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Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 9

post #161 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi View Post
Max you wrote:

More generally, but much more heart-tuggingly, try:
www.waldorfeducation.me.uk
I doubt if anyone could get to the end of page one without a lump in their throat.


O.M.G. I had never heard of this site before. I am welling up with tears having only read the poem on the first page. Good for whoever this person is for making that site!

Thanks for sharing it with us.

:

Beth
Good Morning,
Happy Saturday.
I don't think there is any hurt in mentioning that for all that the site is based in England, the site owner is herself American, so there is an American perspective there.
Its a big read, and not everyone will want to go through it, but I might say that clicking on the Guest Book reveals that some of the messages there are from Uncle Sam's side of the Duck Pond.
Indeed two AWSNA schools are mentioned by name: one in California, and one in Oregon? Portland?
Might be of interest.

Max
post #162 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi View Post

I'll do a project with you! I still have my plant-based watercolors and some paper... and my bee'swax crayons... I just don't buy them directly from Waldorf-associated places anymore.

Max here
Go for it. Do I presume too much in thinking that your kids own curiousity about colours, and their own exuberance will be allowed free expression? You know what I mean- using any colours they want, on DRY paper, to portray Mummy as green with blue hair, Daddy as scarlet with purple hair, and the dog as .....I don't really want to go there!
Masterpieces, some of which will occupy pride of place somewhere in Granny and Grandad's house, or Dad's workplace, etc etc etc.
Of course, should you so wish, you could get really evil and allow the kids to portray something like coal as...dare I say it?...black?
I guess that's me totally damned to perdition now!

All of the beauty and heart you saw in Waldorf came from within..and it is still there. It always will be. You carry it with you. We can share it with our children anytime.
I can't add to that other than Here Here.
Max
post #163 of 1181
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Max.
post #164 of 1181
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Today I am re-reading some Buddhist texts in order to be at peace with others' opinions of me. I feel pretty good.

I find it difficult when people claim to be so progressive, so pro-family, or pro-woman... yet treat me like literal crap. I am realizing that much of my sadness may actually be anger I am not "permitted" to vent properly or effectively.

So, I am looking for another way, say, through a mentor, counselor, and my writing.

I am particularly frustrated when I ask questions or attempt to discuss or clarify things, and the powers that be literally ignore me and do not answer me.

I was blamed for things that later obviously had nothing to do with me. I was innocent yet others attempted to make me feel like everything was my fault. They told me things that I later found out were complete lies.

Lies!?!

How can human beings treat each other this way?

All of this is a strengthening exercise if you look at it right.

My kids and I were making up songs this morning as we lay together on the couch. One song about climbing a tree ended up saying:

The higher I climb
the more I can see.

So true, so true.

Peace,
Bean
post #165 of 1181

leaving...

Hello,

Thanks for this thread-I really need it right at this moment, my hsb. and I are making the decision at this moment to leave our WS. This is so difficult, and brought about by many, many concerns on behalf of our child. I am really hoping to share with others whose children have transitioned to other schools, while in the grades. I feel almost like we are surrounded by a fog that is gradually beginning to lift after many years, yet I am so apprehensive. I am worried for my child-we haven't discussed this change yet, as our decision has been evolving, and I am worried that we will lose our community of friends, as those leaving are generally portrayed as problematic. I can't believe we are in the middle of this...sigh.
post #166 of 1181
HI Karne, you aren't alone. It can be difficult and worrisome but I think it will get easier once you've decided to leave. My dd was angry 2 weeks ago when we told her. Now she's getting excited about the change. We went past the public school she will be attending and she was shouting "There's my new school, There's my new school." I think she's know something isn't right for a while with WS. So it's sort of a relief to not go back.
post #167 of 1181

Thanks for support

Thanks for the support. Can I ask how you explained your decision to your daughter? Our grown up concerns obviously are for us alone-all my daughter will see is the loss of her friends of several years, and change is difficult for her. On the other hand, perhaps I should be looking for the strengths and resiliency that she has, rather than focus on the anxiety of the situation? Any thoughts are helpful to me!
post #168 of 1181
Another note: I have accessed easeonline.org, as mentioned in a prior post, and have found this site to be helpful. There is a link to post-waldorf tutoring, out of NYC, that is helpful as well.
post #169 of 1181
I guess it helped that my daughter has asked to go to public school for a while. My dh, teaches in the school disctrict we are sending her. We also know at least one other Waldorf family who sent their children for Kindergarten only at Waldorf and is now at the same school where dd is going. My dd also knows a boy in a grade ahead of her because of my dh's business. Plus being a teacher in the school district we know lots of teacher's and administrator's. So we just told her that she was going to public school because we were not happy with the teacher that was selected to teach the class. We would find tutors to continue her german and violin lessons. I think I may have told her something like, to be a good parent sometimes means making big decisions to protect her interests and remove her from situations which I see are harmful. We pointed out that she was behind in math and that she would need to be tutored over the summer. If Waldorf education was the best we wouldn't have these concerns. So she was pretty happy because we were going to let her take violin. Any other questions about friends I answered we shall see what happens. She asked about birthday parties, etc... Since it was a year ahead of time we told her we couldn't answer things like that, right now. My daughter never thinks in the here and now. So the transition went easily. I never really let myself get really close to anyone in the class, so it's not like I really felt she had strong ties to the children. The women I talk to have either younger or older children and completely understand what the class has gone through. They would have taken their kids out too. So she will continue to have relationships with Waldorf children but just not the dysfunction that went on with her class.

It also helps that many of my good friends live out of the state. So she sees that my own friendships aren't limited to the Waldorf community. Plus with my dh's business we have friends we only see once a year when we travel for shows. So to me, a friendship is not limited to people you see on a daily basis. She was also on the bullying end of the totem pole and I'm sure it's a relief to not be going back to that. I hope this helps you and that it is understandable. I was interupted by my littlest too many times to think straight.:
post #170 of 1181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
Hello,

Thanks for this thread-I really need it right at this moment, my hsb. and I are making the decision at this moment to leave our WS. This is so difficult, and brought about by many, many concerns on behalf of our child. I am really hoping to share with others whose children have transitioned to other schools, while in the grades. I feel almost like we are surrounded by a fog that is gradually beginning to lift after many years, yet I am so apprehensive. I am worried for my child-we haven't discussed this change yet, as our decision has been evolving, and I am worried that we will lose our community of friends, as those leaving are generally portrayed as problematic. I can't believe we are in the middle of this...sigh.
Hi Karne,
I am glad you found us. I agree that focusing on your child's strengths is a good place to start. Without trying to sound tacky, I felt my leaving the Waldorf was very similar to leaving a cult. I was shunned and lost everything.

I was literally in a daze and humiliated. Maybe those feelings are stronger than what you are going thru, but in any event, it helps to know how others dealt.

I cannot state strongly enough that my son blossomed after leaving Waldorf. Quite frankly, he never looked back. At 12 years old he still talks about how unhappy he was there, even when he looked like he was having fun.

Peace,
Bean
post #171 of 1181
******falls down weeping with gratitude to find this thread**********

I am subbing for now.

my Waldof wounds are very fresh, but I have a lot to say. Just wanted to peek in and say hi after reading so much..

I'll be back soon to elaborate..

DS needs breakfast
post #172 of 1181
OH how relieved I am. For weeks and weeks, I have felt SOOO alone in my disturbing disapproval of Waldorf. For me, our wounds, tho fresh, are VERY small compared to the other blessed mothers here.. My DS was "considered for admission" into our local WS. We attended the "teacher evaluation" and "observation" with great hopes that he would be a good fit for the school. Boy were we wrong. First off, I was met with GREAT disapproval that I did not bring my husband along on the interview. He works a FULL week and we could not afford for him to miss any time. When I mentioned my younger son being at home with a neighbor, the teacher seemed put off that he also was not included in the interview. I was shocked to hear this, seeing as how I expected the interview to focus mainly on my son. Oh how wrong I was. The teacher gave me a pitiful tour of the school and then sat me down for what turned into a 90 minute interrogation into our family life. She asked me personal questions I would never have imagined to be asked at a school interview. She paid little attention to my son and seemed totally uninterested in his questions and conversation. Immediately the questions about his "TV time" began. She asked me how much he watched.. I felt shamed to admit that he watched about three hours a week. She grilled me about his diet, my diet, our home, our spiritual practices, the festivals/holidays we observe. She went on an on for over an hour and a half. I felt violated and shamed for every answer I gave.. I can't even explain it.

At the end of the interview, she showed me her classroom and then walked away.. She gave no formal goodbye or anything. So odd. I was flabbergasted. Yet, I still believed and went home struggling with my pain.

More later, laundry dry..

Thanks for listeing..
post #173 of 1181
Thread Starter 
SimonsMamma,

Shame on them for treating you that way.

Guilt. Shame. Embarassment.

I am so familiar with these feelings and you will find others here who are, too.

In my opinion, that teacher did you a favor by showing you right away what type of environment your child would have been in. Feel lucky.

This is a perfect example of the times I have seen Waldorf-related people that feel so spiritually superior, they don't even follow normal social conventions such as stating a "Goodbye" with eye contact and respect in their voice.

But call them on it, and WE would be viewed as the bad guy with the behavioral problem. At least, that is what happened to me!

This is why I carry the signature here on MDC that I do ("The way we treat others reflects our inner state"). I have learned that when someone treats you like you are not good enough, then THEY are projecting what they feel about themselves. They are handling their problem in a destructive manner, taking it out on others in an attempt to feel higher by putting others down.

Many hugs to you, and I am sorry you feel so disrespected. You and your child are worth so much more than that! I am sure you are wonderful... just the way you (and your lifestyle, t.v. viewing, etc.) are.
post #174 of 1181
Thanks Bean for your kind reply. I have spent the better part of the day reading through this thread and the link listed above.

My horizons have broadened so. What bothers me so deeply about the school and the anthro lifestyle is how "sneaky" it all felt to me. sure, the facade of the Waldorf education is lovely and covered in silk (haha) but inside of it, there is so much that is shrouded in mystery and quiet. this bothers me. I, myself have survived several "religious" groups. I am recovering still from those. the idea of the anthro lifestyle is exciting, but the reality sends chills to my bones and echoes past pain..

to continue my story..

after my interview, my DH and I decided to give it a try. we'd see if the school was a good fit for DS despite what we felt in our guts. we were so in love with the idea of him being in what we considered to be such a wholesome environment that we began making preparations to make HUGE financial sacrifices to send him to the school. our initial ouput was just under a thousand US to enroll him. we liquidated part of a 401K and drained our savings. we were totally ready to front the money to the school..

then DH went to see the school.

let me say up front I have only ever seen two diff. W schools. this one and another one (both fledgling schools at best)... neither of them were really impressive to be honest. but DH was appalled at the school. the school is held in a church as they have no proper land/building of their own. the rooms are borrowed. in short, the facility was far below acceptable for what we would have been paying to send DS to this school.

going home that night Dh and I had what I call a "come to Jesus" moment about the school. we both admitted our "addiction to crunchiness" and our deep hope our son would grow in such a hippie dippie school. but as we added up the costs, we started to grow weary. no TV, no juice boxes, no more teaching him to read (something we had been doing very well with).. limited time with "outsiders".. new 'holidays' and festivals. new ideals we were squeamish to integrate into our son's mind.

we prayed for guidance. going to my knees begging God to help me either let go completely or jump in. still the next day I felt no peace. ironically, we got a phone call two days after DH had toured the school from another preschool we had considered for our DS saying he had a spot if he wanted it and they were excited to meet us. in contrast, the initial financial output for that school was only about 200 bucks.. a stark contrast to the thousand we were about to hand over..

not long after that, we got our "accepatance pack" complete with HUGE piles of paperwork about "media" agreements, nutritional guidelines, a massive calendar of meetings/fests/parent groups.. all of which were to be part of our "experience" with the W community.

DH drew the line in the sand, saying he completely disagreed with the W philosophies (thank GOD!) and did not want DS enrolled there. I was at a loss, but sent letter to them declining our acceptance.

Following that, I received an email from the director stating that our son was to be "integrated in" to the current student population and they were sad to have lost the opportunity to school him. I returned her email thanking her, though bewildered that my son would be "integrated" at all.

What followed was a series of strange emails with pushy questions about why we were "walking away from such a great chance" and "rejecting this opportunity.." I stopped replying and decided enough was enough..

A few weeks ago (about two months since my last email with the director) I ran into a mom at yoga whom I knew had her son enrolled at the school. I casually mentioned our initial interest and how we declined the acceptance. I watched as tears filled her eyes. She told me of how she had pulled her son from the school due to bullying, strange teacher behavior and mounting doubts over the stability of the school. She was uncomfortable with the amount of time her son was made to stay outside, even in inclement weather. She was weary of the stringent nutritional guidelines and was tired of forcing her child to bed at such early hours. She went on to reveal how much money they had sacrificed and lost to send him to school only two half days a week because he could not "adjust" to the full week. We talked for over an hour. I felt so sad for her.. It's not the only story I have heard..

So, in short, though my wounds are fresh. I still have nothing in compare to the pain many of you have experienced. I consider myself to have truly "dodged a bullet". My son is now enrolled in another school and we are excited to send him to school with a juice box
post #175 of 1181
Wow, just reading reading reading....


...it's been Canada Day Long Weekend here, so lots of get-togethers and busy-ness, but I wanted to post and say "I'm here" and offer my welcomes to our new members - thank you for joining us and I hope that this thread and all the people here who share openly and honestly about their experiences will be a comfort in some way.





- Kira
post #176 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
Hello,

Thanks for this thread-I really need it right at this moment, my hsb. and I are making the decision at this moment to leave our WS. This is so difficult, and brought about by many, many concerns on behalf of our child. I am really hoping to share with others whose children have transitioned to other schools, while in the grades. I feel almost like we are surrounded by a fog that is gradually beginning to lift after many years, yet I am so apprehensive. I am worried for my child-we haven't discussed this change yet, as our decision has been evolving, and I am worried that we will lose our community of friends, as those leaving are generally portrayed as problematic. I can't believe we are in the middle of this...sigh.
I have moved, and kept on movin'
Proved some points that i needed provin'
Lost some friends that I needed losin',
Found some others along the way,
Let me tell you that I love you,
And I think about you all of the time,
(Wherever and whatever you came from) youre' calling me,
And I'm coming home.

Dougie MacLean: Caledonia

Weigh it up, I hope it's at least a little strengthening for you.
Pax
Max
post #177 of 1181
I read this thread because I was ready to send my son to the Jerusalem Anthoposophical school, but he refused to go, and it sounds like we made the right choice.

(BTW, did you know there is a kibbutz (Harduf) in Israel which follows Anthroposophic principles? http://www.kamah.org.il/eng/kibutz.asp)


He has borderline PDD/ADD issues, and did not do well in 1st grade in integrated special ed. We then homeschooled for 3 years. He is really strong in art (drawing, sculpture) although he hates music, and I though Waldorf would allow him to focus on his strengths and not as much academics (he is weak in verbal skills, but loves science). Also, I thought the structure of the lessons would appeal to him.

He would have been the only Jewishly observant boy in the school (there are 2 girls) but this is Israel, and Torah studies are required even in secular schools, for history and literature, so I figured it would be OK. No, it would not have been OK! What was I thinking?!

We don't know a single parent there - they just aren't in our circle - which worried me as well, but oh! the woodworking! And the bells! And the ceramics!!

We ended up not applying (I don't know if he would be accepted anyway) because he refused to go to a school where he didn't know anyone.

So yeah, he gets too much candy and gameboys and popular culture at his present school (neighborhood state religious school with large English-speaking population, great science program, incredible special ed) and the bells for changing classes are too noisy, but oh well. He's happy, has lots of friends, making academic progress, and walks to school. Oh yeah, and it's free. (What was I thinking that we could afford private school?)

In the end, his class (special ed after school supplementary stuff) voted to do nature, woodworking, and cooking as their 3 electives. So there you go.
post #178 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonsMamma View Post
OH how relieved I am. For weeks and weeks, I have felt SOOO alone in my disturbing disapproval of Waldorf.

And now you know you aint! A good feeling eh?

For me, our wounds, tho fresh, are VERY small compared to the other blessed mothers here.. My DS was "considered for admission" into our local WS. We attended the "teacher evaluation" and "observation" with great hopes that he would be a good fit for the school.

I have never been a Waldorf parent, and I can now count in decades just how long it has been since I had to be concerened with school education for my sons, so I have no difficulty in conceding that I may well say some nonsense. I'd like to see what others say on your initial notion that your son might be 'a good fit for the school'
Is this induced by the promotional material?
Should we also consider if the school is a good fit for the child?
Just tell me if I am talking garbage!


Boy were we wrong. First off, I was met with GREAT disapproval that I did not bring my husband along on the interview. He works a FULL week and we could not afford for him to miss any time. When I mentioned my younger son being at home with a neighbor, the teacher seemed put off that he also was not included in the interview.

I wonder if this was in fact a huge bonus? If I read this correctly, you picked up very early that what you would have bought in to was going so very much more than simply education. WTG!!

I was shocked to hear this, seeing as how I expected the interview to focus mainly on my son. Oh how wrong I was. The teacher gave me a pitiful tour of the school and then sat me down for what turned into a 90 minute interrogation into our family life. She asked me personal questions I would never have imagined to be asked at a school interview. She paid little attention to my son and seemed totally uninterested in his questions and conversation. Immediately the questions about his "TV time" began. She asked me how much he watched.. I felt shamed to admit that he watched about three hours a week. She grilled me about his diet, my diet, our home, our spiritual practices, the festivals/holidays we observe. She went on an on for over an hour and a half. I felt violated and shamed for every answer I gave.. I can't even explain it.

May I offer a possibility?
During my time, I turned the corner on visiting my doctor. I told him that I just felt so utterly useless, worthless and such stuff, that I wanted him to give me some 'happy' pills.
He didn't do so. Rather, he very quickly diagnosed 'cultural alienation'
The only prescription he gave me was a double appointment for the following week, just for us to talk.
During that appointment, he asked how I was feeling right then at that moment. I said I felt pretty much ok.
He said "there you are then. All that has happened is that we have just talked, with neither of us using words that are coded or loaded"

Does any of this help clarify anything for you? I do hope so.


At the end of the interview, she showed me her classroom and then walked away.. She gave no formal goodbye or anything. So odd. I was flabbergasted. Yet, I still believed and went home struggling with my pain.

Being here will hopefully ease that pain. I don't want to try to speak for bean, but I reckon that is just why she set up this thread in the first place.

Chin up lady, you are ok.
Max


Thanks for listeing..
I still can't work this properly!
post #179 of 1181
Just a heads up that I temporarily removed two posts that need minor editing...I am headed out the door and will pm tonight to request edits, thanks for your patience

Kristi
post #180 of 1181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Kira~ View Post
Wow, just reading reading reading....


...it's been Canada Day Long Weekend here, so lots of get-togethers and busy-ness, but I wanted to post and say "I'm here" and offer my welcomes to our new members - thank you for joining us and I hope that this thread and all the people here who share openly and honestly about their experiences will be a comfort in some way.





- Kira
Hi there, you preggers-mama! How are you feeling? I just saw on my calendar that it was Canada Day the other day. I had never heard of that!: Did you have fun?

...and thanks for your support. You are always a rock around here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookMommy! View Post
I read this thread because I was ready to send my son to the Jerusalem Anthoposophical school, but he refused to go, and it sounds like we made the right choice.

(BTW, did you know there is a kibbutz (Harduf) in Israel which follows Anthroposophic principles? http://www.kamah.org.il/eng/kibutz.asp)


He has borderline PDD/ADD issues, and did not do well in 1st grade in integrated special ed. We then homeschooled for 3 years. He is really strong in art (drawing, sculpture) although he hates music, and I though Waldorf would allow him to focus on his strengths and not as much academics (he is weak in verbal skills, but loves science). Also, I thought the structure of the lessons would appeal to him.

He would have been the only Jewishly observant boy in the school (there are 2 girls) but this is Israel, and Torah studies are required even in secular schools, for history and literature, so I figured it would be OK. No, it would not have been OK! What was I thinking?!

We don't know a single parent there - they just aren't in our circle - which worried me as well, but oh! the woodworking! And the bells! And the ceramics!!

We ended up not applying (I don't know if he would be accepted anyway) because he refused to go to a school where he didn't know anyone.

So yeah, he gets too much candy and gameboys and popular culture at his present school (neighborhood state religious school with large English-speaking population, great science program, incredible special ed) and the bells for changing classes are too noisy, but oh well. He's happy, has lots of friends, making academic progress, and walks to school. Oh yeah, and it's free. (What was I thinking that we could afford private school?)

In the end, his class (special ed after school supplementary stuff) voted to do nature, woodworking, and cooking as their 3 electives. So there you go.
Welcome! ...and thank you for enlightening us about this type of school. I was trained as a Waldorf teacher and was a member of an Anthroposophical study group, so I have to say I am surprised!

We were taught and studied so much about Christ and the Mystery of Golgotha (the crucifixion), that I am surprised to find a kibbutz that is Anthroposophically oriented. Now there's a twist for ya'!

I think you are right that, if your child is happy, compassionate, grounded, and well-adjusted, then that's the right place for them.
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