? for waldorf home schoolers - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i went to visit a waldorf school today, just checcking it out. my son will start k in '08 and i think we're going to hs, but i'm still looking around to be sure. for those of you who live within reasonable distance to a waldorf school--- why did you choose to hs, using waldorf principals, instead of sending dc to a w.s.?
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#2 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 01:45 AM
 
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Oh, and to spend more time with my kids!
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#3 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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Yes, money is definately a factor. I've visited our Waldorf school, its gorgeous and so appealing. It almost lured me in, but in the end I remembered why I am homeschooling.

I want to HS to give my DD one-on-one teaching, to be able to follow her natural pace, and have the flexibility of not keeping an obligated schedule outside the house. While Waldorf is lovely, it is still someone else teaching her and it would revolve around their hours of teaching. But, they also are on many acres and have all of the resources already there. I wish they did a part time school or coop!
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#4 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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Talk to them. Many Waldorf schools have programs for homeschoolers. At least you can participate in the celebrations. They may also have parent classes. If there is enough of an interest they might start a part-time Waldorf homeschool program.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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mamakass, what might a part time home schooling waldorf program look like? or a co-op? if i decide to approach them with an idea, how would i describe it? i like the sound of it.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy65 View Post
i went to visit a waldorf school today, just checcking it out. my son will start k in '08 and i think we're going to hs, but i'm still looking around to be sure. for those of you who live within reasonable distance to a waldorf school--- why did you choose to hs, using waldorf principals, instead of sending dc to a w.s.?
I sent my child to one of the schools for two years - had never heard of homeschooling at the time. The biggest problem with the schools is the attempt to have strong, authoritative control on lots of levels - and I mean it was a huge problem. I refuse to get into an argument here with anyone reading this thread who is a big supporter of the schools - been there, done that, and it's just frustrating and futile - but I've also had plenty of friends whose children were in the schools for considerable time and close friends who taught in the schools, who had the same kinds of criticisms. I know some whose children did just fine and even thrived - but those tend to be independent people who were not looking to the schools for inspiration or community or guidance, who had very strong family lives and interests not centered around Waldorf, and whose children were strong, centered, self-assured, and didn't have different kinds of learning difficulties. Homeschooling is a whole other world from being dependent on schools and teachers - you can tailor activities to your child rather than tailoring the child to someone else's ideas. Here's my own family's story: Homeschooling - It's a Wonderful Life!. We homeschooled in order to have the freedom to make our own choices.

There are lots of wonderful resources for someone wanting to incorporate some of the Waldorf things into their home. Wonder Homeschool is a great guide to ideas and resources. I started out with some lovely little books for inspiring math exploration, although I actually drifted away from feeling the need for much in the way of "teaching" once I saw how my son was naturally learning so much on his own - which I think children do a lot more than we realize.

- Lillian
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#7 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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Haven't actually begun using the Waldorf curric, just trying to follow the natural-ness of it all. But, I am unshooling with my kids because DH and I want to be with them, know their learning styles and needs best, and don't want to enforce or impose someone else's schedule on them.
As for "home" schooling, we decided based on a few factors. First, and foremost, this...DH looks back at his schooling (though not Waldorf) and feels he learned these things:
1. How to feel inadequate when compared to other students
2. How to "just get by" grade-wise
3. To fail, yet continue on with something as if that was good enough

*Not* good enough for us. At. All.
We both are very involved in our DC's learning experiences. We don't wish to hold them back because someone else feels they should not be ready. Example? Our ds is learning to write and knows many words by sight...*not* because we have taught him. Nope. Have never even asked him if he wanted to. *He* asks *us* all the time, "Mama, can you show me how to make this letter," "Mama, how can i write this?"...
babe's callin'...

ETA: I don't want to downplay the great stuff W schools have to offer. In fact, I have every intention of sharing much of it if and when the kids are ready. I guess my point (if I have just one ) is that not all schools, all programs, alll ways of learning will be a good fit for any one kid. Waldorf is a great *idea* for the most part, but it just doesn't seem to be a good fit for our family in some pretty key areas.

Oh, regarding money, our local Waldorfs, and there are a few, have payment plan options, scholarships, and can be somewhat flexible about it. Don't know if that's universal. There are also a couple of good Waldorf "inspired" schools nearby that are free.

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#8 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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Waldorf school is not a practical option for us. The closest one is an hour away and we simply do not have the $ to afford it.

But even if that were not the case, I would still homeschool. I am pretty waldorfy, meaning I love the philosophy and curriculum and I know a bit about anthroposophy, but I still have difficulty with control issue that Lillian mentioned. I am in a waldorf coop, and these issues are evident there, I can't imagine how they must be amplified in the school setting. I am a huge believer in flexibility and schools in general are not set up to be flexible.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 07:06 PM
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thanks for sharing that link with us, lillian. or, both links.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the interesting responses, as well as the links. in thinking it over, i also remembered that a W school is still a School. we will have to deal with their schedule, their rules, their curriculum and, most importantly, their evaluations of our child. i know i have my own issues with authority but i really hate the idea of having to ask someone's permission to take a trip with my kid during "school time" or having someone have any say at all in our home and family life. W. sometimes strikes me as a little over involved in the child's life outside of School. i don't exactly know this for a fact, i admit, just a feeling i get sometimes. still...those gnomes are pretty cute. my husband finds them spooky.
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#11 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy65 View Post
...a W school is still a School.
BINGO!

Quote:
...still...those gnomes are pretty cute.
True. And I'll tellya' what - I found that it was the parents who got the most out of all that cute stuff. I certainly did! And after a bunch of my friends and acquaintances had finally pulled out because of exactly the reasons you cited (and the fact that their particular children were unhappy there), I mentioned in passing how I used to see them up there at the 1st grade door (my child was in the kindergaten at the time), transporting themselves mentally into that beautiful classroom for their own educational healing - and mouths dropped open: "How did you know? I didn't even realize it myself at the time!" Well, duh, I just assumed it was obvious to everybody - it never occurred to me I was seeing anything everyone wasn't aware of. Yes, it's generally a beautiful "idea," all right - but it's pretty complicated when you have all the personalities and power structure mixed into the works. And really, it's a school - and there are few schools that really respect the child as a full fledged person and natural learner the way Summerhill does.... - Lillian
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#12 of 16 Old 01-25-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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I largely agree with what has been said. Just to throw in another perspective, I have to add that even the best school - any school - can only put 30 kids at the center of their teaching. Homeschool - by any method - can put one child in the center and concentrate on their needs. We have a built-in advantage!

I have not had a Waldorf school near me ever - though I did drive my child 1 1/2 hours to one, once a month, for a kindergarten experience. Then I realized that I could do this better at home and build real connections within our real community - not just same-age friendships in an artificial school community, no matter how lovely their maple furniture is.

Don't get me wrong, if we couldn't homeschool, we would probably look at the nearest Waldorf school first, and the teacher, because any school is only as good as the teacher in that class on that day.

Best wishes on finding the right path for your family,

Lucie

P.S. Thanks, Lillian! Don't forget that your whole site is cool and helpful to holistic homeschoolers too - since we're always blending in a pinch of this, a dash of that philosophy!
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#13 of 16 Old 01-26-2007, 04:17 AM
 
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there is a school near me, one that i started, which will be possibly going into chaterhood next year - and yet i still plan to homeschool - there is a long list of reasons i like the idea of homeschool, with a waldorfy flair, plus a dash and pinch of other things... but one that lillian j brought up really speaks to me and is at the top pf my list - having to conform to a community norm, a certain standard of practice that others expect you to meet, it just isn't that interesting to me. i understand the reasons/needs of it for a lrager community, have done it before and it was fine, it just isn't what i want to do again and not with my dd.
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#14 of 16 Old 01-26-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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There isn't one in my state, nor could I afford to send three kids to one.

Plus I like the idea of picking and choosing what will work best for us.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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#15 of 16 Old 01-26-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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I didn't like the teacher at ours and, ultimately, I just didn't want to send him to school anymore (he had been at a Montessori preschool previously).
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#16 of 16 Old 01-26-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy65 View Post
mamakass, what might a part time home schooling waldorf program look like? or a co-op? if i decide to approach them with an idea, how would i describe it? i like the sound of it.
Usually schools allow Waldorf homeschoolers to participate in festivals and celebrations. Sometimes they welcome hs parents to parent nights, and invite parents to take classes, or participate in an anthroposophy discussion group.

Sometimes schools have eurythmy classes, foreign language classes, handwork classes, or once a week programs for hs'rs. If you are interested you should call the school to see what is already available to hs'rs.

Co-ops can look however you want. I went to parent tot classes until they ended (The teacher moved away), then we formed our own group and modeled it from the class rhythm. We did that once a week.
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