Explaining Waldorf to extended family - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 12-07-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We will likely send our son to a Waldorf kindergarten in the fall. I am worried about how to present this to our extended family, especially to my in-laws/his grandparents. We have very lifestyles (urban vs suburban, opposite politically, different diets, etc) and this is just one more "weird" thing to add to the list. We will spend a week with them for Christmas, and they are sure to question us on our plans. I suspect they know little to nothing about this education model, and I hope to frame it in a way that will buffer us from judgement and criticism--although I'm not sure it's possible! Has anyone BTDT who could offer some advice or encouragement?
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#2 of 11 Old 12-08-2012, 03:10 AM
 
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We will likely take the homeschool route, as there is not a school nearby, but we will have to face questions as well.  If the school has a website, perhaps you could refer them to it?  The Why Waldorf Works site is helpful for answering questions and may have an article on this very topic.  Good luck!


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#3 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 01:19 AM
 
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Honestly, I have pretty much given up on this one. Luckily we've got some relevant degrees in the household so that helps in getting people to back off. Anyway, what has worked for us is to get that family member (or whomever) to talk about what they think is central  to education and child development. Then, we work off their cues and discuss how we feel this decision addresses their beliefs about what a good education will entail. Keeping the discussion focused to their own opinions usually wraps the discussion up quickly. In time, however, your kids will become the best evidence to stop this kind of conversation! One can argue almost anything in theory but its awfully hard to ignore the results, especially when those results are in the form of a beloved grandchild, niece or nephew.

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#4 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 06:26 AM
 
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I'm not a Waldorf parent, but I noticed this thread and wanted to reply, since parents face this issue on just about any choice they make. I think by finding ways to explain your choice, you are setting yourself up for being questioned and wanting to justify something that is not the extended family's choice or business. Maybe you can say, "Waldorf is an educational method that emphasizes nature and a family-like atmosphere in the classroom...[insert a simple, succinct explanation here]." When a family member asks a question about it that is a value judgment rather than a factual question ("But little Joey will never get accepted to college! Have you thought about that?"), simply answer "We have made the choice that is right for our family. Thank you for your concern. How about this cold weather? The kids are really hoping it will snow bla bla bla."

Good luck!

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#5 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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yeahthat.gif

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#6 of 11 Old 12-11-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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If they know nothing about Waldorf then they will not necessarily have any preconceived notions.

"We've chosen a small private school near us that we fell in love with."

"Next year ds will attend an independent school which has received excellent reviews"

"We are very excited about ds entering kindergarten at his new school. The community is amazing, they spend a lot of time outdoors, and you should see the art work they make! Wow!"

"We made this choice because we wanted his school experience to be a respite from stress. We wanted to make sure he could stay a child a little while longer and not grow up too fast. We love that the limited media exposure will keep down on the gimme gimme's"

Or if your local schools have issues....

"Due to our local school being (failing/dangerous/under resourced etc) we made the choice to send ds to a private school."
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#7 of 11 Old 12-11-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post

If they know nothing about Waldorf then they will not necessarily have any preconceived notions.
"We've chosen a small private school near us that we fell in love with."
"Next year ds will attend an independent school which has received excellent reviews"
"We are very excited about ds entering kindergarten at his new school. The community is amazing, they spend a lot of time outdoors, and you should see the art work they make! Wow!"
"We made this choice because we wanted his school experience to be a respite from stress. We wanted to make sure he could stay a child a little while longer and not grow up too fast. We love that the limited media exposure will keep down on the gimme gimme's"
Or if your local schools have issues....
"Due to our local school being (failing/dangerous/under resourced etc) we made the choice to send ds to a private school."


 Those are great responses!  Also, yes, what Ragana said.  Parenting, on its own, is like an open invitation for criticism and advice, so just bean dip it.


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#8 of 11 Old 12-11-2012, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by appalachiamama View Post


 Those are great responses!  Also, yes, what Ragana said.  Parenting, on its own, is like an open invitation for criticism and advice, so just bean dip it.

 

I have never heard "just bean dip it" before. Its funny and very apropos! 

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#9 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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Yes, Appalachiamama - that is the phrase I was trying to come up with. Was that from a post here? {Insert short and sweet answer}, please pass the bean dip! thumb.gif
 


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#10 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 12:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

Yes, Appalachiamama - that is the phrase I was trying to come up with. Was that from a post here? {Insert short and sweet answer}, please pass the bean dip! thumb.gif
 

 

I've heard it on almost every forum I've been on where people ask about dealing with sensitive subjects.  smile.gif


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#11 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 07:51 PM
 
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Ditto to Ragana, but I love tbone's ideas, too.

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