Waldorf Mama Roll Call - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 66 Old 05-27-2006, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seeking community within community here at MDC. Would you kindly introduce yourselves?

For starters, I'm Jessica, single mama of two peaceful boys ages 5 and 9. I have taught in schools and at home. We're urban waldorfians, who love nature in the city, and also vacationing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern MN. We love our Co-ops, and access to the arts. We may be moving to Vancouver, B.C. late this summer...that's the big thing brewing in our lives at the moment.
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#2 of 66 Old 05-27-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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Hi Jessica :

I'm Linda and I have two children who've been in Waldorf education for many years (one is in a Waldorf high school now) and I have two children who are grown now (1 is married). My older children attended neighborhood public schools.

We live in a large metropolitan area that still has large pockets of semi-rural and natural lands. There are many Waldorf schools (and several Waldorf methods public schools) here.

I've never been to MN but it sounds wonderful. I've visited Vancouver many times, and what a glorious place that is!
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#3 of 66 Old 05-27-2006, 11:42 PM
 
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I'm a soon-to-be Waldorf mama. I'm eagerly looking for support and community. My son is starting Waldorf kindergarten in the fall and my younger son will do nursery there as well.

We're thinking about whether we should start making changes in preparation, or allow things to evolve more naturally. (A friend in another city told me that they had no problem eliminating tv after doing waldorf K for a few months because her son's play got so much more engrossing and he simply lost interest.) We already don't watch regular television but we do have a "movie night" where we get videos from the library and pizza and popcorn and smores. It will be a little sad to see that go, but I think it will evolve to a family night with games and drawing. They also do use my computer now to do simple colorings sorts of things on the internet (and are familar with characters there even though they don't watch the shows.)

We're starting to think about getting some plainer shirts for them without logos or images (drawings?) but I don't know how "strict" that policy will be because we haven't really started yet. Again, we already don't have "character" clothes, but do have images on our clothes (like dinosaur bones, or mulberry bush type cute shirts with squirrels and stuff).

So this is a new journey for us and we're excited about it. We've read a lot and thought a lot and are really positive about this choice for our children. Its good to meet you and to have a virtual community, especially because I haven't met our waldorf school community yet and we're a bit of a drive away from the school so they won't be our neighbors or anything.

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#4 of 66 Old 05-27-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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We incorporate many waldorf philosophies into our home but I have a few areas where I do what's best for our family. I do allow limited media and recorded music. We do not do plastic. We do rhythms & routines. We do not push early learning with our 5 y/o but she is teaching herself to read already. Soooooo... we're close but not 100% waldorf.

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#5 of 66 Old 05-28-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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I would consider myself barely Waldorf.

My boys are 4 and 2 and we have been attending a Waldorf parent toddler program for 1.5 years. My dh and I love the program and consider it better than marriage counseling! We are considering preschool/kindy for my 4 year old for 2 days a week in the Fall but are still undecided about that. I plan to homeschool.

I've met some wonderful mamas that are also interested in Waldorf and we have started a Waldorf book club. We've read "The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker," "Confessions of A Waldorf Parent," and watched the video "The Waldorf Promise" so far.

Also a Waldorf friend and I have been having some great play dates where we do fun things while the kids play! We've made candles and soap so far. Hope to do some sewing projects soon.

I live in suburbia and really just feel everyone could use a little bit of Waldorf in their life. And anthroposophy. I am enjoying the learning adventure that I have begun
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#6 of 66 Old 05-28-2006, 10:10 AM
 
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Hi all you moms!

I'm 56 years old and live in Vermont. I had two years at Highland Hall, a waldorf school in LA, as a teenager. My brother and sister also attended HH for a few years and my daughter for 10 years. After that she had one semester of public school, a year and a half of home schooling and then her final 3 years of high school at the Toronto Waldorf School.

A few years ago I was an administrative person at the Chicago Waldorf School. Hard work. Now I'm a public librarian at a small town library in Vermont.

I've been a student of anthroposophy since my early 20s, but don't consider myself to be particularly advanced. My aunt, who was a waldorf handcraft teacher, took it all very seriously, but I'm somewhat more cautious.

Other affiliations--I worked for the Anthroposophical Society in America for a few years, again as an administrative type. I've been on the board of the branch in Chicago a few times.

Right now I'm mainly a waldorf grandma. My granddaughter, who is six, attends the Orchard Valley School in East Montpelier. My grandson, almost 3, participates in his mom's home daycare. My daughter is actually a water-quality engineer, but has switched to running a home daycare so she can stay with her children.

Nice to meet you all.
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#7 of 66 Old 05-28-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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I'm Catherine. We unfortunately do not have any Waldorf schools or programmes where I live now, but when we move to Boulder, Colorado later this year, I am hoping to become involved with the Waldorf community there. We're doing what we can now though and I enjoy coming on to this board to learn more.
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#8 of 66 Old 05-28-2006, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So good to "meet" you! Thanks for all you replies!
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#9 of 66 Old 05-28-2006, 04:06 PM
 
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I'm Paige, my son is in 1st grade at Olympia Waldorf School. My dd attends a Waldorf inspired preschool and has one more year before she starts K. We live in a small NON crunchy town outside of Oly.....we're hopeful that will change if we're patient
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#10 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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Hello!

My twin girls (age 3.5) attend a Waldorf-inspired preschool program here in Jacksonville Beach, FL. I also have a 1 year old boy and we participate in a Waldorf/RIE playgroup. My mom is also a Waldorf early childhood teacher, although she is taking a break from the classroom right now.

I LOVE the Waldorf philosophy for young children and strive every day to incorporate it into our lives. I have to admit that I sometimes find it difficult with 3 children 3 and under and an online business. My girls were completely media free until age 2.5. After the baby was born, I have let them watch a limited amount of tv. We do have some rhythms and routines in place, although I would really like to improve on our daily rhythm --any other Waldorf WAHM's have ideas on how to balance your mama time with work time during the day?

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#11 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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Hi everbody. I am a SAHM with a 13 month old little boy. I just discovered Waldorf not too long ago and LOVED it. I often lurk around the boards for ideas, thoughts, inspiration, etc. The closest Waldorf school to us is about 1 1/2 hours away. DH and I have gone to a tour, winterfaire and mayfaire, and a parent/toddler class that was once a week. The school is wonderful. (I believe Mothering actually did an artical on it.) Anyhoo, still learning and our hope is to relocate by the time DS is ready for first grade. For now, just trying to incorporate many ideas and rythyms in our home. Nice to meet you!
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#12 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#13 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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Hi all! We have been a Waldorf family for 7 years now in Seattle. My children attend one of the Seattle Area Waldorf schools. For Internet safety reasons, I don't want to divulge which school though I know some of you have probably figured it out and some I have talked to in PM about it. I have 2 children: one in 4th and one in 2nd. Waldorf is not perfect and the school could use some improvements but what I love outweighs by far what I don't like. Most of what I don't like, has more to do with disfunctional human relationships rather than Waldorf specific things.
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#14 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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dd and i have been doing a waldorf parent-toddler playgroup for 1.5 years. it has been absolutely life-changing for me. so grateful to have found it.

we're not sure where we're going...i lean towards waldorf home-schooling but am open to the kids attending the amazing waldorf school just 15 min from our house if we can make it work financially.

nice to meet everyone!

~Erin
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#15 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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I have 2 dd's in our local Waldorf school. My 7.5 yr old is in 1st, she did 3 yrs of mixed kinder. My 5.5 yr old is in her 3rd yr at the school, 1 yr of playgroup, 1 yr 3 day nursery and 1 yr of kinder, she will do 1 more yr of kinder starting Sept. My son will do playgroup when he is 2 or 3 yrs, he is 8 mos.

Waldorf is not 'perfect', but the positives outweigh the negatives. We are Atheist, so sometimes get complicated but at the same time the fact that we have such diversity in religion makes it easier for my girls to understand why we do not believe in god.

When my dd was 6 mos old I heard about Waldorf at a LLL enrichment gathering, did some research and decided I wanted Waldorf for my children. DH was easily convinced when he spent some time around the school and noticed the 'innocence' of the children; an innocence he grew up with in Europe. We live in a very upscale part of the country were parenting is more like moonlighting.

We have met so many wonderful families thru our school. I personally enjoy making dolls (for the class and my girls), knitting, and attending wool festivals with some of the other parents/teachers. DH is also gets to do some woodwork (his hobby) for the school. We will be visiting the Waldorf school in Ireland this summer while there for a month.

Nice to meet you all!
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#16 of 66 Old 05-29-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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Hello! Count me in! I'm currently doing kindergarten at home with my 5 year old -- Waldorf all the way since she was 2. We are about to move to Albany NY, and I think we may take advantage of the wonderful nearby school for her as I have been BLINDSIGHTED and set way back by this current pregnancy (my babies will only be 14 months apart). I plan on home schooling these two as long as I can after I watch their big sis go through school.

I have been studying Anthroposophy for the past 2 years and am hooked! I love Anthroposophy and Waldorf education.
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#17 of 66 Old 05-30-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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Hi,
DD and I attend parent child classes at Chicago Waldorf. So far we love Waldorf and the Waldorf community; which I have found to be more diverse that I originally expected . We have a very good motessori school right down the block from us that we may switch to when DD is 3 (she's 6 months right now), but we don't know yet. One concern I have about the nearby M school is that it seems to be VERY white and wealthy. So, on top of really liking Waldorf's head, heart, hands/arts based/holistic approach, we also aprreciate that our Waldorf is more affordable and less SUV ridden than other private schools.

Money is an issue for us. We can't send DD to private school for her entire pre-college career (and probably won't qualify for aid). Although we really respect homeschoolers, that's not the route we're going. I went to the Chicago public schools and know from experience that even the ones that are considered "good" are problematic at best: . So we need to be mindful about where and when we are paying for school. Right now we think spending money for school up through kindergarden and the going public for elementary and possibly private again for high school is what we'll do...but that may change. So I'm wondering if it'd be easier for DD to transition to public school from Montessori or from Waldorf. If we stayed with Waldorf I think it would make sense to wait until after 3rd grade because of the reading issue. I'd love to hear from anyone with any experience with this. Also can anyone speak to what it's like to come into a Waldorf high school after going to public grade school?
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#18 of 66 Old 05-30-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Hi
I mostly lurk this forum, but I here I am.
My kids, ages 5 and 22 months attend a Waldorf methods Family Home Daycare two days a week and my 5 year old will begin at our Waldorf Methods Charter school in the fall. I will be teaching Spanish there as well (I am a seasoned credentialed teacher, though I am only beginning my Waldorf journey ) and teaching the non-academic portion of the soon to be 3rd graders' week (50% job share as their teacher is having a baby).
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#19 of 66 Old 05-30-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Hi Shaki,

Say hi to the folks at Chicago Waldorf from Deborah K in Vermont! I miss them and I'm sure there are still a few people around who remember me

You may qualify for some tuition remission, or whatever they are calling it nowadays. Chicago Waldorf had a broad program and tried to help a lot of families attend waldorf.

I've known a number of kids who have come into waldorf in HS and thrived. It would help if your child did artistic activities regularly throughout childhood. That was where I felt most behind when I came into a waldorf school as an 8th grader. I couldn't sing, I couldn't draw, I didn't know how to work with water colors. The academic work was much more interesting, overall, than in public school.

Making a switch to public school after 3rd grade would probably work okay. This is something I haven't actually studied, so I'm just going with my sense that the reading levels would line up at that point. You could also talk to a public school teacher and spend a bit of time over the summer introducing any material that might be puzzling.

Deborah
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#20 of 66 Old 05-30-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Thanks for the input Deborah.

I always appreciate your generous and insightful responses.
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#21 of 66 Old 05-30-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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I'm jumping in! We just sent in our application to start dd at the Waldorf preschool here in the fall. I am a WOHM and dh is a WOHF so dd was been in a mainstream daycare center up until now (its a non-profit, church based center).

We are excited about becoming a Waldorf family. Before I went to law school I was a high school teacher and learned about Waldorf when I became really fustrated with the public school system. I am currently looking for a job rith now and a major factor will be how close it is to the school!

Im looking forward to meeting all of you!
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#22 of 66 Old 05-31-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaki
Thanks for the input Deborah.

I always appreciate your generous and insightful responses.
I've been trying to think up the right response to this...:

and I found it. Thank you.
Deborah
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#23 of 66 Old 06-01-2006, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Money is an issue for us."

This is true for a great many. I suggest you apply for tuition aid. You may be surprised that you qualify for some help. All schools are different with this.

Also, there are many waldorf homeschooling cooperatives and smaller programs popping up. There is one that comes to mind called Shining Star School in Portland. It's affordable because of parent involvement and a shorter day. I've never visited, but I hear good things about this program and similar programs.

I wouldn't advise transferring a Waldorf educated child into public school until grade 4 if it can be avoided. It depends on the child, but generally speaking, I would try to avoid that due to the different pace of academics.
Several parents choose Waldorf for preK and move children to other schools for K/1 and beyond to address the concerns you speak about.
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#24 of 66 Old 06-01-2006, 09:21 PM
 
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Hi all,

My name is Kim and I am mama to 21 month old DS, Ashton. We attend a Waldorf playgroup once a week. Currently the founding members are try to start a kindergarden sometime next year. Our group is working with the Waldorf school in Clearwater, FL. We also have a retired waldorf teacher who we use for information.

I have to say I love the playgroup. I feel like the kids get to be kids. Climbing trees, singing songs, lost of free play. I also love the rhythm of each gathering. The breathing in and out of each change of activity. At 1st I had a huge problem with the reading thing. But through research I have learned that waldorf does not stiffle those children who want to learn, it just lets them learn at their pace. I still read to my son nightly because both him and I love it. I just know when the time is right he will read.

I am hoping and praying that we will be able to afford the Waldorf school when it opens. I am glad that the founding members are friends!!!

Kim

Mama to 2 Boys...Nurse and IBCLC to the rest of the world!

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#25 of 66 Old 06-01-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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I'm Lisa. I have 23 mo b/g twins and we have been attending the Parent/Child program at River Valley Waldorf School in PA. DH and I love it.

As a parent of twins we found that a routine makes a very happy family. So working our way into Waldorf parenting has not been too much of a shock, but we still have a ways to go.

Admittedly we do not have a lot of wooden toys, the plastic toy kitchen is Freecycled. We have a second tabletop wood stove in the actual kitchen itself. We have some playsilks and old silk scarves, but also old receiving blankets and cloth napkins have been very useful in their play.

We do not allow the children to watch any television, which is tough since my BIL works for a major network and cannot fully understand the semi-'luddite' way of life. We do not have cable, but it is hooked to the DVD player for DH and I to enjoy a movie once a week.

I am trying to understand the concept of the reasoning of wearing a skirt or dress in Waldorf parenting (trying to remember where I even heard it). I was always a pant person. I could also be off my rocker for thinking such a thing

At the time of this writing, I am planning on leaving my position at the end of the summer to spend more time with my children. It is very hard to hear from my DH that my DD asked him, "Where's Mommy?"

"Mommy went bye bye, she will be back later."

"Mommy work?"

I may need your support in the coming months.

Waldorf mama to 5yo b/g twins
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#26 of 66 Old 06-02-2006, 08:56 AM
 
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A lot of the female teachers wear skirts but I don't think I was ever encouraged to wear a skirt instead of pants as a parent. My eldest's teacher (4th) wears pants and skirts and dresses. Also her dresses are not what I would call feminine in the least. Very practical.

Maybe you are just picking up a skirt vibe? I once thought we would have to drive a Volvo to be Waldorf parents!
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#27 of 66 Old 06-02-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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Quote:
I am trying to understand the concept of the reasoning of wearing a skirt or dress in Waldorf parenting (trying to remember where I even heard it). I was always a pant person. I could also be off my rocker for thinking such a thing
i read that it's to soften the physical form....aprons are often used over pants to do the same thing.
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#28 of 66 Old 06-06-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Maybe you are just picking up a skirt vibe? I once thought we would have to drive a Volvo to be Waldorf parents!
Around here Subaru Outbacks and Hondas seem to be the rage

Waldorf mama to 5yo b/g twins
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#29 of 66 Old 06-06-2006, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"I once thought we would have to drive a Volvo to be Waldorf parents!"


YOU DON'T????
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#30 of 66 Old 06-06-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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Trying to figure out where I fit in with all of this. In college my sorority house was right next to a Waldorf inspired day care co-op. I had heard a few things about it and I was so curious as to what Waldorf was. I did a great deal of research and really fell in love with the practices and ideals. That was 10 years ago and now I have a 2 year old and a 4 month old. I've been reading a great deal of Waldorf literature (...Child's First Teacher and the like) in an effort to fine tune my understandings. I'm in a bind now though-we live in an area with 2 Waldorf schools each about 45 minutes away. I would love to attend a parent toddler program but our house is on the market to move closer to Dh's work. This would take us at least 1.5 hours away from the closest Waldorf program. In the DC suburbs, I don't find much in the way of Waldorf ed-I'm torn between wanting to stay in our current location or move closer to work. I'm actually a public school teacher who is taking next year off to be with the babies-it would be a great time to take advantage of Waldorf but I feel like it is a bit of a waste without any hope of follow up (except from me) int he coming years. I know I'm rambling, and I apologize, my point is (really, I have one : )is that I love Waldorf, want a Waldorf school, but I have NOTHING near me once we move. *sigh* Part of me wants to build our life around the Waldorf schools, but it isn't really practical from a financial stand point.

Mama to Noah and Sophie and Stella 7/4/ 2010
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