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Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 54

post #1061 of 1181

Eye opening experiences at the Richmond Waldorf School?

post #1062 of 1181


Welcome Edinformation!

One of the mama's in this thread,beansavi,was a trained Waldorf teacher. She is no longer writing in this thread but she wrote about your question in great length in either this thread or the previous one that was closed. You'll have toread through it. Sorry I don't have time now!

 

Karne! It is great to have news about your family! So happy for you!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eduinfomom View Post

thanks for this post! So It seems that Anthroposophy has not been discussed.  How does this affect the children and their education at Waldorf schools? Also is it true that most Waldorf teachers have no college experience, no prior elementary education background or an understanding of child development? It seems to me that Waldorf teachers must have a very narrow understanding of child development since  Waldorf teacher training includes only studies in Anthroposophy and Steiners view on incarnating souls, the teachers role in helping the child incarnate, karma and many other very odd religious Anthroposophical doctrines.  

post #1063 of 1181

Hi all,

 

It's been so great to find this thread I've been amazed by the similarities of everyone's experiences.  

I really had no idea when my dd joined the local Waldorf school, how much anthroposophy played

into everything.  

For example, when she was repeatedly bullied by a particular girl (physically hurt, projects destroyed, etc),

I requested that two be kept apart for awhile.   Although this was verbally agreed to, she was paired with

this child even more consistently!  When I complained things got very strained.  I get the feeling that complaining 

simply isn't allowed in this school, and that we should accept her karmic destiny with this child.

 

My ds has also had a few injuries while in this program, and that has been viewed as working out her

karma.  In kind of a sniffy, judgmental way; like the people are implying she must have been a real

s**t in her past life.

 

Also,  there seems to be a real heirarchy within the classroom as to which children are considered more

"evolved" than the others (the parents as well).  And most of the children are striving to be close to these

children to the point of neglecting their other friendships.  I have actually had playdates cancelled when

one of the popular/evolved children ask my child's friend to do something  with them at the last minute.

 

Both the children and parents fall all over themselves to basically serve a few children/families; such as

giving up food in their lunches, money.rides.invitations to outings and birthday parties that are rarely or

never reciprocated.  I'm wondering if anyone has had this experience as well? 

 

Sorry for the long post--just had to get this off my chest.

Thanks from belively

post #1064 of 1181

Whoops!    Sorry about the wonky formatting-- I'll be sure to preview my post next time!

post #1065 of 1181

I'm tentatively dipping a toe in here ladies.

 

My experience is a bit different, as I was actually the student. I transferred from a public high school to a Waldorf school my junior year, attended for about a year and a half and then left to get my GED. It was a sometimes wonderful, sometimes confusing, sometimes upsetting experience. Now that I'm a parent, and thinking about my own daughter's education, I find myself revisiting the idea of a Waldorf education (though only for early childhood, I think). There were so many things I really loved about my time there, but truly so many things wrong as well. I spent a lot of time blaming myself or making excuses as to why things didn't work. The transition from mainstream school, problems I was having at home, etc. I'm still trying to figure out what was "me" and what was "them". Still trying to reconcile the good with the bad, I guess.

 

I'm around if anyone has questions, I feel like my experiences could be of value to some, but don't really feel the other Waldorf thread is the place. And I admit, I don't know as much about Anthroposophy and general Steiner philosophy as I should, more about how it works in practice at a secondary education level.

 

Pleased to be here and looking forward to being a part of the discussion!

post #1066 of 1181

 

The ONLY thing I sort of miss about the Waldorf schools besides the beautiful decorations (another X- waldorf mom commented that   the Waldorf decorations appeal to the parent’s way more than to the kids...) is being in a community of somewhat like minded people. When we were at Waldorf, especially when we started having problems, I felt like we did not fit in. I don’t wear long dresses and do crafts at home. I wear lots of black and in addition to liking all sorts of music classical, Arab, African and Latin music and jazz, I also like rock music. We have a TV set a home and watch lots of movies. I felt we were not a typical Waldorf family.  We weren’t, but of course not all families at Waldorf are. However once my son went to a traditional school I realised we actually fit in better at the Waldorf school than elsewhere. Some of the parents at my son’s new school are so mainstream they think you are crazy for eating organic and not liking MacDonald’s. I was so shocked by some of the lunches kids brought in and the hours and hours than some of DS’s classmates were allowed to watch TV and play video games. That being said, I still found my sons new school SO much better in SO many ways that having to put up with classmates eating junk food and playing too much video games was really a minor problem. I still would never change to a Waldorf school for anything in this world!  


Edited by raksmama - 7/8/11 at 5:07am
post #1067 of 1181

Hi Everyone!

I am at the point where I am trying to decide about starting the waldorf education for my two kids. Something has been bothering me about the philosophy....not sure exactly what...but we have not moved ahead and commited just yet. I wanted to get some feedback here from the veterans about my concerns and just see if they are valid.

 

Our kids are almost 6 and 7. We pulled both kids from private school before Christmas  (another holistic school) to homeschool "waldorf style" (oak meadow). There are so many things I love about waldorf, and the kids are really loving our program. Our son is delayed (recovered from autism) and still has impulse issues and some hyperactivity. the waldorf school told us that he would be best to start attending in the 3rd grade (he is repeating kindergarten now due to social catch up issues). we were planning to continue hs him anyway as he is really doing great. my daughter was pulled from private school b/c she has anxiety issues and they were doing upper level grade math in kindergarten. She was freaking out and biting her fingers. It was a no brainer to bring her home. She does express some interest though in going to school (when she isn't insisting on staying home) so I have been looking at the local waldorf a lot as they seem to support a lot of things that ring true to our family...no vax, homeopathy, green living, crunchy folks, etc.  Plus they want the kids to do 1/2 days in first grade, which I llike as she is just not ready to go 6-7hrs per day next Fall. However, I am feeling anxious about it and I am worried how they might deal with her anxiety issues, easy to cry, etc. I also worry about the same teacher for 8 yrs....if it is a bad fit. Another bad transition for her would make things difficult.  Plus, I am hesitant as I am not sure that my son will every "fit" into the philosophy (I really want the kids together at school), even though the school says it really supports the "hyper" kids better due to the overall set structure and rhythms of the day. Has anyone else had kids with ADHD, sensory types issues, impulsiveness with good experiences at a waldorf school?

 

Any thoughts anyone?

Also, does anyone have any direct experiences with waldorfs in vermont? (pm me please...not here)

 

I would really appreciate any thoughts at all...Thanks so much!!!!  smile.gif

post #1068 of 1181

Hi Mom-to-ben,

It would be worth your while to take the time to read this entire thread and  the original thread as well.

There were a few of us  here who had children with issues as you have described, but I do not have the time to look for them again.

I am pretty sure that most of us, after what we have been through, would not recommend Waldorf, especially for children with sensory issues or other learning variations, however it is up for you to decide. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom_to_ben5 View Post

Hi Everyone!

I am at the point where I am trying to decide about starting the waldorf education for my two kids. Something has been bothering me about the philosophy....not sure exactly what...but we have not moved ahead and commited just yet. I wanted to get some feedback here from the veterans about my concerns and just see if they are valid.

 

Our kids are almost 6 and 7. We pulled both kids from private school before Christmas  (another holistic school) to homeschool "waldorf style" (oak meadow). There are so many things I love about waldorf, and the kids are really loving our program. Our son is delayed (recovered from autism) and still has impulse issues and some hyperactivity. the waldorf school told us that he would be best to start attending in the 3rd grade (he is repeating kindergarten now due to social catch up issues). we were planning to continue hs him anyway as he is really doing great. my daughter was pulled from private school b/c she has anxiety issues and they were doing upper level grade math in kindergarten. She was freaking out and biting her fingers. It was a no brainer to bring her home. She does express some interest though in going to school (when she isn't insisting on staying home) so I have been looking at the local waldorf a lot as they seem to support a lot of things that ring true to our family...no vax, homeopathy, green living, crunchy folks, etc.  Plus they want the kids to do 1/2 days in first grade, which I llike as she is just not ready to go 6-7hrs per day next Fall. However, I am feeling anxious about it and I am worried how they might deal with her anxiety issues, easy to cry, etc. I also worry about the same teacher for 8 yrs....if it is a bad fit. Another bad transition for her would make things difficult.  Plus, I am hesitant as I am not sure that my son will every "fit" into the philosophy (I really want the kids together at school), even though the school says it really supports the "hyper" kids better due to the overall set structure and rhythms of the day. Has anyone else had kids with ADHD, sensory types issues, impulsiveness with good experiences at a waldorf school?

 

Any thoughts anyone?

Also, does anyone have any direct experiences with waldorfs in vermont? (pm me please...not here)

 

I would really appreciate any thoughts at all...Thanks so much!!!!  smile.gif



 


Edited by raksmama - 3/25/11 at 6:56am
post #1069 of 1181

Thanks so much Jalilah for your reply. Yes, we made our decision already to continue homeschooling....I am trusting my gut. :-)

post #1070 of 1181

This is very interesting. I went through this very same this during the summer. We also received a letter very similar to yours..hmm.

post #1071 of 1181

Hey everybody, we are waldorf homeschoolers and thinking of switching to something like Charlotte Mason next year. To give some background my son was in a waldorf school for two years and now we are homeschooling waldorf in 3rd grade. This is really all he has known up to this point. I don't have any waldorf horror stories. We miss our old school dearly but we moved and I'm failing miserably at implementing waldorf properly as I would like. We have also gone through some spiritual changes which don't mesh as well with anthro as we once did. Basically I'm leaning toward a more Christian based curriculum.

 

I'm just very worried about the transition. I have a lot of respect for waldorf's developmental stages and teaching something like Shakespeare to a 9 yo seems awkward to me. I'm just wondering how your kids transitioned  from waldorf academics to more mainstream academic standards.

post #1072 of 1181

Hi Pixie.  I'm not sure who is checking in here, so I wanted to make sure you got a response.  I don't know if this helps at all, but we know many families who have chosen to keep the arts piece, and other values along the lines of food, community, etc., of their waldorf lives, and go in a completely different direction from the academic piece-from choosing public or private school (like us) to hs'ing, or even unschooling. In some ways that's the good in where you're at-you can modify the academic piece to suit your needs, while keeping what works for you.

 

If you are homeschooling, even if you are choosing to use a packaged curriculum, could you just not use the pieces that don't fit with your beliefs?  I would agree that I wouldn't want to be teaching Shakespere to my 3rd grader, unless that was something they really wanted.  Waldorf is so structured, and so specific, and as you know, there are multiple reasons for why certain things are taught-spiritual, developmental beliefs.  It may take some trial and error to see what works for you, what feels authentic to your ds' needs and desires, and what you feel you can work with.  I understand the worry, but you might have to be OK with uncertainty as you explore a little.

 

Have you posted in the h'sing forum?  I'll bet there are lots of folks there w/ideas.  Also, do you visit the WTM sight--maybe some insight there too.

post #1073 of 1181

 

Hi Pixie,

I agree with karne (hi karne!) that the home schoolers forum is a better place for your questions since many of the families in this forum have had extremely bad experiences.

For us it was very bad mainly because when my son joined a traditonal school in grade 3 he was so far behind academically that everyone, teachers and students, alike thought something was horribly wrong with him, well actually the kids thought he was "dumb". No one could imagine that at 8 years he has simply not been taught to read properly.His self esteem suffered horribly. Even though he caught up and now at 13 is now getting very good grades, some of the kids  who remember him from back when he started are still biased against him.

 

Since you are homeschooling you can avoid this by checking out what the school you have chosen is doing academically and then preparing your child for it to ensure that your child is not too far behind academically .

 


Edited by raksmama - 5/18/11 at 12:32pm
post #1074 of 1181

Thanks for your replies. I did post in the homeschooling forum days ago but no replies. That is why I came here.

post #1075 of 1181

Yeah there seem to be less posts in MDC than before in all the forums lately.

I was just talking to another homeschooling mom. There are other HS programs that would be considered too mainstream for Waldorf but that sound very good to me. I don't know the names but you could do a google.

post #1076 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by belively View Post

Hi all,

 

It's been so great to find this thread I've been amazed by the similarities of everyone's experiences.  

I really had no idea when my dd joined the local Waldorf school, how much anthroposophy played

into everything.  

For example, when she was repeatedly bullied by a particular girl (physically hurt, projects destroyed, etc),

I requested that two be kept apart for awhile.   Although this was verbally agreed to, she was paired with

this child even more consistently!  When I complained things got very strained.  I get the feeling that complaining 

simply isn't allowed in this school, and that we should accept her karmic destiny with this child.

 

My ds has also had a few injuries while in this program, and that has been viewed as working out her

karma.  In kind of a sniffy, judgmental way; like the people are implying she must have been a real

s**t in her past life.

 

Also,  there seems to be a real heirarchy within the classroom as to which children are considered more

"evolved" than the others (the parents as well).  And most of the children are striving to be close to these

children to the point of neglecting their other friendships.  I have actually had playdates cancelled when

one of the popular/evolved children ask my child's friend to do something  with them at the last minute.

 

Both the children and parents fall all over themselves to basically serve a few children/families; such as

giving up food in their lunches, money.rides.invitations to outings and birthday parties that are rarely or

never reciprocated.  I'm wondering if anyone has had this experience as well? 

 

Sorry for the long post--just had to get this off my chest.

Thanks from belively



We had a notable a cancelled playdate -  for my oldest son's birthday party in fact.  His closest in-class friend's mom (a teacher at the school) had RSVP'ed that her daughter would LOVE to come to the party, but when the day arrived and all the other kids were loading up after school to come to the party, she and another girl declined (the message was relayed via another parent, not by them directly, they wouldn't look at me) - apparently because the friend felt physically ackward and this was a sporty-type party.  And so my son's closest friend decided to go to this girl's house to keep her company since everyone else was going to the party.  Interestingly enough this same girl attended the exact same kind of party 2 months later. 

 

I would have thought this was a sweet unselfish gesture, but for the timing.  Between the time I got the "would LOVE to" RSVP back and the party date, some $hit had hit the fan regarding a conflict between this same teacher and a close friend of mine.  The teacher must has felt pretty insecure because she was telling the other class parents that my friend was trying to get her fired (there was conflict but she was not trying to get her fired!)  And this other girl's mom (the mother of the "physically ackward" girl) is also Waldorf trained, not employed anymore at the school, but still totes the elitist attitude around campus along with her inner circle badge.  She has been described as the town gossip and village idiot all rolled into one.  (Sorry, that was quite snarky, but a fairly good "archetype" description for you.)  My suspicion is there was some "anthroposophically-correct" reason for the girls to be the only two RSVP'ed kids to suddenly decide not to some to an anticipated party.   I kept my son's friendship with this girl completely separate from this issue between the teacher and my friend (did not discuss the conflict or its players in his presence, remained warm and kind to all, etc) but I wonder how it was on the other side.  Especially since it's well established the teacher was crying on the phone with some parents about other parents trying to get her fired, and pitting parents against other parents on several other occasions.

post #1077 of 1181

 

So sorry to read about your experience Spinningmama!

It has been over 6 years now that we left Waldorf but looking back I have never experienced so many intrigues and inside politics in a school since then

 

post #1078 of 1181

bump

 

post #1079 of 1181

This is the first time I have been on this forum. I have spent a year healing from my devastating experience at waldorf. I refuse to capitalize words I do not feel are worthy of it. If I sound bitter, maybe I am but I have cause to be. Today, I felt I needed to seek support. I was formerly a waldorf kindergarten teacher for over a decade at a single school. My daughter attended the school from first to eighth grade. My story is a long one and is almost too painful to relate. I am recovering and am in shock over what happened to both me and my daughter in the last few years at the school.

 

When I am ready to share my full story, I will. I want to read a little more on this forum and make sure it is the safe place to share my story. I will share my story as a parent first because it affects me daily.

 

The story begins with the ostracizing of her dear teacher, who was forced to quit in the fifth grade due to dirty politics at the school. This teacher was dedicated to the class until the eighth grade graduation, sending them gifts at monumental times during their later years in the grades and visiting with them when she could. After this landmark in time, my daughter and her class went through unspeakable trouble. From the school hiring a teacher who had chemical addictions and was verbally abusive to the children, to half of her class leaving after sixth grade. I went to the administrator (whose children I had cared for with so much love in my own class), who looked me straight in the eye when I told her my daughter was having headaches every Monday and the headaches were getting worse. She was scared of her teacher and I said that something was not right. She blinked at me and assured me everything was ok and to "keep her updated". I found out a year later, after the teacher had quit, that the teacher had been arrested, was at school under the influence several times, and left class early on several occasions leaving the students alone to say their own closing verse.

 

To think that I worked at the school and had approached the Administration with  my concerns to find out they were just hiding what was happening to save enrollment makes me sick to my stomach. During one of the many different natural medicine appointments I sought for my daughter (as well as conventional medicine), I found out that the teacher had spoken to my daughter and the class in an abusive manner. She was repeatedly embarrassed as well as and others in front of the class and he lost his temper in an inappropriate manner throughout the year. I spent so much money and time seeking treatment for my daughter's ailments. This teacher was touted as a master teacher, and paraded into the school like royalty. I was shocked to hear words come out of my daughter's mouth that she had been suppressing. Her headaches had become chronic and each appointment led to the core issue she was having: she was emotionally wounded by her teacher. When a new teacher was hired, most of her friends had left the class. Many of the children that were left were very exclusive and she felt so out of place in a class where she had once felt so happy with her former teacher. It only got worse and I urged her to try a different school. She tried one but wanted to return. I know now that she didn't want to leave me. I wish I had just made her leave.

 

To this day, she has no interest in meeting up with this little group of alumnae as they are exclusive and demeaning to her much like their parents were in the school community. She now maintains contact with two classmates who also felt out-of-place. It breaks my heart that the school and the decisions they made and the cover-up that they orchestrated, and where I dedicated so many years of my life could affect my daughter's health. She has fewer headaches now that she has made the transition to high school. She has a healthy social life now and is doing wonderful in a public school. We talk about it sometimes and she is able to speak candidly about her experience when she need to speak. I know her experience is not solitary as I know so many parents who have left the school or other schools throughout the years. I am no longer teaching there, but the pain of all that happened to us lingers and I am trying to let it go, but it's even more difficult when your child has been affected and when she has watched first-hand what happened to me at the school.

post #1080 of 1181

Welcome to this forum Skywider. Our Waldorf experience is now 6 years old and we have moved on, so I no longer go on this forum much. I think it is the same for the others here.

Sorry to read about what happened to you and your family!

I hate to say it, but it sounds very typical and familiar, and confirms to me all the reasons why now, when asked, I do not recommend this school system.

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