Transition from Waldorf - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-12-2003, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter has been attending a waldorf school for the past three years. She is now 5 and in the first year of the two-year kindergarten. We are fairly sure that we need to do public school for financial reasons and are wondering if the natural transition point would be this fall, when she will be the proper age to start kindergarten at public school. The p.s kindergarten program is only 1/2 day and she would actually be going to less school than she is this year.
Part of me thinks that we should keep her at waldorf for next year to finish out her kindergarten experience....the other part of me thinks that 1/2 day at p.s. would be a good introduction and less of a shock than starting p.s. at first grade. Anyone with any experience with this?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-13-2003, 11:58 AM
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Waldorf Kindergarten does not cover any letters or numbers. PS Kindergartens push reading and math much earlier. Some kids are expected to read in Kindergarten. If you wait until 1st grade to transfer her, she could very well be behind her classmates who had attended PS Kindergarten. By the end of the 3rd grade, PS and Waldorf have pretty much reached the same level. Before that, there can be big differences. Waldorf starts slower and then accelerates while PS tends to push forward but at a more even pace. Good luck. It is tough choice but if I were you and I had to go PS, I would switch at Kindergarten not 1st grade.

I am a Waldorf parent who looked at the option of switching to PS very thoroughly before deciding to stick with Waldorf.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-13-2003, 12:25 PM
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The Waldorf pedagogy holds that a child is simply not ready for academic work until the change of teeth (and many other, physical signs), which is supposedly a sign of more complete incarnation into their physical bodies, which frees up their etheric forces to tackle more "head"involved activities.

Whether you buy into this philosophy or not, each child is different, and your dd may be ready (in your opinion) slightly before that time and the truth is, we should look at the individual child before deciding to "delay academics".

On the other hand, if you believe that children will lean something when they are truly ready for it, your daughter should have no trouble "catching up" with reading and spelling in 1st grade PS b/c she will be ready for it. I have friend who experienced exactly this: her daughter was home w/ her until she turned 6 and then enrolled her into a ps 1st grade where she flourished and is now academically on par w/ her peers in reading, without any extra help / tuition.

Alternatively, if you are worried about her feeling lost and behind, you could keep her in the W. kindy and do a bit of Waldorf-inspired letters and beginning reading as per the Oak Meadow kindy curriculum (look around for used copies) at home with her. If you can afford another year, I think the extra year of play and and nurturing in a W. kindy is so unbelievably valuable.

Just a few thoughts.
Michelle - Waldorf mom to ds (4 3/4 in a Waldorf kindy - to be homeschooled for 1st grade) and dd (7 months)
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#4 of 6 Old 02-19-2003, 01:14 PM
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Does your local school district have a "alternative" type of school? I switched DD after kindergarten but she doesn't go to a normal school, she goes to "the Lab School for Creative Learning" She did fine but I'm not sure if is because of the shcool or the fact that her classroom was made of of 1/2 waldorf transfers. Here is their web address so maybe you can find a local school sort of like them.

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#5 of 6 Old 02-19-2003, 02:23 PM
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some public school systems won't accept waldorf children based on their "grade level" in waldorf school because of the differences. They require testing etc. to place each child. If your school distric does this, it would be much easier to start her in PS for kindergarten I would think.


Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#6 of 6 Old 02-23-2003, 01:48 AM
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I am in the same sort of situation and don't know what to do. My daughter has been in a Waldorf program since she was 2 1/2. She was just accessed to go on to 1 st grade for next year. My husband and I have just separted(another story) and tuition just went up $2000 for the grades. I worry everyday about what to do.
I am so afraid she will be lost in the mainstream world of public school. I can't even stand the thought of her going to our local school. Not that it is a bad school, but it doesn't serve bread made from organic flour, they have tv's in the classroom, etc. She has been very sheltered so far.
Not to mention the whole idea of having to keep her there until at least 3rd grade if I decide to try and attempt to pay for 1st grade.

I wish you luck in your decision.
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