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"Any child before the change of teeth belongs at home with family" (thoughts?)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
" I have written about my own experiences throughout this web site, and my opinion is that any child before the change of teeth belongs at home with family. This time is to get to grow into oneself and outside influences & forces are usually negative on the developing child. The child needs to have a good solid foundation, a base from which to grow and the best thing you can do is to be with your child the first few years."
http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/gotopreschool.htm

So this is the sort of thing that i've been stumbling across in my reading lately and it's really been resonating with me. i'm also reading thru neufeld's (he's not a waldorfer, but he's a big proponent of homelearning) book Hold on to your kids, which pretty much says the same thing--young children (especially those 6 and under) need to be at home and need to have adult-oriented attachments, not the peer-oriented attachments that happen in schools.

The local Waldorf school has been really pushy, trying to get us to enroll ds from the age of 2!! So far, we've attended festivals and open houses, but havent actually locked into attending any of the regular programming. And now, because of some recent weirdness from a temporary kindercottage teacher, we've cancelled enrollment for september.

Anyways, i'm wondering what other waldorfy folks think about early childhood education? is it necessary to be in a school environment so early? are there any big benefits to kindercottage for preschool aged children? has anyone else opted to wait until after the change of teeth to start education at school?
post #2 of 7
I work in a waldorf kindergarten which is a 2-year kindergarten. Some of the first year's have lost some teeth and some haven't. Some second year's have lost some teeth and some haven't. Out of 24 children, I believe about 10 have lost teeth. Not so many! If those in the 2nd year who haven't lost them waited, many wouldn't enter kindergarten!

So the term "change of teeth" includes quite a few different ages. Nor do I think that it has any reflection upon the emotional maturity of the students. I've got a degree in elementary ed and am about to get my master's in special education. I'm also trained in behavioral therapy, so I'm quite aware of child development.

I do think that 2 is too young to be in school - most children enter kindergarten here at almost 5 or 5.5. The kindergarten setup here is meant to mimic home life as much as possible so that it is a smooth transition for them. As they get to their second year, there are more projects and more "school-type" activities for them to do.
post #3 of 7
Well, I'm not a teeth changing expert, but I strongly agree that 2 is too young for any sort of structured/formal education. It seems odd to me as well that a Waldorf school would be pushing for such early involvement, as the place of a young child is so obviously being held in the heart of his/her home.
post #4 of 7
Very odd line for a waldorf school to be taking. Lots of waldorf schools have early childhood programs. Few take children below the age of 4 and most waldorf schools are perfectly happy if families want to keep their children home until kindergarten. I'm not sure about waiting to start school with first grade. I've never talked this over with any waldorf teachers and I don't know if there is a standard line (I doubt it, schools vary a lot).

My granddaughter started when she was 4, part-time. This year, as a 5 year old, she has gone 5 mornings a week. By the end of the year my daughter was feeling that it was a strain for gd to be away from her mother so much. Her behavior has improved a lot since school ended, so I think dd is reading the situation correctly. Gd just lost her first tooth, at 5 1/2.

My inclination is that home is best up to at least 4 1/2 or 5, after that a part-time program may be good for some children, but not all. Of course a lot of moms have to work full or part-time and a good school can do well by children. My daughter was in school from 3 on--I was a single parent--and she has turned out well. She was, however, very happy when I started working at home and became a lot more available to her.

The current world doesn't make it easy to be a parent, does it?

Nana
post #5 of 7
I think it would be a shame to miss Waldorf Kindergarten. That being said, I don't think a child younger than around 4 should go but many parents work and require daycare for younger children. For me, Waldorf daycare/preschool would be better than any other daycare/preschool.

The teeth thing is not really very practical. I know Waldorf children who didn't start losing their teeth until they were 7 years old and some who started losing teeth at 4.
post #6 of 7
I didn't lose my first tooth til I was 8yr.

I have dance students who lose them at 5yr. That is a big gap.

I am homeschooling/unschooling because of my belief that children need to be with their parents when the are young. I believe that is what is best for them.

When that is not possible for a family, a great home daycare school setting would be fine.

I find it sad that schools are so pushy to enroll students. In part, I think it has to do with the finanaces that it takes to run a school on tuition rather than gov funding.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
thx for all the feedback, it's given me a lot to think about. ds's dad and i have been talking about waiting for a while and not pushing preschool this sept. we might look at a january intake, or wait until ds turns 5.
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