Choosing Waldorf Steiner Education - I need the truth!! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 79 Old 08-23-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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I've never known a Waldorf community that was ostracizing, or even judgmental.  Sure, you have those few outlier parents that can be difficult, but the communities as a whole pride themselves on tolerance, patience, acceptance, and respect. (In my experience anyways).  At our school, there are super-waldorf families, mainstream families, and everything in between-  And all are valued and respected within the community.  

 

I've never heard of anyone casting judgment on things such as soccer playing, reading and numbers, dietary habits, dress, etc..  Again, I can only speak from personal experience, but really-  I can't even imagine any parents or teachers raising a fuss about such things.  Many of the kids at our school are involved in extracurricular activities, and the children are all over the spectrum as to their style, interests or academics.  All of it is honored.  

 

The only thing that I've heard complaints about is some children bringing the 'pop culture' stuff into the school with them-  and I agree that it is frustrating when you work so hard to shelter your children from those influences, only to have it come up at school.  For example, I was a irritated when a parent played Lady Gaga (The Glee version, so no explicit lyrics, BUT STILL-) in her car during a field trip, which my daughter was riding in.  Did not appreciate that.  But it's not mainstream families vs. Waldorf families-  In other words, I've never perceived such 'class' warfare in our community, even when issues do arise.  

 

Anyways, no need to take away your daughter's beloved books, or refrain from allowing her to play soccer or whatever-  No one will blink an eye or think twice, unless they perceive that it is you forcing these on her when she is unwilling or unreceptive, in which case they might express concern but not so much judgment.

 

Hope this helps :)

 

 

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#62 of 79 Old 08-23-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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Thank you.  It helps tremendously.  I think what I'm gathering is that Waldorf schools can be very different from one another.  I read with a combination of laughter and horror  this excerpt from one of the senior posters in July:  

 

 

Quote:

Then something happens. You decide one day that -- as per your values -- it's totally cool that your kid is learning spanish out of sequence, or has taken up ukulele a year earlier than normal for that school, or that in fact, everyony sucks at eurhythmy, so you don't make your kid study it. 

 

tsk tsk goes the hard anthroposophist person in your crafting group. ooooh, that's BAD says the rather misinformed non-anthroposophist who doesn't want to be on hard anthro's bad side this week, as she gets tsked every other week. Teacher calls you in and says "why is your kid playing the ukulele? what is going on in your home? don't you know that his teeth aren't properly formed for the ukulele?" and you're wondering, WTF is going on?

 

Well, at this point, you've run into the issue. It's not that the school is going "Hail mary, with properly formed teeth, hallowed is your ukulele!" But rather that some schools take the teeth-grown-in-before-reading thing *very* seriously, and others don't really care. And how much the school does or doesn't follow that determines how the community *reacts* to whatever is unique in your family. Perhaps your child is scary gifted at ukulele, and you are seen as that pushy mom who forces your child to play the ukulele endlessly while you craft until your knuckles bleed for the annual fair. Oh no no no no no. that's not right, that's not what we do, that's not Steiner.

 

Now, as they say on project runway -- one day you're in, and the next day, you're alienated.

 

People get upset. here was this beautiful school. this beautiful community. And now, because of ukulele excellence -- which should be celebrated -- i'm being ostracised! Haven't I made enough woolen slippers? have no not cooked enough rutabegas? where, oh where did I go wrong? 

 

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#63 of 79 Old 08-23-2011, 08:18 PM
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#64 of 79 Old 08-24-2011, 12:52 AM
 
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I haven't either. We don't live in North America, though, so maybe the fact that most Waldorf schools are private in N. America (and MDC has a big N. American slant), has something to do with the sort of social control that people describe.

 

All I can say is that we're sort of moderately crunchy and we fit in very well in our Waldorf school. We do have a tv which DS can watch and he can play some limited computer games (no video games). This is pretty much par for the course with most of the kids in his class. Some parents are much more crunchy than we are (no tv, all hand-made clothes, etc.) and some are far more mainstream (one kid even has a TV in his room!). Same with food, etc.

 

Anyway, I absolutely believe people when they describe their bad experiences with Waldorf, but what they describe is very very far removed from our experience of an open, accepting community of lots of interesting people. Do I like all the parents? No. I even got into a bit of a tiff with one mom about some silly stuff with the school bazaar!  But I like the school, in general, and DS is *thriving* in a way he didn't at his public school.

 

Visit the school, talk to people, see what you think, and then make your decisions.

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Originally Posted by mamahawk View Post

I've never known a Waldorf community that was ostracizing, or even judgmental.  Sure, you have those few outlier parents that can be difficult, but the communities as a whole pride themselves on tolerance, patience, acceptance, and respect. (In my experience anyways).  At our school, there are super-waldorf families, mainstream families, and everything in between-  And all are valued and respected within the community.  

 

I've never heard of anyone casting judgment on things such as soccer playing, reading and numbers, dietary habits, dress, etc..  Again, I can only speak from personal experience, but really-  I can't even imagine any parents or teachers raising a fuss about such things.  Many of the kids at our school are involved in extracurricular activities, and the children are all over the spectrum as to their style, interests or academics.  All of it is honored.  

 

The only thing that I've heard complaints about is some children bringing the 'pop culture' stuff into the school with them-  and I agree that it is frustrating when you work so hard to shelter your children from those influences, only to have it come up at school.  For example, I was a irritated when a parent played Lady Gaga (The Glee version, so no explicit lyrics, BUT STILL-) in her car during a field trip, which my daughter was riding in.  Did not appreciate that.  But it's not mainstream families vs. Waldorf families-  In other words, I've never perceived such 'class' warfare in our community, even when issues do arise.  

 

Anyways, no need to take away your daughter's beloved books, or refrain from allowing her to play soccer or whatever-  No one will blink an eye or think twice, unless they perceive that it is you forcing these on her when she is unwilling or unreceptive, in which case they might express concern but not so much judgment.

 

Hope this helps :)

 

 



 

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#65 of 79 Old 08-27-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamahawk View Post

 

The only thing that I've heard complaints about is some children bringing the 'pop culture' stuff into the school with them-  and I agree that it is frustrating when you work so hard to shelter your children from those influences, only to have it come up at school.  For example, I was a irritated when a parent played Lady Gaga (The Glee version, so no explicit lyrics, BUT STILL-) in her car during a field trip, which my daughter was riding in.  Did not appreciate that.  But it's not mainstream families vs. Waldorf families-  In other words, I've never perceived such 'class' warfare in our community, even when issues do arise.  

 

 


I've been reading this thread because I have been interested in Waldorf for a long time. I did not choose a Waldorf school because I don't particularly like the one in the city I currently live in.

 

I'm using the statement above as an example of what makes me stay away from the waldorf community and wondering if people can explain the sentiment behind it. Why is listening to a song with non-explicit lyrics so bad? Is it simply because Gaga is pop and all pop culture must be avoided at all times? I worry about two things with getting involved with the Waldorf community:

 

Would my child be growing up too much in a sheltered bubble?

Will I be constantly jugded about something I do/eat/play/sing/watch because it's too mainstraim? I don't base my likes and dislikes on what is mainstream and what is counter-culture, so I could be the mom who plays Madonna or White Stripes in the car (non-explicit lyrics of course, although I don't sheild songs with swear words from my own child I wouldn't expose another).

 

Anyway, I'm just honestly curious. What would be okay to play in the car? Michael Franti? Stravinksy? Again, just using that as an example to understand the mindset of the community. I hate the idea of being judged or observed all time.  
 

 

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#66 of 79 Old 08-27-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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As a parent who is trying to raise a child without pop culture (at least for now), one of the reasons that I love Waldorf is that it provides the ONLY place I know of where you can send your child over to another child's house and know that they won't be watching TV or listening to Lady Gaga (well, no guarantees, but the chances are lower).

 

I don't think that it's "bad" to play Lady Gaga in the car, not at all.  If you don't want to raise your child in a "sheltered bubble," that is a totally valid parenting choice for you, and doesn't (in my opinion) exclude you from the Waldorf community.  But if I want to raise my child in a "sheltered bubble," I've pretty much got nowhere to turn - except possibly Waldorf.  Parents who would prefer that their child NOT be exposed to Lady Gaga likewise have almost nowhere to turn.  Pop culture is everywhere.  Parents who don't mind that their children are involved in pop culture (and there are certainly rational reasons for not minding - I am not judging that decision at all) are in the majority.  As someone in the minority, finding parents on at least a similar wavelength to me is a relief, a reduction in stress, and gives me a sense of being part of a culture more in tune with my beliefs, as opposed to being the one weirdo parent at another school who doesn't want her first grader watching TV, with all of the sense of isolation that engenders.

 

My family consists almost entirely of early readers and pea-counters.  I don't have a problem with that (and I'm a Waldorf teacher, too, who doesn't mind it in her students either).  I guess I just wouldn't teach someone else's pre-toothy child how to read while they were at my house if I knew that her parents were against it.  Silly example, but you know what I mean (I hope).


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#67 of 79 Old 08-27-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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I agree with mamahawk - we've been in three Waldorf communities now and haven't experienced any judgements.  I know what the concern is, but I'm not sure why I know it - in fact sometimes I feel like the most "Waldorf-y" person in my class and my son watches a little tv, we have a wii, etc.  We don't listen to pop music because a lot of it, even without explicit lyrics, is inappropriate for children (all these love songs and "i want to be a billionaire" songs, etc...).  We do listen to classic rock at home and there are things that sometimes give me pause in those lyrics too!  But it's not a judgement if other people do. 

 

I highly recommend - and it might actually be part of the application process, but maybe not for such a young child - that your daughter visits the school for a few days in the classroom.  It will give you a good idea as to whether or not it's a good fit for her as a person and for you as a family.

 

 

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#68 of 79 Old 08-28-2011, 01:33 AM
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#69 of 79 Old 08-28-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Thanks for answering my questions!

 

My values don't totally fit with the public school system, but often times I don't feel I'm a Waldorf fit either. Of course, I do not condone exposing children to inappropriate content and would never do it. And so far explaining to my child that we don't participate in or buy certain things has gone over quite well, but I know that can change eventually. I also don't want to be in a situation where I might be judged for being who I am. I didn't get a sense that this happened in theWaldorf community in the city I used to live in. I think it might be more intense at the school here. I had a pretty bad experience at a home daycare run by a woman who taught at the Waldorf school for 20 years. Here's one example among many - My husband is unfortunately a smoker, and although he NEVER smokes around children, she must have smelled it on him at pick up. She flippantly told me I better tell my husband not to teach my child to smoke. I thought I was going to punch her in the face. She was nutty and everyone I know who used her eventually pulled their child and her assistants kept quitting- but all the teachers at the Waldorf school seemed to love her and want her back. She also routinely left a small toddler to cry in a playpen during lunchtime in another room because she would not stop crying from separation anxiety. Maybe that's common at daycare situations but it saddened me.

 

Anyway, I will keep reading about Waldorf with interest.  

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#70 of 79 Old 04-30-2018, 06:50 PM
 
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My son currently attends a home based Waldorf inspired kindergarten program and we are really happy. We are beginning to investigate schools and have been considering a Waldorf school. Have recently been reading literature on www.waldorfcritics.org  and feel uncertain now as it talks about anthrosophy as a cult, beliefs in the occult and reincarnation etc. It mentions how none of this is expressed in school information packs but that this is what is underlying the teaching methodology.
 
I am open minded however I'm not comfortable with teachers having these beliefs and sharing them with my young impressionable children (perhaps even subconsciously). I personally don't believe in reincarnation but have formulated this belief system as an adult and not been influenced for or against. We recently attended a beautiful Spiral walk evening which this website also says is part of their cult - now I'm thinking is it or isn't it??
 
We are so attracted to the community, gardening and arts focused learning but really need the TRUTH !!

Dear Aletina,

If you want to find the truth, I suggest you explore this site: https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/

For what it's worth, I came to Waldorf without understanding anthroposophy at all. In fact I had never heard of it and it was not mentioned by the school at first. So many things about Waldorf were so beautiful. The colors, festivals, the artwork and crafts!...everything was imbued with a certain beauty. I started to notice a few odd things here and there. And I started hearing ideas that seemed odd too. I just chalked it up to my not fully understanding the Waldorf philosophy. (Understatement of the year.)

Well, I kept trying to understand anthroposophy, as I quickly realized everything going on in Waldorf was based on it. I kept asking what it meant, and no one could (or would?) really give me a clear and concise explanation. But I gathered quickly that it was all founded by Rudolf Steiner, and and that within Waldorf he is revered. HIGHLY. The longer I was involved, the more I figured out his teachings are all that is studied or followed - the end all be all. I was told that anthroposophy was the study of man or mankind. It became more clear as time went on that it contained some really far-out, fantastical beliefs.

So finally I found a clear explanation at Waldorf watch, after many google searches that had only lead me to pro-Waldorf cites that gave vague explanations, similar to those I got from the school. When I actually uncovered what anthroposophy entails, and after reading copious amounts of Steiner's teachings for myself, I was horrified.

Want to read what Steiner taught about race? Brace yourself (his direct quotes): https://sites.google.com/site/waldor.../steiners-bile

After being involved with two different schools, I can tell you that from what I have seen and experienced first-hand, Waldorf Education is based solely on Anthroposophy - which in short is the entirety of Steiner's teaching. It boils down to a religion, or you prefer, a spiritual belief system.

Steiner also founded the "Christian Community" a church based on anthroposophy that is a misnomer because anthroposophy contradicts all the major beliefs of Christianity. The Camphill movement, also based on anthroposophy, is a disgrace to humanity. Read one child's disturbing story here: http://www.waldorfcritics.org/articles/Smith-Hald.html
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#71 of 79 Old 05-01-2018, 03:27 AM
 
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With all respect, some of the Waldorf critic websites such as Waldorf watch will not give you any more unbiased information than the info you are already concerned with. We have to be very cautious in this day and age that we seek out unbiased information and seek out the truth for ourselves, rather than listen to the spin given by another person or persons. We must always look for citations, actual research, etc.

We can always find someone who will strengthen our current view, who will say 'this happened to me and therefore it is true for all.' That does not make it true for all.
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#72 of 79 Old 05-01-2018, 08:56 AM
 
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...We have to be very cautious in this day and age that we seek out unbiased information and seek out the truth for ourselves, rather than listen to the spin given by another person or persons. We must always look for citations, actual research, etc.

We can always find someone who will strengthen our current view, who will say 'this happened to me and therefore it is true for all.' That does not make it true for all.
Lauren, thank you for this reply. What you say is very true. I agree wholeheartedly. Just to clarify my particular situation, I stumbled upon "waldorf watch" in my search for answers. I have been involved at 2 waldorf schools for a while now as a teacher, and and the longer I've been there, the more confused I've been about how the school operates and why. I've asked about Anthroposophy and never really had it explained to me clearly. So I read pages on Waldorf Watch, and also the other sites, like Waldorf Answers (pro-Waldorf sites). I read thoroughly from many different websites and personal accounts.

I didn't read Waldorf Watch to confirm or support what I already had decided. I read it to try to understand. And as I did, I recognized --from extended personal experience-- MANY of the characteristics and practices described. So, the lights went on. I realize not all schools are the same. And certainly, parents' and students' experiences can vary GREATLY. As we have seen. From reading so many testimonials, it seems to hinge on whether the students and family "fit in" with the Waldorf way, (and/or with the those who hold the most influence in the school), and also, in some cases, whether they bring finances to the school or not.

Some examples of what I read and personally recognized was going on at my school:
  • subtle indocrination through daily recitation of verses (prayers written by Steiner filled with anthroposophical ideas).
  • Wanted to keep younger kids in a "dreamy state"
  • Eurythmy that supposedly connects us to the Spirit World - without explicitly stating that.
  • Complete devotion to Steiner, an attitude that does not question anything he "brought" to us.
  • Otherworldly "artwork" that is duplicated and identical by students
  • Fundraising systems that just recycle funds. (parents pay tuition, which pays teachers, who are both then expected to donate to the school; student make crafts, that teachers and parents are asked/encouraged to buy, etc. <--that last part really threw me for a loop!)
  • a dizzying schedule of festivals, meetings, plays, events, etc, etc, that can easily suck you in and keep you so exhausted that you can barely think anymore.
  • Teachers who become like parents to the parents themselves. telling them how to parent, what is best for their kids.
  • Spreading a fear of the atrocities of public schools.

I could go on.

A little about me: I'm a very critical thinker. I am not a sheep. I have been through a cult before. And I came out with SERIOUS AWARENESS. I spent months afterwards, researching how cults work. I've always questioned, spoke my mind and bucked systems, authority, or anyone who I feel is abusing their power or mistreating others. I generally live and let live. I'm pretty easy-going and easy to get along with. I'm actually the peacemaker of my family. But I don't just accept things I'm told and avoid confrontation or speaking my mind for the sake of peace. I don't like it when I see deception, or people taking advantage of others. ESPECIALLY when it comes to children.

I made a very critical analysis of Waldorf Watch. I think it is credible for several reasons.
  • My own personal experience which validated many claims there.
  • The man who created it, was in Waldorf for 12 years. He gains NOTHING from his site. There are no ads, he's not selling anything. It is there for no other reason than to shed light on what goes on in and behind waldorf.
  • The site is FULL of accurate citations. And mainly direct quotes from Steiner's works. I read Steiner direct quotes for myself, and drew my own conclusions. He said some pretty awful and crazy things, in plain language. And then I went to the teacher's library at my school and found the books referenced for myself. They are all there, I checked many of the sources. The site is very accurate - at least in the quotes and citations. Of course the author makes a commentary, but in my opinion he is very clear on what is his own opinion, and what is fact (as recorded by historians and Steiner's writings themselves).
  • What he is saying fits with what hosts of other folks are saying.

One example of the last bullet: the Memoire of Grégoire Perra, from France. The Federation of Waldorf Schools sued him and tried to stop him from publishing his memoire. They lost that lawsuit.

"Some time ago, I decided to tell in detail the story of my life in the Anthroposophic community, which started at age nine. This project was delayed by the lawsuit brought against me by the Federation of Waldorf Schools, following the publication of an essay of mine at the UNADFI website. [1] For several years, I have written notes to myself, and dug up old memories, to prepare for the day when I could freely tell the truth about Steiner-Waldorf schools and Anthroposophy. Of course, my goal is not to harm anyone, but to lay out significant facts, so I have decided to disguise the identities of most individuals I mention. If some people recognize themselves and feel injured, they should know that this was not my intention..."

Anyone wanting to dig into anthroposophy should read this memoire and make their own conclusions about what this signifies for the world-wide organization and Waldorf schools.

https://sites.google.com/site/waldor...ife-among-them

I understand that MANY people have a wonderful experience in Waldorf. If that were not the case, it would not have lasted 100 years and spread around the world. However, there are increasing causualties of the movement surfacing (and have been for years, but the internet is making it easier for their stories to be heard.)

I only share what I've shared here because the original thread here asked for truthful information on what goes on inside Waldorf:

"Have recently been reading literature on www.waldorfcritics.org and feel uncertain now as it talks about anthrosophy as a cult, beliefs in the occult and reincarnation etc. It mentions how none of this is expressed in school information packs but that this is what is underlying the teaching methodology...I am open minded however I'm not comfortable with teachers having these beliefs and sharing them with my young impressionable children (perhaps even subconsciously)."

I just wanted to share what I was shocked to learn myself, having joined a Waldorf school, completely unaware of the underlying belief system. Because I have witnessed many things personally, that these sites testify of, I want to encourage parents seeking the truth to consider these testimonies. As a certified, public-school teacher who began to teach in Waldorf, who also began Waldorf teacher training, I may have a perspective that parents and outsiders may not ever have. I believe the stories of Roger Rawlings (waldorf watch) and Grégoire Perra are truthful, because they match what I've seen with my own eyes, and they have nothing to gain. In fact they had to invest much time, work and even hardship, to be able to share their stories. They are simply individual testimonies. We can't know what goes on in all Waldorf schools, but we can make informed assumptions based on the experience of many people from many different schools. Their credibility of the writers is something the reader will have to determine for themselves.

To specifically address the original question by Aletina,

I can say that in my Waldorf school, I have witnessed subtle indoctrination of students to the ideas put forth in anthroposophy. I've seen more overt indoctrination of teachers. So, take that for what it's worth. I hope what I've shared has been helpful, and please know my intention is just to help those seeking truthful answers to find them.
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#73 of 79 Old 05-02-2018, 06:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sarah.Clark View Post

Some examples of what I read and personally recognized was going on at my school:
  • subtle indocrination through daily recitation of verses (prayers written by Steiner filled with anthroposophical ideas).
  • Wanted to keep younger kids in a "dreamy state"
  • Eurythmy that supposedly connects us to the Spirit World - without explicitly stating that.
  • Complete devotion to Steiner, an attitude that does not question anything he "brought" to us.
  • Otherworldly "artwork" that is duplicated and identical by students
  • Fundraising systems that just recycle funds. (parents pay tuition, which pays teachers, who are both then expected to donate to the school; student make crafts, that teachers and parents are asked/encouraged to buy, etc. <--that last part really threw me for a loop!)
  • a dizzying schedule of festivals, meetings, plays, events, etc, etc, that can easily suck you in and keep you so exhausted that you can barely think anymore.
  • Teachers who become like parents to the parents themselves. telling them how to parent, what is best for their kids.
  • Spreading a fear of the atrocities of public schools.
ad 1 - I could say - every teacher is selling our children the philosophy she/he is owning. Actually - every person on the world. You too.. Public school - with culture differentiation - can sell your child all the negative aspects of their variety. And always there is someone who is doing even the satanistic cultivation and your child will be impacted with that. And here is YOUR role as a parent to make your child aware of such a risk (of course if in your opinion it is a risk). As I would ask you - what about the negative impact of Hello Kitty on your child? Do you see the spiritual danger that is related with this cartoon? And what about the Avengers, the pop culture and so on? You are not afraid as this is accepted by the "mainstream" society that is like the sheep herd?
ad 2 - I didn't have my child in Waldorf kindergarten but as a child I was treated in public school with.. fairy tales. I see it as a kind of 'dreamy state'. The same is when children (and adults too) go to any church - they HAVE TO STAY in this kind of mental state to be easy to be ruled as that some ideology is saying.. And not - you are not aware of it. Let's see the history lessons. You treat it as a true but when you see the content of history lessons in different country - you will be surprised how differently the same fact is presenting and how subjective it is.. And this is only different sides of the same coin.. - it actually depends what you accept or not.
ad 3 - maybe only you have such a problem.. but let me say - when you have your so called Halloween - isn't that kind of.. showing the part of Spiritual World? Do you know that in my country this holiday is treated as a real spiritual danger? Isn't that funny for you? While of course we have very similar kind of holiday this and next days, but we celebrate it in different way - staying at church and praying for souls of our last family members and others. From my perspective - it is a kind of hypocrisy that some people claiming on this danger - can't see in themselves. In my country there is this kind of sentence - darkest under the lamp..
ad 4 - in public school you have to stay with the way the Educational Ministry (or how you call it in your country) are learning your children. You can discuss with it but.. this will have impact on the way the teacher will treat your child. At least in my country it looks like this. What you can do then is to educate by yourself. And this is what I do independently from fact my child is in Waldorf (or any other) school. You really don't have fully rely on Waldorf approach outside the school. Or only you want to treat yourself as a independent and critical thinking person, but in fact you aren't?
ad 5 - when I see how the students books looks like and how reproductive is the way of teaching in public school (and private one too) I am wondering.. what kind of people we are creating? All these coloring books, and stamps, and stickers and so on.. Or when you have the art lessons - you HAVE to do the same work as others.. you have to think as your teacher does while doing test, writing essay, etc - otherwise you receive the bad note. I don't know how it looks like in your country, but .. really - I don't see any difference in this topic among different types of school.
ad 6 - the same approach is presented in all of schools that are social. Before I've sent my daughter to Waldorf - she was in social school where the learning program is the same as in public school, but there are some differences in the way of teaching/managing school. And guess what - even if it was the 'normal' school - there were days where we were asked to buy different things that children from school did to.. donate the school, even if we've payed for it. In public school - there is exactly the same mechanism because the donation payed by government is not enough... and will never be.
ad 7 - In my daughter school I see there is few such a festivals per year. I don't see the difference with previous social school my child was attending. What is the difference - parents are more involved in the school life. And this is OK, as to teach our children that WE are society - WE NEED to be involved in SOCIETY. If you want just to leave your child in school and only observe the results of his education - then Waldorf is bad idea for you. But in my country - even teachers in public school are not so.. engaged in children's education. They are only... mentors not leaders. They only give children the homework and... expect the good results. Are you aware of it?
ad 8 - this is very funny argument for me Because when you are in any society - every mother or even not mother is telling you what is the best for your children Even doctor is guiding you how to treat your child. Look at the bookstore shelves - fully of so called 'nurturing' advices. So this is... really stupid point, as teachers are.. teachers and their role is.. teaching (what a surprise! ) But at the end it is your decision if you will use their advices or not. Claiming anybody for it is.. not logical. Remind yourself how many times you were trying to do this? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
ad 9 - Actually I have my own experience with other private, social and public educational establishment.. And I know what is good and bed for my child. The simplest way is to go by your own to different schools and have .. your own experience to compare what is the best for YOU/or rather for your children.

Summarizing - when you are reading someone's experiences with this or that school, it is only this person experience. Not yours or any other person. Actually it all goes about EXPECTATION. And none of the school will satisfy you in 100%. Even when you will decide to educate by your own - your child will have a lot of pros and.. cons after finishing your educational process. And he/she will say you that this or that was awful and full of your ideology that she/he was not fully aware of , etc. As someone wrote - it is all about the law of attraction - you found information that somehow fits your unconsciousness fears that results from e.g. your beliefs that your parents gave you.. or from culture or from the whole family experiences that you've heard in the past..
Be honest to yourself - what exactly you are afraid of? Why you have this feeling? Why all these aspects of education in Waldorf result with such an emotional states in you? And really start thinking critical, because from my perspective - you do not and you allow people steering yourself..
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#74 of 79 Old 05-02-2018, 07:43 PM
 
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I'm going to offer some kind advice to people who are critical of waldorf. It is such an uphill battle. Almost all of the schools continue to thrive and those that do not have internal problems (to be blunt) that have nothing to do with the efforts of the waldorf critics.

How can you be more effective?

Avoid big picture arguments and generalizations. Describe very specific experiences that you have seen yourself. People are much more likely to take you seriously and respond sympathetically.

Realize that most waldorf criticism ends up being an attack on the parents. Even if you don't mean it to be. Here are these parents who are happy with waldorf, who think their children are thriving, who enjoy the waldorf community and activities and someone pops up and says they are utterly mistaken. Their children are not thriving, they should not be happy because being happy is a sign that they are missing all sorts of stuff (basically calling people stupid, unaware, dense, etc.), that they must be filled with silly woo ideas if they enjoy the waldorf festivals, it just goes on and on.

Not a good way to make friends and influence people.

As I said, describe specific experiences. Your own first-hand experiences. Don't generalize. Don't try to make a big picture case.

Waldorf schools really are individually run, so something that happens at one school may not ever occur at another school.

And now I'm going to get specific. Someone mentioned "Otherworldly "artwork" that is duplicated and identical by students"

I work in a art and craft Gallery. One of the artists, who was running the Gallery for the day was talking to a couple of customers about her artwork. The customers had taken various painting classes and all of them were discussing the endless hours of practice it takes to master a particular technique.

I know a young waldorf graduate, who no longer buys cards. She pulls out a piece of cardstock, folds it in half, gets out her paints and produces a lovely little miniature painting. Every single one is different, all charming and all demonstrate the benefit of all those years of working with color and various techniques. She definitely has her own style of work, it doesn't look "waldorf" and she has a lot of fun creating these cards. Has she been victimized by her education? Deprived of the opportunity to be creative and original? Doesn't look like it.

On the other hand, except for a couple of years at a waldorf school as a teenager, I went to a whole bunch of public schools. We moved a lot. Although we had some art classes, none of them taught anything useful in terms of actually mastering techniques of painting or drawing. The best you could say for them was that they provided a change of pace. Ditto for singing sessions (no exercises to learn how to hear notes, stay on tune, sing in harmony or anything else that would help children to grow up to be actual singers), and any other activities that might result in a well-rounded person.

These lists of generalizations aren't very compelling.
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#75 of 79 Old 05-06-2018, 02:14 PM
 
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...I am open minded however I'm not comfortable with teachers having these beliefs and sharing them with my young impressionable children (perhaps even subconsciously)...
 
We are so attracted to the community, gardening and arts focused learning but really need the TRUTH !!
One thing I've discovered as a recurring theme when reading complaints about waldorf is rampant bullying with teachers doing little or nothing to intervene or prevent it.

You mention your concern about teachers beliefs' (that they are not necessarily up-front about), which you may not share and how they may affect the children. Well, I've come to understand from reading many accounts and also my own observations, that the teachers' beliefs about karma, reincarnation and destiny underly this recurring phenomenon of bullying.

It seems that many teachers believe that before they are born, children choose the struggles they will undergo to deal with their bad karma. (This is an accepted belief of anthroposophy.) So to interfere with bullying actually hinders children from processing their karma. I found this document in a faculty handbook, discussing how the teacher must determine how much intervention is optimal, if a child is being abused or victimized. SCARY STUFF! (I bolded the sections that you might want to consider carefully.)

p9, Bullying Presentation to Faculty – Handout
May 13, 1999

Alan Howard Waldorf School

Prepared by Cynthia Kennedy and Betty Robertson
Destiny

We have labored over this section and it has been written and
rewritten a number of times. Can a child’s karma or destiny be that of a victim or bully? Is it a child’s destiny to seek certain experiences to build his or her self-esteem and inner self? Should a potentially abusive situation be stopped, and if so, at what point? We do not know the answers; however, when dealing with bullying behavior we thought that caution is necessary. If intervention can change the experiences that our children encounter then conceivably it is not entirely destiny we are dealing with. And perhaps all the children are better served if they are given tools to better handle aggression, be it their own, or their peers.

For a child who is being victimized, it must be the teacher’s role and responsibility to determine how much victimization is healthy to enable the child to be strengthened through the experience and at what point the exposure is excessive and detrimental. This situation is something that all teachers must struggle with, and the obligation becomes that much more onerous given that, in all likelihood, most of what a child is subjected to will be unknown to the teacher.

It appears that the bully, primarily through child rearing, arrives at our school with a predisposition to aggressive and bullying behavior. The research is not clear as to how much these children can be helped without the support of the parents. However, parental commitment is one of the qualities expected of any Waldorf family so there may be more success with our families than the average. In addition, we understand that doing biography work with the affected child(ren) and families may increase understanding and help the situation. Curative work, including assessments and curative eurythmy, perhaps in consultation with specialists like Anthroposophical doctors, may provide additional information to both the family and teacher(s).

taken from: http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com...f-bullies.html

So, I've heard that curative eurythmy is an extra charge, and improvements may not manifest until the next life.. anyone had any experience with this?

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#76 of 79 Old 05-06-2018, 06:56 PM
 
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I've done extensive curative eurythmy and have known and worked with curative eurythmists at a waldorf school. No, it doesn't take until the next lifetime to be helpful. As an adult I was dealing with a misplaced tooth which was endangering one of my front teeth. Having braces in your 40s is tricky and I've known several people who ended up with problems. I did curative eurythmy and chiropractic which both helped. According to my dentist, my teeth moved quickly and also ended up exactly where they were supposed to, which she said was unusual. The reason I began the alternative treatments was due to feeling very sick, dizzy, nauseated, etc. All of that cleared up.

In terms of the quotes from the handbook: It looks to me like a balancing act. They are not suggesting that children be left to be victimized, nor that bullies be supported. On the other hand, instant intervention in any conflict between children DOES undermine their ability to learn how to work things through.

Again, I suggest that you stick to describing actual first-hand experiences that you've had in waldorf schools rather than using quotes to try to build a case of sinister stuff going on.
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#77 of 79 Old 05-07-2018, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sarah.Clark View Post

It seems that many teachers believe that before they are born, children choose the struggles they will undergo to deal with their bad karma. (This is an accepted belief of anthroposophy.)
How much is 'many teachers'? You generalize. Even if teacher is do nothing about some children behaviors it doesn't mean that this teacher is doing that because she/he believes in anything related to anthroposophy There are many other reasons for lack of intervention. Never say that such a behavior can be kind of intervention too. As some children simply need to learn how to react by themselves because in my opinion many parents are oversensitive and want to keep their kids sheltered while it is not teaching them the responsibility and autonomy... Of course - I don't know the whole situation like you don't, because even if it is described - it is only someone's point of view. If you want to be impartial - get know the whole story from different sides and keep aside all your beliefs - be like the fly on the wall looking on the whole scene from the appropriate distance.
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#78 of 79 Old 05-07-2018, 07:55 AM
 
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Wow, zombie thread! This is from 2011. Pretty sure by now the OP has sorted out what school to send her kids to, and most of the discussion (which was pretty good) has disappeared because apparently one person has been banned!?!

Regarding the bullying: this has been a problem in Waldorf schools, and in some schools and with individual teachers it may still be so - they are all independent so it's impossible to say for sure. I have certainly heard of pretty awful occurrences of bullying in Waldorf schools, where the victim leaves the school to escape it, and I've also heard of similar (and worse) situations in public schools, where the victim joins a Waldorf school to escape it! No school is immune to childhood cruelty.

But I will say that during my teacher training, it was covered extensively. The one-time belief that it was the children's karma to be worked out is based on a misunderstanding of Steiner's teachings (we were taught), as it may well be the teacher's karma to intervene. We cannot know what our (or their) karma is, so we should not try to figure it out. We should instead respond to bullying immediately, believe the victim, and provide coping skills for both parties involved. This is, at least, what I was taught during Waldorf teacher training. Google Kim Payne and social inclusion - this is the approach being taught and hopefully employed in strong Waldorf schools.
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#79 of 79 Old 08-23-2018, 06:32 AM
 
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Waldorf school is a very good option.
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