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Is Waldorf too "airy fairy" for some kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 114
I can't imagine any problem specific to dinosaurs.
What I can imagine is just too much information, whether it be dinosaurs, trains, or quantum physics
I was very guilty of this with my first son's fanatical interest in trains.
The idea is that factual, intellectual learning causes a child to incarnate (or take the next step), and the hope is to be aware of when it is appropriate for steps to be taken.
This is why we feel that age 7 (around the change of teeth) is about the time to begin academics.
Children can be rushed therough the developmental stages with great haste nowadays.
Just look at out inner-city children who are, in many ways, little men and women by age 9 or 10.
To make a long story short (too late! ), we in Waldorf feel that the modern world has put childhood under attack, and we are attempting to honor and preserve it. Intellectualism is an adult gesture that we introduce mindfully.
post #22 of 114
Hi Aurora,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora88
My child , OTOH, made comments like "mom, I think my teacher *really* believes in gnomes" and "mom, I think my teacher doesn't really know the answers to my questions" , so it was , in general, Not A Good Fit.
That's why I produced the Steiner material on dinosaurs. If my child came home and said "Dad, my teacher thinks dinosaurs could breathe fire" or "Dad, my teacher thinks people and dinosaurs lived at the same time" - I'd be at the school asking the teacher a few questions. Some kids today are better informed about dinosaurs than their teachers who have had only Steiner as a source for that information. And I think Waldorf teachers are put off by how intellectual children sound when producing the actual scientific names of dinosaurs. It creeps Waldorf teachers out - so no dinosaurs.
Quote:
Another question that still stays with me is , since Steiner was dead before "screen time" was invented, how do they know what he would do/say about it?
This, of course, is an interpretation by Waldorf teachers. It has to do with the presence of the demon of all things mechanical (and Waldorf has added electronic to this too) - Ahriman. Watching television is Ahrimanic and Steiner predicted the emergence of Ahriman in the 20th/21st century. It's really that simple.

Pete
post #23 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy
Hmmmm
What about aliens? My son LOVES to play aliens w/his friends. I never ever considered this could be a problem. Possibly?
I don't see how this would not be a problem. I have never, ever heard of the subject of aliens being discussed by anyone including children in a Waldorf school or even Waldorf children outside of their Waldorf school (sleep-overs, camping trips, etc. - and I've been on lots). My ex, an Anthroposophist and Waldorf graduate and Waldorf teacher wouldn't even consider the possibility that they could exist.


Pete
post #24 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
Hi Aurora,


This, of course, is an interpretation by Waldorf teachers. It has to do with the presence of the demon of all things mechanical (and Waldorf has added electronic to this too) - Ahriman. Watching television is Ahrimanic and Steiner predicted the emergence of Ahriman in the 20th/21st century. It's really that simple.

Pete
C'mon, Pete.
When you don't know, it's not fair to make things up based on your prejudices.
The screen thing comes from 2 places:
1-The idea that child development mimics the phases of human development, and that children are not yet fully modern people (they will be in High School), and modern stuff does not suit them. It is clear, for instance, that, unless they have grown accustomed to it, children prefer traditional music played on acoustic instruments to rock and roll.
2-Steiner spoke about the gramaphone and the effect it had on the quality of music, and his comments have been applied to the current technology.

The gramaphone must have seemed like a potentially dangerous thing in the light of the possibility of it replacing live musi,c and families playing and singing together, which is, in fact, *much* less common than it once was.
post #25 of 114

Dinosaurs

The Steiner discussion about dinosaurs is an interesting tidbit, but I very strongly doubt it relates in any way to the question about why a teacher would suggest reducing a young child's dinosaur play. Steiner was answering a question about a paleontology lesson, not how or why young children should be discouraged from dinosaur play.

The child's fascination with dinosaurs baffles a lot of people, probably including Waldorf teachers. Dinosaurs have been dead millions of years, human beings weren't alive yet - they don't figure in the human cultural memory. I think many are skeptical that the fascination with dinosaurs is the product of some marketing scheme or something.

I don't recall the dinosaur being any kind of problem in my children's classes, but for a time they were consumed with playing robots. There are probably countless theories *where* these odd fascinations come from, but it is curious. Dinosaurs, cartoon characters, robots, aliens, lasers and cyber pets and other such take children's imaginations *away* from the world they live in. For a young child essentially still new to the world, why are cyber pets so much more fascinating than real ones? Or dead dinosaurs more fascinating than living wildlife?

I sure don't know the answer. I may be talking out of my hat here, because I really don't know why this teacher had concerns about the dinosaurs, but maybe it is like our son's teachers concern about the robots. The kids kind of got 'stuck' on them, for weeks, talking in mechanical robot style, filling their drawings with robots, stomping robot feet into dirt hills and things, so the teachers decided that the robot play had to be put away for awhile and the children were to play other things at school. Later, a similar thing happened when a new Star Wars episode was released. There were laser gun fights all over the playground (the images are so *everywhere* that children were influenced, even if they hadn't seen the movie), and the teacher made a rule they couldn't play Star Wars. Barney aside :-), dinosaurs are usually huge reptilian (we think) giants with dangerous claws and enormous sharp teeth, we imagine them roaring and squawking, and we tend to be very intrigued which ones are the terrifying predators like Godzilla. Maybe the teachers would like to see this kind of dinosaur play diminish?

I do think that if a teacher has an issue, they need to understand how to explain it.

Linda
post #26 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldorf teacher
C'mon, Pete.
When you don't know, it's not fair to make things up based on your prejudices.
That's not a very nice thing to say. I know what I know, sir, and it seems to be more than some Waldorf supporters would like parents to know. But to suggest that I am making up Ahriman, and that I am making up how Waldorf teachers feel about Ahrimanic influences on children is what I would call making things up. That you don't seem to know about this is puzzling. Are you fairly new to Waldorf teaching?
Quote:
The screen thing comes from 2 places:
1-The idea that child development mimics the phases of human development, and that children are not yet fully modern people (they will be in High School), and modern stuff does not suit them. It is clear, for instance, that, unless they have grown accustomed to it, children prefer traditional music played on acoustic instruments to rock and roll.
And you know this how? It's an "idea" as you have stated - not a fact by any means. And this wouldn't explain why modern things are shunned by Waldorf adults - modern science and medicine comes to mind. Shall I dig out Prokoffief's rant on how www is the equivalent of the 666 in the Bible - and how Ahriman's influence is upon us through the use of computers?
Quote:

2-Steiner spoke about the gramaphone and the effect it had on the quality of music, and his comments have been applied to the current technology.

The gramaphone must have seemed like a potentially dangerous thing in the light of the possibility of it replacing live musi,c and families playing and singing together, which is, in fact, *much* less common than it once was.
I'm not sure we would all agree with Steiner that the presence of recorded music has led to the downfall of society. Why so much fear of disclosing the religious/occult reasons behind Waldorf's ideas and methods? As a simple test, I'd be interested to see the source for the above information about Steiner and the gramaphone. Can you provide it so that we can all see if Ahriman is also part of the discussion?

Pete
post #27 of 114
Thread Starter 
The thing I wondered with the dinosaurs, is that the teacher described what he had as a "fixation" on dinosaurs. Why is fixation on gnomes and knights and fairies good, but fixation on dinosaurs bad? And as far as marketing goes, Waldorf markets certain toys too. I've noticed a whole lot of websites out there that sell Waldorf toys. I don't have a problem with it, but they *are* promoting material "things". I didn't want to bring this up with my friend because I didn't want to put her on the spot or make her defensive, it just left me with more questions than answers.
post #28 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
Barney aside :-), dinosaurs are usually huge reptilian (we think) giants with dangerous claws and enormous sharp teeth, we imagine them roaring and squawking, and we tend to be very intrigued which ones are the terrifying predators like Godzilla. Maybe the teachers would like to see this kind of dinosaur play diminish?
I'll bet the average 5 year old knows dinosaurs are not "usually huge reptilian giants with dangerous claws and enormous sharp teeth". Most dinosaurs were no bigger than the average dog. "Godzilla" was not like any of them BTW - despite Steiner's assertion that some breathed fire.

Accurate information about such things is so much more nourishing for children than preventing them from thinking about them.

Pete
post #29 of 114
My son was obessed with dragons. I think kids like dragons and dinosaurs and such because they are big and powerful unlike kids. They find them fascinating. My son was encouraged to play other things than dragon just as many of the girls were encouraged to expand their horizona when they became fixated on dogs.

Pete, a lot of modern research backs up the Waldorf beliefs on TV and screens not being good for young children. Personally, I don't care if the teacher believes they are protecting my children from Ahriman. I agree with them. TV, videos, movies and computers are not good for children while they are developing. When it is okay for these things to be introduced is a matter of debate. I only have to look at my own kids and see how they respond to these influences. They become bored and antsy. They are much more creative and able to keep themselves occupied when they haven't been exposed to screen media.

Also, I have to say I like the way Waldorf encourages you to see live music with your children, to play music together, to sing together. That is much more human interactiven than listening to recorded music all of the time. Also, if you aren't listening to music or the radio or the TV all the time, then there is time for silence or the songs of nature which is sadly lacking in our time.
post #30 of 114
Quote:
I'll bet the average 5 year old knows dinosaurs are not "usually huge reptilian giants with dangerous claws and enormous sharp teeth".
Maybe I'm confusing them with Calvin and Hobbs, but even in real life the T Rex seems to consistently trump its competition in children's popularity polls.

Quote:
Accurate information about such things is so much more nourishing for children that preventing them from thinking about them.
I doubt 'preventing them from thinking about them' is remotely possible. But in my own opinion, dinosaurs are a good example of the problem of teaching children with 'fixed ideas'. Our ideas about dinosaurs change constantly. There's even a lot of debate over what kind of creature T Rex really was. The "facts" we really know about dinosaurs aren't enough to captivate the imagination of the average five year old, imho. Even scientists are guilty of engaging in a lot of speculation about what they were really like. They can't even all agree if it was a predator.

I found this write-up of a book which explores our obsession with dinosaurs, the author calling it a "cultural manifestation of the collective unconscious", and seems to peg it to changing facets of 20th century American capitalism .

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...15134?v=glance

I think I'll look for it at the library.
post #31 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
My son was obessed with dragons. I think kids like dragons and dinosaurs and such because they are big and powerful unlike kids. They find them fascinating. My son was encouraged to play other things than dragon just as many of the girls were encouraged to expand their horizona when they became fixated on dogs.
Nothing intellectual about dragons - that's the difference. Ask a kid to draw a dragon and it could look like almost anything. Ask a kid to draw a Tyrannosaurus rex and he will draw one thing... ask them to draw a Stegosaurus and they will draw something completely different. Dragons are mythical, dinosaurs are real. Nourishing an interest in things mythical as opposed to nourishing an interest in things real is what we are really discussing here.

And we're also talking about nourishing an interest in things Waldorf-acceptable. Why would a kid want to be a paleoentologist when they could become a farmer? And, again, the whole idea of intellectual activity at a young age is something Waldorf finds problematic.
Quote:
Pete, a lot of modern research backs up the Waldorf beliefs on TV and screens not being good for young children.
Not the point - but yes I agree. Not to the point of never seeing ANY TV, but that too much TV is not good - yes modern research supports this - and I would agree with this even for adults.
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Personally, I don't care if the teacher believes they are protecting my children from Ahriman.
Why wouldn't you care about this?
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I agree with them. TV, videos, movies and computers are not good for children while they are developing.
At all? And why do you believe this?
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When it is okay for these things to be introduced is a matter of debate. I only have to look at my own kids and see how they respond to these influences. They become bored and antsy. They are much more creative and able to keep themselves occupied when they haven't been exposed to screen media.
That's, of course, your choice. Parents deciding on Waldorf should know that this is Waldorf's choice too and if they don't agree, there will be problems... and there will.
Quote:
Also, I have to say I like the way Waldorf encourages you to see live music with your children, to play music together, to sing together. That is much more human interactiven than listening to recorded music all of the time.
Great! That may be fine for your family.
Quote:
Also, if you aren't listening to music or the radio or the TV all the time, then there is time for silence or the songs of nature which is sadly lacking in our time.
So, then, assuming we don't all feel like you do, the answer to the OP's question might very well be Waldorf IS too "airy fairy" for some kids. Would you agree? Or do all kids have to do these things to develop properly? Should I feel bad that my kid watched an hour long documentary on dolphins with great interest? Should I be sure to turn off the TV before he watches another one about bees or elephants - or even dinosaurs?

Pete
post #32 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
Maybe I'm confusing them with Calvin and Hobbs, but even in real life the T Rex seems to consistently trump its competition in children's popularity polls.
Hmmm... How about "Danny and the Dinosaur" - probably one of the most popular children's books about - featuring a plant-eating Brontosaurus?

Quote:
The "facts" we really know about dinosaurs aren't enough to captivate the imagination of the average five year old, imho. Even scientists are guilty of engaging in a lot of speculation about what they were really like.
I don't know where you're getting your five-year-olds, but I'd say there are plenty of facts for anyone. Because every scientist in the world doesn't agree (big surprize) doesn't mean the many things we know about dinosaurs should not be taught to children - certainly these things shouldn't be hidden from them. And really, if kids in Waldorf are taught about gnomes, I think speculating that a fast moving (fact) dinosaur with 9" teeth (fact) didn't develop by chasing and eating plants wouldn't really do all that much in the way of confusing kids.

From an earlier post:
Quote:
Dinosaurs, cartoon characters, robots, aliens, lasers and cyber pets and other such take children's imaginations *away* from the world they live in.
Again, how about gnomes and dragons and fairys? This argument doesn't make much sense to me.

Quote:
Barney aside :-), dinosaurs are usually huge reptilian (we think) giants with dangerous claws and enormous sharp teeth, we imagine them roaring and squawking, and we tend to be very intrigued which ones are the terrifying predators like Godzilla. Maybe the teachers would like to see this kind of dinosaur play diminish?
Maybe kids playing at (from Grimms) pushing a wicked witch into an oven and burning her alive is more appropriate?

Pete
post #33 of 114
Thread Starter 
I didn't mean for this to turn into a big debate, I hope I'm not going to be seen as a trouble maker now (I've seen some of the other threads and realize there have been issues here with the various for and against posts). I just have so many questions since I'm not all that familiar with this style of learning and the school near us seems so great in so many ways, yet so completely unlike any school I've ever been to in others. I come from a standard public school background.

There are going to be issues with any school we send our kids to, imo. There are going to be things I like and dislike about ANY school. It is just a matter of finding the best fit. There are things I don't like about the school he is at now, as well, but overall I'm happy with it, I just feel that I owe it to my kids to find the BEST school for them, and I'm not 100% sure that where we're at now is the best fit for him.

The main thing I guess, for me, with Waldorf, is that it doesn't bother me if I don't agree with them on everything. I am fine with the dinosaur play, the vehicle play, the kids wanting to read earlier, some tv watching and video game playing, the live music as opposed to radio. I have heard the arguments and I just don't agree with the elimination of them. BUT it doesn't bother me if he could not do these things at school. I like all the wood toys and the fairy tales and the nature walks and music enrichment.

I think it's wonderful if they only include live music in thier curriculum. That's great. Dh and I don't play instruments though, so the idea of us all sitting around the fire with acustic guitars singing- well it just isn't going to happen:LOL We sing bedtime songs at night and that is the extent of our reperoie So my concern is, are they going to expect me to turn my home into a Waldorf environment? From some of these posts, from the parents who have kids currently in Waldorf school, it seems we'd not be expected to do that, and then from other posts, it seems that they do expect that. Maybe it just depends on the school, how strict they are. No amount of explaining of the "why" behind everything is going to make me purge our entire house of anything "unWaldorf" or discourage my child from doing things that *I* as a parent have no problem with at home.

It seems like friends I've had that have thier kids there, at first just said that the only thing they had to do is not have their kids watch tv/video/computer on weekdays then come to find out this thing with the dinosaurs. Small thing, but how many other little things are there that the school is going to encourage parents to steer their kids away from in their own home? Is there a list somewhere?:LOL Someone mentioned something about books in the home being possibly discouraged too and that won't happen in my home either. I just want to know what I'd be getting myself into before we signed up, you know?

And I don't mean to sound negative about it. It's just that I already know what I LIKE about the program, I'm just trying to anticipate what I might not like. I know how I am, and I won't like people at the school constantly suggesting what to do/not do with my kids in my own home. Does that make sense? That I like the way the classrooms look and the types of things they do with the kids, BUT that I am not prepared to turn our whole lives into some sort of replication of that?
post #34 of 114
Quote:
I don't know where you're getting your five-year-olds
The usual way

Quote:
I think speculating that a fast moving (fact) dinosaur with 9" teeth (fact) didn't develop by chasing and eating plants wouldn't really do all that much in the way of confusing kids.
I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself well, but I think I did confuse you. Actually, scientists have argued lately that T Rex was not fast moving......there was an article about this in Nature magazine a few years ago, and the scientific research and analysis behind it (focusing on the muscular capacity of land animals with considerable mass) was very well received in the scientific community. I haven't heard that there's much argument that it ate plants, but there is much current speculation that it was a carrion eater, not a predator.

I guess this is getting far afield from the main question, sorry.
post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself well, but I think I did confuse you. Actually, scientists have argued lately that T Rex was not fast moving......there was an article about this in Nature magazine a few years ago, and the scientific research and analysis behind it (focusing on the muscular capacity of land animals with considerable mass) was very well received in the scientific community. I haven't heard that there's much argument that it ate plants, but there is much current speculation that it was a carrion eater, not a predator.
Movement speed is determined by the length of the stride relative to the size of the dinosaur. But getting back to a point that seems to have gotten lost here, even if we concluded everything we claim to know about them is possibly wrong - I'll even say - even if we conclude they are completely mythical creatures that never existed, how is learning about dinosaurs (something kids are extremely and very naturally interested in) any more harmful than learning about gnomes and fairies which we all know are mythical? How is learning about something that is "dead" worse than learning about (and drawing, and sewing, and knitting) gnomes that never existed?

Pete
post #36 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsgotmilk4two
I didn't mean for this to turn into a big debate, I hope I'm not going to be seen as a trouble maker now (I've seen some of the other threads and realize there have been issues here with the various for and against posts). I just have so many questions since I'm not all that familiar with this style of learning and the school near us seems so great in so many ways, yet so completely unlike any school I've ever been to in others. I come from a standard public school background.

There are going to be issues with any school we send our kids to, imo. There are going to be things I like and dislike about ANY school. It is just a matter of finding the best fit. There are things I don't like about the school he is at now, as well, but overall I'm happy with it, I just feel that I owe it to my kids to find the BEST school for them, and I'm not 100% sure that where we're at now is the best fit for him.

The main thing I guess, for me, with Waldorf, is that it doesn't bother me if I don't agree with them on everything. I am fine with the dinosaur play, the vehicle play, the kids wanting to read earlier, some tv watching and video game playing, the live music as opposed to radio. I have heard the arguments and I just don't agree with the elimination of them. BUT it doesn't bother me if he could not do these things at school. I like all the wood toys and the fairy tales and the nature walks and music enrichment.

I think it's wonderful if they only include live music in thier curriculum. That's great. Dh and I don't play instruments though, so the idea of us all sitting around the fire with acustic guitars singing- well it just isn't going to happen:LOL We sing bedtime songs at night and that is the extent of our reperoie So my concern is, are they going to expect me to turn my home into a Waldorf environment? From some of these posts, from the parents who have kids currently in Waldorf school, it seems we'd not be expected to do that, and then from other posts, it seems that they do expect that. Maybe it just depends on the school, how strict they are. No amount of explaining of the "why" behind everything is going to make me purge our entire house of anything "unWaldorf" or discourage my child from doing things that *I* as a parent have no problem with at home.

It seems like friends I've had that have thier kids there, at first just said that the only thing they had to do is not have their kids watch tv/video/computer on weekdays then come to find out this thing with the dinosaurs. Small thing, but how many other little things are there that the school is going to encourage parents to steer their kids away from in their own home? Is there a list somewhere?:LOL Someone mentioned something about books in the home being possibly discouraged too and that won't happen in my home either. I just want to know what I'd be getting myself into before we signed up, you know?

And I don't mean to sound negative about it. It's just that I already know what I LIKE about the program, I'm just trying to anticipate what I might not like. I know how I am, and I won't like people at the school constantly suggesting what to do/not do with my kids in my own home. Does that make sense? That I like the way the classrooms look and the types of things they do with the kids, BUT that I am not prepared to turn our whole lives into some sort of replication of that?
Don't worry, Mom...you're not a troublemaker; you just have 1 or 2 near you
You're going to have to follow your heart on the Waldorf thing.
If you are meant to be there, you will be.
Waldorf is not just for people who 'follow the rules'. A healthy Waldorf school (and class) is one that understands its dedication to community, and everybody helps everybody else along on the journey.
There may be some who disapprove of things you do, but you may also disapprove of things that others do.
The real challenge is to cultivate love and TRUST so we can all help each other.
If you find yourself in an environment where you feel safe to say, "I really struggle with this; my kids are doing so-and-so, and I really don't see the problem", or "maybe someone else who is struggling with this can help me understand this," you're in the right place.
And maybe you can help someone who says something like, "my kids are so hooked on junk food, and I notice that your kids are eating such healthful food--how did you do that?"
To me, it is this kind of trust and understanding that is lacking, not just in Waldorf schools, but everywhere.
post #37 of 114
Okay okay, so until we build a time machine and travel back to find some definitive answers this is all an academic (intellectual) discussion.

I want to send my kids to Waldorf to learn how to learn. I really don't give a good goshdarn if they're studying fairies or dragons or alien spaceships as long as they're learning to pursue (research) their interest and learn to discern fact from fiction and apply it to their world at large. I am beginning to wonder, though, if censorship really does come into play. Maybe just at the purist schools? Sure, I think it'd be inappropriate for my kinder to wear a F* Bush (other thread here ) to school but I absolutely encourage him to learn about everything in his environment (natural & artificial) and to question question question.... I'm sure not going to censor him at home and I won't teach him to lie if it comes up at recess or sharing time at school.

I don't know. The censorship of ideas & exposure never ocurred to me before. Again, maybe this varies school to school. I'll have to do some more exploring.

Okay, case in point, my 4 y.o. is about to go watch Osmosis Jones for his "sick movie." Would I have to tell him he can't talk about that at school?
post #38 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy
Okay, case in point, my 4 y.o. is about to go watch Osmosis Jones for his "sick movie." Would I have to tell him he can't talk about that at school?
As a Waldorf teacher, I definitely think that 4-year-olds shouldn't be seeing movies.
The ill effects of seeing a movie, though, are miniscule compared to the idea of asking a child to lie, omit or be otherwise deceitful.
post #39 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsgotmilk4two
I didn't mean for this to turn into a big debate, I hope I'm not going to be seen as a trouble maker now (I've seen some of the other threads and realize there have been issues here with the various for and against posts). I just have so many questions since I'm not all that familiar with this style of learning and the school near us seems so great in so many ways, yet so completely unlike any school I've ever been to in others. I come from a standard public school background.
I agree with Waldorf teacher - you are not sparking the debate here - there are some that are determined to debate everthing to death (literally). Your question was simple "Is Waldorf too "airy fairy" for some kids? The answer is equally simple - YES Waldorf is too airy fairy for some kids. Now if the question was "Is Waldorf too "airy fairy" for MY kid?" then I suppose some reasonable debate would have to ensue. But you are really the only one who can determine that for yourself.
Quote:
There are going to be issues with any school we send our kids to, imo. There are going to be things I like and dislike about ANY school. It is just a matter of finding the best fit. There are things I don't like about the school he is at now, as well, but overall I'm happy with it, I just feel that I owe it to my kids to find the BEST school for them, and I'm not 100% sure that where we're at now is the best fit for him.
I'd say, look at your son, look at your family and look at the school you are considering. See if you can see your family in that school. It's never best to contort a family into a lifestyle they resent or are not comfortable with (IMO). I'm an engineer, and I know that when I try to bend something out of it's own shape, stresses occur and there is always tension to return to its original shape - the shape it was intended to be. It's one thing when we are talking about a piece of metal, something else when we are talking about a child or a family.
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The main thing I guess, for me, with Waldorf, is that it doesn't bother me if I don't agree with them on everything. I am fine with the dinosaur play, the vehicle play, the kids wanting to read earlier, some tv watching and video game playing, the live music as opposed to radio. I have heard the arguments and I just don't agree with the elimination of them. BUT it doesn't bother me if he could not do these things at school. I like all the wood toys and the fairy tales and the nature walks and music enrichment.
Yes, Waldorf schools certainly have a nice feel to them - no denying this.
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I think it's wonderful if they only include live music in thier curriculum. That's great. Dh and I don't play instruments though, so the idea of us all sitting around the fire with acustic guitars singing- well it just isn't going to happen:LOL We sing bedtime songs at night and that is the extent of our reperoie So my concern is, are they going to expect me to turn my home into a Waldorf environment?
Every school is different, of course. I don't think anyone will tell you that you need to take guitar lessons, but you may wonder why the dessert was confiscated from your child's lunch before he could eat it. Some schools take this stuff too far, some are more lenient. It will depend on the school you have chosen. I know a few of the California schools - some are more lenient than others.
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From some of these posts, from the parents who have kids currently in Waldorf school, it seems we'd not be expected to do that, and then from other posts, it seems that they do expect that.
I've got 3 kids in Waldorf - the oldest is a senior in high school and has been in Waldorf since he was 3. At my particular school, there are expectations and some teachers and administrators want to stick their noses into things that are downright none of their business. I've told them to go fly a kite about some things (one year I bought each of my kids an electric guitar for Christmas - Ooohhh what a terrible Dad I am). I'm sorry if this sounds critical, but it is, I think, the type of information you are asking about.
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Maybe it just depends on the school, how strict they are.
Yes, you are right about this.
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No amount of explaining of the "why" behind everything is going to make me purge our entire house of anything "unWaldorf" or discourage my child from doing things that *I* as a parent have no problem with at home.
Sometimes, it's just not your choice. Waldorf schools have expelled children whose families insisted the children may watch TV. They want to create a community in which the children are all compliant - they don't want one child bringing in play or characters that they learned from TV.
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It seems like friends I've had that have thier kids there, at first just said that the only thing they had to do is not have their kids watch tv/video/computer on weekdays then come to find out this thing with the dinosaurs. Small thing, but how many other little things are there that the school is going to encourage parents to steer their kids away from in their own home?
Well, I can think of a few. Diet is important to them for sure so nothing sugary in lunches or before school. They have issues with vaccinations too. Out of school activities may be discouraged at young ages - especially soccer and martial arts classes. I don't know about how you feel about gun play for kids but gun play is not allowed - sword play is allowed however. So, if your child has a birthday party and wants to play laser tag or paint-balls, not too many kids from his class will show up.

There are lots of other things I can think of, but I see that this has become what some people will call a critical post and really I'm only trying to give you the information you are looking for. If you want to PM me for more, I'd be happy to provide you with more info.

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Is there a list somewhere?:LOL Someone mentioned something about books in the home being possibly discouraged too and that won't happen in my home either. I just want to know what I'd be getting myself into before we signed up, you know?
Books - as in you reading to your son - will not be discouraged - in fact they will be encouraged. Books for your son to read on his own (I'm assuming he's kindergarten) most likely will be discouraged. Books like coloring books will most likely be discouraged.

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And I don't mean to sound negative about it. It's just that I already know what I LIKE about the program, I'm just trying to anticipate what I might not like. I know how I am, and I won't like people at the school constantly suggesting what to do/not do with my kids in my own home. Does that make sense?
Boy, it sure makes sense to me. And I feel you have a very valid reason to be concerned.
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That I like the way the classrooms look and the types of things they do with the kids, BUT that I am not prepared to turn our whole lives into some sort of replication of that?
There are certainly some who do - I know we did. While it is not a requirement, it certainly IS an expectation with some people. So when you consider having play dates or sleep-overs and expect to have someone elses kid watching TV with your son during the weekend, you may be in for a surprize.

Again, apologies if this sounds critical... I'm telling it the way it is - and I would know about this at least as well as anyone here.

Pete
post #40 of 114
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by waldorf teacher
As a Waldorf teacher, I definitely think that 4-year-olds shouldn't be seeing movies.
The ill effects of seeing a movie, though, are miniscule compared to the idea of asking a child to lie, omit or be otherwise deceitful.
What would you do if despite you giving your opinion that children should not be seeing movies, a parent of one of your students decided to show them anyway? Or does your school just strictly forbid this so that it wouldn't be an issue?
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