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We are most likely going to be relocating this summer. My son has been in a full-time Waldorf preschool until now (scheduled to start kindergarten in the fall). Waldorf will not be an option if we relocate. We most likely will send him to private (Jewish day) school - and while it is, by all accounts, a wonderful school, it is VERY academic.<br><br>
I am having some serious anxiety about how he will do. I find myself wondering: Is it just that Waldorf is a preferred choice (particularly for my kiddo, as he really thrives in that environment)? Or is it that the mainstream approach will actually be detrimental? He will be taught letters, phonics, sight reading and eventually reading. Students don't have to be proficient at reading (what does that even mean for a kindergartner?!) to "advance" to first grade, but according to the school "nearly all our children are".<br><br>
The whole curriculum thing -- math, social studies, computer (!) skills, library science and science + of course reading -- makes me really nervous. But again, I wonder if this is just my bias and really he will be okay, even if it's not the ideal environment for him. Or if....<br><br>
I know research has shown that late reading is not detrimental -- in fact, quite the opposite! But is there similar research showing that premature academics are harmful? And if so, in what way?<br><br>
Gosh, I don't even know what I'm asking. Maybe just hoping someone can weigh in on the effects of a more (early) academic approach on younger kids.
 

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I don't have a good answer for you, as I am currently wrestling with this problem myself, for other reasons. I just really feel like this is the best possible education I can procure for my children, and compromising that would be compromising too much.<br>
I've thought about just sending them to the local public school and supplementing with our lifestyle what they would be missing out on in Waldorf. That part would be pretty easy, since our family culture meshes well with Waldorf ed (our children will naturally learn about the stars, nature, woodworking, knitting, etc). The hard part will be preventing them from learning stuff that doesn't work well with our culture, ie, overintellectualizing them, 15 mins of outdoor time/day, computers, standardized testing, etc.<br>
You're not alone at any rate, maybe between us and a few other mamas we can figure something out!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I just went through this. We didn't send our kids back after Christmas break. We thought about Catholic school...in the end the only thing I felt good about was homeschooling them. Funny thing, my 3rd grader asked to be homeschooled back in the fall and my reaction was like "no way, no how, I could never-in-a-million years do that!!!" But here I am and I'm fine, and amazed at the resources out there for homeschoolers Waldorf and otherwise.
 

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Tough one, I can imagine it must be quite an emotional struggle.<br>
I can't really speak to research that supports mainstream education, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist!<br><br>
I think it really comes down to what your child is like and what your family is like. I don't actually think that mainstream schools are bad on a whole though for us, it's really not an option because we just wouldn't fit in with it at all.<br>
If we didn't have the option of a Waldorf school where we were we would move for one (we moved here for one) or if that was not possible I would homeschool.<br><br>
Since your son is still very young, there would be little problem with transition I would think. I do think that, especially when the kids are young, you can provide a Waldorf lifestyle without attending a school. It's all a balance.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Thanks you all for weighing in. Your words are helpful!<br><br>
Gosh, my OP sounds so scattered -- this must really be stressing me out! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br><br>
As for homeschooling, I am not opposed to it, but I think I'd be a lousy homeschooler. (I am not a fountain of patience, to say the least....) If school was really a disaster, though, I'd reconsider.<br><br>
It's interesting to think about what are the essential elements of W education. For me, I think the biggest loss will come from early academics, combined with not enough free play/self-directed play (especially outside... this kid loves dirt and rocks!)
 

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I think this is such a personal decision since people send their kids to waldorf for different reasons. Now that my son is there I can't ever imagine him anywhere else. It would be like culture shock for us, not to mention how much I adamantly disapprove of the early academics. For us, I would definitely do a pure waldorf homeschooling curriculum. I agree with you that I question my own confidence with homeschooling but if it came between choosing to put him in another private/public school or homeschooling waldorf, I would definitely homeschool.
 

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We are in a very similar position. My twin girls have been in Waldorf preschool for the last 3 years. We do not have a grade school here yet. I was hoping that my girls would be a part of the first group that went onto kindergarten and 1st grade, but it doesn't look like we have the parent support or organization within our initiative to actually make this happen.<br><br>
They are supposed to start kindergarten in the fall and I am so torn. Waldorf school is not an option and I just don't think I can homeschool effectively. We have been touring several schools...public, private Montessori, etc.<br><br>
There is one Montessori school that several of the Waldorf preschool "graduates" have moved onto. They have been good at working with those families (and one teacher in particular agreed to waiting on alphabet work until the change of teeth). This is what we are leaning towards right now. While it is definitely not our ideal, it seems it may be the best choice for our family.<br><br>
It is so hard and I don't know what we are going to do (and how I will reconcile this within myself) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>octobersweethearts</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10358847"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We are in a very similar position. My twin girls have been in Waldorf preschool for the last 3 years. We do not have a grade school here yet. I was hoping that my girls would be a part of the first group that went onto kindergarten and 1st grade, but it doesn't look like we have the parent support or organization within our initiative to actually make this happen.<br><br>
They are supposed to start kindergarten in the fall and I am so torn. Waldorf school is not an option and I just don't think I can homeschool effectively. We have been touring several schools...public, private Montessori, etc.<br><br>
There is one Montessori school that several of the Waldorf preschool "graduates" have moved onto. They have been good at working with those families (and one teacher in particular agreed to waiting on alphabet work until the change of teeth). This is what we are leaning towards right now. While it is definitely not our ideal, it seems it may be the best choice for our family.<br><br>
It is so hard and I don't know what we are going to do (and how I will reconcile this within myself) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"></div>
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Oh, I just wanted to say I'm so sorry and can only imagine how hard this is for you. It is too bad your community isn't ready to take that step yet.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
I don't know about you, but going to playgroups and observing my DS at school has really helped me build the confidence to homeschool if I really had to. Then again, I think it's great that you have a Montessori willing to work with you guys in a waldorf context. Maybe that could work out for you until your little school is up and running.<br><br>
Our school is still somewhat new as well. This is the first year at a new campus up through grade eight. For quite a few years it was just a kindergarten from what I understand. Have faith that it will happen, maybe just not yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I unfortunately have read that early academics can be detrimental. I don't remember any of the details, but do remember where I read it It was in David Elkind's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMiseducation-PRESCHOOLERS-RISK-David-Elkind%2Fdp%2F0394756347%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_3%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1201397188%26sr%3D8-3" target="_blank">Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk</a>, and even though he is certainly a biased source, I believe he had some good sources himself. That might be something to check out.
 

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I think one of the biggest issues for me--especially if I was thinking about my boys would be the big difference between the importance of imaginative play---especially the importance of outdoor time within a Waldorf early childhood program, and the emphasis on "focusing" and academics in an academic preschool.<br><br>
We were hsers and this year moved to an area with many Waldorf school choices, and now 2 of mine are going to school. I love the school, but if things changed I would go back to hsing before sending them to a school with a different philosophy.<br>
There are *great* curriculum choices for Waldorf hsers. There are vibrant active lists/groups with many smart motivated parents giving their kids a W. or W.inspired ed at home, who are full of knowledge to share.<br><br>
Especially for a child below first grade I would prefer to have them home with a strong rhythm and tons of outside time then in any academic school.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision---remember to listen to your mama voice.
 
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