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#1 of 13 Old 01-10-2005, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went this past Saturday to the Waldorf school we've applied to for an open house/tour type thing. Mostly I loved it but there were a couple of things that I didn't like. First, they came across VERY religious for a school which isn't designated as a religous school (dh & I are not religious and don't want our dc taught religion aside from general history if that makes any sense). I had read in one of the threads here that the word "God" had to be removed from the morning verse in the California schools (which is where I am) b/c of separation of church & state laws. That was very much not the case (we did the morning verse or something like it where that word was used in about every sentence). The other major problem is that this must be the most expensive school on the face of the planet. Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but pretty bad. For next years kindergarten (which is where we'd be at), we're looking at something like $9600 and for almost certain our dd would repeat that year since she'll only be going on 5 when she starts. Their high school tuition was in the $16,000 range! Now my dh makes a decent salary, but we are a one income family and he has a city job and we're simply not rich. How do people do it? We have 2 kids right now and I'd love to have more, but I don't know if we could even swing funding one of them WITH financial aid (which we've applied for) let alone 3 or 4! I'm really depressed b/c I had come to the conclusion after much research on Waldorf and other methods that this is the right choice for our family. Yes, some of it is a bit off for us, but we're going to have far more battles with other methods of education for sure. I had such a difficult time in public school myself and I don't want to repeat that for my kids. My dh was lucky enough to have gone to alternative public school so he already knows that that's a better style for our kids. I just don't know what to do. I've begun researching Waldorf homeschooling but I really have a hard time figuring out how I could provide them with anything close to what they'd get at the school. Plus we live in cowtown with virtually no like minded people, so I highly doubt I'd have much luck with a local support group. And even if I could, I really don't feel cut out to homeschool them and dh has even more doubts about it. I'm so sad b/c I feel like I'm just missing the opportunity to really give them a wonderful foundation. I feel like when they're older and struggling with their typical crappy public schooling I'll have to look them in the eyes and say "I'm sorry - I wanted to give you better but I just couldn't." This is really breaking my heart. I'm not exactly sure what my point of posting this is. I guess I just needed to vent and I thought you'd all understand. Thanks for listening.

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#2 of 13 Old 01-10-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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You might want to ask whether they celebrate other holidays from different religions- my dd's former preschool in CA did. Waldorf schoos tend to appreciate input/participation from parents and if you feel strongly about a different celebration maybe they'd incorporate it... it's worth asking for dialogue on the topic.

My dd goes to Waldorf preschool now in Europe and has the opportunity to go free to Waldorf school until 8th grade - and i'm still going to homeschool her even though i'm just about as disorganized as one can get. I find there is a lot of christian reference (well, it varies with each school) but it doesn't bother me at all, though i'm not a Christian. I like the way they celebrate all the holidays & emphasize virtuous qualities for the kids to work on. But if you want to homeschool, I think you can do as good a job or better than any Waldorf program. Just create a rhythm of your own, it doesn't have to be complicated. good luck deciding what to do.

p.s. - look at waldorfhomeschoolers.com for inspiring ideas.
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#3 of 13 Old 01-10-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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NAK - also, what about holding off another year before sending her to kindergarten?
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#4 of 13 Old 01-10-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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I can sort of relate...I really felt like Waldorf would be a good education style for our son, also, but we are relocating within six months to another part of the state where there is not a Waldorf school for hundreds of miles. I feel the same as you do about public schools, but I've had to make peace with the fact that there are other options...homeschooling, other private schools, even (in our case) a progressive charter school. It's not like without a Waldorf education, my child's whole life is doomed to misery and failure. There's also no shortage of folks who've tried Waldorf and found to their dismay it was not a good fit for their child at all.

What would you do if you did not live within a reasonable distance of a Waldorf school, and it was not feasible to relocate? You'd figure out something else that would work for your children, right?
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#5 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
I had read in one of the threads here that the word "God" had to be removed from the morning verse in the California schools (which is where I am) b/c of separation of church & state laws.
This is only true about the Waldorf public charter schools which they have in CA along with Waldorf private schools. Private schools can pretty much do whatever they want.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
I For next years kindergarten (which is where we'd be at), we're looking at something like $9600 and for almost certain our dd would repeat that year since she'll only be going on 5 when she starts.

I wouldn't bother if you feel she'll have to repeat K. That's WAY too much money to spend just to spend it all over again on the same grade.


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How do people do it?
They usually don't! Most people can't afford that. My oldest two kids were lucky enough to get a scholarship from their church to go to a private school. It was awesome. Only about 10 kids in the whole school. They were all in the same class. Unfortunately my van broke down and I wasn't able to get them there anymore so I started homschooling again. I realized in a couple of months that I was too sick to homeschool anymore and now they are all in public school. The schools here suck! I'd love for them to be in a good private school, but there's no way in hell I could afford that for 4 kids.

If I DID have the money, and I was pretty sure that one of my kids would have to repeat that grade I wouldn't pay for private school. I'd either homeschool if possible or send them to public school, or just wait a year to enroll them if state law wasn't strict about that. I don't know about where you are, but here in NH, kids don't even have to go to K.
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#7 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
I wouldn't bother if you feel she'll have to repeat K. That's WAY too much money to spend just to spend it all over again on the same grade.


If I DID have the money, and I was pretty sure that one of my kids would have to repeat that grade I wouldn't pay for private school. I'd either homeschool if possible or send them to public school, or just wait a year to enroll them if state law wasn't strict about that. I don't know about where you are, but here in NH, kids don't even have to go to K.
I don't think you understand how Waldorf Kindergarten generally works. Many Kindergartens are actually a combination of pre-school and Kindergarten with children ranging in age from 4 - 6. In general, 4 year olds go 3 or 4 days a week. 5 year olds go 4 or 5 days a week and 6 year olds go 5 days a week. The last year of Kindergarten before 1st grade is called the Kindergarten year. It can be when the child is 5 or 6 depending on the cut off age to 1st grade. It is usually marked by increased responsibilities and privilages for the child. In other words, 6 year olds get to pour water and learn to knit with needles. The Kindergarten year children are the leaders and it something for the youngers to look forward to and to look up to. Some people only attend the Kindergarten for the Kindergarten year but many attend for 2 or 3 years. You have a better chance of getting into 1st grade if you have attended more years of preschool and Kindergarten. If the 1st grades are not overfull it doesn't matter but for very popular schools it is very important.
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#8 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
I don't think you understand how Waldorf Kindergarten generally works. Many Kindergartens are actually a combination of pre-school and Kindergarten with children ranging in age from 4 - 6. In general, 4 year olds go 3 or 4 days a week. 5 year olds go 4 or 5 days a week and 6 year olds go 5 days a week. The last year of Kindergarten before 1st grade is called the Kindergarten year. It can be when the child is 5 or 6 depending on the cut off age to 1st grade. It is usually marked by increased responsibilities and privilages for the child. In other words, 6 year olds get to pour water and learn to knit with needles. The Kindergarten year children are the leaders and it something for the youngers to look forward to and to look up to. Some people only attend the Kindergarten for the Kindergarten year but many attend for 2 or 3 years. You have a better chance of getting into 1st grade if you have attended more years of preschool and Kindergarten. If the 1st grades are not overfull it doesn't matter but for very popular schools it is very important.
Yes, it's similiar to this at this particular school. They actually have a specific Pre-K program (I think it's 3 days a week) and then plain old Kindergarten at 5 days a week for all. They take children that are 4 years 9 months by the start of the school year into the regular Kindergarten - my dd would literally *just* make that. They told us that they typically graduate only 50% of the Kindergarten class on to the 1st grade and the remaining 50% do one more year. They said it was almost entirely decided by the child's age, like Rhonwyn said.

Dh & I have been talking more about what to do - what we can do, etc. I have a new plan, although maybe not too realistic. I had been trying to convice dh that we should relocate to Seattle and send them to Waldorf up there (awhile ago). But I read in one of these threads that there is a public Waldorf charter school in Seattle with a really long waiting list. What if we can find a way to pay for Waldorf temporarily, relocate to Seattle and continue paying for their Waldorf while we wait for an opening in the public school??? Longshot? I don't know. It's just my latest fantasy. But as far as whether or not to send her to K 2 times, I was initially thinking no but now I'm thinking yes. If that's the *style* of education I want, then it really doesn't make any sense to continue sending her to regular preschool (which is just what I'd do in the meantime) where they are teaching her differently that I want. *If* we qualify for enough financial aid then maybe we could do it. But there would have to be an end in sight (being that we'll have at least one more dc to support through school) like my brilliant Seattle plan. :LOL

I've also continue to check into our public magnet schools - there was one that I had some hope in. Turned out to be absolutely no different than any other public school (according to the teacher I spoke to) except for their programs in the arts. So I'm still researching homeschooling but I really don't think its for us. I think I may have to heavy-duty counterbalance what's going on at school with a Waldorf-rich home environment.

Oh, and a funny story - when we were at the tour, they did a puppet show for all of us. My dd (who had been happily playing in the Kindergarten classroom up until then) wasn't too thrilled to be taken away from what she was doing. So I kept telling her that we're going to go watch a puppet show. We all (parents & kids) sit on the floor of the classroom and the teacher prepares to begin, and here's my child saying (rather loudly), "Where TV? Where TV?" She *thinks* "watching a (whatever) show" translates to something on tv! Oh dear. I admit we've been a very TV dependant family, but I did cancel our cable and have kept the tv almost entirely off ever since we applied to the school. It was a bit embarrassing though after they made such a point of the no TV rule. :LOL

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#9 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
I had been trying to convice dh that we should relocate to Seattle and send them to Waldorf up there (awhile ago). But I read in one of these threads that there is a public Waldorf charter school in Seattle with a really long waiting list. What if we can find a way to pay for Waldorf temporarily, relocate to Seattle and continue paying for their Waldorf while we wait for an opening in the public school??? But there would have to be an end in sight (being that we'll have at least one more dc to support through school) like my brilliant Seattle plan. :LOL

Oh, and a funny story - when we were at the tour, they did a puppet show for all of us. My dd (who had been happily playing in the Kindergarten classroom up until then) wasn't too thrilled to be taken away from what she was doing. So I kept telling her that we're going to go watch a puppet show. We all (parents & kids) sit on the floor of the classroom and the teacher prepares to begin, and here's my child saying (rather loudly), "Where TV? Where TV?" She *thinks* "watching a (whatever) show" translates to something on tv! Oh dear. I admit we've been a very TV dependant family, but I did cancel our cable and have kept the tv almost entirely off ever since we applied to the school. It was a bit embarrassing though after they made such a point of the no TV rule. :LOL
There are no public Waldorf charter schools in Seattle. In fact, there are no charter schools in WA state. There are several alternative public schools in Seattle that many people who can't afford Waldorf end up attending. Some are easier to get into than others. It really depends on where you live. They are not Waldorf schools and are not even Waldorf inspired. Some are Waldorf like.

There are Waldorf charter schools in CA. It might be easier to move closer to one of those. Also, AZ has some good Waldorf charter schools. Good luck.
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#10 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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My dd (6yrs) is in her 3rd yr of Kinder with the same teacher. I have watched my dd grow in many ways and what a proud 6 yr old she is now. I just picked her up a little while ago and she told me (very excitedly) about the marionette puppet show she did in class this am for the younger children. One of the responsibilities of 6yr olds is puppetry. It all ties back to the 'rythem' in Waldorf.

We are an Atheist family & I have decided to take it one school year at a time. The administrators and the teachers know where we stand and are making efforts to accomodate us. I'd rather deal with religion here than public school.

Public school is just not an option for me. The schools in our town are rated among the best in the state, but it is just not for my family. Besides all the education technique issues, I could never 'fit in'. I have a hard enough time just on our road, I would go mad at the public school having to deal with mainstream America on a daily basis.

About financial aid, at our school it is not available for Early Childhood only grades and only up to 50%. I would have liked to have another child but among the list of reasons not to, was the $$$$ to educate 3 kids thru grade 12 in Waldorf, ouch! We will stick w/ 2 and provide them with everything I can, including a Waldorf education.

Good luck!
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#11 of 13 Old 01-11-2005, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cuqui
My dd (6yrs) is in her 3rd yr of Kinder with the same teacher. I have watched my dd grow in many ways and what a proud 6 yr old she is now. I just picked her up a little while ago and she told me (very excitedly) about the marionette puppet show she did in class this am for the younger children. One of the responsibilities of 6yr olds is puppetry. It all ties back to the 'rythem' in Waldorf.

We are an Atheist family & I have decided to take it one school year at a time. The administrators and the teachers know where we stand and are making efforts to accomodate us. I'd rather deal with religion here than public school.

Public school is just not an option for me. The schools in our town are rated among the best in the state, but it is just not for my family. Besides all the education technique issues, I could never 'fit in'. I have a hard enough time just on our road, I would go mad at the public school having to deal with mainstream America on a daily basis.

About financial aid, at our school it is not available for Early Childhood only grades and only up to 50%. I would have liked to have another child but among the list of reasons not to, was the $$$$ to educate 3 kids thru grade 12 in Waldorf, ouch! We will stick w/ 2 and provide them with everything I can, including a Waldorf education.

Good luck!
Wow - you sound like you might be in a very similiar situation to me (in all respects). I'd love to talk more if you're interested - PM me.

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#12 of 13 Old 01-18-2005, 01:29 PM
 
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My aunt and uncle were able to afford (barely) the Waldorf (in Garden City, NY) tuition for their two children for K-12 by my aunt teaching art history at the school. Granted you would have to be willing and able to be part of their faculty. The school does give a discount to employees (even administrative) so if all of your children attend then your day is the same as theirs.

I work in the Admissions office of a private college prep school grades 6-12 and the tuition is astounding for me to conceive but if you look at the cost of educating one child in public school the tuitions are actually quite reasonable. Of course you can't waive your town taxes because you choose a private school. I will receive a discount by the time my ds is of age to attend and if my father is still willing to pick up the tab... by golly he'll attend. And my dd as well when she is at the right age.
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#13 of 13 Old 01-18-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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Love,
there are public charters which use Waldorf methodology in California. These schools are public- and therefore free, and they cannot teach religion or use the word God in the classroom. Whereabouts are you? I know there were a few around the Sacramento area, and also some in the Sonoma County area, and I believe there's one in Orange County. I don't know about other places, though. You shoudl be able to find the info online, though.
Here's a database:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/si/cs/ap/lists.asp
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