Waldorf Parent/Child class - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 01-05-2004, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking about taking the Waldorf parent/child class with my five month old and am curious to hear from any who have already -- I know there's knitting and baking and such, but what else is offered? Likes/dislikes? Anything else? Thanks.
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#2 of 17 Old 01-05-2004, 01:39 PM
 
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greetings! I did the parent'child class with my 2.5 yo and she loved it. There was baking everyday (making the morning "meal") and imaginative play, plus circle time with rhymes and then a little outdoor play. It is beautifully structured and a very gentle experience and she thrived on the teacher's attention and also the opportunity to play with other kids while I was ssitting right there.

With a five month old, I would probably be inclined to skip it -- unless you are in need of the time to meet other parents. Save yourself the $150 bucks and get an aquarium membership instead. The class is definitely geared towards children 18 months and older.

You asked my opinion and here it goes: While I am currently on the waiting list for the spring session since my daughter loved it so much, I persoanlly found the experience to be a little silly sometimes. Snacks included such meals as porridge and grits. My picky eater wanted to run from the table!!!!

At cleanup time, the teacher would practically whisper a song about a little gnome who wanted things put away. At one point during the season, we sanded down sticks to make knitting needles and the teacher attempted to teach us all how to knit.

I found the whole thing quite charming but seriously flaky. I felt a little awkward sometimes because I was one of the few parents who allowed my child sugar and whose child didn't wear shoes imported from Europe. While we have toiled with the idea of Waldorf education, it has become abundantly clear that we are way beyond our means in even considering it. OUr only hope (yes, we are still hopeful that it might be affordable to us one day but right now we are belowe the poverty line) is serious serious financial aide.

If money grew on trees, I think Waldorf is a really really cool style in which to educate your children, especially children that just seem to have that magical way about them -- mine does for sure.

I think I am going off on a tangent here. You asked about hte playgroup. Like I said, dd sprang out of bed every Friday morning and practically waited at the door until it was time to go. She really loved it. Wait til next fall, maybe?! Then you can really draw the maximum enjoyment from what is certainly a class with more ups than downs.
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#3 of 17 Old 01-05-2004, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your reply, mama2girls. I was thinking that since the little miss is not yet able to do any activities, she'd probably miss out on a lot of the fun...perhaps mom/baby yoga is a better idea for right now!
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#4 of 17 Old 01-08-2004, 04:36 PM
 
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I have done parent/child classes at a Waldorf school with both of my children and my kids and I loved it. My older ds still talks about his experience from 2 years ago. I find the classes to be magical, thoughtful and very nourishing -- both for myself and my children. At my children's school, they come into the classroom and will find flour on the table with a ball of dough to knead...a great experience I have found. Then they have some free play time while the parents work on a craft or just talk. We have a beautiful circle time with ryhmes and singing. Then the "little dusty gnome" puppet comes out to tell us to clean up and wash hands for snack. It doesn't come across to me as "flaky" at all...it's engaging for the children. And then we have a snack of the bread they kneaded with cut up organic fruit and water and chamomile tea. Then, we go outside to play and finish with a good-bye song. So, that is how it has been for us. We love it! I will agree that unless you want to go to meet new people and get out, you may want to wait until your babe is older. However, when my older ds was 4 and was in parent/child, I brought my my younger ds who was 7 months at the time, and he did enjoy the songs very much as well as exploring the toys during free play time. And, I might add that I am still close with many of the moms from that class, so it was great for us. Good luck with whatever you decide! Hope what I said helps.
p.s. My kids eat sugar and we don't wear imported shoes!

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#5 of 17 Old 01-20-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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I took dd to a parents and child class when dd was 1. We observed the children's play and discussed parenting styles, learned songs and other aspects of waldorf education. I thought it was a great experience and really changed how I viewed parenting. The "teacher" stressed it was a class for the parents, not necessarily the child. The waldorf school we went to also offered a class for pregnant moms. So I think for a 5 month old, it would be a class for you to learn more about parenting and waldorf. DD is now 3 and is attending a home-based waldorf preschool which we love. There is a lot of talk about fairies, gnomes and elves but I fully embrase it all because of the very positive effects on dd. We'd like to keep dd's childhood as magical as possible.
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#6 of 17 Old 02-02-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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I took my ds to these classes starting at 6 months, and at 2 years of age, we still attend.

They are fantastic. My ds has loved them. I've loved most of the ideas. And, have gotten many ideas about meeting my child where he is.

The songs are great. They help the kids transition. Now, when my ds hears the song, he strarts cleaning up himself. The other day, I heard him singing the song, and there he was putting his playdough away by himself!!!

It is different from mainstream parenting classes - but to me, in a good way.

If you are at all considering a Waldorf education, I'd highly reccomend this. If you think singing songs for transition, or eating healthy snacks is odd, it's probably not the place for you.
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#7 of 17 Old 02-02-2004, 11:14 PM
 
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We did it and i wasn't too crazy about it. I felt it was an expensive play group. Everything we did there DS and I do at home everyday. Now if money wasn't an issue or if they were free I'd have re-enrolled.
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#8 of 17 Old 02-02-2004, 11:33 PM
 
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we had a good time...and compared to my current conventional preschool parent child class I postively pine for waldorf snacks (current is a co-op so the parents bring the trashy snacks. Really. Cookies, candy, cupcakes, donut holes. I was the health food freak for crackers, cheese, pumpkin bread, raisins, dried cranberries, etc. Cheese puffs are as good as it gets usually! for 2yo at lunchtime!!)

Anyhow, instructions through song, handwork, and a more beautiful and soothing environment than your typical parent-child class. I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable with everything waldorf, but the p-c class is perfect since I'm present for everything. I agree, a lot of it is about parent training. In my area there is a at least one and probably more waldorf playgroups too, for people looking to save money.

DD had a hard time at 16-18m being still for story/circle, so we would sometimes have to step out. We also had a very large age span (up to 3.5 yo maybe even 4) The oldest children sometimes had trouble knowing how to treat pre-verbal walkers...so we had some pushing and tears. Officially, I think waldorf wants children to work things out on their own...but I don't know what age that starts. Allowing toddler kids to push my toddler was not on my agenda, so I just kept an eye out and sometime tired to explain the older girls that while DD looked to be her age, she was really much younger and still mostly a baby. Our class had very tippy chiars too so that was always hard for dd who was new to chair-sitting.
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#9 of 17 Old 02-04-2004, 05:12 PM
 
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We went to our second p-c class on Monday and one thing that strikes me is that the teacher is not very warm. I am just beginning to learn about Waldorf and signed up for this class to learn more. So, I'm interested in finding out if this is normal or the teacher may be a reserved person.
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#10 of 17 Old 02-04-2004, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your thoughts. Another question: is Waldorf vegan-friendly? I love the idea of knitting and healthy snacks and artwork but am iffy about the wool/beeswax/egg and butter factor.
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#11 of 17 Old 02-04-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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i think you'd have to ask your local school...while certainly vegetarian friendly...it's hard to avoid those things you mentioned...I don't think they generally have alternatives. But in places with more vegan families, many schools might have adapted. knitting can be cotton...more wood toys, less felt or use artifical felt. No honey or butter recipes. Beeswax molding is pretty classic, but perhaps some could use modeling dough instead. (that's not usualy done in p-c class anyway, it's for older kids.) Best to call and ask. Does anyone else have a school with vegan families? Easily, you could do crafts without animals prodcuts since each parent sort of does individual work, so that would be easy to accomodate. Snack, and whether it would be ok with you for your child to play with a wool toy, would be the more complicated piece I think.

I think our teacher is pretty reserved too..it seems to be the style. What are other's experiences/
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#12 of 17 Old 02-04-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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OUr teacher didn't crack a smile til the third class -- I was a little skeptical at first but I think that's the style. Didn't matter -- my 2 year old fell in love with her regardless, much to my surprise.
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#13 of 17 Old 02-15-2004, 02:25 AM
 
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im a little surprised about the teachers being reserved. all of the teachers at my sons school are some of the most loving people ive ever met.

there is a lot of hugging and smiling going on all the time. its one of the main things i like about the school, knowing that my son gets affection everyday.

however, this may not be the norm as this is the only waldorf school ive ever been close to, also it is a waldorf initiative school.
im not sure if that makes a difference or not, i think it mainly has to do with how much money they make that there not "official" yet.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-15-2004, 11:20 AM
 
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DH comes to the last 1/2 of the class and he is still put off my the teacher's reservations. In the brocure it says that the teachers "strive to exude poise, grace, warmth..." but we don't feel this. She hasn't welcomed him to class yet, except by singing the group welcome song.

I guess the difficult thing is that we first became interested in Waldorf because we think DS will benefit from having the same teacher for 1-8, but this person is not making us feel comfortable with this Waldorf school. I know she has been doing early childhood for 20 years here (and she may be absolutely wonderful), but it's turning DH off a bit and it's definitely curbed my enthusiasm.
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#15 of 17 Old 02-15-2004, 11:30 AM
 
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On the one day we attended class, the teacher led us in a mealtime blessing that was just what I was looking for. I can't remember what exactly it was. If anyone can post what their class mealtime diddy is I would be real grateful.
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#16 of 17 Old 02-15-2004, 12:39 PM
 
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Don't judge all the teachers on the behavior of this one. At my children's school, there are 3 Kindergartens and 6 teachers. All are very caring but some are more affectionate than others and they all have different styles. I wouldn't write off Waldorf because of this one parent-tot teacher. When the time comes (when your child is 4 or so) check out the Kindergarten teachers and see how they interact with their classes. My daughter's teachers always have a hand to hold for those who need it and hugs for everyone who wants one. My daughter, who is very affectionate, hugs her teachers everyday. My son, who is more reserved, had the same teachers and they respected his need for distance. They only hugged him when he was hurt.

Hope this helps. Is this the only parent-tot class or are their others you can check out?
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#17 of 17 Old 02-15-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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Momadance, Here are the verses from ds#2 parent-child class and from ds#1 kindergarten class. I've added a couple of others as well...

Earth, who gave to us this food
Sun, who made it ripe and good
Dearest Earth and dearest Sun
Love and joy for all you've done
(Blessings on our food and
peace be on the Earth)

For the golden corn and the apples on the trees
For the butter and the honey for our tea
For fruits and nuts and berries
that grow beside the way
For birds and bees and flowers
we give our thanks today
(Blessings on our food and
peace be on the Earth)

Blessings on the blossom
Blessings on the root
Blessings on the leaf and stem
Blessings on the fruit

Earth we thank you for your food
For rest and home and all things good
For wind and rain and sun above
But most of all for those we love

We've had experiences with 5 Waldorf teachers in our 3 years at our school, and they have all been very warm and loving.

And while Waldorf schools are vegetarian (and organic) friendly, they are not vegan friendly as a tradition, but of course, you can choose to use vegan friendly items for your family. (By the way, Steiner was a vegetarian and he wrote at length about the plight of the bee, but?)

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