making waldorf school work when you are poor (single mom) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-10-2011, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, it has been years since I posted on MDC! I am a single mama to 2 boys (almost 4 and almost 7.) We homeschooled until this year when we put oldest ds in public school. It has been an ok experience. No real surprises, no big complaints. Little one is still home with me as I juggle school and trying to get into school to become a nurse-midwife. 


I have spent the last 11 years as a doula, midwife apprentice, activist, etc. and the past almost 7 years aiming for a Waldorf home, homeschooling the Enki/Waldorf way...with a lot of flexibility especially these last couple of years. It is still the heart and soul of our home. 


I am thinking I am going to be accepted into a program that would take me almost 3 years to become a CNM. It will be seriously intense, and it will be in a place that has a Waldorf school. I feel like having both boys together in a school environment that is nurturing, that matches me values, and that is in alignment with what I want will only help me to focus more on what I need to accomplish. I have voices in my head that say: "You are a single mom, your kids don't deserve this kind of education, sometimes you have to compromise, and so on."  The thing is, I AM sacrificing so much to do this next step in my education, but it is for the betterment of my family. I don't want to be on food stamps and living in a 430sq foot house forever. I know that when I get out of school I will be able to afford it and maybe even be able to help someone else in a similar situation, but I feel like these years are critical. Also, I will be moving to a new community starting all over with no support system, and I feel like the Waldorf school would be like family to us. 


So, give me your 1) ideas 2) words of encouragement and love and 3) your testimonies to why Waldorf school is worth it. 


With gratitude...

Aspiring midwife-mama to 2 beautiful homebirthed boys ages 3 and 6...
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#2 of 8 Old 02-12-2011, 07:50 AM
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Ask yourself: how much is it worth it to you? The formative years are so very important, but if paying for Waldorf ed. is going to take food out of your mouths, is it really worth it? I'm sure you wouldn't want to do conventional public schooling, but there are many people who just participate in the Waldorf community festivals, like supplemental. What goes on at home is also really important. It seems like it would fit perfectly with the lifestyle you have created, and nurture your children fully. Have you visited the school to see if they can help with tuition assistance?

And, no matter what your financial situation is, of course you and your children deserve the best. Everyone has to compromise in some way, shape, form when they have kids. We all have struggles, obstacles. Don't be hard on yourself; trust in yourself to know you will make the best decisions for you and your children.

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#3 of 8 Old 02-12-2011, 08:46 AM
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There's always homeschool. Even if you are single you could have someone else do a lot of the "schooling" (which isn't much at this age). Also I think that some waldorf schools have like scholarships. I am a single mother, and I know how hard it is. But if you don't want your kids in public school, do everything you can to keep them out. I think traditional schooling is pretty awful, so I'm not going to send my son to school. We'll be homeschooling though, because waldorf school is pretty expensive, but if I didn't want to homeschool, I would do my best to get him into a waldorf school.

my toy shop on wooden baby keys, natural bathtub toys, wooden animals, little kitchens, waldorf dolls...also check out my blog about saving money, creating things, and natural living
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#4 of 8 Old 02-15-2011, 08:53 AM
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Talk to the school about tuition assistance. From what I understand most Waldorf schools give much more scholarship assistance than traditional schools. There is also an approach to assistance called "accessible to all" that appears to be gaining popularity and is a very open and heart centered approach to reaching a tuition amount that works for both you and the school. 


The cost of Waldorf education was not originally intended to be carried by the parents.  Unfortunately, the way our systems are set up in the US puts so much of the burden on parents.  But most schools that I know of really want to have anyone who deeply values Waldorf education as part of the community.  They will probably ask that you do make some sacrifices, but the school will be willing to make some sacrifices for you as well.


Each school is different though.  It will depend on the individual school. But, I say, talk to them.  You might be surprised that you can do it and it won't be as tough as you expect!

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#5 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 06:43 PM
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What about homeschooling and using Waldorf materials yourself? I am single mom and home school using Waldorf. I found an awesome place to get materials, she takes payments, is a single mom herself. The link is

Its a great way to go. 

No matter what, single, married you and your children deserve the best! Being single does not mean you deserve any less! 

If the school where you will be has a tuition or scholarship program I would use that, otherwise if you really want Waldorf, try the link I posted. I love the Waldorf approach it gives us at home!

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#6 of 8 Old 04-11-2011, 09:30 PM
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my babe and i currently live in a one bedroom apartment and just started decorating our home to be Waldorf inspired, most of our things are coming from ikea and being home made, which has really helped to get her involved with our lifestyle change. I myself am continuing school next semester and am choosing to take my time considering she is still young, so my friend will be watching her, she doesn't really know about the waldorf method and thinks its odd, but i truly see some qualities that are extremely waldorf like. 


Like someone said before me, find someone that is like minded and will meet your needs to a certain extent. I personally had planned to enroll her next semester, but I used my logic and came around to realize if 1000$ a month is worth it and it this age it isn't. It's like that saying, you are their first teacher, and that is the absolute truth.

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#7 of 8 Old 05-17-2011, 06:51 PM
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Call the school to find out about their tution assistance and if they have open enrollment or a waiting list. I am a single mother and full time student and just found out one of the local waldorf schools gives up to a 70% or so reduction in tuition. Do you get child support? I am living on student loans but plan to use child support for something for dd.

And yes, you DO deserve it - maybe as a single mother even more needing that gentle daily rhythm and community support. You doof course need to nudget and plan carefully but I am a firm believer in finding a way to make your ideals a reality rather than compromising. I haveneen encouraged to put dd in public school (currently homeschooled) to get rid of my dog, to forget school and dreams bc we are struggling, to just get a job even tho it would mean having my 5 yr old in before and after school care. And all this from my AP homeschooling community. People have a failure mentality re single parents. I say follow your heart and don't give up. Make it happen!
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#8 of 8 Old 08-05-2011, 02:43 PM
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