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Wow, I'm totally freaked out about Waldorf now... - Page 5

post #81 of 171
wow, shocked at the teachers' comments about EBf. hmmm. going to check out that other thread.

** thanks for sharing your experience, cuqui, that's v. helpful.
post #82 of 171
no I wasn,t giving a thumbs up to one stupid teachers misdirected prejudices Goethes colour theory arose from his dicoveries of light reflecting in a prism the warm colours would be at one end and the dark colours at the other .Not your standard colour wheel.The interpretation of dark and light is also percieved differently,i.e.Black containing all colours and light the absence of colour.Don't know if I agree with it,just gives me new ways to think about the use of colour when I'm working on my art.sorry waldorf stuff stirs up such strong feelings in some folks.I know there's a lot of good stuff there.
post #83 of 171
Originally Posted by saintmom
no I wasn,t giving a thumbs up to one stupid teachers misdirected prejudices .
But this is what I really don't understand either! I have heard (on this board and elsewhere) of many Waldorf schools that forbid the color black, have all white students, and have only white Christian art on their walls. Yet pro-Waldorf folks claim each and every example is "just one misdirected exception."

Same with the EBF- people from several different Waldorf schools -on this one thread alone!- have shared their expereriences with Waldorf schools being anti-EBF- but again, pro-Waldorf people claim each and every one of these schools is a misguided exception.
post #84 of 171
I thinkyou propbably have heard these "bad apple" examples alot, but that they still are just a "misdirected exception". I feel like I'm always hearing alot of bad stories or experiences when I am researching something questionable, kwim? I've been feeling this way about most of the discussion on this thread.

For example - when DS1 was just an infant and we told people that we would co-sleep as long as everyone felt comfortable, well then we just started to hear all these extreme situation stories. Like a girl who is 13 and her parents couldn't get her out of the family bed.
Or when I talk to people about EB, I have gotten so many people who've 'heard' of someone else that BF until they were 10 or so!
I don't really care if it's true or not, honestly. I know what we will do and I know my boundries. I know that the Waldorf preschool here rocks. They teach much cultural diversity and the teachers are young and progressive and very AP. I'm a devoted parent and research OUR school, not worried about what some old fart teacher in some school far away is teaching their kids.
post #85 of 171
We are fortunate enough to have a Waldorf charter school in our town. (there are 4 such charter schools in AZ). My dd is only 3 1/2, but Ive been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding Waldorf Philosophy. I would never rely on a Waldorf critics site to get unbiased info on Waldorf. I also have a friend who teaches at a Waldorf school in N. Calif, whom Ive had several conversations with regarding philosophies etc.

I went to the Waldorf open house recently, talked with the director and kindergarten teacher, and other parents who have had several children go thru the school. Thats really the only way I can make in informed decision on whether my dd will go there. THis school goes to grade 8, and the parents are getting together now trying to get a highschool in place. I was really impressed with the curriculum and the dedication of the teachers in this school. Its been a long time since Ive experienced that kind of teacher in a public school, having already raised a ds in the public school system.

The other public schools are pretty bad here in our town/state. This would be the one of 2 schools I would consider. The other is a private school. OUr town is not very diverse as far as ethnicities, so Im not expecting the schools to be, but thats bc of where we live.

If you are considering a waldorf education, I would suggest reading everything you can on the subject, talking to parents, and visiting and observing the school.
post #86 of 171

Mamacrab, I am sorry if you read my words that way...

Originally Posted by mamacrab
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!!
but that is not what I said. My own babies would not nurse past 15 months. I interpreted their response to be that they didn't want to be confined with no view. I wasn't going to force them to nurse if they didn't want to. Everyone is different and what works for one doesn't work for another. I know plenty of Waldorf Moms and Teachers who nursed up to 4 years old.
post #87 of 171

Britishmum, sorry it took so long to reply!

Originally Posted by Britishmum
"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!
The three things I have read about recently were in local newspapers and I can't send you specific links because of time constraints. I am sure that you have seen some of this in the news.

The first was an article on looping (same teacher for 2 -3 years) in the Seattle schools and how beneficial it was the classes and there test scores. They never once mentioned Waldorf but many of the benefits they sited were the same as I have seen in Waldorf. Specifically, the teacher already knows the kids, they can pretty much jump in where they left off before the summer and the kids are less anxious about going back to school because they know what to expect. Granted this works much better if the child and teacher are compatible. If they aren't, then it doesn't work very well.

The second was the recent study done of young children and TV. I am sure you saw this one in the news. Much of what was found reflected what I had been hearing from our Waldorf teaches. Specifically, that it wasn't the content on TV (there is both good and bad) but rather it's effect on the developing brain and what snynapes (sp?) are reinforced and which are not. In my own children I can see the difference between them and their peers who watch a lot of TV. This purely anecdotal though.

Lastly, I had an acquaintance who was doing brain gymnastics to improve her memory and concentration. She showed me the drawings she was making and they looked remarkably similar to the form drawing and the mirror drawing my kid was doing in grade school. From what I understand, form drawing is not art but is a brain training technique. I have no idea if brain gymanastics was started by a Waldorf person or if it was developed on its own.

This is what I have found so far. I keep my eyes open because often the articles I find do not mention Waldorf at all but present the ideas as new discoveries. I only recognize them as an affirmation of Waldorf techniques because my kids are in a Waldorf school and I know what they are doing in school. I think the Waldorf association could do a better job of collecting the information as backing to their techniques.
post #88 of 171
Thread Starter 

EVERYTHING in Waldorf seems to be anecdotal!

Good, bad, pro-AP, anti-AP... just about everything is hearsay!

I did have my own negative experience, so that's what I'm going off of.
post #89 of 171

First Impressions do matter

Originally Posted by AlohaDeb
Good, bad, pro-AP, anti-AP... just about everything is hearsay!

I did have my own negative experience, so that's what I'm going off of.
I am sorry you had such a negative experience and I understand where you are coming from. I had a negative experience with Montessori when I was deciding between Waldorf and Montessori. It pretty much colored my whole opinion of Montessori.
post #90 of 171

You are fortunate Rainsmom

Originally Posted by rainsmom
We are fortunate enough to have a Waldorf charter school in our town. (there are 4 such charter schools in AZ
I have heard that AZ has the best Waldorf Charter schools. AZ has the most liberal charter school laws and it allows the schools to set up almost like they would be if they were a private Waldorf school.

Too bad AZ is too hot and dry for me!
post #91 of 171
Well, it sounds to me that if anyone is considering putting their child in Waldorf school, they should research the *specific* school that the child will go to. If I look into the one near here, and feel "weirded out" by their attitude, my daughter can be homeschooled. But I feel like it should be her decision as well. It's her life, and if she doesn't fit into the Waldorf "model" then I'm not going to force her. Thanks for all the info, mammas.
post #92 of 171
I talked to a friend today who has a 5 yr old in the kindergarten and her 2 yr old in our toddler group. She EWBf her daughter to 3 yrs old. She said they were gently encouraging here to "separate" at 3 when she went to playgorup, but she spent a whole term in the class with her (and BFing), then went and sat down in the parents lounge. They were very gentle about it, did not criticise EBF, and let her do things at her own pace. In our toddler group every mother but one is still bfing 9kids up to 3 yr olds) all through the group, during story and songtime, etc etc and there has never ever been any criticism or comment. It is the most wonderful bunch of mothers I've ever been around who are all APers. Whatever else goes on there the school fosters a wonderful sense of community amongst families with a lot in common, and all the children I meet there are very sweet, responsible, kind, and thoughtful.

Definitely check out individual schools but I think spend as much time talking to the parents and observing the kids as you do the teachers.
post #93 of 171

To AlohaDeb

AlohaDeb I would guess you went to the same Waldorf school in Chicago I did four years ago. I had a very mixed experience in the parent/child program--kept loving certain aspects -- the gentleness, the patience toward learning, the reverence for childhood, but as the year progressed I began to feel like it was too in love with its philosophy to see each child as an individual. And I couldn't believe they had all the children line up to wash their hands in the same tub of water. That was the first big 'klunk' against common sense. But then there would be these enchanting experiences, like the Winter Solstice candle walk (through gritty Rogers Park, but there was a luscious full moon). However, I resist anything that defines human development in terms of stating that 'thus and such happens at age 7' and I remember them being very definite on some of those age things, including at what age a child uses the word "I". It started to feel to me that my child would not be viewed as an individual within what felt like a very dated, quaint philosophy of development (i.e., the four personality types defined by Steiner). The teacher we had was a lovely person to converse with but I felt very strongly she was burnt out and not very interested in the children! Some of the parents were really high maintenance tho, and attracted to Waldorf as an alternative, artistic school. They seemed unaware that it had a particular philosophy, and barely noticed the children, and I'm sure that was part of her burn-out.

I am finding that the whole school experience as a parent can be overwhelming, from the Waldorf end of the spectrum to where I am now in an expensive, homogenous suburb. There isn't a perfect school anywhere but Waldorf felt like a huge leap of faith and experiment and I had enough reservations to decide it wasn't for us. I think if I had sensed that there was more receptiveness to input from the parents it might have been different but when I raised questions I usually felt like I was viewed as someone who just didn't know enough about anthroposphy.
post #94 of 171

a bit about anthroposophy

I went to a waldorf school many years ago, as a teenager. Only 2 years, but it was a valuable and enriching experience. Later I was a waldorf parent for 13 years. Now I'm a waldorf grandmother. I also worked at a waldorf school for two years as the business manager and at the anthroposophical society in america for 6 1/2 years.

There are certainly lots of problems in waldorf schools, but my take would be that there is not enough anthroposophy rather than too much. In my experience the teacher who is dogmatic is usually the one with the least knowledge and years of experience. The more you know the more flexible and creative you can be.

In addition to waldorf education here are a few other anthroposophical initiatives:

homes and schools for developmentally disabled children and adults (1,000 + worldwide)

biodynamic farms (many in Europe, some in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and ?)

anthroposophically extended medicine: includes doctors, nurses, art therapists, therapeutic eurythmists, rhythmical massage, etc.

adult education programs (besides waldorf teacher education, includes studies in goethean science, biodynamic farming, eurythmy, music, painting, art therapy, medicine, spatial dynamics)

businesses (flowforms [a special type of fountain], lazure wall painting [a type of multi-layered glaze, sometimes used in waldorf schools], several toy manufacturers, community supported agriculture initiatives, publishing companies, a travel service...)

non-profit organizations (Rudolf Steiner Foundation, support communities for the elderly, associations of professionals such as doctors and nurses)

My point: waldorf education is not the main goal of anthroposophy. It is one of many activities arising out of a fairly fruitful approach to spiritual development. I've always been fascinated by the combination of inner work and outer work that is central to anthroposophy.

Yeah, anthropops mess up big time and regularly. They also do lots of great stuff. Human, like the rest of us.

Here are a few web-sites:

Anthro Society America

Directory of initiatives

Medical initiatives

Physicians association

some background on waldorf education and links to a discussion of the waldorf critics

an archive of books and articles by Rudolf Steiner

the lending library of the Anthro society, including a huge collection on various spiritual streams, and other occult movements (it is a truly amazing library with a very specialized and unusual collection [I'm a librarian, sorry for the digression])

Spirit Working: web site of the Council of Anthroposophical Organizations

and, one of my favorites: The Rudolf Steiner Foundation

I'll shut up now,
post #95 of 171
Thanks for all the insights. There is so much out there about Waldorf that people dont investigate for themselves what is true and what is heresay. Thanks for the links and your post!
post #96 of 171
Originally Posted by rainsmom
Thanks for all the insights. There is so much out there about Waldorf that people dont investigate for themselves what is true and what is heresay. Thanks for the links and your post!
You are very welcome!


PS I welcome PM's on waldorf education or on anthroposophy!
post #97 of 171
I must be feeling close-minded today ...

because I keep going back to "gnomes???" :LOL

This has been a great thread to read, though. Very informative.
post #98 of 171

Wow Deborah! Thanks for the Swedish Site!

For a great rebuttal to the Waldorf Critics site, check out this article:

post #99 of 171
That's a great article rhonwyn. Thanks for sharing it ...
all sceptics - go read it right now and realize what an evil group PLANS really is!!
post #100 of 171
frand, thank you for posting pretty much what i would've liked to, but am too busy with a toddler staring at my boob, lol (his eyes are closed, actually!)
the part that grated on me, rhonwyn, was not the early weaning (cough. well, worldwide and throughout history that certainly would be true!) was the statement about 'how you would get them to do it' (sorry for paraphrasing, i am in a bit of a rush.) a nursing 4 yr old does not have to be persuaded to nurse, trust me! and he can be mobile with his sippy and still want a snuggle-nurse when going to sleep.

i like our local one but besides it being too far of a drive and 10 grand a year, i did get a weird vibe talking to one of the teachers when i was buying some stuff at the gift shop... she was really, really interested (i'm not sure i can think of an appropriate word) about our jewish last name (she was looking at my check.) maybe just making conversation, but it was weird conversation, like 'you're a JEW and want to come here?' (i'm not, but dh is.) anyway, we get no weirdness from the typical southern baptists i let sam go to a mother's day out with twice a week (his idea, so i said sure), and we are in a more rural area... i had thought the more cosmopolitan 'city' upper-class waldorf place would have been more- comfortable- with jews. (there IS a synagogue reasonably close to them! we do have jews here in the south!)

anyway, i think a lot of it is neat, and i try to work in what i feel are the better ideas, and go to the elve's fair (it's not like i ran into overt antisemitism or anything, just- weirdness), but i did read a lot about steiner awhile ago (parsifal! klingsor! yikes!) and i don't think i want to get that involved (even if i did have the $) like montessori, there are great plusses (esp compared to standard public education), but also drawbacks i'm not willing to compromise about.

the boys do have a guardian gnome on their shelf, tho', lol.

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