Encouragement to do preschool? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 5 Old 06-08-2017, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Encouragement to do preschool?

Feel free to skip and just share a positive Waldorf preschool experience, that's what I want to hear

I am definitely set on sending my daughter to a Waldorf school through the grades years, and I have enrolled her in a 3 day nursery class for this coming year (she will be 3.75), which I am really looking forward to for her. However I have read opinions from many that under five or six is too soon and if they cry at separation they should not have to be separated from you. I kind of agree with this, ideally she could have the community experience with lots of other children she knows for hours a day without ever having to be left with someone she hasn't gotten to know very well yet. But it's nothing like that for us. I have a big family, but no friends really (I have a lot of social awkwardness partly from growing up VERY isolated myself). I know I could do meetups, classes, playdates and such, but each would be different children mostly, and just a couple hours per week in my experience. I feel like the natural thing is for her to be around other children - and always the same children - A LOT, not for socialization at this age, but as a developmental need. Altogether I feel that if she goes to this nursery she will have a richer experience than what she would have staying at home (we go to a park maybe once a day, take a walk once a day -mostly to places with few other children that she doesn't really interact with- rest of the day at home). She has a cousin who has a best friend next door and they are only a year older than her, but then they watch a lot of TV which I don’t want her doing. I love everything about Waldorf, finding out about it has been a dream come true to me, but I also know that she will be upset about separating from me, and it will be I think about fifteen hours per week (that’s the spot that was open), and I am not sure if it might have been better to wait another year or two. I really want it to work out well and was hoping to hear from some people that felt that preschool was really good for their child, especially if they were not an outgoing child to begin with.


ETA: She is VERY shy right now, but I don't really feel like this is her natural disposition.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-08-2017, 04:21 PM
 
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Both my girls have done Steiner preschool. DD1 is now in class one and DD2 started preschool this year.

DD2 is four and is struggling with the transition from full time home to part time institutional care. My feeling is that she would struggle at any point and, for her, learning how to be in a group/classroom/away from me/different routine before academics are added will be useful to her rather than learning it all at once when it's compulsory for her to attend.

I stayed with her, all day everyday for the first 3.5 weeks. I tried, as much as possible, to be an unobtrusive presence. I took my crochet and sat in the corner. I interacted with her when she initiated it but I didn't play and I encouraged her to ask her teachers if she needed anything or had questions. When we decided that she needed to stay by herself, I warned her teachers that I would be leaving after drop off. Then I briefly kissed her and walked straight out. She cried, her teacher cuddled her and she was settled in 5 mins. We are now in term two and she still doesn't like me leaving but she is happy while she's there. We do two 6hr days and one 2.5hr day. The full program is four 6hr days so we will gradually work up to that.

This is our third year with the school now and we love it. It is the most beautiful, nurturing environment. Our older DD is very happy there and I'm sure DD2 will settle in. She is already much more comfortable than she was.

Have you had your interview with her teachers yet? That would be a good conversation to have with them. I'm sure they have helped lots of children with lots of different temperaments to settle in.


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#3 of 5 Old 06-08-2017, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by katelove View Post
Both my girls have done Steiner preschool. DD1 is now in class one and DD2 started preschool this year.

DD2 is four and is struggling with the transition from full time home to part time institutional care. My feeling is that she would struggle at any point and, for her, learning how to be in a group/classroom/away from me/different routine before academics are added will be useful to her rather than learning it all at once when it's compulsory for her to attend.

I stayed with her, all day everyday for the first 3.5 weeks. I tried, as much as possible, to be an unobtrusive presence. I took my crochet and sat in the corner. I interacted with her when she initiated it but I didn't play and I encouraged her to ask her teachers if she needed anything or had questions. When we decided that she needed to stay by herself, I warned her teachers that I would be leaving after drop off. Then I briefly kissed her and walked straight out. She cried, her teacher cuddled her and she was settled in 5 mins. We are now in term two and she still doesn't like me leaving but she is happy while she's there. We do two 6hr days and one 2.5hr day. The full program is four 6hr days so we will gradually work up to that.

This is our third year with the school now and we love it. It is the most beautiful, nurturing environment. Our older DD is very happy there and I'm sure DD2 will settle in. She is already much more comfortable than she was.

Have you had your interview with her teachers yet? That would be a good conversation to have with them. I'm sure they have helped lots of children with lots of different temperaments to settle in.
Thank you! Glad to hear it's going well for them. I have had an interview with teachers and I told them most of my questions were about separation, but we didn't discuss that issue at the time because DD was present. They said there is a lot they do to help them with transition, and now that she is officially enrolled I will have another 'enrollment interview' and I'm going to ask all about it, but I don't have much hope that staying for weeks is going to happen.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-11-2017, 09:03 PM
 
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My kids' preschool was not Waldorf, although we have a friend who loved the one her daughter went to.

My daughter was very shy, but the teachers were loving and we never left her there before she was ready to say good-bye. My son just walked in as if he owned the place. I believe it was good for both of them. I don't know how you'd know for sure until you try, but the one thing you can figure out is how willing the school is to work with you to do what feels right to you for your kiddo. We simply wouldn't have let our kids go somewhere we knew they'd be whisking us out right after drop-off.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-17-2018, 10:33 PM
 
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Such a hard question! But I’ll
Attempt it because it is refreshingly pure after reading “all” that there is in this forum....

We have attended waldorf grade school for 7 years now. But for pre school my kids attended a hippie parent co-op.

My first born walked right into the play kitchen and became best of friends with the boys and girls of the 2-5yo group in an instant, and never looked back! He was born to attend this daycare (that’s what it really was, full 9-6 day but only 2 days a week)

Then my second born who grew up visiting the school, knew the teachers since 6mo.. suffered slightly his entire 2 years there. It was in fact such a struggle for him to be away from me that when his best friend and both fave teachers left, it was so hard, I pulled him out to home-unschooled for last 6 months before kindergarten!

And that was the best decission of my life. Unlike his brother he was born to be homeschooled, and to this day, 4th grade, I know he’d be the happiest at home... I know he would miss his friends, but only a bit! It’s another conversation if homeschooling would be the best fit or not, but you asked about pre school.

So he did join waldorf school for kidergarten, and it was hard every morning to separate, much easier than pre school though! Also days were tiring for him. I swear he is the weirdest kid I know, he is actually extremely popular in school, but the social aspects are mentally super straining for him!!!

For years while he was struggling to adjust to 1st and second grades, I thought back: “maybe I should have kept him home for one last year, (the kindie)...”

Until one day recently he said: “I wish school was like kindergarten, that place was a paradise, my teacher was the best, she even let me have a cookie with her and we didn’t tell anyone else! And we had the best time just playing with my best friend! Mom, I know I acted like I didn’t want to go, like every day, but I actually had sooo much fun.”

So there’s perspective to moms who are told to follow their intuition... The kindergarten owner convinced me not to homeschool, and I listened, and then spent years thinking, maybe I should have followed my intuition... until my kid tells me he was kind of being dramatic not wanting to go, actually had a blast and in retrospect realizes it was a paradise 😂 I’m so happy he has that year to look back to! It is so very different from 1st grade.

Waldorf pre school really is a paradise, and I often think about what benefits we could have had being there instead of the hippie co-op, because of the wisdom the waldorf pre school teachers have. Call it cultish or what ever, but everything I learned form Waldorf teachers always seem wacko at first, but man if you follow them at home, it’s just magic! And I’m not even hard core about it ever, I always say to myself, I’m an artist and so liberal, I can never fully follow this rigid system, but even the bit I do manage to do, brings such beauty and harmony to our lives.

So the thing I wish I had from pre school most is the support for me! My first born would have loved it, but he also loved the co-op. My second would have appeared to hate it, but he would have some magical memories! In kindie he was a bit old for some of it, and had had a realistic liberal mom ruining all the magic for him. (I’ll adan anecdote about this at the end)*

I suggest you try it! Not sure you have to start at 3 something, you can wait till 4! You never know, what if your child is so drawn to the place you don’t get a goodbye kiss! ...Or causes a scene every morning, but actually enjoys it after you leave 😉

Attend parent education events at school for yourself and see if you want to stay just for the extra support you get. Because from your post it sounds like you are pretty alone in your waldorfy endeavors.

* so one incident where I had already ruined the magic was the birthday rainbow bridge. He fully enjoyed his birthday celebration, but at home he asked me, is my teacher lying, because you told me I came from your belly! I told him that of course you were in my belly, but you were a star child and you chose us and you came down the rainbow bridge, all of it can be true right? i just didn’t know about the start child part... Later in life and I know he was still too young to know it, but I never lie or put stigma on sexuality. And I go by, tell the truth about what they ask, but not more. But, he also had a very internet damaged boy at school, so his questions came out of having heard too much from his friend... anyways... he asked me if we have ever had sex with his father, and I said yes. He was so grossed out, I told him it’s a beautiful thing, I know it’s gross for you, but for adults it is not, and that is the only way we could have had you! He was mortified! He told me he just wished everything his kindie teacher had told about the rainbow bridge was true, I hate hate hate that I had to be made by something so gross as sex!!” Oh poor kid!
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