorf doesn't use textbooks, I see no excuse for reviving those theories. From what I'm gathering, the hierarchical chart of the races is based on spiritual evolution, and as a soul reincarnates they move through the races. Yucky, yuck yuck yuck. But what I would insist is that it much be possible to maintain some elements of what is worthwhile and not fall back on this sort of stuff. Lots of prominent education theorists whose techniques are still used today, even if we forget their names, thought this sort of thing. And that time is past.

I guess in any school what you have to get to know is how strongly they adhere to the more negative steiner stuff. Enter with eyes wide open.

http://skepdic.com/steiner.html
http://www.stelling.nl/simpos/anthro..._criticism.htm
post #67 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacrab
The more I learn about Waldorf philosophy the more distasteful I find it to be. It seems to be racist, sexist, AND anti-attachment. I really don't get why it is so popular among the attachment-parenting community?
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.
post #68 of 171
Thread Starter 

Waldorf is definitely not for us BUT...

I do think it's true that a classroom is only as good as the teacher. Waldorf, Montessori, public mainstream schools, homeschoolers included!

If Waldorf as a group is really committed to increasing its diversity, though, they had best address the issue head-on. This kind of reputation precedes you and will only serve to alienate more people of color.
post #69 of 171

There is some argument over toddler/preschooler nursing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muse
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.

I have heard two sides to this argument one says that Steiner said that breastfeeding past one is wrong and the otherside says, Steiner didn't say anything about breastfeeding. I asked our Kindergarten teacher about this and she said that child led weaning is fine but that breastfeeding if it goes on too long (4, 5, or 6) can be an impediment to the child's growth and interaction with the world. If they are staring at a boob all the time they can't interact. I think it is like everything else, it depends on the child and the child parent relationship. My own kids self weaned at 15 months because they got tired of staring at my boob and wanted to be out and about while using a sippy cup. I have oftened wondered how people get a 4 year old to nurse but that is for another board.

p.s. Staring at a boob was my statement not the teacher's. Sorry if it is offensive to some, I didn't mean it to be that way. It is my interpretation of how my children reacted at 15 months to nursing. They would be on/off/on/off constantly because they wanted to see what was going on rather than not being able to look around. Once they got the sippy cup they never wanted to nurse again. It was much more portable than my breast.
post #70 of 171
Rhonwyn....

My dd nursed well past 4, my ds, almost 4 is still happily nursing. They are both quite happy, active, curious children. I find the term, "staring at the boob all day" mildly offensive and the antithesis of attachment parenting.

I attended a Waldorf mommy and me for a year and a half with dd. She liked it enough. I didn't pursue it at 4 because she needed MORE. She was/ is a sponge and I knew she needed more stimulation and learning activities than what was offered at the Waldorf school (especially if they held her in kindergarten for 2 years).

Most children who "self wean" do so around 3 or 4...that is the "don't offer, don't refuse" idea. Many children nurse longer than that.
post #71 of 171
Rhon, I am sure you did not mean it this way, but I find your post short-sighted and insulting.

Nursing children over the age of 15 mos, are not "staring at a boob" all the time.

Very hurtful statement.
post #72 of 171
wow, what an interesting thread. dh really likes the idea, but now reading more is making me think about it a lot more.
post #73 of 171

Sorry didn't mean to be offensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Rhon, I am sure you did not mean it this way, but I find your post short-sighted and insulting.

Nursing children over the age of 15 mos, are not "staring at a boob" all the time.

Very hurtful statement.

I was being flippant. It was my interpretation to my children's response to nursing after 15 months. Every kid is different and the confinement of nursing drove mine nuts after a certain age. If I had a detachable breast, it might have been different.
post #74 of 171
Just lurking because we're looking at Waldorf and a Waldorf "inspired" pre-school for DC where we live in Germany.

I haven't had time to read but I wanted to bookmark the thread...thanks, H.
post #75 of 171
"Many of the wacky things you hear about Waldorf have started to be proven true by science."

Can you give examples? I found when I researched Waldorf that most things that were claimed to be scientifically proven were not, and that some of the references given to 'proof' turned out in fact to be statements by Waldorf proponents, not proof at all. I simply went around in circles.

I'd be really interested in any links. Thanks!
post #76 of 171

We are a bi-racial family with 2 dd's in a Waldorf school

One of my dd's is fair like daddy the other is dark like mama. There is a good mix of cultures, religions and race at our school.

My 3.5 yr is still nursing, teachers are not thrilled but I made it very clear that it is MY decision. Probably over 50% of the children in dd's classes were bf'd past a year and I know of many up to age 3 or 4. I have never seen so many slings in on location as I do EVERY morning at drop off. MAny of the moms are doulas, LLL leaders & even midwives. This is the only place I have been fortunate enough to meet other AP parents.

We are not a religious or spiritual family but I would rather deal with a splash of Anthroposophy than a shower of mainstream America. Some of the children speak of Jesus or God, but I can assure you the same talk goes on in any school. The teachers do speak of angels and the spirit often, I just make sure I talk to my dd's too. I want open minded accepting children and I feel confident that Waldorf is the answer. At our school they celebrate all the holidays.

I like to think that it is utimately a parents responsibility to educate a child. If I feel at some point that my dd's are not getting a broad view of the world, I'll do what I can to enrich their education. We travel often (not just domestically but internationally), I read to my dd's about all religions, cultures, countries, etc. DH & I speak foreign languages, the girls are bilingual.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that any school will have shortcomings, so as a parent you need to supplement not matter where your child attends school.

BTW, I grew up in the South Bronx surrounded by Hispanics & African Americans (there was 1 single white girl in my class) and I can't begin to tell the racism I came across everyday, both towards me and others. So it doesn't just happen at schools where the majority are white.

No black crayons in our Early Childhood. I'm on the puppetry committee and never seen a scared child yet. We did have one young boy come in with a Game Boy who never raised his head from his toy, now that is 'scary'.
post #77 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by muse
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.
This is a really interesting thing at our parent-child playgroup. The teacher is against it and makes comments each time it is discussed among parents. Last time I went she compared breastfeeding a child over 1 to being a piece of meat for the child to grab at at will. Hmmm.

The other thing is that the other regulars at our playgroup literally do not seem to question anything Steiner says. We never have discussions about the validity of an idea (unless I question it), just how to incorporate it into life at home with children. But, the one area those mothers don't question is EBF. I'm not sure why.
post #78 of 171
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=121249

This was an interesting thread about the experiences of people with EBF and waldorf...
post #79 of 171
Rhonwyn, first you ask me why I perceive Waldorf to be anti-attachment. And then you say a baby older than 15 months should quit nursing because it's just "staring at a boob all day." You just answered your own question!!
post #80 of 171
To be fair to Rhonwyn, some rare babies who are raised AP style (which I am assuming her are) do self wean at 15 mos. These children are self-soothers, usually very active, adopt a lovey and take well to sippy cups. They are more likely to wean if they have older sibs to keep up with too.

(Of course if babies are left to CIO or encouraged to use pacifiers or bottles early on, they will seem to "self wean" young too.)

So if one or more of Rhon's kids were like this, this is her own exp. It has nothing to do with the normal age of child-led weaning (age 3-6 yrs) or whether or not her school was encouraging early weaning, as she said above.

But it is strange she brought it up as if it was approved by the school. She quotes a teacher erroneously saying that a nursing 4,5 or 6 yr old will be staring at a boob all day, which of course, is ridiculous, as most nursing children of that age do not nurse more than a couple-3 times a day! Nursing an older child is usually just a brief cuddle at the end of the day or first thing in the morning...
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