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post #41 of 109
When I researched Waldorf, I also found the site and at first was highly concerned.

I thought, "Why would someone want to dedicate hours and hours of their life to promoting negativity? If they didn't like Waldorf, why didn't they just walk away to something else and move on to building a positive alternative?" It made me think of the people I know who live their lives that way - grinding axes.

In the end, I compared those angry web posts with the very magical experience I had with our local Waldorf playgroup...and well, I moved on to something positive - Waldorf education.

Each family has to decide things for themselves. I would say to read it, but visit whatever school you are considering and make your decisions based on your experiences there - or homeschool and make the experience you want. I hope you find the right ed solution for your family.

Linda, I went through an experience locally where someone sent a 5-word post to the e-group asking where the Waldorf hiking group met -- and she got back a very long post slamming Waldorf and Steiner and none of it was true - I mean they went so far as to say Steiner was non-Christian. So I wrote back, and included links to Steiner's six books on Christ to read for themselves, plus his many ed offerings, but of course they refused to post it.

Some people don't like anything that is close to their own view, but not quite the same. Steiner just doesn't fit into everyone's nice little categories and that can be disconcerting to some.

Needless to say, I don't belong to the local e-group nor do any of the local holistic homeschoolers.

Lucie
home with a very sick bunch of kids today - and not very Waldorfy, we watched a movie! I think we'll live. Still, I love what my family has gained from Waldorf ed., including the minimization of media and natural, delayed academics
post #42 of 109
I'm not sure how the the Waldorf critics would qualify to be described as "well organized".

PLANS, the only official Waldorf critics organization I'm aware of, is actually a pretty small number of people who were motivated to incorporate so they could seek funds to litigate against the incorporation of Waldorf methods in the public school system. When the 7 1/2 year case finally made it to trial, the case was over in 30 minutes. Verdict--against PLANS. They couldn't even produce a single viable witness.

There are a total of twelve advisors and directors who represent the organization. Only three of them have any direct experience in Waldorf school, and a fourth worked for a short time in a public school that had just adopted Waldorf methods. That particular school, btw, wasn't even targeted in PLANS lawsuit.

Linda
post #43 of 109
Interesting! They look more organized than they actually are, in other words.
post #44 of 109
Lucie

My dearest, dearest friend is convinced Waldorf is demonic, but she's tactiful not to harangue me over it.

My sense is that she was told this in her church, that's why she's convinced. She asks me questions like, "Is it true that the kids talk to fairies?" I'm not religious at all, so my trying to explain it to her carries no weight with her anyway. So whaddayagonnado? Live and let live, I say. She's a good person, she's not a witch hunter. She just has a different idea about things, and is trying in her own way to sort life out.

Linda
post #45 of 109
linda
I just want to let you know that I appreciate your posts. You always seem to make so much sense to me!!
: to you
Thanks
post #46 of 109
Thank you so much! That really buoys me on a day I really need it. You're so sweet, and thank you
post #47 of 109
Hey Linda, I think you make a lot of sense too! And thanks for taking up the "French Connection" stuff. I had a very, very long day at the library yesterday and didn't have any time to post. Wednesday is always my busiest day (story hour, for one thing) and then I had 8 interlibrary loan requests (or more, I lost count) and an author reading and speaking in the evening. I got home a little after 9:30.

But I love being a librarian and a waldorf grandma.

Deborah
post #48 of 109
I'm still busy trying to read those sites posted by cmlp. My latest attempt at deciphering Babelfish translations was this site...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp
Here is a Swiss site on sects:
http://www.akdh.ch/ps/ps_report.html
By the way, this is not a site focused on sects. AKDH = Aktion Kinder des Holocaust, a group combating anti-semitism, racism and political extremists. They are concerned about some of Steiner's teachings about the races and how they might find their way into a Waldorf classroom.

I think this is a valid concern and another reason to really check out the school you are considering. I personally have never met a Waldorf teacher or teacher trainee whom I would consider racist or anti-semitic. However, I did hear a couple bizarre, euro-centric statements from anthroposophists during my year of Waldorf teacher training that made me believe that, just as in the community at large, that element does exist within the Waldorf/anthroposophical community.

On a lighter note...when using Babelfish to translate a German website, Waldorf translates as "whale village". It took me a while to figure out why all the parents quoted in the articles were from whale villages. Oh where, oh where, has my pre-childbirth brain gone? Oh where, oh where can it be?
post #49 of 109
"Whale village"????
post #50 of 109
While I pride myself on researching things properly and tyring to make the best decisions for my dc's, I regret that I read waldorf critics website long before ever being involved in a waldorf school. It made me very cynical and untrusting of the whole thing. I did do more research and ended up stumbling into our local steiner school for my son and he has been there for 2 years. I have continued to be quite cynical about it and consider it the "lesser of 2 evils". However now that we're about to move and leave that school behind and are now looking at other schooling options I feel like I really missed an opportunity here to learn from this school and can see how wonderful it's been for my ds and many of the other children here. ironically now aftre having slammed steiner quite a bit to my friends and passing on some of the cynicism form the waldorf critics website, I am now the one looking at waldorf homeschool curriculums and wondering how we could find $11,000 a yr for kindergarten! You just have to try things out to see how they fit with your child, and go with your gut. Even despite all the negative stuff I read some part of me always felt sort of at home with waldorf, and now that ds is older I understand why much much better.
post #51 of 109
Muse, your signature says it all. Wisdom sometimes comes after the fact. All of us are learning. This could be said for any schooling approach. One size does not fit all, whether that is for or against something.
post #52 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by muse
While I pride myself on researching things properly and tyring to make the best decisions for my dc's, I regret that I read waldorf critics website long before ever being involved in a waldorf school. It made me very cynical and untrusting of the whole thing. I did do more research and ended up stumbling into our local steiner school for my son and he has been there for 2 years. I have continued to be quite cynical about it and consider it the "lesser of 2 evils". However now that we're about to move and leave that school behind and are now looking at other schooling options I feel like I really missed an opportunity here to learn from this school and can see how wonderful it's been for my ds and many of the other children here. ironically now aftre having slammed steiner quite a bit to my friends and passing on some of the cynicism form the waldorf critics website, I am now the one looking at waldorf homeschool curriculums and wondering how we could find $11,000 a yr for kindergarten! You just have to try things out to see how they fit with your child, and go with your gut. Even despite all the negative stuff I read some part of me always felt sort of at home with waldorf, and now that ds is older I understand why much much better.
Deborah
post #53 of 109
Muse, good luck in your search!

I'm glad it has been such good experience overall in your son's school. It's probably scary to have to make these tough decisions again finding the best fit available in your new community. I hope it all goes smoothly for you!

post #54 of 109
Double post ! Sorry
post #55 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
Muse, good luck in your search!

I'm glad it has been such good experience overall in your son's school. It's probably scary to have to make these tough decisions again finding the best fit available in your new community. I hope it all goes smoothly for you!

Thanks! This is his last week at his Steiner school I put the idea to him yesterday of homeschooling and he was very positive, but would like to go to school "only every tuesday" We'll see...I'm getting quite excited about the waldorf homeschool curriculum, especially as it means he and his sister can be learning together.
post #56 of 109
The most striking thing to me about Waldorf education is that, regardless of all of the concerns and criticisms, when I've spoken to students in the twelfth grade (around 18 years old) who have gone through the Waldorf education since Kindergarten, they are self-assured, well-spoken, confident individuals. The most striking things about them are their boldness in speaking with adults and their indivuality. Even with my own misgivings, I can't see how a narrowminded, cult-like environment could produce such incredible young adults.

I am not arguing details as I have had my own apprehensions but I have been very impacted by seeing how these kids end up.
post #57 of 109
Hi,

Well, Mijumom, I would add that you are speaking to the ones who, in the end, "fit in" and were allowed to stay in a Waldorf school, and thus graduated.

Maybe people should also speak to those who have been kicked out, and those who have chosen to leave. Then the full picture arises.

Everyone,

Are we scared as a whole to look at the big picture? We continue to debate, give witticisms (sp?), and even occasionally argue about Reality in the Waldorf world.

No amount of words between people can change the reality of what is going on in Waldorf as a whole. For an educational pedagogy that claims to support the "whole child", it is important to view our "whole reality".

We should discuss this matter in the manner we choose to rear our children. Are we setting the kind of example here we would like for our children to emulate? for the world at large? especially in today's climate?

Only through honesty and calm, peaceful discussion, exuding personal humility, can we heal the Waldorf movement.

It has so much potential!
post #58 of 109
Beansavi- I'm trying to figure this out. My kids are happy and growing beautifully at a Waldorf school. I still have some qualms with it but in "reality" I have major issues with every school we've been to and the doctrine of the public schools can be really scary. What "reality" should I base our choices on? What I see my kids living and other kids or your accounts? Have you ever seen what happens to kids in public schools that don't fit in? Or, kids that don't read early enough etc.? Where are we better off if we care about what our kids are exposed to and the food they eat and the way in which they are treated?

I appreciate your presence and your sharing of your experiences. As a result of your honesty and others, I am extra vigilent about looking out for signs and evidence of potential issues and we have not yet commited to going throught the grades.

All of that said, the kids that I saw, for whom the school was "right" for were exceptional.

This is very hard for many people who love the idea of Waldorf but are trying to determine if we can reconcile the potential downside. Any info. helps and I was just sharing what I perceived.

Peace.
post #59 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
Well, Mijumom, I would add that you are speaking to the ones who, in the end, "fit in" and were allowed to stay in a Waldorf school, and thus graduated.

Maybe people should also speak to those who have been kicked out, and those who have chosen to leave. Then the full picture arises.
True. There are both of those groups. I remember one lovely young woman who felt pretty wounded and angry about the way her dyslexia issues and needs were handled by a Waldorf school, and how grateful and supported she felt about a PUBLIC school in the way they took her in, embraced her, and fully supported her needs. At that point, she also began to see a lot of other things that she liked much better in her new school. Public schools are not all bad. And, meanwhile, there were classmates of hers who did absolutely fine with the Waldorf school - and I think those are kids who would do well anywhere but fit especially well there.

You make very good points - beautifully said - there is a better potential than what's being fully realized, and it's only by being freely open to discussion that the big picture can be viewed. - Lillian
post #60 of 109
Beansavi

The Waldorf movement isn't "sick". It is thriving. Every Waldorf school in this country has been initiated by highly motivated families. It isn't perfect. It is growing too fast in some ways. There aren't enough resources, especially good teachers, to meet this demand, and that's a symptom of too much success, not too little. Considering that every school in the US is a grass roots organization, built from the ground up by committed parents, and that each new school is pretty much peer mentored by faculty from other schools as it goes through its 'apprentice' phase, even a single school is a fantastic achievement. This is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking, starting a school like this. The fact that there continues to be so many new ones is a sign of their success.

Waldorf has so much potential--it is meeting that potential. But that isn't a guarantee for every individual, or that each and every school in Waldorf is meeting that potential. These are independent schools--and they have very different individuals making the decisions inside them. People can be ridiculous to one another, they can be pigheaded, bullying, defensive, incompetent, dogmatic or deceitful. They can be mistaken, and they can take actions which are mistakes. They can be cowards. A glance at other education boards here will prove that people like this can be found in public and other private schools too. In my children's classes are many, many students who came to the school after suffering crud from people in other public or private schools.

In Waldorf, teachers within a school govern themselves, democratically. So they assume the *full* responsibility for their decisions. This isn't something manageable by any "movement". There aren't any decision makers except the faculty members in a school. I happen to value this myself--I like the idea that teachers in each school have both the power and the duty to exercise it wisely.
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