I've been following Waldorf blogs & forums for the past 2 years and now my 5yo DD is in a Waldorf Kindergarten. Yet, I'm still considering homeschooling her. My extreme concern is that she is VERY strong-willed, and can get easily distracted and, frankly, doesn't listen to anything I say. I'm afraid that homeschooling her would be a nightmare.
I've read all the blogs about "holding the space" and "it's all about the Mama", but I seriously challenge any well-meaning Mama to school this child. I have bought curriculums for Kindy and 1st grade in anticipation, but I don't see that they address a child quite so... energetic. And given my natural tendencies towards disorder, I feel doomed to many years of Waldorf tuition. Please don't get me wrong -- because I feel that the education is totally worth it -- but it, honestly, would be easier for our family to not have that yearly tuition looming over our heads.
I guess I'm just asking if anyone has any suggestions or advice.
Many thanks and blessings!
I'm not sure how helpful this is, but I have seen some very strong-willed children that are very active and have difficulty following directions et cetera flourish over time in a Waldorf setting. Sometimes it is just "kids being kids" and maturity will change that, and also the nurturing environment, consistency, and following through of instructions and expectations that generally occurs in Waldorf develop self-regulating capacities in children. Some children need educational support as they enter the lower grades (some more than others of course), but it's often just the weighing of pros and cons that help make the decision.
My daughter is an only child, and I seriously considered homeschooling her in a Waldorf-inspired manner, but she's pretty outgoing and does well in group settings with a little support in navigating social clues and all of that. Although she plays well alone and has an awesome imaginative play life, she needed social inclusion more regularly than homeschooling would have given her. Plus, she's a chatterbox and frankly would have driven me mad at times!
This is a struggle. If we didn't receive tuition assistance from our Waldorf school, our daughter wouldn't be able to attend. The main reason I work is just to pay for her tuition that's left after tuition assistance. My working takes away the time I'd rather be volunteering at her school and attending parent workshops and study groups, but her education has priority offer my development.
Wendy - aspiring Waldorf handwork teacher, computer geek's wife ,
mom to former 2lb preemie (now 9) & 3x
One thing that can be helpful whether your child is at home or in school is to do a little reading on temperaments, both your child's and your own. That has really helped me to understand my little ones and myself better.
I really hear you on tending towards disorganization. That's something I struggle with as well. I recently had a great consult with Melisa at Waldorf Essentials and we really talked about working to strengthen my will. She suggested handwork-- starting with small tasks and then building up to larger ones. The key is being consistent.
One of my children practically has to be duct taped to the table. (We don't actually do that, for the record). So I really have to make sure to change up his lessons a little more, add lots of large motor stuff, send him outside to hop up and down a number line or explore in the woods. I also find that for this child in particular, I have to 100% focus on him. I can't have Facebook up or be mending something or have the babies on my lap. If I'm 100% focused, he'll at least be 90% focused.
And you don't have to homeschool, although I hear you on the tuition costs. I know some moms have found it helpful to have their kids in a "regular" school during the day and done Waldorf afterschooling.
Good luck! It sounds like you have a lot to discern right now.
Some children just do have a very difficult time taking direction from their parents. Some just seem wired that way. I say follow your gut. I've got one of them at home and it hasn't changed from day one, to now almost 18!