Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
nak<br><br><br>
I am trying to evaluate different options for dds educational path, we seem to be leaning in the direction of hsing-possibly unschooling. Dp and I both like Montessori and Waldorf too. I would appreciate it greatly if you could share why you did not choose Waldorf or Montessori. I would love to have some input from the <b>*hsing*</b> (unschoolers too<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) population on this subject. Choosing an educational path for a child is so huge. HUGE!!! Really its making me a bit nervous and a lot <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
thanks in advance.........Nina
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
742 Posts
I always loved the idea of homeschooling but was a commited MOntessorian and felt tht was the right option for us. So, ds went to a fabulous MOntessori school for 2 years. We then moved overseas where we tried the American School for 7 weeks. Thats when my belief in hs became a reality!! We are now HS'ing using the Montessori Method....I cant imagine ever going back to any school now. My son loves his freedom and even returning to a Montessori School would , in my opinion, take away so much of his time to be at home pursuing his own interests. I am very lucky in that my dh co. pays for our hs supplies so I have invested a lot in good MOntessori materials and tons of books. Thats my story.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,202 Posts
Ehkay. I looked at Waldorf ages & ages ago, and while some of it seemed nice, and I did like our parent /child (food & )craft program (which I did with all of my toddlers) I had to say 'heck no' for us.<br><br>
The art work in waldorf all looks the same, and the desks in grades 1 and up are in little rows and the classrooms look...boring? I dunno.<br><br>
Coupled with the fact my kids can read young, and well, it didn't work out for us. But I still like some of it...atheist that I am. I had a Waldorf teacher tell me at a fair, in front of my reading preschooler, "You might want to think about focusing less on books and more on nature". I was standing there, feeling like a dork, totally embarrassed and ashamed, too stunned to tell her "Crud, girl. I did not teach him to read. He must have leanred it while we were hunting in the woods for owl pellets". I didn't, but wow, did that turn me off, like totally pronto.<br><br>
But it took me years to sort it all out.<br><br>
But no. No Waldorf for us. Montessori...eh. Not us, either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
I did Montessori for a little while as a child. It was great for me. I looked into it for my own kids, but when reading about it, it seemed a bit cold and not as creative as my kids would appreciate. Plus the huge cost of all the endless specialized supplies!<br><br>
I tried Waldorf, and I like certain elements, but it is way too laid back about education for us. My kids love to do work, they don't want to be told they aren't developmentally ready to read when they are already reading books on their own!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
Ds did attend a Montessori school for K. It was not quite as Montessori as advertised, I didn't realize that in K kids were expected to start writing in paragraphs, and the school time was waaaay more structured than I wanted or ds could handle. Parts of the school experience were very good for ds (especially the music program), but I pulled him 1/2 way through the school year because of the rigidity of the K teacher (for example, he wasn't allowed to eat his lunch with the other kids because he would sometimes, gasp, eat his yogurt before his sandwich.)<br><br>
When ds was elementary school aged, there were no montessori options for kids older than 6 (there is now a Montessori school that goes up to grade 4 here), and there is no Waldorf school within 1000 miles of here (I'd never heard of Waldorf before we started hsing), but I'm actually glad, now, that the lack of options in schools forced us to start hsing.<br><br>
I was <i>not</i> one of those moms who chose to hs before I even had children, or who put lots of thought and research into hsing. I'd never met an hser before ds was 6, and didn't even know it was a legal option in Mb. When ds started having serious problems in school I would have happily moved him into any kind of alternative program if there was any available, but Mb is very conservative in terms of educational options, all private schools (except for one extremely expensive prep school) are religious, and there are no charter schools (except for the Islamic sofiya that just opened last year.) Hsing was our only option, and not a happy choice at the time, but has been perfect for us.<br><br>
As the pp said, there are a LOT of Waldorf hsers, and plenty of Montessori ones too (when we first started hsing Montessori at Home books were just about the only hsing books in our library system.) From my pov, even the best teacher, with the best equipment and resources and unlimited patience, will never know my ds as well, nor love him as much, as I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,681 Posts
We "do" both Waldorf and Montessori, after a fashion, in that our style of homeschooling is influenced by what I believe to be the best of both those. My kids have been precocious self-taught readers who have split their days from ages 4 and 7 between imaginary play and reading ... so I don't see that one or the other of these two approaches would have fit them well. A bit of one and a bit of the other, yes, but neither one in and of itself seemed right.<br><br>
But be that as it may, Waldorf or Montessori schools are still schools. They still insist on regular attendance, they place children in large groups in classrooms, they still compartmentalize learning at school as separate from garden-variety living. They still separate children from their parents and siblings and from the daily work of running a household. Going to school means that children miss lunar eclipses and performances of "The Magic Flute" and that exciting morning at the post office when three dozen baby chicks arrive, and my kids would miss the lovely three or four hours each evening that they otherwise wouldn't get to see their dad. Going to school would mean my eldest wouldn't be studying piano and violin, because lessons require us to devote at least the better part of a day to travel. My kids wouldn't have had time to pursue many of the things they've become passionate about, or do be involved in our community to the extent they are. Going to school would mean our family's wilderness canoe trip next month wouldn't happen, nor would the home exchange we're trying to orchestrate in Europe in 2009. It would mean trips to zoos and museums and science centres would be busy and crowded if/when we managed to visit them, and our 'off-peak' holidays would be more expensive. It would probably mean my kids, by ages 10+, would be taking many of their social, cultural and relationship cues from age-peers rather than adult mentors and family.<br><br>
School is still school.<br><br>
Miranda
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts
I don't agree with much of Waldorf. The religious undertones bug me too.<br><br>
I am a big montessori fan- in theory.<br><br>
In practice, I found that there was not enough emphasis on reading for anything other than fact and there weren't books for free reading in elem. classrooms.<br><br>
I would consider montessori if there were a free one here that went through high school.<br><br>
-Angela
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,928 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>oceanbaby</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9039593"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For us it's not about the methodology, it's about the full time mandatory attendance.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: and for us, too, it was the belief with any school (Waldorf, Montessori, or other) that these is only one way to do things. I like things about Waldorf, but would never fit in well at a Waldorf school nor doing only Waldorf education at home. I don't know much about Montessori, but I am sure there are things that I do without knowing it, but I have found through trying on different "hats" that I cannot completely embrace one way of doing anything, including sending my children to a school that only approaches learning and life from one perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, thanks for all the posts. They are <i>really</i> helpful. I do feel very uneasy sending my dds into an institution to be 'programed' by, well... strangers. I know that may sound harsh but its just a feeling I cant shake (especially after reading about the history of public schools!!) I never, NEVER, imagined that I would hs but it feels somewhat 'unnatural' to send my child off for the majority of her day.....<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for listening... just another moment of enlightenment that I have had since becoming a mother. Nothing like having kids to make you question 'norms' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
The short answer is that as much as we like montessori nothing can meet the individual needs of our children like home-schooling can/will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,350 Posts
I spent time looking into both methodologies, visited both campuses, and had long discussions with families heavily involved in both. The bottom line for me/us was the fact that both are schools with their own ideas about what is best for my child. The fact that their ideas are so polar opposite concerns us. We appreciate many aspects of both, but would never dive into one over the other. I have read enough Steiner to know that I would not have been able to be in the same room with him were he around for me to do so. I love almost everything I've read about Maria Montessori and why she created her school. *But*, we just don't feel sending our kids to anyone else for the majority of their day would be as worthwhile and valuable as being together, living life, and learning freely.<br>
So far, the results have been astounding. We have discovered our son is a flourishing artist, and our daughter is absolutely in love with nature. We have every intention of allowing them to follow their passions. Neither school would have been acceptable.<br><br>
Good luck in your search. It can be a treacherous journey...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,484 Posts
I was originally attracted to Waldorf and was sure I'd send my kids to a Waldorf school if possible. Then I started finding out rigidities and other things that I didn't like so much. I had a very bad Montessori experience for kindergarten for myself and had since researched it and also been turned off by rigidities in the system. When I was pregnant with our first child, dh suggested homeschooling. After some initial reluctance, I found that it suited our needs much better than schools. Then I found out about unschooling and it seemed the best choice for our family. It allows us to support our children in who they are and who they choose to become, based on their own choices, rather than on someone else's theory on what they should be doing or learning.<br><br>
I agree too with the posters who mentioned mandatory attendance...I can't see the point of forcing children to attend school when there's a whole world outside of a classroom waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,976 Posts
<span>What Miranda said! And I experienced thost concerns from the stanpoint of someone who had tried two years of Waldorf kindergarten and one year at a tiny alternative school that was quite different from Waldorf, had elaborate unit studies and two field trips a month.<br><br>
Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote, <a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_life.html" target="_blank">Homeschooling - It's a Wonderful Life!</a>:<br></span>
<blockquote></blockquote><span>"I dreamed of our family having freedom to make our own choices. I dreamed of evenings free of useless homework and agonizing study for senseless tests. I dreamed of being able to go out into the world together to see and learn from fascinating historical places and museums. I dreamed of being able to read what we wanted to read when we wanted to read it - late at night, in the morning snuggled under a quilt, or while traveling. I thought about providing opportunities for Ethan to learn comfortably and joyfully in his own style and at his own pace. I also longed for him to be able to have more time with his dad, whose job as an airline pilot kept him away a lot and often gave him days off when Ethan was in school.<br><br>
My mind was exploding with possibilities, and it was clear that the world was about to open wide to a new way of life. I thought I could probably provide a much better education than a school could - but I was to find that I could do a lot more than I realized. More to the point, my son could do a lot more than I realized!"</span>
<span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,782 Posts
For us I loved the idea of Montessori. But we won't be sending him to the school (there's a great one nearby)<br><br>
Bottom line is that we like having the freedom to do what we want and when we want to do it and you can't do that in a classroom. I'm working towards setting up our home to be more Montessori friendly in the meantime, but there are just so many things that we like to do and learn that I doubt we'd stick to hard-core Montessori.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>indigo515</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9038778"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would appreciate it greatly if you could share why you did not choose Waldorf or Montessori.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Because I don't want my children in school. I don't think that the structure of school, whether it's PS or Montessori or whatever, is best for children. I think that children belong with their families/out in the real world and not cloistered in some school that's trying to approximate some other type of real world.<br><br>
That said, my oldest is in school because it's what works for her and us as a family. But I still think that schools are a less-than-ideal environment for kids.<br><br>
dm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
We do Waldorf unschooling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
We sent our kids to a Montessori school for half a year. (And yes it was a "real" accredited Montessori school). I found the Montessori approach rigid (heaven forbid a kid should slice bananas without putting on an apron first!) and didn't like the philosophy against creative play. I also had problems with my daughters not being introduced to tasks that aren't stereotypically girly-- my older daughter was figuring out fractions at home and wasn't introduced to a single math task at school, they kept pushing her towards the handwriting tasks that the other girls loved. Another issue I have with the Montessori method is the high value they place on kids working independent of adults. My kids like interacting with adults, and even getting help, and I don't think that should be discouraged in little ones.<br><br>
In short, Montessori was not as flexible as I had been led to believe, and was a poor fit for our family. We prefer homeschooling, we can meet our kids needs without negotiating with anyone.<br><br>
ZM
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top