Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 17 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-24-2007, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great, Karne!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

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Old 01-02-2008, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to wish all you wonderful mamas a

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Happy New Year to you all!!

I just brought my ds's things in from the trunk, just now. When I picked him up on the last day of school he was standing on the porch with a big black trash bag holding all of his stuff. No adult with him, just my boy (He's 8) with an overloaded bag. It was just so sad, but...it really hit home for me that the beauty of the school was an illusion. All I kept thinking was "couldn't it have been a box...maybe with some pretty watercolors taped/glued on to it?"

I'm not sure how much more I'll share, it all happened so fast, and most days i feel "over it". I did want to say that it has been helpful to read the other stories here.....and some what disturbing as well (so many common themes across so many schools)
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone is doing well.
How sad Zo's ma that they left him all alone! That's makes me mad. It's funny that you mentioned that they put everything in a big bag, we never received our things back.
My dd was complaining that her old school still hasn't given her all her stuff back. I've called at least 4 times and was told that the teacher didn't know who's was who's and the children's things were redistributed through the classroom. My dd is angry and I agree with her. But it is only stuff and I asked her how many good memories did she have that went with the stuff they would have given us. I'm sure if I made a big fuss eventually would get back to us but it's just not worth it. They can have their illusions as you put it Zo's ma.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zo's ma View Post
I just brought my ds's things in from the trunk, just now. When I picked him up on the last day of school he was standing on the porch with a big black trash bag holding all of his stuff. No adult with him, just my boy (He's 8) with an overloaded bag. It was just so sad, but...it really hit home for me that the beauty of the school was an illusion. All I kept thinking was "couldn't it have been a box...maybe with some pretty watercolors taped/glued on to it?"
s to you and your ds.

This story sickens me. I am sorry your ds was treated so unkindly, by adults who were supposedly "holding" his "soul" in their oh-so-qualified, holier-than-thou keeping up until that day. Yep, the love, the beauty, the lofty spiritual ideals ... what a load of UAV. :
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sheesh. How symbolic is that? Your kid ends up alone on the porch holding all thier Waldorf stuff in a trashbag? Nice image.:
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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The vindictiveness that can be unleashed when one even questions the party line is very worrisome to me. We are considering *not* sending our dd to high school there- every time I asked a question at the meeting for 8th grade parents I was met with dissembling worthy of the Catholic recusants in the Jacobean age. But I am really worried that asking teachers to write recommendations will not be a wise thing to do- and how to put this concern across to the new school we'd be applying to?

My child has not learned one thing in two years there- grades seven and eight, when they assure you (when you're in kindergarten heaven) that your child will eventually embark on a rigorous curriculum. When I've complained that she's bored they say she doesn't pay attention (yeah, no duh, because she's B-O-R-E-D), and that she is already so "in her head" that she should focus more on gym (though the gym teacher is SO awful and rude I would pull her out of school on that principle alone). And if she's so bored, they say, why can't she finish her work or put more effort into it? That's what she "needs to struggle with." -sigh-

I can't get anyone to answer a straightforward question about the science curriculum, for instance- my daughter misses textbooks (she was homeschooled with Calvert, which was wonderful!) and loathes the block system. I asked if there are science classes in "extra main," ie when there's no English block they have a few periods per week in English, when there's no math block they have extra math, etc. They answered that their kids get more science than public schools (not true; I checked), and that since "math is the language of science," their math and history and art includes plenty of science. So that means the math problem about the shadow and the building and the Pythagorean theorem, that's enough science for a month? I'm an adult and I forget things from my science classes earlier in the *semester.*

I know the stats they provide show that their kids do go to college, and most are not doctors or lawyers or scientists. That's ok for my daughter; she's into art anyway. But the lack of substance, and worse, the absence of a standard for excellence and achievement (everything I've seen is mediocre or worse, even on the high school level), has me very depressed. Especially since if my daughter is going to be an artist or a writer, I want her to absorb enough information to be a well-educated person, with a firm grounding in all the subjects she is *not* drawn to.

And how to ask them to write a good recommendation so we can get the hell out?
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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I think we were in a diff. situation because our child was younger, Liz D>, but her new school asked for transcripts as a formality, but was well acquainted with the "different" views of the waldorf schools and clearly relied on their own assessments. It was amazing how the school we had viewed as knowing so much about kids was in reality not very respected by other professionals.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Yes, I'm learning that where we live, saying your children are at the Waldorf school is actually something to be embarrassed about, or to be followed by an explanation that you're not really one of those people- we watch television and believe in Evolution and the Scientific Method, and we don't talk in a singsongy voice all day long. I meet people everywhere who've left the school for one reason or another; many are reluctant to speak frankly about why they left.

People at the school, whether faculty or parents, seem to have so little contact with the "outside" (the school's term, not mine!) that they have no clue. They imagine they are envied and admired. Even C-students at the community college have a low opinion of the Waldorf school!

My daughter's teacher is a god at this school- everyone talks about what a wonderful class it is (no credit to us families!), so any complaint would fall on deaf ears. Even other parents in the class get involved when they don't have a complaint, so concerned are they that we - or others - are "troublemakers;" I'm sick of that attitude and would rather she go to public school with its out-on-paper protocols of accountability and privacy than remain here. She refuses to attend the public school, however, so it's either a more expensive private school or homeschooling for high school, which I never wanted to do.

I even consider leaving her where she is for social reasons- if they'll keep her for high school after our "troublemaking-" except then I think of the PE teacher, or what could be learned during the time wasted on Eurythmy...
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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Hi Liz,
Actually I know of a few people who did Waldorf until high school and then transferred into a public high school. The people I know who changed into a Public high school after Waldorf actually quite liked the change.
While it will be a big change for your daughter and she probably will, I hate to say it, be behind academically in some subjects, I think the change is less traumatic than when you take a younger child say in 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade out and but them in a traditional school.
Could it be your daughter refuses to attend a Public high school because that is the way they brain wash you at Waldorf? To believe Public schools are horrible? I felt this way too when my child was at Waldorf and used to shudder then people mentioned sending their kids to pubic school but I have since changed my opinion. They are not all bad. They have changed a lot since I was a kid that is for sure! Many in this group have put their children in Public schools after Waldorf and were pleasantly surprised. While I don’t claim every thing is perfect, I like as you put it the out-on-paper protocols of accountability. If there is a problem I can speak to the teacher or principal about it. I can come in the class any time I want. There are no drawn curtains any secrecy. Your DD's schools sounds terrible. Sorry! It is all So typical of the things I hear and have experienced before. You should put up with it no longer. Really their are other options!
Good luck to you!


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Originally Posted by LizD View Post
My daughter's teacher is a god at this school- everyone talks about what a wonderful class it is (no credit to us families!), so any complaint would fall on deaf ears. Even other parents in the class get involved when they don't have a complaint, so concerned are they that we - or others - are "troublemakers;" I'm sick of that attitude and would rather she go to public school with its out-on-paper protocols of accountability and privacy than remain here. She refuses to attend the public school, however, so it's either a more expensive private school or homeschooling for high school, which I never wanted to do.

I even consider leaving her where she is for social reasons- if they'll keep her for high school after our "troublemaking-" except then I think of the PE teacher, or what could be learned during the time wasted on Eurythmy...
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Thanks Jalilah!

She has visited our local school for a day, and the experience was so awful her eye doctor, that afternoon for a regular visit, could not measure her eyes, they were twitching so badly. That particular school is unfortunately known for having pretty rough kids- the middle school girls' basketball team from that school actually started punching our girls' team members during a game recently! But more importantly, even at the middle school level when she visited, they were doing work she had done years before as a homeschooler. Being behind is not going to be a problem wherever she goes.

You make a good point about the public school bigotry at Waldorf schools. My daughter does not like that either- in fact she was in tears one day last year (gr 7) when she and another girl got into an argument about public vs Waldorf schools! My daughter dared to point out that contrary to the belief that art is better at Waldorf, in her opinion the art on display at county events from the public schools is better than that from ours.

Also, if one more comment is made in my presence about "people from outside," or "at the public schools," I will blow my stack. I do intend to say something if it happens again. There is one parent in particular, a founder of the school actually (the school is 35 or so years old), who does this at every meeting, in every conversation, and I am sick of it. For one thing, we're all there for whatever reason. For another, both my and my husband's PUBLIC high schools are ALWAYS listed on WSJ's or US News/World Report's lists of best schools in the country, or WSJ's "How to Get Into Harvard." So I just don't want to hear it. I haven't seen a school that can touch my high school in any area, including socially, and I do live in the world- the way the teachers speak as though they are privy to some terrible dangers of "outside" is also getting on my nerves.

Speaking of socially, more than one friend has said they are unhappy with lots of things at the school (ie even with tutoring their children cannot do basic math), but they are so sure their kids will get beaten up at the public schools they feel they have no choice (we are all in different districts, or we could send them together!). They have ALSO said that as far as applying to any of the other private schools here (as well as the grotesque expense), they are quite sure their kids, knowing no math or writing skills, could not even get into another school.

Our local Sylvan learning center joked with one friend of mine that she was very early (grade four or five); "we don't usually see students from ----- until tenth grade when they can't pass the PSAT!" : Meanwhile the school boasts that they have a finalist or two every couple of years- this is proof their (tiny) classes do comparably well?

PS- Has anyone read the study that's being flaunted all over the place about how Waldorf students do after high school? Has anyone else noticed any elementary statistics class gives enough info to render that study useless? Or that even if their stats were reliable, the results are alarming rather than reassuring?
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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My daughter told me, also, that in "anatomy" yesterday, her teacher wrote on the board, "WILLING/FEELING/THINKING" and said that willing is related to the digestive system and is developed between birth and age seven.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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A friend has written me for resources "I have been feeling Waldorf lately. I do need to learn more about it though. Do you know of any good Waldorf websites or groups?"

Anyone want to share some suggestions. I want to be balanced and respectful in offering information.
ETA: she is homeschooling, so that may alter the pov/restrictiveness??


Thanks, Pat

I have a blog.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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I am so glad we transferred out in the earlier grades. When we were touring another private school a teacher told us they more often saw parents of the waldorf kids waiting until junior high, when they figured out how abysmal the academic standards were in comparison to the rest of the educational world. In terms of teaching anthro., has anyone ever encountered the "therapeutic" aspects of the curriculum? That is another story in and of itself.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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Subbing & lurking. We're weighing our options for schooling our LittleBear. I think we're going to homeschool in the end, but if something goes wrong I like an alternative and Waldorf was one we were thinking of. I especially appreciate those who have suggested good alternatives for Waldorf such as Enkie and Regio Emilio. Thank you all for being so strong and sharing your stories with the rest of us!
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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[QUOTE=LizD;10223621]
<She has visited our local school for a day, and the experience was so awful her eye doctor, that afternoon for a regular visit, could not measure her eyes, they were twitching so badly. That particular school is unfortunately known for having pretty rough kids- the middle school girls' basketball team from that school actually started punching our girls' team members during a game recently! But more importantly, even at the middle school level when she visited, they were doing work she had done years before as a homeschooler. Being behind is not going to be a problem wherever she goes.>


That sounds just dreadful Liz! I certainly would not send my child to a high school like that! As I said before the few former Waldorf students who trasfer to a public high school I knew did have good experieinces but schools vary.We are also in Canada so it is most of the time not so rough here in the Public schools.




.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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Hi, this seems to be the wrong place for me, but possibly someone can direct me? I am in need of some practical guidance for transferring my 6 yr old son from a Waldorf kindie to a mainstream 1st grade. We really have not had significant bad experiences with our school, no more than the average beefs within a small and passionate developing community, so I don't feel that I'm in need of support in that sense. Finances and a move simply make Waldorf inaccessible to us henceforth, and we are leaving with heavy hearts and love for friends and teachers. But I and my son of very much in need of support in the sense of how to get from here to there... can one of you ladies direct me? Thanks so much, and all the best wishes for each of us on our journeys.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by twilight girl View Post
Dear LAW moms,

Should that alone be a big red flag for me against sending DD there? She would probably only be there about 6 months, because we expect to move back to the US in mid-2008.

WWYD?

thanks!
Judi
For me, a big red flag would be that it'll only be 6 months. Our largest attraction to Waldorf was the continuity. Without that, all you have left is 6 months spent in an unfamiliar methodology. It would not build on DD's past schooling, or contribute to her future.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lesetlo View Post
Hi, this seems to be the wrong place for me, but possibly someone can direct me? I am in need of some practical guidance for transferring my 6 yr old son from a Waldorf kindie to a mainstream 1st grade. We really have not had significant bad experiences with our school, no more than the average beefs within a small and passionate developing community, so I don't feel that I'm in need of support in that sense. Finances and a move simply make Waldorf inaccessible to us henceforth, and we are leaving with heavy hearts and love for friends and teachers. But I and my son of very much in need of support in the sense of how to get from here to there... can one of you ladies direct me? Thanks so much, and all the best wishes for each of us on our journeys.
Hi Lesetlo, It's hard to give advice for transitioning because each child is different and for an adult do we ever really transition as easily as a child? It has been easy for my dd sort of. Within in the last week at public she had an allergic reaction to food. It wasn't terrible but she was miserable and now I had to put her on a special diet. The only thing I do not like about public school is the candy they pass out and there seems to be parties every week. Unfortunately this has made my daughter pouty and unhappy but she is doing so well academically. Many other WS children haven't transitioned into the academics so easily but many other parents I have talked to have gotten help from the public schools.
I think you can still keep Waldorf things you like incorporated into your lives at home and have school things left at school. I think with boys they don't get so caught up in the little social cliques like girls do. You sound apprehensive but sometimes just breathing and taking it one day at a time for the first few months is all that can be done. Sorry I can't be much more of help. Sometimes just having faith that things will turn out like they should is all we can hope for. Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Thanks. Yes, I'm a little nervous. My son is my oldest child, so we have no (recent) school experience beyond Waldorf for comparison. Also, since this is coupled with an out-of-state move, I am concerned about the possibility of placement tests/"assessments" and any stigmatization. Since we followed the suggested age cutoffs for Waldorf, he will already be 7 starting first grade. The thought that he might be held back *again* due to lacking the academic skills is frightening! So we definitely need to do some remediation at home before we go, but I'm concerned it won't be enough. But obviously don't want to go nuts with the at-home tutoring since moving is already stressful enough for the kid. I don't want to teach him to read, write, do basic math and say goodbye to all his friends and family over the next 6 months... so I need a better guage of real-life expectations of incoming 1st graders, and how to approach the public school officials and teachers so that they are supportive more than stigmatizing. (ie - getting it across that he is *untaught* in certain areas rather than *delayed,* if that makes any sense.)
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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A friend pulled her son out of Waldorf and sent him to kindergarden, so it was technically his 2nd kindergarden. When he started first grade he was the oldest too, I think 7 also. He is doing beautifully, he's the oldest, everyone looks up to him, etc... She's very happy she trusted her instincts and held him back that extra year.
I don't know where you are moving but you shouldn't have to worry about tutoring. My dh tutored our dd in things that he thought she would need to know and it turned out he didn't have to. Our school has been very helpful and encouraging to get her up to speed. It also helps that many other children in class are getting help also. I think with your son being so young it won't be a big deal.
I have another WS friend who's son was going into 2nd grade and needed a lot of help. He didn't know the basics, not even his ABC's. He needed and stills needs help. Her school has been very very understanding of the situation and has done great work to catch him up.
My dh teaches high school and sees many Waldorf graduates coming up to his high school. Many WS students have test anxiety. They become very very upset and stress themselves unnecessarily for simple tests. Students who have been in public school since the beginning do not exhibit these symptoms. This is sort of out of place but my dh never has mentioned this before and I thought it needed to be said.
I would try to contact the school to see (if you know where you are moving) what the requirements are. They differ from state to state and country to country. After all that prepping we did, we realized it was pointless. I would do what you are doing and not tutor. There is really no reason to stress and he's so young. He will catch up, it may take time but I'm sure he'll be fine.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to share a thread I made with y'all. Since you have given me such support for a long time, I am sharing something else close to my heart.

In the City of Motherly Love

As I toured Philly with my family,
Mothering all the while,
I reflected on statues of founding fathers
Cast in cold metals
Scraping the skies
While, on hands and knees,
I wrote my children's names in chalk on the ground.

Weren't our founding fathers
Once babies,
Drinking, dozing,
at the fullness of breast,
Warm milk dripping from the corners?

What is Liberty
If not to uplift
Those who hold you,
Love you,
Make you strong?
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. Liz, I just read your post a couple pages back (I am playing cactch up since my kids have had pneumonia and now I am in bed sick with a head cold).

First let me send out a hug.

My sister in law is new to MDC, has a girl about to go into Kindy and is looking into Waldorf and Enki. I have been trying to share my story with her... but anyway...

The closer I get to finishing my graduate work in elementary ed. (done in a matter of weeks now), the less tolerance I have for those meetings in Waldorf where you ask questions and you get back only these vague answers that insinuate you wouldn't understand the full answer, so why give it to you.

The irritated, prefoessional side of me says, "The reason they give you no answer, and seem irritated at your questions is because they don't KNOW the answer!"

As the saying goes, "The most obvious answer is usually the correct one" can be applied here.

Where else in the world would we ask a group of professionals a question fundamental and relavent to their organization, and they would get irritated and not answer us?

No one else would EVER do that without trying to cover something up... usually their insecurity at their own ignorance.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Liz, about the new school and not getting recommendation from your former Waldorf school: I would say it exactly as you have here.

Trust me, I have been pleasantly surprised that Waldorf's reputation for what you have described precedes itself with no help from me!

If I was a professional, mature teacher where you want to apply and you explained it to me, I would completely understand and empathize. Any school worth their salt would.

Do not carry any insecurity or shame with you to a new school. Leave that in the Waldorf school. It belongs to them, anyway.

Any new school will be lucky and honored to have you and your child join them.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lesetlo View Post
I am in need of some practical guidance for transferring my 6 yr old son from a Waldorf kindie to a mainstream 1st grade.
<snip>
But I and my son of very much in need of support in the sense of how to get from here to there... can one of you ladies direct me? Thanks so much, and all the best wishes for each of us on our journeys.
Lesetlo, I think the most crucial element in making it a smooth transition can be to take care in not exposing your son to your anxieties and sadness - thinking and radiating positively about what the future might be like can be very powerful for him. The quicker you're able to let go of where you've been, the quicker you'll be able to embrace where you're going. Simplistic advice, I realize, but it can really make a difference.

My son also transferred from two years of Waldorf kindergarten to a more mainstream 1st grade academic setting when he was seven. Having waited so long to introduce reading, it was a piece o' cake to get him reading up to 3 letter words by fall - he was so much more ready than he would have been earlier.

You can even use some Waldorfy resources for a lot of things. I'm going to put some links here to threads in the Learning at Home forum where people discuss how they do this:
May - Waldorf Holistic Homeschooling
August - Waldorf Holistic Homeschooling

Here are some lovely sounding alphabet books you might want to take a look at.

Here's a reasssuring article I like - written by the authors of the Home School Source book - Learning to Read

For some beginning math ideas, take a look through this set of links - underneath the articles are annotated links to websites that have lots of ideas: Go Figure! But he really isn't going to have a lot of math needs going into the 1st grade.

And this has nothing to do with Waldorf, but here's a wonderful thread where people share their favorite "educational" games - lots of fun things you can enjoy together - and activities like this can help a lot in absorbing some things that might be helpful to him, while relaxing into your new home. If you can look around for children there when you arrive who will also be with him in his new school, or who will be neighbors, and arrange play dates with them, it can give him a sense of connection too.

Here's what the World Book Encyclopedia and Learning Services resource reports about the the typical course of study requirements across North America. If you click on "kindergarten curriculum guide," it may look daunting at first glance, but then when your relax and think about it, it isn't much at all.

Best of luck with the transition. Lillian
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, Lillian...that certainly was helpful!

Everyone, I am SO SICK! I will sign on in a few days but I have been on bed rest for FIVE days with a head cold...blech.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Bean,
Hope you feel better and get the rest you deserve!
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenna206 View Post
Bean,
Hope you feel better and get the rest you deserve!
Awwww... thank you, sweetie. After a hot mustard bath, I feel better, though still very tired.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I have been catching up on this thread for the last week or so, and let me just say :

We have started researching schooling options for our 22 month old, and I am so glad I came across this. I know that what happened to you women and your families is a horrible thing, but by sharing it here, I think you may be preventing it from happening to others. So, thank you.
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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Hi yall. My kids don't go to a Waldorf school but the thread caught my eye. I've heard mixed things about Waldorf schools over the years but we don't have one in my area so its never been a possibility. I was just amazed that there could be a whole thread with so many posts dedicated to recovering from Waldorf. However, we are considering a Montessori school which has a good reputation although I've heard some stories about some drama in the administration. I'm curious...do you think your experiences (cliques, egos, drama etc) at W schools were specific to Waldorf or something that tends to go on at small schools in general? Also, do you tell other folks to steer clear of Waldorf or do you still believe in the philosophy even tho you had a bad experience at a W school. Thanks!

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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