Necessity of preschool? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-06-2011, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a young daughter who will be four coming September and am wondering if it is really necessary to enroll for preschool ( the one I am thinking of is a home based Waldorf style, lots of outdoor time ect) for 3 mornings a week. It is pretty expensive and would be a stretch for our family, I am a stay at home mom and we have plenty of opportunities to meet up with friends this year at various events and places, but a lot of them will be going to different preschools this fall. Did anyone out there create a coop Waldorf style with a few families for a few mornings and did it work? What advise would you give on that aspect?

 

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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We tried starting a Waldorf-inspired co-op, but you just can't rely on others to do their share. I felt like I was going to be the organizer, planner, and lead for everything, so I had to step away. I do know that Waldorf co-ops work for many people, but they are usually homeschoolers starting in grades.

 

During her 4/5-year old year, we enrolled our daughter in a Waldorf- & Montessori-inspired home preschool. This year she is in a Waldorf home nursery, and we love it! We decided it would be much more feasible than paying for the local Waldorf school's Kindergarten, and I really like continuing a mixed-age group at this point until she starts grades. There is no pressure for a young child to be in a "preschool" program of any kind really, but they provide the first step away from home and towards a group environment. For us, it worked beautifully because DD is an only child who craves being with others, and with me being a student I needed time for schoolwork. If you're drawn to a Waldorf program, then it is really going to mimic home life with opportunities for children to imitate the adults   You might like to read this WECAN introduction, and of course there are great Waldorf early childhood introductory books geared towards parents. (I'd love to answer your questions if you want to PM me.)

 

Most of all, I would say do what is best for your family and don't worry about what other people say or think about it. If you are worried about socialization, don't be.  There is no question in my mind that I wouldn't give up DD's childhood just to take her from place to place so she could be with her a group of buddies or get a boost on academics. There will be plenty of time to develop more knowledge about the world once she grounds herself to it. The rhythm you can offer in your own home is important and really pretty easy to accomplish. Make it fit you. Create an intentional environment filled with beauty and goodness so that it is worthy of imitation. We must be aware of ourselves be role models of what we want our children to be.


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Old 02-07-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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I so agree with the points WednesdayO makes about not needing much more than a magical homelife at that age.  we were part of a homeschool co-op (not Waldorfy) which was such a rich, fabulous place with awesome families but my kids never wanted to get in the car to go to it.  they loved being at home engaged in their play or making muffins or painting most days. 
 

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Originally Posted by WednesdayO View Post
Most of all, I would say do what is best for your family and don't worry about what other people say or think about it. If you are worried about socialization, don't be.  There is no question in my mind that I wouldn't give up DD's childhood just to take her from place to place so she could be with her a group of buddies or get a boost on academics. There will be plenty of time to develop more knowledge about the world once she grounds herself to it. The rhythm you can offer in your own home is important and really pretty easy to accomplish. Make it fit you. Create an intentional environment filled with beauty and goodness so that it is worthy of imitation. We must be aware of ourselves be role models of what we want our children to be.

 

B/c we are homeschoolers, I personally wanted to learn more about Waldorf for myself. One way we did this was to attend Morning Garden (the parent-chid group) at our local Waldorf school for a season.  It was fabulous!  we'd love to do it, again the next time it's open.  the only hard part was that my then 4 yr old was too old for it and she so enjoyed hearing her little sister tell about the day she had.  so, we found an in-home morning garden program that was okay with my oldest coming, too.  we only went a few times b/c once, again it was hard to get in the car and we had a dentist appt. one week, etc.

 

So, I really connected with the teachers of that in-home morning garden and we exchanged emails.  I asked if they would be willing to do an in-home Morning Garden at my house one day a week.  We are in our 4th week now!  It's absolutely fabulous.  I invited some parents that we hang out regularly and some that had expressed interest in Waldorf or Morning Garden.  The other family from the original in-home group came and she is so dear to my oldest daughter!  It's really fabulous to have a wonderful group meet each week with a certified Waldorf teacher who can lead, guide and direct.  The parents do a craft while the kids bounce around and play.  We clean up, then have a circle time.  After that, we all have a snack together.  Then, there is clean up of that and a story which was a puppet show today of the story we've heard for 3 weeks.  Then, we all go outside.  We have a little closing song.  we are reading "heaven on earth" together, too.  there is a fee that goes straight to the teacher and covers art supplies, etc. 

 

If you are interested in meeting with other families, perhaps a similar model may work for you all?  I am happy to answer questions about the details.
 


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Old 02-11-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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IMHO, it has become nearly a necessity for children who are going to be enrolled in a traditional kindergarten where they will be expected to take turns, walk in lines,  sit quietly, at desks, hold writing instruments and begin to write. All the while learning to listen to and trust someone brand-new who isn't mom/dad/grandma/grandpa. Oh, yes, and move socially amongst peers.

 

I think if that is not the path you expect to take, you should do what feels right.  For us, it was for Dc to go to Nursery school, but that was more for me. ;)  They would have been just fine waiting until Kindergarten, in regards to what they "should have known" before starting, but that is because we chose a Waldorf Kindergarten.

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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I'll keep my answer short: no! :)


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