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post #81 of 109
Dear "CLMP,"

After reading your post, I can only assume that you aren't very familiar with the teaching of reading/pre-reading in Waldorf education. I would like to talk about this in a separate thread...so, bee-bop on over to the one I'm about to call "Waldorf and Reading"

Lucie
(who believes strongly in signing posts - it's sort of like taking responsibility for your words)

Edited to fix typo
post #82 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderactivist
Dear "CLMP,"

After reading your post, I can only assume that you aren't very familiar with the teaching of reading/pre-reading in Waldorf education. I would like to talk about this in a separate thread...so, bee-bop on over to the one I'm about to call "Waldorf and Reading"
Er, you are going to have to provide a link to this thread if you want me to read it. Going through the entire Waldorf subfile to find it myself will take a bit of time.

I have read a LOT on Waldorf and I have talked to parents who have sent their children there. While Steiner schools typically will at least begin teaching the writing of letters at age 6, the reading (and even the learning of the sounds associated with the letters that the children have been learning to write) begins in grade 2. That's one year (at least) behind the vast majority of Western countries.

Here is a typical explanation regarding reading in Waldorf schools:

From: http://www.steiner-australia.org/other/Wald_faq.html

Quote:
How is reading taught in a Waldorf school? Why do Waldorf students wait until 2nd grade to begin learning to read?.

Waldorf education is deeply bound up with the oral tradition, typically beginning with the teacher telling the children fairy tales throughout kindergarten and first grade. The oral approach is used all through Waldorf education: mastery of oral communication is seen as being integral to all learning.

Reading instruction, as such, is deferred. Instead, writing is taught first. During the first grade the children explore how our alphabet came about, discovering, as the ancients did, how each letter's form evolved out of a pictograph. Writing thus evolves out of the children's art, and their ability to read likewise evolves as a natural and, indeed, comparatively effortless stage of their mastery of language.
From: http://www.rudolfsteinerschool.org/grades123.htm

CMLP (who believes that initials are just as good as the first name, thank you very much)
post #83 of 109
Dear CMLP,

It's right at the top of the Waldorf room for now...and I totally agree with this part of your RSS quote:

"Writing thus evolves out of the children's art, and their ability to read likewise evolves as a natural and, indeed, comparatively effortless stage of their mastery of language."

That is totally my experience with this. I watch so many friends who started drilling reading skills at four then struggle with a child who either is disinterested in reading or unable to comprehend well enough to take on interesting literature...but then that's why I think we should do a separate thread just on reading.

Regards,

Lucie Smoker
post #84 of 109
On the growth of the waldorf movement: When I was attending a waldorf school in 1964 there were 8 (eight!) waldorf schools in North America.

Deborah
post #85 of 109
Well I was not going to get involved in but since I am being quoted ([QUOTE=cmlp]I think the only other issue with Waldorf, apart from what you mention above, is the slow/different academic pace. I think there were one or two posts in the other thread about this (I think 'jalilah' was one of the posters?). QUOTE]) I feel I should.

I have issues with Waldorf but not the same ones as PLANS. It has been over a year now that we left Waldorf.I left on good terms with the school thinking it was still a good system but not for my son. A year has passed and I have gone over allot of what happened in my mind and am now less enthusiastic about Waldorf than before although I still think it can be good for some children
Boongirl I already gave you an answer before so why are you saying Bensavi is the only one with negative experiences? I am pasting parts of what I said to save time: This was last November:
<Boongirl <So, this all brings me to some more questions for those who are critical of WaldorfLet me first say that I am asking respectfully.
Just curious because religious beliefs could explain a lot about why some have strong negative opinions of Waldorf and some do not.>

Hi Boongirl!
Although I have said in many posts that there is allot I like about Waldorf education, I could not in all honesty say that I can recommend it without allot of reservations. This is because of what I experienced when my son was in Waldorf schools for 3 and ½ years. So in answer to your questions:

<1. How has your own Christian or other religious views affected your opinions of Waldorf?>

I was initially drawn to Waldorf because I liked what I knew about anthroposophy.
I was raised Catholic. After rejecting Catholicism for years I have made peace with it. I also have done Yoga for years so I am open to allot yogi ideas such as the idea of reincarnation. I believe there are truths in many religions. For that reason I felt comfortable with allot of Steiner’s ideas.

<2. Is your negative experience with Waldorf related to your religion?>

In no way. I knew about anthroposophy years before I enrolled my son in a Waldorf school.

<3. Do you believe that Waldorf is a cult or that anthroposophy is an occult religion?>

No to both of those. It is not a cult although some of the members some times act like they are in a cult in that they take Anthroposophy for an absolute truth. Whether it is Occult or not depends on where you are coming from. A born again Christian might say Anthroposophy is Occult. For me I agree with those who call it "esoteric Christianity".

My reservations with Waldorf education are only indirectly related to Anthroposophy in that I feel the Waldorf teachers should have more training than just the works of Rudolf Steiner. I think Steiner was very enlightened for his time and he had many good ideas, but like allot of clairvoyant people, he was on some of the time but certainly not all of the time. I think Waldorf teachers should study about other forms of education as well as other types of child development theories. They absolutely, positively should up date themselves about things that were not around in Steiner's time(or where but not identified yet) like ADD, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Dyslexia,Dyspraxia, and just in general learn more about different learning variations instead of just saying a child is "not incarnating properly in their bodies” every time there is a problem.

The other reason I and allot of the parents I knew pulled their children out of The Waldorf schools that my son was in is all the unsupervised free play. There was just too much bullying, hitting, and bad behaviour going on with not enough intervention. I might have thought this was just the schools my son was in (in different parts of the country because we moved) but I read the” Bullying in Waldorf schools” thread and there was allot there that sounded very familiar to me. I think if you read that tread it puts in a nutshell many of the things I don’t like about Waldorf Ed. I especially was touched about all the times I read about children being considered "a problem" in Waldorf schools and then excelling once they changed schools. My son is also now one of those children.>

Rhonwyn, I feel rather hurt that you imply that only children "with severe behaviour issues or serious disabilities" don't do well in Waldorf.
My son had motor and coordination delays from sensory issues. His drawings and pencil grip were behind for his age. That and the fact that he did not follow instructions led the teachers to think he was too immature to stay in first grade. As I have written about before (and will not again) the move back to Kindergarten was a disaster and he became even more unruyly. Now I know he was angry and bored. In fact he was developing severe behaviour problems from being in Waldorf School. Once he was out he had no problems following instructions from his new teachers. My son IS NOT special needs. He just found it difficult to focus in the Waldorf classroom, as there was too much sensory stimulation for him as well as the fact it was not engaging. The teachers at Waldorf implied that he needed to go to a waldorf special needs school, but since we left no one else has said that and he has learned to read and do math in a short time. I have since heard of allot of children who don't do well in Waldorf. My son's best friend also left as well as many many others in the time we were there.
Why do we get upset?becasue it is concerning our children!
post #86 of 109
On waldorf and children with learning challenges--

there is an organization in the U.S. that focuses on such problems and provides an excellent training for teachers and specialists. I've posted the info before. I'd suggest that anyone who's waldorf school is falling short in this area push this organization to the school administration/teachers. They also publish a newsletter and books. Unfortunately, they do not have much in the way of an online presence, but they do excellent work. I wish more waldorf schools would invest in sending at least one staff member to their training program (which now includes a master's program).

Association for a Healing Education
Main Phone Number (248) 356-5003
Country USA
Street Address 24228 EDGEMONT ST
City SOUTHFIELD
State / Province MI
Postal Code 48034

Email Address mjoresti@aol.com
Purpose Education Children Remedial Special Needs

Deborah
post #87 of 109
Jalilah made a lot of good points that have been true for me and/or close friends and acquaintances.

And as for children with learning disabilities being the main ones not fitting in, I know for sure that isn't true. One example to the contrary was a bright and capable student whose mom had her in two different Waldorf schools between kindergarten and 7th grade. She hated not being able to do her own artwork instead of always having to copy the teacher's. She was frustrated to come to school and find that her handwork had been taken apart and redone (by a circle of volunteer handwork parents) to take the imperfections out. She was bored daily with what she felt was mindless copying of the teachers' writing from the blackboard into her lesson books. She was frustrated at not being able to use the compass and protractor to experiment with geometrical shapes - being able to make only the lines the teacher dictated. She longed for more intellectual stimulation and creative opportunities. After the last personality clash with a teacher, she demanded that she be allowed to go to public school. Her mom gave up and let her go, and she was thrilled - she actively appreciated the intellectual stimulation and artistic freedom she found there. She went on to excell in public high school and college.

And it's true that there are also children who do very well with Waldorf schools and have none of those complaints! But I think those who are doing really well there could be instrumental in helping resolve some of the other very real problems that do come up over and over again - if only they could listen to and trust those who are going through them instead of turning their backs in order to discourage people from making waves. A friend of mine bumped into a mom the year after we were there, and was told in a dreamy tone, "Oh, it's so nice now that the people who didn't really want to be there are gone..."

- Lillian
post #88 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
Jalilah made a lot of good points that have been true for me and/or close friends and acquaintances.

And as for children with learning disabilities being the main ones not fitting in, I know for sure that isn't true. One example to the contrary was a bright and capable student whose mom had her in two different Waldorf schools between kindergarten and 7th grade. She hated not being able to do her own artwork instead of always having to copy the teacher's. She was frustrated to come to school and find that her handwork had been taken apart and redone (by a circle of volunteer handwork parents) to take the imperfections out. She was bored daily with what she felt was mindless copying of the teachers' writing from the blackboard into her lesson books. She was frustrated at not being able to use the compass and protractor to experiment with geometrical shapes - being able to make only the lines the teacher dictated. She longed for more intellectual stimulation and creative opportunities. After the last personality clash with a teacher, she demanded that she be allowed to go to public school. Her mom gave up and let her go, and she was thrilled - she actively appreciated the intellectual stimulation and artistic freedom she found there. She went on to excell in public high school and college.

And it's true that there are also children who do very well with Waldorf schools and have none of those complaints! But I think those who are doing really well there could be instrumental in helping resolve some of the other very real problems that do come up over and over again - if only they could listen to and trust those who are going through them instead of turning their backs in order to discourage people from making waves. A friend of mine bumped into a mom the year after we were there, and was told in a dreamy tone, "Oh, it's so nice now that the people who didn't really want to be there are gone..."

- Lillian
Hi Lillian,

No, the difficulty I have is that none of what you are describing actually matches up with my experience of waldorf education.

I'll take it bit by bit.
Artwork. My daughter has stacks of notebooks filled with her original artwork. Certainly she spent time copying pictures off the blackboard and if that had been everything, she would have been bored. But it wasn't.

Handwork. No, her handwork was never taken apart and redone.

Copying into main lesson books. No, although there was some copying in the early grades, the older she got, the less there was. She was expected to write a fair bit of her own material by the time she was in 5th grade and it continued expanding on through high school. She was better prepared to do original research and writing in college than most of her peers who attended public schools.

Geometry. Yep, kids are expected to learn how to reproduce the forms that the teacher is producing. However, there is nothing to stop them taking the equipment home and experimenting. Further, once you've got the skills and the concepts you can do anything you damn well want.

So, my daughter doesn't want to revise waldorf schools because the two she attended were great. I'm sorry the one you are talking about was not great (to put it mildly). The one I worked at in Chicago was pretty good, too, so I didn't feel any particular urge to give it an overhaul in the pedagogical realm.

How about this. I acknowledge that there are some waldorf schools out there that are doing a bad job, if you acknowledge the possibility that there are some waldorf schools in the world that are doing a good job.

And yes, my daughter did go on to excel in college. She has excelled in her various professional and volunteer undertakings. Hey, her marriage seems to be working. Her kids are super (but I am their doting grandma, so you can discount that). She liked waldorf so much that she is putting her kids into the local waldorf school. SHE WOULDN'T HAVE LIKED IT IF IT WAS ANYTHING LIKE WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING. NOT ALL WALDORF SCHOOLS ARE LIKE THAT!!!!!!

end rant

Deborah
post #89 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J

And it's true that there are also children who do very well with Waldorf schools and have none of those complaints! But I think those who are doing really well there could be instrumental in helping resolve some of the other very real problems that do come up over and over again - if only they could listen to and trust those who are going through them instead of turning their backs in order to discourage people from making waves. A friend of mine bumped into a mom the year after we were there, and was told in a dreamy tone, "Oh, it's so nice now that the people who didn't really want to be there are gone..."

- Lillian
What?

I think there are issues with in Waldorf schools that are healthy for parents to complain about, and there are others that aren't. If parents discover they don't like the Waldorf educational philosophy, they shouldn't chose Waldorf. In those cases it isn't healthy to complain in those situations--it's just a contentious distraction.

If parents agree with the goal of the education, and at least have agreement in a broad, general sense with Waldorf's concept of child development, of course it's perfectly valid to complain if the school or teacher gets off track, or even if there are important adjustments that should be explored if something just 'isn't working'.

But if, as I've heard some parents do, the complaints are about practices that are fundamental to Waldorf, I could agree that 'they really didn't want to be there'. But that's a very different level of 'complaint'. Sometimes I think parents are looking in Waldorf for a mainstream education or a prep school education dressed up in pretty pictures, charming stories, and quaint festivals. They behave at times as if Waldorf faculty are silly little creatures that just don't 'know any better', rather than committed educators that have chosen to teach in a Waldorf school because they subscribe to the pedagogy, not because they're ignorant of educational practice.

But very often I see problems where both sides are right, especially those problems that involve a particular child, or even a group of children. The Waldorf system isn't easily customized to meet the needs for every student.

For example, if a kindergartener is way ready for 1st grade, and is actually taking away from the kindergarten more negatives than positives, not every teacher is gifted enough how to handle this. I've know one great teacher who handled this particular problem well, remaining consistent with Waldorf practice, but I've heard of many other instances where the teachers essentially ignored the problem, continuing to focus on the class as a whole. Of course that parent has to complain! (Though maybe "complaining" isn't the best approach toward a solution, but you probably kwim).

But everywhere we go in life, we can expect to get cr~p for making waves. It's human nature. (Or is it? I had a conversation with a co-worker once who was French, working in the US for only a year. He remarked how difficult it was to criticize or correct or offer feedback in professional life in the US because, as he put it, it's always taken personally here. In France, he said, you can go head-to-head all day with colleagues, and come five o'clock, everybody's put it away, are friendly, social, and having a good time together over a drink on the way home or whatever. In the US, he said, he was struggling to learn how to tip toe carefully through work related disagreements because he said in the US, everybody he worked with couldn't handle disapproval well. In my work life, I've noticed this too. People behave pretty childishly, gossip, form cliques, pout--I'm talking highly educated professionals! Sorry if this is too OT. I think it relates at one level, though.)
post #90 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalilah
Rhonwyn, I feel rather hurt that you imply that only children "with severe behaviour issues or serious disabilities" don't do well in Waldorf.
My son had motor and coordination delays from sensory issues.
I in no way meant to imply that all children who have difficulty at a particular school have those difficulites due to severe behavior issues or serious learning disabilities. Also, when you had your thread on your son's particular issues, I was one of the ones who said that moving him back to Kindergarten was the wrong thing to do. I think your school messed up. My own child has sensory integration issues which are being addressed by the school and the teacher. Fortunatlely, the issues are not so severe as to be a disruption to the class or to limit my child's ability to learn.

What you experienced however, is not what I have seen at our school. Our school is by no means perfect but they are working on identifying issues that different children have and trying to determine if Waldorf or our school or the child's class or teacher is right for that child. Out of the children we have lost in my oldest child's class, only two left because their needs could not be met. All others have left because they moved or for financial reasons. Of the two that left due to difficulties, one is going to a school that specializes in dyslexia and the other is going to a public school where he can get help with his behavioral issues which were disrupting my oldest child's class.

Our teachers, for the most part, are trained to teach in public schools and Waldorf schools. They have received some training on identifying learning issues in children. The teachers are by no means perfect but they are trying to improve so that they can serve more children.
post #91 of 109
Quote:
My reservations with Waldorf education are only indirectly related to Anthroposophy in that I feel the Waldorf teachers should have more training than just the works of Rudolf Steiner. I think Steiner was very enlightened for his time and he had many good ideas, but like allot of clairvoyant people, he was on some of the time but certainly not all of the time. I think Waldorf teachers should study about other forms of education as well as other types of child development theories. They absolutely, positively should up date themselves about things that were not around in Steiner's time(or where but not identified yet) like ADD, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Dyslexia,Dyspraxia, and just in general learn more about different learning variations instead of just saying a child is "not incarnating properly in their bodies” every time there is a problem.
I completely agree--although I don't necessarily agree that Waldorf teacher training is the problem. I think it is a mistake for schools who hire the teachers to presume that Waldorf teacher's training is enough background or qualification by itself to become a good Waldorf teacher. That's not to say there aren't great Waldorf teachers who don't have much "mainstream" educational background, but I think these would have to be very accomplished self-learners who are also gifted in their insights about children. There are Waldorf teachers like this.

But I completely agree that if schools operate as though just anybody and everybody can enter Waldorf teacher's training, cold, and emerge as a qualified Waldorf teacher, they're deluding themselves. The Waldorf teacher's programs I'm familiar with make it clear that a four year degree at college or university is an important prerequisite (though I think they're flexible if the candidate can demonstrate compensatory experience.) I know at our school, the resumes and educational background of the faculty body is far superior to that found overall in public schools.

And there are several well-trained and knowledgable specialists who are brought to the school as resource specialists or given as referrals to parents. They are both anthroposophically trained and working to keep up-to-date and knowledgable about these issues you've mentioned. I wouldn't be so concerned that every teacher isn't up on the latest (it's a specialized area, and no teacher can devote that kind of time to staying expert on all the issues). But every teacher should be humble that they don't know everything, and open to input from others how best to help in these special cases.



Quote:
The other reason I and allot of the parents I knew pulled their children out of The Waldorf schools that my son was in is all the unsupervised free play. There was just too much bullying, hitting, and bad behaviour going on with not enough intervention. I might have thought this was just the schools my son was in (in different parts of the country because we moved) but I read the” Bullying in Waldorf schools” thread and there was allot there that sounded very familiar to me.
I don't blame them. Hitting, grabbing, or anything like that was never tolerated in my childrens classes, though there have been bullies in the class. There was always an intervention, though.

There was a great deal of bullying in my children's public ed schools, and most often (when it came to my attention, anyway) there was *opposite* reaction--the 'blame the victim' dynamic used to drive me bananas. I remember once being driven nearly to the point of mouth-foaming lunacy talking with a school administrator who tried that with me, and my child wasn't even the victim! So I empathize completely how maddening it can be trying to get through to people sometimes.

But if the argument is put forth as if "Waldorf schools don't intervene in bullying", it of course triggers argument and denial. Painting everyone with a broad brush usually does. Statistically speaking, I don't think it's a supportable position to say that Waldorf has an unusually difficult problem with it.
post #92 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
What?

<snip>

If parents agree with the goal of the education, and at least have agreement in a broad, general sense with Waldorf's concept of child development, of course it's perfectly valid to complain if the school or teacher gets off track, or even if there are important adjustments that should be explored if something just 'isn't working'.
I was speaking of parents who very much embrace it - not just in a broad or general sense - but do have other valid complaints like you describe. Lillian
post #93 of 109
I have been reading this thread, and others in this forum with great interest. We have an opportunity to get into a Waldorf methods magnet school for kinder next fall. We will be finding out which schools we got into next week. I feel fairly certain that we will be accepted into the Waldorf school, but I am uneasy about it. I'm really trying to make an educated decision, but there is so much information to wade through. TBH, at this point I am hoping that the OTHER magnet school, which is more like a standard public school with extras, admits her, and I will not need to decide if this type of education will work for my daughter. I wish there were more public school or "watered down Waldorf" parents and graduates to talk to here about their experiences.
post #94 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
I have been reading this thread, and others in this forum with great interest. We have an opportunity to get into a Waldorf methods magnet school for kinder next fall. We will be finding out which schools we got into next week. I feel fairly certain that we will be accepted into the Waldorf school, but I am uneasy about it. I'm really trying to make an educated decision, but there is so much information to wade through. TBH, at this point I am hoping that the OTHER magnet school, which is more like a standard public school with extras, admits her, and I will not need to decide if this type of education will work for my daughter. I wish there were more public school or "watered down Waldorf" parents and graduates to talk to here about their experiences.
I know people who've had bad experiences, but also people who've had good ones - just like those you've seen here. But what's a "watered down Waldorf" parent ? As I said in another thread, if you're not needy of community and healing, yourself - if you're attracted to the school only for its educational methodology, you're a lot more likely to have a good experience and be able to focus on your child's needs rather than your own. Maybe that's what you mean by "watered down Waldorf" parents - those who aren't there for their own spiritual needs. And it sounds as if that's you - so I wouldn't worry too much about possible negatives at this point. You can always change later, I would think - seems like there will always be people wanting to change spots... I hate to seem so wishy washy, but there are definitely positives to be found in the delayed academics and all the imaginative play in kindergarten. I'd find out how much pressure or expectation there's going to be in the more traditional public school program before you make a decision - that could be important. There's a set of articles about those issues on this page:
preschool/kindergarten - It's a page in my (non-commercial) homeschooling site, but most of the articles pertain to school programs. You'll find a strongly stated Call to Action statement there from the Alliance for Childhood - signed by over 150 educators and researchers! - demanding "a reversal of the pushing down of the curriculum that has made kindergarten into a de facto 1st grade". If your daughter is the type of child who already has enthusiasm for letters, numbers, and/or reading, she'd probably be okay in a public kindergarten - but I'd want to make sure she'd be getting a whole lot of imaginative play and free time, which is not the norm these days.
- Lillian
post #95 of 109
Oh, by "watered -down Waldorf" I mean public Waldorf school. Sometimes called that because the philosophy/spirituality aspect is downplayed due to the requirements of being a public school. I was nak'ing when I wrote that post, I am more specific about my concerns in the "questioning" thread...
post #96 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
Oh, by "watered -down Waldorf" I mean public Waldorf school.
Oh! I assumed that was the kind of school you were wondering about - the "Waldorf methods magnet school." Never heard that term before. - Lillian
post #97 of 109
That is the kind of school I was wondering about. Okay, I think I'm not being clear. Let me try to explain. I am interested in public Waldorf school, and that is the type of school that we are looking into (one of our current two choices). I have heard it referred to as watered-down Waldorf, and that might be meant in a negative way, but in our case, it is not. I feel that the school being public may protect us from some of the things I have concerns about, namely the spiritual aspects. I wanted to hear from other public Waldorf school parents because I have already made the decision that private Waldorf school is not for us in any way, shape or form (the first and foremost reason being that I personally can't afford, and don't believe in paying $10k a year for school). Okay, does that make any more sense?
post #98 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
That is the kind of school I was wondering about.
Ah! Well, in my opinion a "watered down" version would be great for a lot of people - although that's not what the friends I mentioned earlier were looking for at first at all. But you might want to know that one of the leaders of PLANS (the Critics List people) was first a founding parent of one of the public school/Waldorf schools, and what she objected to was the spiritual mix that ended up being central there. So you might want to ask questions and see if yours is one that will be a good fit. I have a feeling, from what others have said, that there might actually be some public ones now that really are more secular, and I think a lot of that would depend upon the level of Anthroposophic influence there - in other words, the background of the people who have set it up and are running it.
- Lillian
PS: I'm leaving in the morning for a week or so, so I'll probably be offline.
post #99 of 109
I'm coming from a different situation since we're in the UK and in a Waldorf school which is largely subsidized by the government. They are working towards full subsidization, which would make it the equivalent of a public school. While I wouldn't describe it as "watered down" Waldorf, I would say they are less dogmatic and more flexible than many waldorf schools.

I also have to admit I went into the school very ambivalent about anthroposophy and much of the waldorf approach. Having been there for a couple of years I'm surprised to find myself more and more drawn to it. I've seen how it's worked for DS and for many of the children there (not all of them), and I've also seen what's happened to other children I know who are in public school. It is remarkable to see the two different groups of kids alongside each other.

I think Lillian is spot on, that if you enter the school because you think the educational approach can work for your child, then you will be okay. On the other hand you sound highly sceptical. I would go on your gut instinct toward the school and the teachers and whether you feel "right" there.
post #100 of 109
I should add on to what I mentioned earlier:

Quote:
But you might want to know that one of the leaders of PLANS (the Critics List people) was first a founding parent of one of the public school/Waldorf schools, and what she objected to was the spiritual mix that ended up being central there.
That was a special concern to her because it contradicted her own religious views - but there was more to it than that. Another concern was the way she saw those spiritual beliefs strongly guiding everyday policy and decisions, attitudes, etc., about individual children - and generally without parents being aware of the way this works. That was also the main concern a friend of mine who taught in one school had. The decisions are often made within closed sessions of the College of Teachers, and they're based on Anthroposophical beliefs. It can feel pretty demeaning and powerless to be kept out of important meetings where a problem of your child's or a complaint on your part is being addressed. SO: this is why it's important to be able think of the schools just as schools, and something you're paying good money for - not as your community and not as your child's only hope of having a good and wholesome education - or else you can give away your power and not support your child in the way he deserves. If a child complains, listen and act. Public schools are not all bad - children who have left Waldorf schools often do very well on all levels in public schols. It's important to keep that in mind - it's far from the end of the world if a child ends up in one. Your child's Waldorf experience might be absolutely GREAT - or not! I know people who've been quite happy all the way through. But you have to keep your vision on your child - not on the school and and certainly not on yourself as a "Waldorf parent". If things are not working out, it's not a fault of your child!

And now Im really having to get on the road for a trip. Lillian
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