financing waldorf education - creative ideas - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-30-2009, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After a recent visit to an open house at our Waldorf school (and five years of exploring possibilities of homeschooling or unschooling or charter schooling or creating a cottage school), my husband and I reached agreement that Waldorf education feels like the very best choice for our family. :

Feels wonderful to be over that big hurdle of knowing what we want but now of course the next one comes up quickly...how the heck are we going to pay the tuition for two children?

I would LOVE to hear stories, yours or ones you have heard, about families who have paid for Waldorf education by thinking totally outside of the box.

Whatcha got? Come on...inspire me!!!
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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Well, when I was going to Waldorf myself I remember there was a girl whose mom could not afford it anymore. My mom knew them well and gave the school some money for this girl's tuition but asked that she be an "anonymous" donor. Her family also worked out a deal with the school and the school bartered with her...the mom cleaned classrooms in exchange for tuition money. This was at a K-5 school.

Maybe you could talk to the school about working out a barter, or maybe the school has scholarships/donors available to help out.

(BTW, the school didn't tell people this family couldn't afford it...I only knew b/c the mom had told my mom once and that's how she knew to help them. Definitely no one else knew! Had to clarify since the above made it sound like it was public knowledge)

Editing to add: for more creative ideas, you could possibly offer to teach or do after-school care. I don't know if they require all the teachers to be Waldorf-trained or if it's just the main teachers. Perhaps you could teach knitting, theater, etc, depending on what your background is in?

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Yep, this is a tough one. I'm going through the yearly anxiety attack right now.

I'd love to hear some ideas myself. Our daughter's first two years (N-K) were paid for with equity that came from selling our home in FL to move to NH. After that ran out we took out an additional equity line of credit on our new home for 1st grade and our sons first year in nursery school. Last year's tuition (2nd grade for daughter, K for son) was paid from a withdraw from our IRA (so much for retirement).

This year is still up in the air. Plus we've decided our son isn't quite ready for 1st grade yet so he'll be doing one more year of K. Probably some kind of long term loan to at least make it one more year and then see what happens next year.

I know this isn't all that encouraging or creative, but we're just doing what we can as long as we can.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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a lot of waldorf schools (accredited ones that is) have an ATA (all tuition assistance) program...does yours??? check it out. most of our families at school are on it in one way or another these days...i am! i haven't paid tuition since january.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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a lot of waldorf schools (accredited ones that is) have an ATA (all tuition assistance) program...does yours??? check it out. most of our families at school are on it in one way or another these days...i am! i haven't paid tuition since january.
: thats what we plan on doing,otherwise we won't be able to afford it

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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I am wondering if you are particularly gifted with some sort of fundraising, would they consider some sort of financial help for you in exchange with help of fundraising?
We homeschool using Waldorf, so I am just musing here.....I know the financial realities are rough right now, and I am getting increased calls from parents from our local Waldorf school who are investigating Waldorf homeschooling for next fall because they really cannot afford tuition.
Warmly,

Warmly,
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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this is tough. just wanted to share my experience. my son attended waldorf for two years (1st and 2nd). he became very close to his classmates and teacher. we did recieve ta. the third year, our ta reduced signficantly (the pot was empty at school). we were so committed to waldorf, we moved in hopes we could continue his schooling (cheaper rent).

that was a terrible mistake. our living situation is still difficult from that move, but my son is no longer at waldorf. he is attending a fantastic public montessori magnet and is very happy there. however, third grade is a very difficult transition time in relation to the difference is academics. my son could still not read anywhere near his grade level, and was lacking in all other academic areas that are taught at public school. it was very stressful, crunching to help him to read over the summer before. he now has been in a mixed classroom for the past two years (two grade room), and has been doing the work of the lower grade. his teacher and i have made the decision that he will be kept back next year.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pelowe View Post
Yep, this is a tough one. I'm going through the yearly anxiety attack right now.

I'd love to hear some ideas myself. Our daughter's first two years (N-K) were paid for with equity that came from selling our home in FL to move to NH. After that ran out we took out an additional equity line of credit on our new home for 1st grade and our sons first year in nursery school. Last year's tuition (2nd grade for daughter, K for son) was paid from a withdraw from our IRA (so much for retirement).

This year is still up in the air. Plus we've decided our son isn't quite ready for 1st grade yet so he'll be doing one more year of K. Probably some kind of long term loan to at least make it one more year and then see what happens next year.

I know this isn't all that encouraging or creative, but we're just doing what we can as long as we can.
This situation sounds really dangerous financially! I'm sure you've weighed the risk vs the desire to have your children in this school, but please be careful!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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Great thread. I am wondering the exact same thing. My DS is 2 and we are only in the parent/child group at the moment. We're quickly becoming attached to the school and the more we see & learn about Waldorf, the harder it will be to send him (and our new little one that's due this fall) to public school.
These are the ideas I've come up with so far:
1. Selling an organ on the black market
2. Buying a winning lottery ticket
3. Applying for financial assistance and hoping for the best
4. Gaining some sort of employment within the school or larger anthro community in exchange for tuition assistance/remittance.

#2 would be great, but #3 & #4 are probably the most likely. I had a long conversation with a former employer who is on the board of the school and he told me absolutely not to count ourselves out...Waldorf schools, in general, do want to make themselves available to those who truly desire it...
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:01 AM
 
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Have all of you who are having dilemmas regarding the financial end of Waldorf considered Waldorf homeschooling at all? I know this is the Waldorf school forum, not the homeschooling forum, but just thought I would ask. Waldorf homeschooling has worked really well for us, but I know it is not for everyone. There is also a post on my blog about Waldorf school versus Waldorf homeschooling, don't know if that would be helpful at all...
Not trying to muddy the waters though, I just hope all of you can truly find the ways to make things work best for your families.

Warmly,
Carrie
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the great replies.

i feel really confident that we will be okay once we get into the swing of things (ie once both kids are in school and i can get back to work nearly full time). i think the tricky time for us is going to be the next couple of years when my kids are going to be in nursery/kindergarten, when i will need to be available to pick them up midday and my little will still be home two days so i won't really have a lot of solid chunks of writing/work time.

i think one of the really tricky things can be maintaining a waldorf lifestyle while finding ways to pay for school. (like if both parents have to work out of the home long hours to afford the school it seems counter to the whole philosophy, ya know?)

bendingbirch ~ i have been intending to homeschool in a waldorf-inspired way for pretty much the last five years. (i even joined a local waldorf homeschoolers group) but just recently i have really come to terms with the fact that homeschooling is really not the best option for me, and therefore not the best option for our family. we have several wonderful friends who homeschool and i think it can be a wonderful option. i'm just not up for it myself.

so now my mission is to come up with some creative solutions to help us write the monthly checks!

i think i might also contact awsna to see if they have some inspiring stories of creative ways people finance waldorf education -- i'm thinking i might like to write about this subject!
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bendingbirch View Post
Have all of you who are having dilemmas regarding the financial end of Waldorf considered Waldorf homeschooling at all? I know this is the Waldorf school forum, not the homeschooling forum, but just thought I would ask. Waldorf homeschooling has worked really well for us, but I know it is not for everyone. There is also a post on my blog about Waldorf school versus Waldorf homeschooling, don't know if that would be helpful at all...
Not trying to muddy the waters though, I just hope all of you can truly find the ways to make things work best for your families.
OP- we are in the same boat. Waldorf's parent-tot program has totally sold us on the methods/school, but we are not prepared for the giant leap in tuition with Nursery (which doesn't get TA).

Question for bendingbirch... what is your blog? I would love to read more about Waldorf homeschooling vs. Waldorf schools.

Thank you!
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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I wish I knew! My mind is constanting cycling on this. As I told someone the other day, it's like taking a car loan that you know you can only pay for the next year and hope you can the year after.

SO, time for mama to start pounding the pavement and putting out some really good thoughts that a good opportunity comes along. I, personally, already work part time but that doesn't come near touching Dc's tuition.

We've never a had a problem before, but we did take a 'risky' position in that their tuition was always paid by Dh's bonuses. Well, guess what? That's right - no more bonuses.

I just suggest, something we have always done, which is try to pay the year in advance. If something terrible happened to our income, at least I know I will not have to totally uproot the children's lives in the middle of the year.

I, for one, cannot envision them ever going to a differnet kind of school anyway, but I sure wouldn't want it to be mid-year.

As for homeschooling, I tend to think that some people are the homeschooling type, and some are not. I think it's a great concept and glad it works for some. I think I'd be jumping off my roof by October. Believe me, I wish it wasn't so. Before actually having children I'd envisioned being a homeschooler and floating through our days learning through life, having sweet lessons around the table or better yet, pillows on the floor. yadda yadda yadda.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Sorry, I wasn't really sure if it was okay to post my blog on here because I am new to the forum. It is www.theparentingpassageway.com
Thanks!

Warmly,
Carrie
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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Yeah, I wish there was an easy answer on this on. We're in the same boat as everyone else. We already thought we probably couldn't afford it, but now that my DH's company isn't giving raises or bonuses this year (meanwhile the cost of health insurance, state taxes, etc. are all increasing) there is basically no way we can afford to send all four kids. I feel not only really upset about this, but bitter as well since the school was started on the principle of education for all. My personal feelings are that the school system is for 1) the wealthy and 2) not for anyone with more than one or two children.

I know that there is assistance for those who need it, but with four kids, I'm not willing to go, assuming that my assistance value will be the same each year. What if the economy worsens and more and more families need that money - the pot is only so big and where there might be money one year, there might not be enough the next. And then what? We have to pull all four out and transition to another system? No thanks.

Don't get me wrong, I love the educational philosophy and want it badly for my kids. But, I also want to retire someday, afford a vacation once and a while, and not have to hold my breath every time something breaks in our house or car, and wonder whether or not we can afford to fix it.....

I'm with a PP, short of selling a kidney or buying a winning lottery ticket, it's priced beyond our reach.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Yeah, I wish there was an easy answer on this on. We're in the same boat as everyone else. We already thought we probably couldn't afford it, but now that my DH's company isn't giving raises or bonuses this year (meanwhile the cost of health insurance, state taxes, etc. are all increasing) there is basically no way we can afford to send all four kids. I feel not only really upset about this, but bitter as well since the school was started on the principle of education for all. My personal feelings are that the school system is for 1) the wealthy and 2) not for anyone with more than one or two children.



I know that there is assistance for those who need it, but with four kids, I'm not willing to go, assuming that my assistance value will be the same each year. What if the economy worsens and more and more families need that money - the pot is only so big and where there might be money one year, there might not be enough the next. And then what? We have to pull all four out and transition to another system? No thanks.

Don't get me wrong, I love the educational philosophy and want it badly for my kids. But, I also want to retire someday, afford a vacation once and a while, and not have to hold my breath every time something breaks in our house or car, and wonder whether or not we can afford to fix it.....

I'm with a PP, short of selling a kidney or buying a winning lottery ticket, it's priced beyond our reach.
This is me too.I am over it now but a few years ago we had dd in the parent teacher program and loved it.Sadly with four kids (well,nearly.!)there is no way on this earth that we could afford it.I am British and I know that back in the UK there are school where you don't have to pay.I wish there were some here.I don't mean f/a it is simply free.

Natasha,Mum to many.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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We started an education fund for my daughter on her 2nd birthday (which was in Feb) we asked my parents and inlaws that instead of buying her gifts if they might contribute to her education fund we would appreciate that even more (especially since Christmas had just past and she really has no "birthday gift" expectations yet!) They were happy to help, and we ended up with a little extra cash which we put into a CD and didn't end up with lots of toys that we weren't so fond of having in our house- we still had a party for her and my husband made her a wooden kitchen (he makes cabinets for a living) and we all ended up happy.... so that money will be enough for the registration and initial fees to someday start the application process, how on earth we will ever begin to afford tuition is beyond me. I like the winning the lottery option myself!
I'm hoping that we will be able to keep putting money aside and see what happens, I would like to hear other peoples ideas though!

" The first time her laughter unfurled its wings in the wind, we knew that the world would never be the same." Greta 2/07 and Tallulah 12/09
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Hello there,

And what about :
* founding a Waldorf Charter School?
I have no idea how to do it, i know nothing on the subject, but that might be explored and who knows it might be doable!!
*making, inventing, writing something that could help you py for the tuition? i heard that Three SIsters Toys started this way, selling toys to pay for the kids tuition. tea-ceremony-with-kids.org? raising chicken with kids.com ? writing a book on financing WS?

I have asked myself this question quite a few times, and because we live on a grad student stipend, even the Waldorf Parent-Tot thing is unaffordable.

When grad school is over, the availibility of affordable Waldorf education will be a key factor in deciding whether we go back to DH's country, where the State subsidizes Waldorf Schools.

If things should become better next year, our last year of Grad School i hope, i think would waldorf-unschool and spend some money on material, trips, crafting stuff, AND on an afternoon of babysitting in the week/month for my own sanity!

Good luck Dharmama! oh, and i love love love your blog!!
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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We are in the thick of this right now (our son has been in Waldorf for two years now and we gave up all of our savings to make this happen). We have decided to move from Vancouver Island to Edmonton, AB where a publically funded Waldorf School has been approved! The catch is that they need more enrollment to ensure this happens....by April 24th. It would be such a shame to see this not go through, so if you know anyone who would move for Waldorf of any Edmontonites that don't even know about this option! Send them our way!

Waldorf Program Approved at Avonmore
... to support and facilitate the growth of Waldorf Education in Edmonton. ... Edmonton Public school Board of Trustees approved the start of a Waldorf program ...
www.wese.ca
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck Dharmama! oh, and i love love love your blog!!
thank you! :
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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We opted for a Waldorf-inspired public charter school. Not only could we never hope to afford the Waldorf tuition, the school was also quite the daily commute, which we also had issues with. Dh also has a good job (tenured--not something you give up to move!) and makes plenty of money. I am a sahm. We can't afford fancy trips, fancy date nights, a gardener, housecleaner even 1x/month etc etc, but we have a good life and have no problems living within our means. We have a house and cars. We would not feel comfortable accepting tuition assistance, there are people out there who actually need it. That's not us.

This has been a *fabulous* choice for our family.

I am well aware this is not an option for everyone--but more are being worked on, depending on the size of your community, if there is a group working on a charter petition, you may want to get involved!
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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Well knowing you, I just know that it will all work out! You are such a talented woman and soon all of your recent efforts will be rewarded!

(The latest in my school update for you: We're back to choosing the school option and manifesting a way to afford it! So I'll be keeping up with this thread to get new ideas too!)
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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We also opted for a Waldorf charter school and it's been really really great. I do sometimes pine about not being able to afford the local private school b/c they have some really great things going that my school just cannot afford but overall it's a very good match for us and there are aspects of it that are so much better for us than a private Waldorf school. So my suggestion would be to look into charters if you have them in your area. We actually relocated for this and now live in an area with the highest concentration of Waldorf charters in the country and likely to have the first Waldorf charter high school in a few years. Not a bad deal.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love hearing about the great charter options that are out there!!!

There is a charter school option relatively nearby that is beginning to come together but we would have to relocate for it.

And I really have my heart set on a private Waldorf education that is right here in our community so I'm trying to focus of creative ways to make it happen!

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Well knowing you, I just know that it will all work out! You are such a talented woman and soon all of your recent efforts will be rewarded!

(The latest in my school update for you: We're back to choosing the school option and manifesting a way to afford it! So I'll be keeping up with this thread to get new ideas too!)
Oh wow! I'll have to get back over to the other thread to catch up!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh and today i had a thought after speaking with another friend who is in a similar situation -- co-housing!

i've been really wanting to explore the possibilities of co-housing with another family (in some form...not exactly sure where or how) and was thinking that could be a cool, creative way for two families to reduce their expenses, thereby freeing up money for school, and create a more communal/waldorfy lifestyle.

(not sure my husband would go for it, but i think it's worth exploring! )
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