A few questions....and a few more... - Mothering Forums
Waldorf > A few questions....and a few more...
VaMountainMomma's Avatar VaMountainMomma 02:39 PM 08-02-2005
I have just "discovered" Waldrof a few days ago, and am intrigued by the whole concept. This is something I would love to do for my daughter (who I am planning on homeschooling - when the time comes, she's only 4 months! )

Anyways, my husband isn't totally on board with the whole idea, so these questions are mainly from him....

1) How is Christianity incorporated into the scheme of things... I read somewhere an example of a lessonplan for 1-3 grades... and it said something like "fairy tales, fables, legends, Old Testament"... is the Bible taught as an equal to fairy tales?

2) How much empasise on fairies, gnomes, and other "imaginary" creatures are there? My Dh kept saying how she can believe in them, as long as she knows they aren't real Sorta defeats the purpose of believing in them, doesn't it?

3) I know that the Waldorf way is no tv, computer, etc exp. when they are young... what age do you allow the computer? I mean, in today's world of technology, you almost have to have a background in computers and such.

4) I read somewhere about how you teach that the world is good, and what to do when something goes bad, but I really didn't understand it. Do you let your children read/watch the news, and keep up with current events? What age do you let them? If you shelter them from all the bad things, wouldn't it be a shock when they turn 16, 18, whenever, and all of a sudden, there is war, murder, etc?

Sorry for all these questions.... I hope you can help a very confuzzled me!

ETA: a few more questions....

5) About toys for babies... most toys geared for wee little ones (12mo and under), light up, play sounds, and do all sorts of things. Don't the lights and sounds encourage the child to play, and keep them entertained? A lot of waldorf toys are imaginative... well how much imagination does a 5 month have? Are they satisfied with a wooden ball? It supposed to be a pretend egg, but a 5 mo doesn't even know what an egg is? I'm sorry to be so dense, I really don't know. All of Abigail's toys are "modernized", although some of her favorites are just simple rattles.

6) Another question about TV... I took Abs for a check up, and they have a tv in the waiting room. I set opposite, with her back to it, but what about when she gets older? I can't blindfold her, she's going to gravitate to it, having watch little to no TV before.... What do you do when you go to family/friend's house and they have the TV blaring?

Again, sorry for all these question, I don't require a long essay on any of them, just a short explanation. I would really appreciate it! TIA!

UUMom's Avatar UUMom 02:43 PM 08-02-2005
You've come to the right place, I think.

This will be a great discussion .
alanoe's Avatar alanoe 04:43 PM 08-02-2005
Hi. First and foremost, the answers to your questions are for the most part relative to the particular school. That’s important to understand and realize.

Nevertheless and from a broad and general perspective:

1. Steiner’s occult-Christianity is the heart and soul of Waldorf education. Everything from the curriculum to the festivals to the administration is presented and undertaken with what could be described as a cosmic Christian devotion and intent. I will say that individuals in some schools are attempting to bring a more eclectic style and energy – and content – into their work, though that happens less-so in the larger schools (not at all in most cases, actually).

Yes, teachers will tell an ‘ordinary’ fairy tale. No, that fairy tale is not told for the sake of the fairy tale itself. It is told because it happens to be a cosmic-Christian metaphor of some sort or another – and that’s one real problem I have with the education. And not necessarily the Christianity, but the lack of disclosure to parents.

2. They emphasize all that, but a good teacher will recognize that children hold these ideas differently – believe them to different degrees – and will respond to the individual child accordingly (true teaching). That all depends on the particular teacher, though.

3. Never be concerned with ‘when’, IMO. Be aware of ‘what’. If you wait for the school to tell you when (with computers), your child will be in high school. Do what you feel is best, and use simple common sense. Schools can’t force parents to do anything, although some schools do have those sorts of rules (child cannot watch TV, etc.) written into their tuition contracts, believe it or not.

4. Again, be aware of ‘what’, although with world news, my personal view is ‘less is best’, certainly with regards to the violent stuff (until they’re older of course). There are some ‘positive news only’ sites on the web, and that’s where I would start with that question.