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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so now it's getting closer for my son to start school for kindergarden. I want to sign him for the chance at getting in at Willow Tree school. Anyway, I'm getting nervous. Not of him getting in. I'm nervous about the school irself. I've heard stories and negative experiences from people online (I don't know any Stiener parents out here yet ). What if the school is a negative experienes? It's like if it's a bad experience than my whole viewpoint has to change too. Like I'm basing everything around the school. My other choice in a school is Community Montessori. That too is a charter school so yet again another lottery to go through. I don't agree with the whole too independent too early thing but figured it's still better than non charter public schools. Advice?
 

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For most parents, if a school is a bad experience, they switch schools. A philosophy is not completely bad just because one school doesn't get it right. That said, you will hear lots of things on the internet. What matters most is your experience and your child's experience.

As I recall, there were many more factors contributing to this decision than this and you had a lot to work out: your wife did not agree with the decision, it was a long commute, it was expensive, etc. Have you moved forward on any of those things? It has sounded in other posts like you and your wife are light years away in terms of what to pursue even based on general parenting philosophy (spanking vs. gentle discipline). So one of the things that could be a deal breaker with this school is the stress it puts on your relationship if one of you as parents doesn't support it--the philosophy, the commute, the tuition. My sense is that Waldorf school requires an 'all in' stance from the family.

Can you tell us how those things are going?
 

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First of all, I think you need to work on letting go of the idea that one bad experience means that you have to change your whole philosophy, or even change schools. There is never going to be a perfect school. Stuff happens. A lot of things can be worked through. If it can't be, then you can consider a new school.

Have you been to the school and talked to the staff? Or gone to any of the events and talked to parents? That might help you to get some feel for the general atmosphere, although everyone will be on their best behaviour of course ;-)

As to the negative stuff online, people tend to post when they are disgruntled rather than when everything is going swimmingly so the interwebz is likely to always be weighted to the negative. I have also read a lot of negative stuff about "Steiner" as well. Almost all of it is not actually about *Steiner* it's about badly run schools with a steiner curriculum/philosophy. There are bad representatives of all the philosophies, I'm sure. And, IME, parents who haven't researched what it actually was or had to offer and was then upset when it delivered exactly what it said on the box. For example, I know of a parent who withdrew her child from Prep at our school because her child couldn't read. The school, and indeed, the philosophy, is very clear that all classes up to and including prep are play-based and no academics are started until first class.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For most parents, if a school is a bad experience, they switch schools. A philosophy is not completely bad just because one school doesn't get it right. That said, you will hear lots of things on the internet. What matters most is your experience and your child's experience.

As I recall, there were many more factors contributing to this decision than this and you had a lot to work out: your wife did not agree with the decision, it was a long commute, it was expensive, etc. Have you moved forward on any of those things? It has sounded in other posts like you and your wife are light years away in terms of what to pursue even based on general parenting philosophy (spanking vs. gentle discipline). So one of the things that could be a deal breaker with this school is the stress it puts on your relationship if one of you as parents doesn't support it--the philosophy, the commute, the tuition. My sense is that Waldorf school requires an 'all in' stance from the family.

Can you tell us how those things are going?
Thank you for your advice and for remembering my past posts.Well, first off things are alot better.we go to therapist often, we have more open dialogs and less stress. Well, since it is summer now I will have to wait til the school opens for tours in September. We both will go and believe me ask lots of questions. As for expensive this is a public Waldorf inspired charter school. With charter schools in the US they have to be picked in order to get into that school which is a lottery system. I was talking about how expensive and far to go for preschool which was 2 days per week. At Willow Tree it's free, 5 days per week and longer hours.
 
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