My son is a raising 1st grader and my daughter is a raising 3rd grader. We are also moving (7 miles away) this summer, ha! Lots of changes for our family.
My daughter visited Waldorf for 3 days. She said the math was easy and the Spanish was very hard. I am not surprised by this, knowing her previous school. I'm not 'worried' about her academics big picture, I do want to help her transition be as smooth as possible.
I have heard catching ball, jump roping, running into a jump rope, finger knitting. I believe these are all good and more towards my son's age.
I signed them up for three weeks of camps at Waldorf. They've done one so far and really enjoyed it.
I would love to hear your ideas.
Thanks so much!
Well, I think your kids will be fine. Especially your first grader. Many of the things that will be new for that child will be new for the others too. For the third grader, I would recommend some playdates with children in the class. Hopefully camp is helping them with that. If you don't know any of the parents, call the admissions office and ask if they can help. Third grade girls can be clique-y. The admissions office might be able to get you in contact with some parents who will readily understand the importance of integrating socially. I know if I got such a call, I would be very happy to meet the new family and to arrange a few playdates before school starts. Also, with your third grader, I would observe their art and their movement. The teachers will be looking for them to draw proportioned figures and fill the page with color. This is not a problem for students who have been doing this all along but could be for someone who has gotten "set in their ways" in their artistic expression. A student could find it stressful to draw the way the teacher suggests. Same thing for geometric form drawing if they haven't had much exposure to it. I'm even stumped by some of the form drawing! Also, have you done any dance? That might help with Eurythmy - but not exactly. Finally, feel free to contact the teacher with questions if you haven't done so already. There may be other simple things he or she could recommend.
Best wishes on your summer full of changes!
We're having some changes as well, including moving (only 9 miles), but I think getting done with several changes at once is somehow better than having changes stringing along over time. That would make me feel more out of sorts.
Camp is an awesome way to get them more comfortable with the school. The summer before my daughter started at our Waldorf school in 1st grade, she spent almost a full 6 weeks of camp there. The then camp director/now rising 2nd grade teacher and I believe it really helped her a lot. Although, she was coming from Kindergarten at a Waldorf home nursery program and hadn't experienced any other "school".
Anyway, at our Waldorf school, the children do a lot of movement, such as jump roping the times tables, Bal-A-Vis-X... spatial awareness and coordination work. This will continue to be built upon, so it's not just for the youngest grades. Our Educational Support teacher actually did developmental assessments with everyone at the end of 2nd grade, so if you have any specific concerns perhaps you can find out what type of Extra Lesson faculty there is at your particular school. The class teacher will also have ideas. Waldorf teachers tend to go way beyond what some more mainstream teachers study in academics... whole body issues including the spirit and nutrition etc.
There will be great support for individuality, but at the same time they are often expected to recite as a group and work as a team. Since the children stay with their class and teacher for many years, they tend to become quite a close-knit group, no pun intended. As Jacquelin suggested, meeting with current families or classmates is a great idea!
Wendy - aspiring Waldorf handwork teacher, computer geek's wife ,
mom to former 2lb preemie (now 9) & 3x