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Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 57

post #1121 of 1181

Take things out of context much? biglaugh.gif

post #1122 of 1181

Don't run away... you haven't answered my questions on the races.  You say you believe the only way people will overcome racism is by the races interbreeding until we all look alike... and yet you say you don't hold racist beliefs.  This is very important in that it underscores the lack of understanding Waldorf teachers generally have about what constitutes racism.  Your Steineresque admissions here are revealing.  So you agree, then, with Steiner that there exist spiritually higher and lower races and that our soul progresses through the races in an evolutionary process?  And that at the end of this process, in a few thousand years, we will lose all outward racial characteristics?

post #1123 of 1181
 Nobody teaches racism...get your facts straight.

I've got my facts straight.  Here's a story about a Waldorf teacher who teaches racism as physiology.  It isn't hearsay - the lesson was discussed over several conferences and SUPPORTED by the school.  One of the Waldorf teachers sitting in on the conferences is heavily involved in Waldorf teacher training.  The fact that Waldorf doesn't understand what racism actually entails doesn't excuse this lesson.


Did you finally realize why I know a lot more inside stuff than I should?   Makes it a bit more difficult to run Waldorf nonsense past me doesn't it?  With every sentence, you show the dark side of Waldorf - and you don't realize it.  If you want an intelligent discussion, you shouldn't assume you're better-versed on the subject than the person with whom you're having the discussion.  I assume, since you've realized you don't have the upper hand here, you will quietly disappear.   And I'll bet I'm not even the most knowledgeable critic on this list... some of us have actually done our homework. 

post #1124 of 1181

I've been lurking here for years and I finally had to join to make this comment.  I'm a mom with a child at a Waldorf Charter, wishing that I had done my homework.  I actually now know a lot about anthroposophy, Steiner, etc.  But it's not easy to find, as no one expects a school to hide what they are really doing. 

I have to say that I really feel that these Waldorf teachers have no business being on this particular thread.  Pete K, while you may come off being really extreme at times, I thank you for what you do. Most parents are so clueless as to what's going on.  Teachers - I feel that you are not here at ALL to support any one with a bad experience at a Waldorf school.  You may act like it - but let's be honest.  You are really here to defend.  If there weren't so many issues and lies with Waldorf you wouldn't need to be here.  

post #1125 of 1181
 Pete K, while you may come off being really extreme at times, I thank you for what you do.

You're very welcome.  I get a LOT of private "thank-you's" actually.  I know I sound extreme, maybe even nasty at times.  I wasn't always like this.  Waldorf has taken its toll on me too.  When I hear someone lying through their teeth about Waldorf, well, I just don't feel any obligation to be polite... there's just too much at stake.

post #1126 of 1181
Originally Posted by greenfrog View Post

I've been lurking here for years and I finally had to join to make this comment.  I'm a mom with a child at a Waldorf Charter, wishing that I had done my homework.  I actually now know a lot about anthroposophy, Steiner, etc.  But it's not easy to find, as no one expects a school to hide what they are really doing. 

I have to say that I really feel that these Waldorf teachers have no business being on this particular thread.  Pete K, while you may come off being really extreme at times, I thank you for what you do. Most parents are so clueless as to what's going on.  Teachers - I feel that you are not here at ALL to support any one with a bad experience at a Waldorf school.  You may act like it - but let's be honest.  You are really here to defend.  If there weren't so many issues and lies with Waldorf you wouldn't need to be here.  

AMEN to that!!!

post #1127 of 1181
Originally Posted by herbsmd View Post

So, you're still upset that your wife divorced you?  It all makes so much more sense now...  

Thank you for the PTSD moment, herbsmd.  That kind of shit flew (and still does from what I hear) at our old waldorf school all the time.  You folks are so full of yourselves, thinking and acting as if you "know" another person's soul.  The arrogance is almost humorous - until you realize how damaging it is to vulnerable families, which this system attracts by its very nature.  


You are not making this board feel like a "safe" place to share for some of us anymore.   I personally, am glad to see PeteK's presence here.  


However, I would also like re-open this space as one for new people to honesty share their experiences - because we see we are NOT alone despite repeatedly being denied the validity of our observations and experiences within the school community.  I'd like to re-open the space to those recovering from their waldorf experience - without the risk of denialist backlash from the sing-song Waldorf Borg.  


Not interested in rejoining your cult, thank you very much.

post #1128 of 1181

Originally Posted by spinningmama View Post


I would also like re-open this space as one for new people to honesty share their experiences - because we see we are NOT alone despite repeatedly being denied the validity of our observations and experiences within the school community.  I'd like to re-open the space to those recovering from their waldorf experience - without the risk of denialist backlash from the sing-song Waldorf Borg.  


Consider this board "re-opened" then.  After the recent visiting  Waldorf teachers lick their wounds, I'm sure they're going to stay away from this board. Waldorf can't participate in discussions like this one when confronted with the truth.  And, as you've pointed out, they can't lie easily to this particular group.  They're better off in the general Waldorf forums.  You'll notice, during the recent exchange, NOT ONE FACT was produced by the Waldorf teacher in support of any of Waldorf's claims... the bullshit-meter goes off the chart when a Waldorf teacher speaks.  It is in their nature AND in their training to be untruthful with parents, and sadly, I've noticed a few of the mothers on these forums who are in HUGE denial of what their kids are experiencing at the hands of Waldorf teachers.  


Those who have horrible experiences in Waldorf are NOT alone.  The Waldorf Review confirms that there are universal problems that continue to be ignored in Waldorf.  I laugh when I hear that Anthroposophist Kim John Payne is lecturing at a Waldorf school, and so... ipso-facto, all bullying will stop as a result of his lectures.  How dim-witted and brainwashed does one have to be to believe this nonsense?  Waldorf has a huge bullying problem - and instead of addressing the problem itself (which has basis in their philosophy) they decide to put on a "show" (What is this, the Our Gang?) by sending Mr. Payne to Waldorf schools and announcing that bullying couldn't be a problem because Kim John Payne is on the case. They think the problem is THAT superficial?  Seriously?


If a Waldorf teacher comes here again to bully anyone here or to spin the truth, I'd suggest holding them to the facts.  Ask about the "94% of grads go on to college" number... make them prove their own claims.  They have NOTHING in the way of evidence that suggests Waldorf "works"... not one thing.  Remind them of that!

post #1129 of 1181

Thread temporarily closed for review. Thanks.

post #1130 of 1181

This is a parent support group for participation by parents. No bickering will be tolerated.

post #1131 of 1181

Pete, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your making the time to take a stand in the names of clarity and full disclosure on what appears now to be evolving into a less-esoteric body of concepts in the world, thanks to people like you.  

post #1132 of 1181

I am so glad this forum is here.


My step daughter will be 8 in a few months. She has been going to a Waldorf school since kindergarten and is now in a Waldorf-inspired charter school this year. As a result of her years at Waldorf:


She can't read and has trouble identifying all the letters of the alphabet and matching up the sounds the letters make with the actual letters. Vowels are especially difficult.

She can't do simple math such as 20 plus 5 - well she can if she counts on her fingers BUT has to be reminded that that is an option to figure it out.

She can't read a calendar and figure out what day of the week it is. She can't name all the months of the year.

She can't identify which coins are what value and can't add them up to make a dollar.

She can't tell time.


She shows no interest in learning these things - this extremely bright child now gives up on and get frustrated and discouraged by anything that is too difficult and that she has to use her brain to figure out.


Her memory and retentions skills are horrible. Her problem solving abilities have worsened. She looks to someone else to figure it out for her. She has been kept in state of permanent 5 year old-ness so much so that a g rated movie is too scary for her. She occasionally reverts to babytalk.

Her creativity is fantastic but it was that way before school. However she now seems to need to check with me if drawing something this way or coloring something this color is "ok". I tell her there is no right or wrong in art and she can do whatever she likes yet she keeps asking and seems uneasy about having to decide herself. I believe this is due to Waldorf putting a picture up on the wall and having children copy it instead of letting them express themselves creatively. Yes - the pretty watercolor paintings they make are "art" in the same way a forgery of the Mona Lisa is art. It is good craftsmanship in copying - but it is not creative.


Her self-confidence has been shattered by Waldorf and I fear this new school isn't much better. And it doesn't help that some kids in her class already know how to read and that others know how to read so well that they are already on chapter books. She hasn't said so yet but I am sure that she feels - or will feel - like the dumb kid in the class.


I am powerless to do anything about it because I am the step-parent and have no say in the matter. Any discussions about it between me and my spouse quickly turn into arguments so I have learned to avoid the topic altogether. But I am raising this little girl like she is my own and I am watching her frustration in failing and it is very sad.


I am trying to help her with reading and time-telling and the calendar etc as best I can, but I need to know if there are any other parents out there who are unable (for whatever reason) to remove their kids from the waldorf system. If so can you please help with any methods you use to counter-act the damage that Waldorf does? Is there some sort of deprogramming I can do so my little girl does not grow up to communicate with others only through song, so that she can differenciate between scientific fact and mythology, and so she will not think that computers and tv are the work of the devil? I feel like an evolutionary scientist who child has been forced to study intelligent design in their classroom as if it were a science. And the child is starting to believe it.


Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

post #1133 of 1181

Hi Luper and welcome.  


I'm sorry you have to be witness to this.  I take it your step-daughter is enrolled in the school due to her other parent(s) wishes and not yours?  What instigated the move from a waldorf to a waldorf-inspired school?



You might look into working with a professional tutor on a long-term basis - one who assess her objectively and non-judgmentally, make learning a fun, regular part of her schedule. 


We had a few families at our old school where it was apparent that one parent was all into waldorf, the philosophy/religion, the community and the other parent was, well, "not-so-into it."  Funny, when it gets right down to it, it's often more about the parent's will and social life than the child re: enrollment!  Anyway, having seen first hand how the parents in such cases were seemingly pitted against each other by faculty and other parents (especially ripe in divorced family situations), I would caution you this:  if your step-daughter will be staying in waldorf (not your choice, I understand), I would actually advise you to do what you can to become positive about it.  I'm not coming at that from any anthroposophical mumbo jumbo, more from seeing how when a child feels they are "behind" or "failing" it makes the situation 10x worse, especially for their self-confidence - which you've stated is shattered.  You (and your husband?) don't want to be on a outside there, because it will hurt your daughter further.


I'm met several ex-waldorf families, and the kids do seem to catch up eventually.  I've only seen that fail where true learning disabilities, such as dyslexia or motor-sensory issues existed.  It just needs to be approached positively and lovingly.  Because like a parent, their teacher/school/community tends to be someone/something they love wholeheartedly, and for us to talk within earshot of how it has failed them it to crush them even more.  Kids really are intuitive, so you don't even need to say it, they will pick up on your negativity towards that which they love.


Your step-daughter is young still.  Leaving at this age is actually tougher IMO than after they're reading (usually by 3rd grade).  If you can, though, try to get her out by 5th grade, when mythology and history really start becoming bastardized and erroneously mingled, and "science" is just around the corner.


Best of luck to you all.

post #1134 of 1181


My oldest daughter had a very similar experience she took longer to pick up reading and had low self esteem about it. Age 8 is about when she noticed other kids were reading chapter books when she wasn't. I searched for very simple chapter books written closer to her skill level and that helped her, but it took a long time for her to grow through this. She went to public school.


It sounds like your step daughter is struggling with a processing issue which might be addressed with an evaluation and some extra support at school. My oldest daughter had a processing issue and was very similar, a bright child that had perplexing struggles. She qualified for special ed for a couple of years, but then tested out. However, she is in college now and the actual struggle never gone away. She has learned how to work with it better, but I don't have a miracle story to offer. A lot of it is her own solutions that she has worked out over the years and the collective support from educators. She reads for pleasure now and is in a nursing program in college.  The processing issue is mild, obscure, difficult to detect and difficult to remedy. She also behaved childishly at times and did baby talk with just one of her friends which I found annoying. But eventually she lost interest in it. I'm not saying everything will be perfect when she stops struggling to read, because my daughter was a challenging teenager as well. Just when she hit puberty the academic struggles subsided and the teenage troubles began. But she eventually finished high school in a small alternative school with high grades.


I thought the schools were failing her for a long time until I started working as a substitute teacher and taking education classes. I have a greater appreciation for the challenges faced by children and educators. There is no single style of education that is perfect or completely flawed. Even though you don't agree with her mother's decision, it sounds like her mother is paying attention to her education as well. I would worry more if she took her to the neighborhood school and wasn't concerned with what was happening during her school day. And I'm not bashing the neighborhood school, many of them are far better than people realize. I just see this with some of my students who struggle that have parents that don't care about education.


I have a younger child in a Waldorf charter and have no problems. Again, it's because she is strong academically not because of Waldorf. She attended regular public school for a while and did fine. I just jumped at a chance to put her in a Waldorf charter when one became available. My younger child is very strong academically and she reads several grade levels above her age and did before attending Waldorf. I can't yet speak to my own experience with Waldorf in practice, other than I like to use some of the techniques in my teaching public school. I work with a lot of children who are burned out by the end of second grade by "rigorous, standards based curriculum." It sounds good to voters.


What I have seen work for my oldest daughter and other children with processing disorders, a holistic, sensory style of learning can help the child grasp these concepts over the long run, but it is a slow process. A couple of years can make a big difference in how she is academically. We measure children's success by benchmarking reading, writing and math goals at certain ages. You may have to adjust your view of what counts as progress for her because children with processing issues can't be pushed along any faster than they can go. With my older daughter I struggled to accept where she was and was appalled by her writing skills until she got to middle school. I understand your concerns. It is not easy observing the struggles of a child you love and feeling unable to fix it for them.


It's not about intellect. The best approach is to try different approaches. Find out if she's a visual learner, auditory learner, kinesthetic learner.... see what helps her retain information and help her that way. But also relax and do things with her that she's comfortable with and enjoys so that your time with her is supportive and accepting. As a step parent, there is only so much you can do. I used to have step children and saw similar things, one child struggled a lot with school until he was 9. Then something changed, he grew into it and began reading easily and working at grade level without a struggle. He too graduated.


Kids are individuals and each one has their own journey with education. Since she's now in a charter, the charter school has access to district resources like evaluations. Also, charters are required to meet minimum standards set by the state so she won't be getting a pure Waldorf experience. As long as she isn't struggling with something that really needs intervention right now, she will be fine. It's better to maintain a peaceful supportive environment for her and not stress your marriage about it. If getting evaluated is an option for her, then it is possible a learning disability can be identified and supported accordingly.  Good luck!

post #1135 of 1181



Thank you for your reply. We have discussed tutors but it just isn't in our budget. So we are trying to do the best we can on our own. She is very smart and we are hopeful that she will catch up. If you know of any teaching materials that helpful in filling in the gaps in her education please let me know.


But in addition to the academic stuff, I am wondering if anyone in this support group knows of any sort of guidelines to help children un-learn the misinformation that Waldorf teaches them? Other than lots of books (which she can't yet read) and trips to the museum? She will come home and tell me something she learned in school and it is just plain wrong. When I try to tell her what is true she says that the teacher said it was so insists the teacher is right because they are the teacher.


I am supportive of her and hide very well my disappointment with her education, but if she comes home telling me that she learned in school that the earth is hollow and is tied to the moon with a moon beam, well - how can I sit there and say "sure honey, that is correct?" It would be doing her a disservice.

post #1136 of 1181

Hello Luper, Although the above gave some good general information I really do not think it is helpful when dealing with the total effects of Waldorf Education. You are in a very difficult position here and I think (know) that you must give your step daughter the truth when she presents you with falsehoods gained in her Waldorf classroom. Truly, I am not sure that a marriage could survive the situation that you are in given that her bio parents are gung- ho on Waldorf.


If there is an opening and you can tutor her I would suggest you look into buying some inexpensive but highly useful Montessori Products such as the moveable alphabet and the math golden beads. You can utilize these materials in many many ways that would help her to learn in a concrete and clear way. You can purchse these inexpensive materials on-line through a Montessori materials dealer, there are many.


Good luck to you and what a blessing for her to have you in her life!

post #1137 of 1181

Holy cow! I haven't heard anything like that yet. With that in mind, I can appreciate your concerns. If you have access to any kind of museum of science and she shows the vaguest interest in it, then perhaps a few visits now and then will help. They are good at making science visual and engaging to children. You might even resort to some kid centered science t.v. shows if your spouse is not going along with Waldorf's avoidance of T.V.. Many are available on PBS or for rent. The Internet is full of freebies in the category of science.


If she experiences a different perspective in a fun, safe way, then she at least will have the opportunity to consider different sources of information. What she is learning sounds poetic and metaphoric. But teaching her the difference between a beautiful metaphor and fact may take some time. Libraries carry a lot of great non fiction books for children on a wide variety of scientifically based subjects with pictures, fun facts and sometimes activity suggestions. Make it seem like fun stuff rather than work. The best way to make it engaging is focus it on what she likes. Then you don't have to convince her that you are an authority on the subject which she has already decided you aren't.


I wish you the best of luck with your family.

post #1138 of 1181



I appreciate your first post and your suggestions that it might not be the school or the Waldorf system that is failing her. However that isn't the case. She has no processing issues or learning disabilities, and she is not dyslexic. The problem is that the school is not even approaching the teaching of these things. Everything that she has learned she has learned outside of school. And when we teach her things on our own she picks them up very quickly. It's getting her to want to learn them in the first place, convincing her that she can learn them, and getting her to practice them so she retains what she has learned that is the problem. I don't know how to speak Mandarin but it isn't because I have a learning problem. It is because no one has attempted to teach me how.


The parent that originally selected a Waldorf education is not interested whatsoever in what their child is actually learning. They are not involved with her education beyond that. They don't come to school events or to school meetings. However, they are completely sucked into the Waldorf philosophy. Appearing to be the perfect Waldorf person who lives the Waldorf Way is more important to them than the learning progress their child is making. They are a complete paradox. It is nice that you think the best of them though. The parent that went along with the selection of Waldorf is convinced that she will catch up eventually. Sure - she probably will. But at the cost of her self-confidence?


As far as the neighborhood school, we live in a nice safe area with a fantastic public school system.  I think it is a blanket statement to say that sending your kids to a public school is uncaring on the part of parents or implying that they do not care about their children's education if they send them there. Sometimes it is by choice and sometimes financial circumstances make it a necessity. I know many children who go to a public school - including the one in our neighborhood. On the most part they are smart, polite, and good-hearted. And I went to a public school and I turned out ok.


Thank you for your suggestion about tv shows and the internet in your second post. We have looked into those options as well. The earth tied to the moon story was a fictional example, but equal in ridiculousness to the actual things she has been taught. I just would like to keep some anonymity and not use actual examples.


I realize that all schools, public and private, have their flaws. But all schools are in the business of educating children and education them with factual information. When an individual school or an alternative teaching program fails to do so for a large percentage of their students, then that school or that system is a failure.

post #1139 of 1181



Our marriage will ok. My spouse isn't gung-ho Waldorf and I don't see any signs that they will be going that way. The other parent is gung-ho Waldorf for the most part.


Thank you for your suggestions on learning materials! If you can think of anymore suggestions, please throw them my way.


Yes - the total effects of Waldorf. Not teaching correct information or not teaching children at all. Thank you for knowing what I mean by that. And I am 100% behind telling her the truth when what she has been told is a complete falsehood. If it is a story from mythology or a religion or make-believe, then I make sure to clarify the difference between a belief and actual fact. I tell her that it is something that she may believe in (like fairies, angels, gods) and that I might believe in some of those things too - but it is not something that is an actual proven fact, no matter what her teacher has told her. Thanks for seconding me on that.

post #1140 of 1181

I applaud you for looking after your step daughter and staying on top of her needs. I have posted some links below for free educational materials like printable worksheets based on grade level and subject. Some may not be entirely free. Reading A-Z is a phonics program that teachers use and costs but is reasonable. They have really good books that are printable and kids respond well to them. I used them in literacy intervention groups and my students liked them a lot. They have free samples. But there are tons of free thing online of similar quality. It just takes a lot of searching. See how your step daughters responds to leveled literacy books. They walk children through literacy skills with fun stories that build their confidence and skills. Some libraries carry a variety of these. You can find the assessment tools online by searching. I'm sorry I don't have a good list. I'm still putting my own together since I usually have these available to me at school.


I have encountered Waldorf parents who regard parents who don't even consider charter schools as uncaring which utterly appalls me. I work in title I schools and I'm disgusted when people who are supposedly educated have no grasp on the reality many families face. Participating in any charter school requires resources that many families in title I schools simply don't have. Parents of charter school students have to provide transportation that is often both time consuming and resource intensive.  Charter school parents have to pay higher fees that can't be waived with a free or reduced school lunch qualification, and many charters schools have either no school lunch program or an expensive catered lunch. All these create barriers to families in poverty who have no option but the neighborhood school. Conversely the neighborhood schools become weaker when children are put in charter schools. I am feeling some degree of guilt for taking my daughter out of our neighborhood school but the middle school environment is concerning to me.


I have not seen anything alarming in my daughter's school. But I have no problem with putting her back in the neighborhood school if I do see some of the flimsy things passed off as knowledge that I have only started finding out about after enrolling her. I looked into Waldorf off and on for over 15 years and never encountered the criticisms or anything concerning until after we started our child in a Waldorf inspired charter. I substitute in the school occasionally and have not seen anything concerning with the curriculum or teachers. But I'm not there much. I hear and see the attitudes from parents that I sometimes appreciate and others do not.


Most of the time I substitute or teach in title I schools with high numbers of English language learners and high rates of poverty. So I see other issues that make headlines but ultimately aren't as bad as they have been made to seem.

http://www.tlsbooks.com (free)

http://www.dltk-teach.com/minibooks/index.htm (free)

http://www.readinga-z.com/phonics/index.html (some free, mostly membership based)

http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/printables.html (mixed)

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