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-   -   Graduating from the Waldorf School of St. Louis - transition advice? (https://www.mothering.com/forum/39-preteens-teens/1601927-graduating-waldorf-school-st-louis-transition-advice.html)

FoodieMom 09-01-2017 05:00 PM

Graduating from the Waldorf School of St. Louis - transition advice?
 
Hi, Glad to be here. :smile: My first kiddo is graduating from a Waldorf school in the not distant future. I am looking for advice on supporting teens who move from alternative schools into mainstream high schools. Thus far the graduates form this school are doing really well - I am not concerned about him doing well, but more looking for advice on how to support the transition. Any Waldorf, Montessori, other alternative education moms have suggestions? Or others? Really any move to high school seems to be a pretty big transition. Thanks!!

KnitterForest 09-03-2017 09:46 PM

We have not had to experience this (yet) but I have talked to graduates and parents because I was also concerned about the transition from Waldorf. We were initially very cautious about sending our little ones to a waldorf school for this very reason, not to mention the implications for the family budget. What I've heard from graduates is that after the initial culture shock, and a period of instability, things seem to normalize. Academically there's a pretty dramatic shift from a holistic teaching practices to teachers who teach to tests but they adjust. We've always tried to be open and honest with the children about the differences between their school and other schools and explain that some day they will be able to take their special experience with them to another school. I think that providing them with a stable home life where they feel safe will go a long way. Good luck!

Deborah 09-03-2017 09:51 PM

My granddaughter just started at a public high school for 12th grade after many years at waldorf, starting in preschool.

She is having a wonderful time. But I think the transition is easier for older children.

My grandson is in his last year at the local school (the high school initiative had to close), so he'll be in public school from 9th through 12th. I don't think he'll have any problems. Very practical kid.

Deborah 09-03-2017 09:53 PM

Come to think of it, my daughter, after many years of waldorf, moved into a public school in 8th grade. It didn't work out. This was in the 1980s, it was a rural school in a poor state, and I think the standard of teaching was just too weak to satisfy her. Plus she had a hard time connecting to the other children--it was a big leap from Los Angeles to a poor rural area with few cultural amenities.

There are a lot of factors to consider.

Midwestmom2009 09-04-2017 07:56 PM

Definitely a doable transition
 
We have many years in front of us, but will also be facing this transition. It's one of the questions I remember asking at our very first tour (when our children were preschool age)!

There is a consistent theme from parents at our school - Waldorf children are prepared. Academically, they do well and are often "over" prepared. I remember the mom of a recent graduate from our school saying that the biggest hurdle her child faced was accepting that sometimes he just had to memorize facts. (A completely doable hurdle in my mind).

All of the non-academic lessons that our children get so much experience with - thinking deeply and critically, social negotiation, etc. allow them to navigate all kinds of transitions with confidence and grace.

There is an article at spielgaben.com about how to transition your child to mainstream after alternative schooling that has some very practical tips.



Best of luck to you!!

moominmamma 09-05-2017 09:30 AM

My four kids haven't done this particular transition, but something rather similar: they switched from completely child-led unschooling to mainstream public high school somewhere between ages 12 and 15. I echo what Midwestmom2009 says above: your child will be prepared. The sense of self, the groundedness, those traits are secure in holistically-educated children.

Having watched my own kids leap into the deep end with mainstream schooling, I want to make a pitch for keeping support and preparation very low-key and casual. I'm convinced that my kids benefitted from the fact that my expectations were positive: I assumed that any gaps, glitches and adjustments, even those that were entirely unexpected, would be manageable for them and therefore didn't try to 'prepare them.' If I had got busy trying to address any potential issues and smoothing the way for them I think they would have worried that I thought they were likely to fail without that help, that the change was going to be stressful, difficult and anxiety-provoking... and that would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There were a few things that were challenging for each of them, but their confidence was worth far more than any preparation I could have assisted them with. Essentially we looked on public high school as an interesting and exciting and at-times-weird new culture, like a foreign country they were about to visit, one that would be full of new experiences and new expectations which they would figure out as they went along. And they did.

Miranda

FoodieMom 09-12-2017 11:59 AM

Thanks! Yes, I have chatted with Alumni as well. It seems like it takes them any where from 2 weeks to a couple of months to get the system and then they are golden. Thus far I believe most of our school's alumni are getting straight A's at all kinds of schools.

FoodieMom 09-12-2017 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moominmamma (Post 19714475)
My four kids haven't done this particular transition, but something rather similar: they switched from completely child-led unschooling to mainstream public high school somewhere between ages 12 and 15. I echo what Midwestmom2009 says above: your child will be prepared. The sense of self, the groundedness, those traits are secure in holistically-educated children.

Having watched my own kids leap into the deep end with mainstream schooling, I want to make a pitch for keeping support and preparation very low-key and casual. I'm convinced that my kids benefitted from the fact that my expectations were positive: I assumed that any gaps, glitches and adjustments, even those that were entirely unexpected, would be manageable for them and therefore didn't try to 'prepare them.' If I had got busy trying to address any potential issues and smoothing the way for them I think they would have worried that I thought they were likely to fail without that help, that the change was going to be stressful, difficult and anxiety-provoking... and that would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There were a few things that were challenging for each of them, but their confidence was worth far more than any preparation I could have assisted them with. Essentially we looked on public high school as an interesting and exciting and at-times-weird new culture, like a foreign country they were about to visit, one that would be full of new experiences and new expectations which they would figure out as they went along. And they did.

Miranda

Thank you Miranda! I definitely think I need to be reminded of that. I appreciate your words on this.


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