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Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 48

post #941 of 1181
i'm only on pg 17, but whoa!!! i had heard waldorf was a little "airy fairy" but i had no idea. thanks so much for your stories and honesty. i will not be pursuing any education for the littles that is "waldorf-y" i would like to keep the toys, plant-stained wooden ones from germany" i believe, LOL!
post #942 of 1181
hey there, quick update. ds started in our local neighborhood public school in jan; 3 weeks in and we couldn't be happier. he's learning to read and write, has learned how to play chess and basketball, has a fabulous teacher and good friends, can walk to and from school, is in a truly diverse community, and got to watch the inauguration live with his school. we can step foot in the classroom any time we want; that took me a while to get my head around after the secrecy and closed doors at his last school. after being given endless time outs and warnings and being sent to sit in kindergarten daily in his last school, in 3 weeks in PS ds hasn't had a single warning and is being used as an exemplary model for other students! his teacher is so impressed with him; social skills, academics, everything. ds can hardly believe that his new teacher has a sense of humor, accepts him for who he is, and doesn't punish kids who are just goofing around.

i thought we needed some closure with his old school but now it doesn't seem so important, plus they make that impossible. ah well, we're over it. we miss the spanish and i thought we'd miss the handwork, but guess what, some parents are teaching knitting and sewing in his new class...and i can go in and do drumming with the kids whenever i want! wow..what a massive relief...:
post #943 of 1181
Hi Muse. I have been wondering how your family has been. What great news for your son. I'm really happy to hear of his experience, and yours as well. My kids are at PS as well-last place I thought we'd be, and now I am so, so thankful for their education. There are a bunch of us ex-waldorfers there and we all say that the ps is more ideally 'waldorf' than the waldorf school ever was!

We too were so amazed at the lack of a "punishment model" in the school. My very compliant dd was deeply disturbed by the constant punishment at waldorf. I don't know-our pub. school just doesn't seem to have the same discipline issues. My ds can give his teacher a run for her money-very strong personality-and he is dealt with calmly and respectfully. It helps to have actual, trained, educators, IMO.

Best wishes for the remainder of the year!
post #944 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post
i'm only on pg 17, but whoa!!! i had heard waldorf was a little "airy fairy" but i had no idea. thanks so much for your stories and honesty. i will not be pursuing any education for the littles that is "waldorf-y" i would like to keep the toys, plant-stained wooden ones from germany" i believe, LOL!
Hi Playamama. We have a boatload of those toys here! In addition to what we make ourselves.

It's worth it to keep reading. I think that you will see that most of us, if I can speak broadly, have started to close the chapter on waldorf. Specifically Waldorf schools and anthroposophy. Like most cult-like endeavors, the longer you're out, the less craziness you have in your life and the healthier you get. I love where my kids and family are now, so I'm feeling darned good about how we weathered all of this.

BTW, wooden figures, nature, following seasonal rhythyms-none of this is waldorf. Only when you apply peudo-religious anthroposophy to it does it become waldorf.
post #945 of 1181
Muse, thank you so much for the update! It sounds like it is indeed a good fit. I bet that you could help the PTSA hire a Spanish teacher for an optional before/after school activity if that's really important to you. I am so glad to hear that your son is thriving!
post #946 of 1181
Thread Starter 
Hi, y'all! Sorry I have not checked in. MAN time is flying for me right now! Especially since I have gone back to teaching full time this school year. I post here, and then when I check back I am thinking, "How in the heck has it been 10 days since I posted that?"

Anyhoo... so good to hear from all of you.

I love how the arc and evolution of this group is going... support, sharing, laying our feelings out there, defending not justifying, healing, wisdom, and now sharing our happiness post-waldorf.

As my friend says, it takes a lot of *poo poo word* to grow flowers!
post #947 of 1181
Thread Starter 
*wave*

I really think many of we core posters have been off living our lives now, and have not been back in a while. We are now in touch outside of mothering and so interact that way a lot.

It is so refreshing to see the evolution of healing... the way I, personally, no longer feel the need to defend my experience, my position, or even feel the need to know if some pro-waldorfer even reads my posts and progress.

Instead, I feel a sense of balance and happiness is now my, and my family's, bottom line emotion. Before it was rejection, humiliation, embarrassment, self-doubt, worthlessness, isolation, repression... so many feelings have we worked through.

However, as it has turned out, because we have each reached out and exposed these raw feelings and pain, we have been granted friendship, kindness, and comfort from each other.

It is done. Healing has taken place, and now we step forth into a world where we no longer even identify as "survivors"... we simply identify with our true selves, love our true selves (warts and all)... and step into the sunshine.

Love,

Bean :
post #948 of 1181
Thread Starter 
The man behind the rainbow, silk veil was shorter than I imagined.

As it turned out, WE ARE THE ONES with the ruby slippers on our feet...

post #949 of 1181
I send this thread to ppl all of the time who are looking for real Waldorf info. I don't have any experience with Waldorf thanks to this thread. I do know lots of people who send their kids to Waldorf.

So glad to see that others are doing well after such disillusioning experiences.
post #950 of 1181

Help!

This is my first ever MDC post. I have read this entire thread, and the one that came before it. I'm now concerned about choosing a Waldorf-Inspired public charter school for my 5 year-old child (starting K next fall). All of the other local public schools that might be options currently have very long waiting lists, so we will be going to the Waldorf charter for at least K. My friends think I am crazy for even questioning the school, as it is really, really hard to get into, but they have not read your experiences! I was horrified at how similar some of your stories are, and can’t just chalk it up to one or two “bad Waldorfs”.

I was going to post this in the Waldorf forum, but realized I am looking for the opinions of those who sub to this thread. If my post isn’t appropriate for the thread, I apologize.

I am wondering if you think any of the following things would have prevented or lessened the problems/issues with Waldorf as discussed on this thread?

-This is a public school and all teachers must be credentialed by my state (which has rigid requirements). They also all have Waldorf teacher training.
-Many of the teachers have taught only in public schools for their entire teaching career.
-The school is not a member of AWSNA.
-When I asked the K teachers about Steiner/Anthroposophy/Dogma, I was told that they are “of the opinion that all Waldorf schools should be "Waldorf inspired", not being dogmatic, but rather taking the inspiration of Rudolf Steiner and applying it the best way they can”.
-This particular school does want to be guided by Stiener’s principles and find deeper meaning in how to apply them to today’s families. However, they recognize that Steiner was from the early 1900s, and that families now have different challenges.
-There is a devoted Special Education teacher and a Resource teacher on staff.
-The school has to follow district-wide policies on safety/ behavior/ supervision on the playground.
-The staff stays out of children’s conflicts “initially”, teachers say they pay attention and get involved when there is a potential for injury. I did observe a child being sent to the office for dangerous behavior on the playground.

I’m also wondering what other questions I should ask of the school. The fact that the upper grades have do an Eurythmy teacher is a bit of a red flag for me. I am going into this hopeful, but with eyes wide open. Again, if this is the wrong place for this kind of question, I am sorry!

Thanks!

Laurel
post #951 of 1181
Hi Laurel,
You did post in the right place and I don't know if I can help you ask the correct questions but after reading what you wrote. My main question is What is their policy on "in classroom behavior problems". That is where our biggest problem was. The teacher's themselves couldn't handle the classes in the classroom and that was taken to the playground.
Each school is individual just like every family. If the family rules aren't firm and in place it can transfer to school. Then how the school takes and deals with the issues can lead to more issues.
Our school was doomed because there weren't solutions to all the problems that arose. There weren't guidelines to keep the problems from blowing up. I would question how things were handled and if that solution doesn't work where does it go from there, etc...
I wish you the best of luck and hope some of the others can chime in. Thanks for posting.
post #952 of 1181
my son is at a waldorf-inspired preschool. he loves it.
2 months ago my son told me he was being molested by his dad. the "community" at the school has rallied around the potential abuser. I was told that because I wasn't telling my side of the story I wasn't getting support because he had been "so open" about it.

I found out yesterday that after I went to the authorities my son talked to folks - adults and kids at the school about the police getting his dad in trouble for rubbing his penis on his face. So they heard about the abuse first hand from my child but because he didn't sound "ashamed or scared" I guess they didn't believe him or take the time to let me know he was talking about it at school.

So right now I am a little down on Waldorf - protecting childhood innocence? bah humbug. how bout protecting kids from sexual abuse?

that said - my sister has her 3 in waldorf (different state, etc.) and it is amazaing. so like pp said - it depends on the school.
post #953 of 1181
"The staff stays out of children’s conflicts “initially”, teachers say they pay attention and get involved when there is a potential for injury. I did observe a child being sent to the office for dangerous behavior on the playground."

This is the big red flag for me. The trouble is, a lot of kid's behavior is not so concrete and obvious, and does not always lead to injury, but can certainly lead to harm. There was some really sneaky and subtle stuff - and some not so subtle stuff - going on at DS's school that was very harmful, and it was school policy to not get involved. I really dislike the lack of focus on conflict resolution in waldorf, and see it leading to some really dysfunctional dynamics.
post #954 of 1181
Wow tgrlilly, I'm so sorry that happened to your son. Even more upset that the people who should have your back don't. Every child deals with things in different ways and they shouldn't be judging your child.
post #955 of 1181
tgrlilly, did you not share with the staff at the school that this was going on?

It occurred to me while I was posting to your other thread that as a mandatory reporter, I am instructed (1) that I can't abdicate my reporting responsibilities, and (2) that I have to report even if I believe something has already been reported.

For instance, I had a foster child who revealed to me that her mother's boyfriend had sexually abused her. I had information that led me to believe that this is part of why she was in foster care (lack of protection on her mother's part), but I still had to make the call to social services to report it...just in case it *hadn't* been reported.

As a professional who works with children, if a kid tells me the police got his dad in trouble because his dad abused him, I have a responsibility to do something with that information. The least they could have done would be to verify the information with you...to verify that the police were in fact involved and not just that the child had heard that the police *could* become involved. For all they know, you had simply kicked his father out of the house and threatened to call the police. Or his father could have told him not to tell anyone because then he would get in trouble with the police. Etc.

In most (all?) states, teachers are mandatory reporters and have this same responsibility.

They do indeed need some SERIOUS education about abuse issues. Yikes!
post #956 of 1181
Hi Laurelsprings. Your questions are indeed appropriate for this thread, and I also encourage you to look at the reg. waldorf thread where there is occasionally discussion of waldorf education within a waldorf school. To be clear, homeschool using waldorf methods is not remotely like sending your child to a waldorf school, so you do need to be discerning about that difference.

I'm wondering why you want to send your child to a waldorf school? Maybe you could elaborate. I've never had experience with a public charter waldorf school, so I can't comment there. I would say I share the same "red flag" feelings about the lack of initial intervention in kids conflicts specifically because of waldorf's association with allowing bullying behavior to occur.

Are you intimately familiar with the anthroposophy? A waldorf school is founded, guided, and run according to anthroposophy. Many folks will tell you to ignore the far out teachings of anthroposophy, but I encourage you to examine anthroposophy well. Understand that whether you hear of it in your childs day to day existance at the school or not, it will be fully present Probably folks will minimize the role of anthroposophy, but you can't have waldorf without it, and all it's baggage.

If the teachers have taught or been trained in the PS system then at least you will know that they've been trained to teach the basics. Hopefully in a ps charter there would be some accountability for whether the children are actually learning, and some oversight of the staff. If the remedial specialist is an actual teacher with special ed training, versus a waldorf trained teacher, that would be reassuring. same with the resource person. if your child needs help, you don't want to be relying on "curative eurythmy" as help.

I would also say, know your child and yourself. Delayed academics are fine if your child is fine with that. If you have a pretty middle of the road learner things can sometimes go along smoothly. If your child needs any sort of educational support, or conversely, if they are gifted, it probably won't be a good fit. Know that this is not an individualized, child centered education-it's the exact opposite, which many parents seem not to know. While many kids do transfer out of waldorf, it's not a smooth process for most because of the lack of academics-so it's a good idea to think about whether you want to commit for the long term.

Others may have more to say, but really, my advice is to get clear about what you're entering into. Good luck.
post #957 of 1181
Thanks, Karne, for your thoughts. I didn't set out with Waldorf education in mind for DCs, I was first attracted to this particular school because of its great local reputation. I went on a visit to the kindergarten and DC and I fell in love with the beauty, quality of materials, etc. I'm sure many here can relate...is this how they suck you in ? The teachers have been wonderful in all of our interactions, we have felt welcomed every time we set foot on the campus. The Waldorf philosophy as presented was very exciting to our family- minimal media, strong community, preserving childhood, so on. Class sizes are small for a public school. I am ok with delayed academics for kindergarten, after 2nd grade the school does have to meet state standards and be tested on them. Before becoming a SAHM, I taught 4th-8th grades in public school so I will have a good sense of what is expected of a mainstream school student in each grade. My husband teaches Jr. High. Honestly, no matter where my kids go to school there will also be a good deal of homeschooling, KWIM?

There are precious few spots at the truly great kindergartens in this town, so I was thrilled when we were admitted to the Waldorf charter.

But when I started to read posts here, and read more and more about Anthroposophy, I started to freak out. However, I do want to give this school a try for many reasons- one of which is that I don't have a reasonable option for K at this point! Like I said, I'll be going into this aware of what others have experienced with Waldorf...I really just wanted to know if anyone here felt that the public school setting might help with the abuses/issues others have experienced, or if I am just conning myself.

ETA: yes, all staff are credentialed- resource and special ed staff have the appropriate credentials. What happens with kids who are "ahead" is a big question for me.
post #958 of 1181
Hi Laurelsprings - my son is in a Waldorf-inspired charter too. I'm grateful for this thread and to all the people who have posted their experiences. I have read much of this thread and it was helpful to know what sort of things to watch for at the school. I'm happy to report that at my son's school, I don't see any of the problems reported here and he's doing great. Good for you for doing your research! Keep your eyes and ears open!
post #959 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachweenie View Post
Hi Laurelsprings - my son is in a Waldorf-inspired charter too. I'm grateful for this thread and to all the people who have posted their experiences. I have read much of this thread and it was helpful to know what sort of things to watch for at the school. I'm happy to report that at my son's school, I don't see any of the problems reported here and he's doing great. Good for you for doing your research! Keep your eyes and ears open!
Thanks. It's been really hard for me to find much info about differences in experience between "Waldorf-inspired" public charter schools vs. AWSNA-member private Waldorfs. I can't imagine the situations I've read about here being tolerated by our local school district that holds our school's charter...and believe me, if I see things at my school like I've read about here, the district will be hearing about it!
post #960 of 1181
Hi I have not been around a while so I thought I'd pop by to say hi.

Laurelsprings, Waldorf inspired is not the same as actually Waldorf. There are very good and very bad things in Waldorf so many schools are trying to just use some of the good things, like the wooden toys, the art, not forcing children to read too early.... I would not recommend Real Waldorf AWSNA for anything in this world. I just keep hearing the same stories that similar to what we experienced over and over again in different parts of the world.
The Local Waldorf where we live, (not the one DS some went to) closed down and it was supposed to be one of the better Waldorf Schools.

DS (11) has finally caught up and I realise how much starting a traditional school after Waldorf really hurt his self-esteem. The first year especially was hard for him. No one wanted to be friends with him because all the children thought he was "retarded”, even the teachers did. I don't think they believed me when I told them that he really had not been taught anything. That is changing now, Thank God but I look back to our Waldorf days and can't believe I put him in a school like that!
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