Another Waldorf horror
Originally Posted by jalilah
Many People have commented that Waldorf actually appeals more to the parents than the children and I agree with this. I think it is an adults' fantasy about what children would like.
Jalilah, I really like the adult fantasy bit....
We are currently struggling with our son and our choice to send the kids to a Waldorf school.
DS is 10 and in Class 4 at a Waldorf school. Everything was always "just fine" with our son. The only issue that was ever reported to us was that he is anxious and this was always just put down to a personallity trait.
In Class 2 we were told that he was doing well. They do an evaluation at this stage for the "extra lesson", but he apparently had a slight left right confusion and the extra lesson teacher recommended cranial sacral therapy and art therapy for his anxiety. We did the cranial, but as there was no art therapy available, we never did that.
He never did the Waldorf extra lesson as, although the therapist recommended it after the assessment, his teacher and the therapist let that slip through the cracks. We were never told.
Class 3 rolled by, my daugther statrted class 1, and we were still happy-chappies.
At the end of class 3 with my son's beautiful hand written report we got a slip of paper. They had done some evaluation on the children and reported:
DS reading ability was that of a child of 6 years and 9 months
His spelling needed improvement
His writing skills needed improvement
The teacher never approached me to discuss this and I had a set up a meeting with her to discuss it.
During our long holidays I sort of home schooled my son hoping to get him to catch up. That is when I realised:
DS could “read” certain books for instance “Aladdin” as he knew the story well and could very accurately guess the vocabulary of the story. He would also use the pictures in the book to track where he was in the story and so keep up the “reading” in context. If the same words are then individually taken out of context and written on a piece of paper he was unable to read them.
He was in actual fact only able to read monosyllabic words.
His spelling was horrific showing a total lack of understanding of basic phonics.
DS would write certain words without any vowels for instance “rftr” for “after”.
Some words would simply be a jumble of non-sensicle letters as though he started writing the word backwards and then in the middle of the word changed direction. A word that then should have had only 4 or 5 letters would have 7 or 8 letters.
We took hm to an educational psychologist for an evaluation and she found he had sensory integration disorder and had numerous learning disabilities, including discalcula.
The school disputes the findings as his maths is good, which we agree with. But in general the the school attitude has been very much teflon coated (i.e. this is really not our problem - we are not a remedial school.)
We have started OT and are about to start Speech Therapy for auditory processing problems, on a private basis, at a remedial school down the road from where we live and we plan to move DS there as soon as they have space for him.
I can not begin to describe the impact this is already having on our finances and is bound to have in the future. The cost of a private remedial school for DS will be what we pay for both kids now at Waldorf and we are facing mounting bills for the therapy (medical aid does pay some of it though.).
Our concern is now our DD. Are we in our right minds to leave her at a Waldorf school after this kind of experience? She is far behind mainstream kids, which will mean extra tuition if we decide to move her (i.e even more bills.)
I in particular love the school and get on very well with my daughter's teacher. But is the whole thing actually my fantasy ... maybe my kids actually need to learn to read and write more than play with beeswax and dance around a bon fire!