Wow, I'm totally freaked out about Waldorf now... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 10:53 AM
 
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Sheesh - that was only ONE school that did that with only having peach-colored people. Public, Montessorri, and yes, even waldorf can have bad apples. Please don't judge the whole system on what has happened in only a handful of schools.

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#62 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 11:14 AM
 
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Tracey Kidder sat in a 5th grade public school class for a whole year in preparation to write Among Schollchildren. For me the take home message of the book is that the teacher is everything - one of the principles of Waldorf education. When the door to the classroom shuts in the morning it is not that the children are shut in, it's that everything, educational philosophies, cirriculum, school board mandates, and parents are shut out. The teacher is everything. I find both public school and Waldorf school teachers to be highly commited to the education of the child. I also find Waldorf school teachers struggle to model the best they can and to present an aesthetic view of life; things beyond the academic.
Because the teacher is everything then what somebody said a century ago doesn't matter. I look to the teacher and if one teacher I've heard about in the publc school system does something inappropriate I wouldn't condemn the entire system and if a Waldorf teacher I knew suggested a child use a different color crayon I might ask why before assuming the reason. I've changed colors for my children when the crayon was too short for them to comfortably use. Doesn't teaching, like parenting, involves many issues and shifting priorities with each individual child?
Concerning race as a school issue, I learned that on the 50th anniversary of Brown vs Board of education there has been no progress on segregation. The Midwest and Northeast are more segregated than the South and thousands of black teachers have lost their jobs. "In 1954, about 82,000 black teachers were responsible for teaching 2 million black children. In the 11 years immediately following Brown, more than 38,000 black teachers and administrators in 17 Southern and border states lost their jobs.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...wn-side2_x.htm "
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#63 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 12:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacrab
The more I learn about Waldorf philosophy the more distasteful I find it to be. It seems to be racist, sexist, AND anti-attachment. I really don't get why it is so popular among the attachment-parenting community?

And they actively support and practice attatchment parenting - slings, family bed, child led weaning. This is another area that has been growing and refining Steiner's philosophy. Not all teachers are pro-attachment (just like many in mainstream schools aren't) but many are.
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#64 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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Just one comment on the color theory issue.

I am fairly ignorant about Steiner's theory of color, but I venture it is not the same as that I studied in art college!

Now, on the dreaded "mud color." Why dis mud? It is decayed organic material, clay and silica. If they support nature study, why denigrate wet earth (our Mother Earth) in this way? Does not make sense.
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#65 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Just one comment on the color theory issue.

I am fairly ignorant about Steiner's theory of color, but I venture it is not the same as that I studied in art college!

Now, on the dreaded "mud color." Why dis mud? It is decayed organic material, clay and silica. If they support nature study, why denigrate wet earth (our Mother Earth) in this way? Does not make sense.
I don't know. At our Waldorf school they certainly support the digging in and the loving of mud. I have to wash my kid's clothes 3 times sometimes to get all the mud out! I affectionately call my kid 'dirtball'. This is a 2nd grader we are talking about here not a preschooler!

Thus far, I have never heard brown refered to as a mud color nor have I seen the black crayon withheld. Anything can be taken to the extreme.
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#66 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 01:58 PM
 
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Steiner wrote a book on color, based on Goethe's color theories apparently. He said stuff about black and thought it should be used at older ages. a quote

"Now submerge yourself in black; you are completely surrounded by black--in this black darkness a physical being can do nothing. Life is driven out of the plant when it becomes carbon. Black shows itself alien to life, hostile to life; when plants are carbonized they turn black. Life, then can do nothing in blackness. And the soul? Our soul life deserts us when this awful blackness is within us.

Black represents the spiritual image of the lifeless."

http://www.openwaldorf.com/art.html

The whole light = good dark = bad is a problem. Now of course, brown, the color of mud and earth and wood and people - that's not what he was talking about. Since most thing are wood, the classroom has a lot of brown. Does anyone have the color book to know what he said about brown? The other wacky racial theories seem seperate from the color stuff....but interestingly, almost identical to a chart I have in an american public school geography textbook from the turn of the century. Since waldorf doesn't use textbooks, I see no excuse for reviving those theories. From what I'm gathering, the hierarchical chart of the races is based on spiritual evolution, and as a soul reincarnates they move through the races. Yucky, yuck yuck yuck. But what I would insist is that it much be possible to maintain some elements of what is worthwhile and not fall back on this sort of stuff. Lots of prominent education theorists whose techniques are still used today, even if we forget their names, thought this sort of thing. And that time is past.

I guess in any school what you have to get to know is how strongly they adhere to the more negative steiner stuff. Enter with eyes wide open.

http://skepdic.com/steiner.html
http://www.stelling.nl/simpos/anthro..._criticism.htm
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#67 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamacrab
The more I learn about Waldorf philosophy the more distasteful I find it to be. It seems to be racist, sexist, AND anti-attachment. I really don't get why it is so popular among the attachment-parenting community?
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.
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#68 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do think it's true that a classroom is only as good as the teacher. Waldorf, Montessori, public mainstream schools, homeschoolers included!

If Waldorf as a group is really committed to increasing its diversity, though, they had best address the issue head-on. This kind of reputation precedes you and will only serve to alienate more people of color.
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#69 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by muse
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.

I have heard two sides to this argument one says that Steiner said that breastfeeding past one is wrong and the otherside says, Steiner didn't say anything about breastfeeding. I asked our Kindergarten teacher about this and she said that child led weaning is fine but that breastfeeding if it goes on too long (4, 5, or 6) can be an impediment to the child's growth and interaction with the world. If they are staring at a boob all the time they can't interact. I think it is like everything else, it depends on the child and the child parent relationship. My own kids self weaned at 15 months because they got tired of staring at my boob and wanted to be out and about while using a sippy cup. I have oftened wondered how people get a 4 year old to nurse but that is for another board.

p.s. Staring at a boob was my statement not the teacher's. Sorry if it is offensive to some, I didn't mean it to be that way. It is my interpretation of how my children reacted at 15 months to nursing. They would be on/off/on/off constantly because they wanted to see what was going on rather than not being able to look around. Once they got the sippy cup they never wanted to nurse again. It was much more portable than my breast.
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#70 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:43 PM
 
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Rhonwyn....

My dd nursed well past 4, my ds, almost 4 is still happily nursing. They are both quite happy, active, curious children. I find the term, "staring at the boob all day" mildly offensive and the antithesis of attachment parenting.

I attended a Waldorf mommy and me for a year and a half with dd. She liked it enough. I didn't pursue it at 4 because she needed MORE. She was/ is a sponge and I knew she needed more stimulation and learning activities than what was offered at the Waldorf school (especially if they held her in kindergarten for 2 years).

Most children who "self wean" do so around 3 or 4...that is the "don't offer, don't refuse" idea. Many children nurse longer than that.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#71 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:44 PM
 
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Rhon, I am sure you did not mean it this way, but I find your post short-sighted and insulting.

Nursing children over the age of 15 mos, are not "staring at a boob" all the time.

Very hurtful statement.
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#72 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:51 PM
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wow, what an interesting thread. dh really likes the idea, but now reading more is making me think about it a lot more.
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#73 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Rhon, I am sure you did not mean it this way, but I find your post short-sighted and insulting.

Nursing children over the age of 15 mos, are not "staring at a boob" all the time.

Very hurtful statement.

I was being flippant. It was my interpretation to my children's response to nursing after 15 months. Every kid is different and the confinement of nursing drove mine nuts after a certain age. If I had a detachable breast, it might have been different.
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#74 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 03:09 PM
 
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Just lurking because we're looking at Waldorf and a Waldorf "inspired" pre-school for DC where we live in Germany.

I haven't had time to read but I wanted to bookmark the thread...thanks, H.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#75 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 03:32 PM
 
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"Many of the wacky things you hear about Waldorf have started to be proven true by science."

Can you give examples? I found when I researched Waldorf that most things that were claimed to be scientifically proven were not, and that some of the references given to 'proof' turned out in fact to be statements by Waldorf proponents, not proof at all. I simply went around in circles.

I'd be really interested in any links. Thanks!
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#76 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 04:01 PM
 
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One of my dd's is fair like daddy the other is dark like mama. There is a good mix of cultures, religions and race at our school.

My 3.5 yr is still nursing, teachers are not thrilled but I made it very clear that it is MY decision. Probably over 50% of the children in dd's classes were bf'd past a year and I know of many up to age 3 or 4. I have never seen so many slings in on location as I do EVERY morning at drop off. MAny of the moms are doulas, LLL leaders & even midwives. This is the only place I have been fortunate enough to meet other AP parents.

We are not a religious or spiritual family but I would rather deal with a splash of Anthroposophy than a shower of mainstream America. Some of the children speak of Jesus or God, but I can assure you the same talk goes on in any school. The teachers do speak of angels and the spirit often, I just make sure I talk to my dd's too. I want open minded accepting children and I feel confident that Waldorf is the answer. At our school they celebrate all the holidays.

I like to think that it is utimately a parents responsibility to educate a child. If I feel at some point that my dd's are not getting a broad view of the world, I'll do what I can to enrich their education. We travel often (not just domestically but internationally), I read to my dd's about all religions, cultures, countries, etc. DH & I speak foreign languages, the girls are bilingual.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that any school will have shortcomings, so as a parent you need to supplement not matter where your child attends school.

BTW, I grew up in the South Bronx surrounded by Hispanics & African Americans (there was 1 single white girl in my class) and I can't begin to tell the racism I came across everyday, both towards me and others. So it doesn't just happen at schools where the majority are white.

No black crayons in our Early Childhood. I'm on the puppetry committee and never seen a scared child yet. We did have one young boy come in with a Game Boy who never raised his head from his toy, now that is 'scary'.
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#77 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muse
Why do you say it's anti-attachment? One big reason I love going to the parent toddler group is because it's the ONLY place other than LLL I'm around other mothers nursing toddlers. Most people there are very committed APers and many of our practices would be frowned upon by a lot of parents and teachers in the public schools. At Waldorf I feel no judgement.
This is a really interesting thing at our parent-child playgroup. The teacher is against it and makes comments each time it is discussed among parents. Last time I went she compared breastfeeding a child over 1 to being a piece of meat for the child to grab at at will. Hmmm.

The other thing is that the other regulars at our playgroup literally do not seem to question anything Steiner says. We never have discussions about the validity of an idea (unless I question it), just how to incorporate it into life at home with children. But, the one area those mothers don't question is EBF. I'm not sure why.
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#78 of 171 Old 05-14-2004, 04:33 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=121249

This was an interesting thread about the experiences of people with EBF and waldorf...
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#79 of 171 Old 05-16-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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Rhonwyn, first you ask me why I perceive Waldorf to be anti-attachment. And then you say a baby older than 15 months should quit nursing because it's just "staring at a boob all day." You just answered your own question!!
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#80 of 171 Old 05-16-2004, 09:38 AM
 
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To be fair to Rhonwyn, some rare babies who are raised AP style (which I am assuming her are) do self wean at 15 mos. These children are self-soothers, usually very active, adopt a lovey and take well to sippy cups. They are more likely to wean if they have older sibs to keep up with too.

(Of course if babies are left to CIO or encouraged to use pacifiers or bottles early on, they will seem to "self wean" young too.)

So if one or more of Rhon's kids were like this, this is her own exp. It has nothing to do with the normal age of child-led weaning (age 3-6 yrs) or whether or not her school was encouraging early weaning, as she said above.

But it is strange she brought it up as if it was approved by the school. She quotes a teacher erroneously saying that a nursing 4,5 or 6 yr old will be staring at a boob all day, which of course, is ridiculous, as most nursing children of that age do not nurse more than a couple-3 times a day! Nursing an older child is usually just a brief cuddle at the end of the day or first thing in the morning...
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#81 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 05:19 AM
 
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wow, shocked at the teachers' comments about EBf. hmmm. going to check out that other thread.

** thanks for sharing your experience, cuqui, that's v. helpful.
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#82 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 09:16 AM
 
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no I wasn,t giving a thumbs up to one stupid teachers misdirected prejudices Goethes colour theory arose from his dicoveries of light reflecting in a prism the warm colours would be at one end and the dark colours at the other .Not your standard colour wheel.The interpretation of dark and light is also percieved differently,i.e.Black containing all colours and light the absence of colour.Don't know if I agree with it,just gives me new ways to think about the use of colour when I'm working on my art.sorry waldorf stuff stirs up such strong feelings in some folks.I know there's a lot of good stuff there.
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#83 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 09:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saintmom
no I wasn,t giving a thumbs up to one stupid teachers misdirected prejudices .
But this is what I really don't understand either! I have heard (on this board and elsewhere) of many Waldorf schools that forbid the color black, have all white students, and have only white Christian art on their walls. Yet pro-Waldorf folks claim each and every example is "just one misdirected exception."

Same with the EBF- people from several different Waldorf schools -on this one thread alone!- have shared their expereriences with Waldorf schools being anti-EBF- but again, pro-Waldorf people claim each and every one of these schools is a misguided exception.
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#84 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 11:05 AM
 
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I thinkyou propbably have heard these "bad apple" examples alot, but that they still are just a "misdirected exception". I feel like I'm always hearing alot of bad stories or experiences when I am researching something questionable, kwim? I've been feeling this way about most of the discussion on this thread.

For example - when DS1 was just an infant and we told people that we would co-sleep as long as everyone felt comfortable, well then we just started to hear all these extreme situation stories. Like a girl who is 13 and her parents couldn't get her out of the family bed.
Or when I talk to people about EB, I have gotten so many people who've 'heard' of someone else that BF until they were 10 or so!
I don't really care if it's true or not, honestly. I know what we will do and I know my boundries. I know that the Waldorf preschool here rocks. They teach much cultural diversity and the teachers are young and progressive and very AP. I'm a devoted parent and research OUR school, not worried about what some old fart teacher in some school far away is teaching their kids.

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#85 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 01:07 PM
 
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We are fortunate enough to have a Waldorf charter school in our town. (there are 4 such charter schools in AZ). My dd is only 3 1/2, but Ive been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding Waldorf Philosophy. I would never rely on a Waldorf critics site to get unbiased info on Waldorf. I also have a friend who teaches at a Waldorf school in N. Calif, whom Ive had several conversations with regarding philosophies etc.

I went to the Waldorf open house recently, talked with the director and kindergarten teacher, and other parents who have had several children go thru the school. Thats really the only way I can make in informed decision on whether my dd will go there. THis school goes to grade 8, and the parents are getting together now trying to get a highschool in place. I was really impressed with the curriculum and the dedication of the teachers in this school. Its been a long time since Ive experienced that kind of teacher in a public school, having already raised a ds in the public school system.

The other public schools are pretty bad here in our town/state. This would be the one of 2 schools I would consider. The other is a private school. OUr town is not very diverse as far as ethnicities, so Im not expecting the schools to be, but thats bc of where we live.

If you are considering a waldorf education, I would suggest reading everything you can on the subject, talking to parents, and visiting and observing the school.
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#86 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamacrab
Rhonwyn, first you ask me why I perceive Waldorf to be anti-attachment. And then you say a baby older than 15 months should quit nursing because it's just "staring at a boob all day." You just answered your own question!!
but that is not what I said. My own babies would not nurse past 15 months. I interpreted their response to be that they didn't want to be confined with no view. I wasn't going to force them to nurse if they didn't want to. Everyone is different and what works for one doesn't work for another. I know plenty of Waldorf Moms and Teachers who nursed up to 4 years old.
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#87 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Britishmum
"Many of the wacky things you hear about Waldorf have started to be proven true by science."

Can you give examples? I found when I researched Waldorf that most things that were claimed to be scientifically proven were not, and that some of the references given to 'proof' turned out in fact to be statements by Waldorf proponents, not proof at all. I simply went around in circles.

I'd be really interested in any links. Thanks!
The three things I have read about recently were in local newspapers and I can't send you specific links because of time constraints. I am sure that you have seen some of this in the news.

The first was an article on looping (same teacher for 2 -3 years) in the Seattle schools and how beneficial it was the classes and there test scores. They never once mentioned Waldorf but many of the benefits they sited were the same as I have seen in Waldorf. Specifically, the teacher already knows the kids, they can pretty much jump in where they left off before the summer and the kids are less anxious about going back to school because they know what to expect. Granted this works much better if the child and teacher are compatible. If they aren't, then it doesn't work very well.

The second was the recent study done of young children and TV. I am sure you saw this one in the news. Much of what was found reflected what I had been hearing from our Waldorf teaches. Specifically, that it wasn't the content on TV (there is both good and bad) but rather it's effect on the developing brain and what snynapes (sp?) are reinforced and which are not. In my own children I can see the difference between them and their peers who watch a lot of TV. This purely anecdotal though.

Lastly, I had an acquaintance who was doing brain gymnastics to improve her memory and concentration. She showed me the drawings she was making and they looked remarkably similar to the form drawing and the mirror drawing my kid was doing in grade school. From what I understand, form drawing is not art but is a brain training technique. I have no idea if brain gymanastics was started by a Waldorf person or if it was developed on its own.

This is what I have found so far. I keep my eyes open because often the articles I find do not mention Waldorf at all but present the ideas as new discoveries. I only recognize them as an affirmation of Waldorf techniques because my kids are in a Waldorf school and I know what they are doing in school. I think the Waldorf association could do a better job of collecting the information as backing to their techniques.
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#88 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good, bad, pro-AP, anti-AP... just about everything is hearsay!

I did have my own negative experience, so that's what I'm going off of.
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#89 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlohaDeb
Good, bad, pro-AP, anti-AP... just about everything is hearsay!

I did have my own negative experience, so that's what I'm going off of.
I am sorry you had such a negative experience and I understand where you are coming from. I had a negative experience with Montessori when I was deciding between Waldorf and Montessori. It pretty much colored my whole opinion of Montessori.
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#90 of 171 Old 05-17-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsmom
We are fortunate enough to have a Waldorf charter school in our town. (there are 4 such charter schools in AZ
I have heard that AZ has the best Waldorf Charter schools. AZ has the most liberal charter school laws and it allows the schools to set up almost like they would be if they were a private Waldorf school.

Too bad AZ is too hot and dry for me!
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