Anyone else settling for public school but wish for Waldorf? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 10-19-2003, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was all set to send them to a Waldorf school, about a half-hour away when I got the tuition rates in the packet in the mail. Holy Cow!! Well, that dream went out the window. However, we are a Waldorf-influenced home because of parent/child classes, our toys, and my own reading and involvement in a nearby Waldorf initiative. I just don't see myself homeschooling, unfortunately. The public school down the street is supposed to be great and finished it's second year last year. So, I have decided they will go there. Anyone else public-schooling yet maintaining a Waldorf influence in their children's lives?

~Melissa
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#2 of 17 Old 10-20-2003, 04:17 PM
 
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My kids attend Waldorf in Seattle and our tuition for grade school is $8800 before any discounts (sibling, faculty, staff, etc.). We are always striving to keep the cost down while maintaining decent salaries and a great education. I sometimes envy Arizona with its very liberal charter school rules. In Arizona the Waldorf schools are charter public schools. Only small changes to the curriculum had to be made (removing God from the morning verse). Other states with charter schools have stricter rules and Waldorf gets watered down. I wish I didn't have to pay for my kids schooling twice, tuition and taxes. I hope everything works out for you in public schools. The main benefit of being in Waldorf is that all the parents are close to being on the same page.
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#3 of 17 Old 10-20-2003, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tell me about it! I am dreading being one of the few who does not allow my children to watch much, if any, TV or play with electronic toys. I was looking forward to connecting with other like-minded Waldorf parents, if I had been able to send my kids there. I intend to keep working with our initiative, however, so our Waldorf connection will still be there. Ho hum.:

~Melissa
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#4 of 17 Old 10-20-2003, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rhonwyn, was that tuition for both children? (I assume you have at least two, as you said "children"). Gosh, tuition for 5-day kindergarten for one child was almost 10,000 at Baltimore!!! Grade school is 11-12,000, per child! Do you work at your school? I was thinking of one day working as an assistant (I have a degree in Elem. Ed., cert. in Early Childhood Ed., and experience as a preschool teacher) there when my kids are older. I would just do it for me, although it would be nice if my little ones could attend then. It's unusual to bring in new students, though, isn't it? I think Baltimore's policy is that they have to be transferring from another Waldorf school, although that may just be 7th or 8th grade.

~Melissa
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#5 of 17 Old 10-20-2003, 07:01 PM
 
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$8800 is for one child for elementary school. Kindergarten is around $6000 for 5 days. The first child is $8800, the second child is 20% less, and the following children are 40% less (or around that).

Bright Water, the newer Waldorf school is $8700 for elementary with sibling discounts. Three Cedars the Bellevue Waldorf School has a sliding scale of $1050 to $10,500. Not sure how the tuition actually breaks down for most families.

While the MD schools are pricier, they are inline with many private schools. We try to keep our prices down because our families are generally not extremely wealthy families and are generally middle class with some low income families.
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#6 of 17 Old 10-21-2003, 12:09 AM
 
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Gad2bhome, don't worry about the tv thing - you'd be dealing with it no matter where your kids were in school. I went to one of the oldest, most respected Waldorf schools in this country for 8 years, and our family was one of the very few with no tv. I was a freak! Tv talk was all over the place, and I learned to live with being different (and clueless a lot of the time). I came through it just fine as a dedicated reader - as I'm sure your kids will. (And I don't have a tv to this day, by the way)
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#7 of 17 Old 10-21-2003, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's interesting, zinemama! Do you mind mentioning which school? Just curious. I guess I'm not so worried about TV talk in and of itself, but the CONTENT of the TV talk. My kids watch Little Bear and Angelina Ballerina. So many other parents let SpongeBob, The Hulk, and others into their homes on their TVs and I can't stand it. I wanted to avoid the "but_____ gets to watch that, Mom, or ______ has that toy and I won't be cool without it!". Guess it happens everywhere, huh!?!:

~Melissa
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#8 of 17 Old 10-21-2003, 02:37 PM
 
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My daughter is in kindergarten at waldorf and we will have to put her in P.S. next year for first grade.
I'm mourning loosing the education that I would choose if we could afford it.
I consider my family to be "middle class" but there is no way we could come up with $800.monthly/per kid. Maybe we're low income and I didn't know it!
I do let my kids watch some television and like GLAD2bHOME, it's all about the content. I feel just fine about my kids watching some videos and pbs. I don't think most tv watching kids are limited to this "gentle" programming.
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#9 of 17 Old 10-22-2003, 02:06 PM
 
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It's really sad that many families can't afford to send their kids to Waldorf. At OpenWaldorf, we had an interesting discussion recently about how there is no such thing as a "perfect" education for our children. We will always disagree with certain elements of our school community. For example, many parents who like Waldorf (including some here) allow their young children to watch "nice" television... something that any Anthroposophically serious Waldorf teacher would never endorse!

Yet, the in spite of the fact that there is no perfect fit in a school. That doesn't mean you should throw your hands up.

I came to the conclusion long ago that no school will come close to satisfying all of our desires for our children. We don't expect our cars, houses, clothes, microwave ovens to perfectly serve our needs. Now, think how much more complex a school environment is than a car or a microwave. How on earth can we find a "perfect fit" in a school? You have scores or hundreds of parents; all unique individuals, and in the context of "alternative" education, they are all opinionated with their own ideas of what makes an ideal education for their children. What are the odds of finding a serendipitous like-mindedness? Not very good.

A while ago, I came to what first seemed like a sad conclusion, but after I thought about it for a while, it became empowering and liberating:

1. You're never going to find the perfect school for your kid.
2. It's your responsibility (and privilege) to make sure your child gets all the things you think they deserve.
3. To expect that you can find a place where you can drop your kid off, pick them up, and "check out" of your responsibility is a fantasy.

EVERY insititution you encounter is going to include weaknesses compared to your ideal for your child: your child's school, your workplace, your kids's soccer team, your church/community of worship. You always have to be in charge. You will always find areas of difference. You are responsible for filling the gaps.

Many parents who send their kids to public school reason that they can save for college, fund extracurricular activities, and get really involved. they volunteer in the main lessons (something you can't do at Waldorf, btw), they ask their kids and teacher lots of questions, they help with homework, and they supplement their kids academically as well.

No matter where your kid is, you will have to step in and take an active roll in making sure they get what you want them to get. Never submit to a sytem, whether it be publc school, private school, parochial school (like Waldorf), even homeschool for gosh sakes!

If you're serious about maintaining a Waldorf-inspired influence in your child's life, it's really important to understand Waldorf and Anthroposophy (the philosophy that inspires and informs Waldorf education). There are some great resources online for this. Good websites include:

Bob and Nancy's Website
Waldorf World
Waldorf Home Schoolers

The Waldorf Home Schoolers list also has a great community of parents, many who wish they could send their kid to Waldorf but can't afford it, and many who wish they could homeschool, but can't. It would probably be a great resource for this concern.

Finally, it would probably help to familiarize yourself more completely with the Waldorf foundation through the Waldorf Teacher Training Reading List.

BTW, there seems to be a real interest here in Waldorf's media restriction and you can learn more about it here.

Be proud of yourself for caring enough to be concious about your child's education. That, in itself, will be something that your child will always remember.

Hope this helps and good luck!

John
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#10 of 17 Old 10-22-2003, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, OpenWaldorf, for the info and, in a way, comfort. Our initiative here in Annapolis has always had a parent study (back when we had our teacher for parent/child classes, sniff ), and we maintain a Steiner book study group (we just read "What is Anthroposophy") and a parent book study group (we just read "Mitten Strings for God" and have read "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" in the past, one of my favorites). I peruse Waldorf Homeschoolers frequently, as I am just hungry for info, all the time! I will look at your links and continue my own education! Thanks so much!

~Melissa
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#11 of 17 Old 10-22-2003, 11:32 PM
 
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Our waldorf school is $3675 for 5 day K, $5800 for 1-3, and $6100 for 4-5, but we're a newer school, I'm sure tuition will go up once we're certified. I know the Baltimore school is old and established and gets folks from DC and VA. Here in Richmond, we're still new. Now the montisorri school in town is expensive!!

We get a scholarship and a tuition adjustment, making our payments $275 a month, but in 2 yrs, our younger daughter will be entering school, and I don't know if we'll still be able to afford waldorf. It's so tough! Our public schools suck here, and the waldorf school is 5 minutes away, plus I love the kids and teachers.

Every year we have to re-evalutate. I hope we can stick with it, but we have folks that no longer attend the school, but they come to our festivals and open events. and they come to the playgroups, so there's ways to stay involved with the community. Plus there's a lont of waldorf inspired groups. I think teaching/ assisting is a great way to get a discount, it's like a 30-40% discount at our school!

I've never heard of not letting kids from other schools come in, must be an upper grade thing.
Anyway, good luck! You sound like a great mom who will be involved with her kids' education however you choose to pursue it.
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#12 of 17 Old 10-23-2003, 09:01 AM
 
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Wow. Our local Waldorf is over $800/month, and the bus is an extra $100!

By the time all is said and done, with fundraisers, etc. it ends up being about $1,000 per month. But that is in the S.F. Bay Area.

Still, the school sent out a letter to parents that they are in tough financial straits.
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#13 of 17 Old 10-23-2003, 04:58 PM
 
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"they volunteer in the main lessons (something you can't do at Waldorf, btw), " That is not true at all Waldorf schools. My child's teacher allows volunteers at anytime during the day. We can even show up unannounced.

Personally, as far as the TV goes, I agree with Waldorf. It doesn't matter what the content is. It is the physical changes it makes in my children that I don't like. We still watch minimal TV but never on a school night and very rarely during the school year at all. Now Halloween is coming up and I will let them watch 'It's the Great Pumpkin Chalie Brown!' because I love it! I know afterward that it will wind them up for a day or two. That and the candy! One day out of the year isn't too bad.
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#14 of 17 Old 10-28-2003, 02:53 AM
 
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I agree with you Rhonwyn-about the tv. My dd just spent the night at her cousin's house this past weekend (their tv never goes off!) She talked about the tv program she watched for 2 days afterward-endlessly recapping the whole show! She is 6 and in first grade at a Waldorf school.
We don't watch at home at all, except for special occasions. Maybe 4 times a year and The Great Pumpkin will definately be one of them!

At our school-there is no tuition break at all for being an assistant! At the Baltimore school you have to be a full time salaried assistant to get the break. So anyone who is interested should look into their particular school.
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#15 of 17 Old 11-08-2003, 07:54 PM
 
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Wow, OpenWaldorf, thanks for your post. I am relatively new to exploring Waldorf, searching websites and reading a book now on STeiner education and the Developing Child. I've been dreaming of being able to send my ds there, but can't afford it. My dh is not in favor of me homeschooling right now. My ds just started Kindergarten this year and so far finds it boring and hates going to school every day! I have a conference next week, hopefully we'll be able to work something out. I don't know how long to let this go on. I'm very attracted to the Waldorf method, yet the TV has a strong pull on us. I truly wish it didn't, and daily speak to ds about it and limit his programs, yet I can't find the strength to get rid of it entirely! Uggh...
Anyway, thanks so much for your post... I'm going to check out all those resources you listed.
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#16 of 17 Old 11-12-2003, 12:39 PM
 
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there is only one Waldorf school in all of FLorida!!!

My dd is only one years old, so it may change by then but I doubt it. I am going to school now for elementary education -----

I hope that I can get a job at a local charter school and implement some Waldorf ideas at least...

Maybe I will homeschool, ( if dh goes for it)


good luck, I know we could never afford 800/month for tuition!
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#17 of 17 Old 11-12-2003, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by glad2bhome
That's interesting, zinemama! Do you mind mentioning which school? Just curious
~Melissa
Not at all. It was Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, NY
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