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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found out that neither Max nor Maizy got into the Waldorf charter school here. Now I am scrambling to figure out what the hell I am going to do. I need some help and advice.

Max will be in third grade next year. He is just now starting to read. He does pretty well in math but has low confidence about it. They have never done any hard science or social studies in his class. He has been with the same class his whole academic career. Same teacher for the past three. I am very concerned how this transfer is going to affect him. His father has learning disabilities, and basically no zest for learning. I am worried that Max is going to go down the same path if he gets into a situation where he feels like the studies are too difficult and feels completely behind everyone else. I am worried what it will be like for him to have to go to "special" classes. I am worried that he will be just completely overwhelmed by it all and turn off. He is at such a fragile point in his development. He is right on the cusp of really opening up some important learning paths and I don't want him to shut down. I don't know what my options are as far as support goes.

Maizy I am not so worried about. She knows most of her letters and is beginning to read on her own. She will be in first grade and I don't see any problems with her transition.

Has anyone done this before. What can I do? How can I prepare Max for next year? What about testing? He has never had a test in his life. He just started having actual homework this year.

I am really freaking out over this.
 

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We've done it. Don't let your fears get the best of you. One of the best steps we took was to meet with the school principal before the year was out and talk about our kids, their education, our concerns about the transition. The school appreciated the heads up, and we were able to understand the curriculum they would be going into. The waldorf curriculum was behind, so we already knew that there would be some catching up to do. There was a little that we did over the summer, but not much because we knew there would be lots of support in school.

In terms of a possible learning disability, our school told us that they like at least a year of instruction and support in the classroom before they do formal testing. the reasoning is that they have to determine if the child hasn't actually been "taught", versus learns differently. Of course if you wanted to you could pursue testing on your own. Some kids transferring at this point stay behind a year, and some not.

Remember, kids enter each grade with their own strengths and areas needing more work. I can tell you this was our experience and it's just fine.
 

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I agree that it will be good to talk with your new school's principal. Maybe you can even meet with his new teacher. This gives you a chance to talk about where your ds is, and most importantly to find out what they'll be doing next year, and where they expect the kids to be.

The families that I have known to have switched to p.s. have all done some amount of tutoring over the summer. Once you speak with the p.s. you will know better where they expect him to be academically.

Also wondering if hs is an option? If you have a W. charter you probably also have a W hs community that you might be able to get support from (as a p.s. alternative)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I visited the "better" of the two neighborhood schools today. Made an appointment with the principal. I got there with a list of questions, trying to have an open mind. He introduced himself and promptly introduced two fifth grade students as my tour guides. Um, no. I told him that I would like to sit down with him and discuss my family's situation and had many questions that I would like answered. He told me to e-mail him. I asked for a face-to-face and said I thought it would be good to speak with the teachers too. He told the kids to take me to the first and fourth grade classrooms and again told me to e-mail him any questions.

The rest of the "tour" went about as well. I can only describe the place as a den of chaos. It was just awful. Crap in every nook and cranny. Papers all over the walls, floors, desks. Even the teachers desks were chaotic messes. The way the teachers talked to the children was irreverent, disrespectful and modeled such poor communication skills that I was absolutely appalled. The first grade has 30 students! I could smell the grease from the lunchroom. There is so much more. It was a total assault on all of my values and sensibilities. There is no way that my children will be going to school there. It is time for me to come up with Plan C. I absolutely will not throw my children into that kind of environment.

So....Plan C....
 

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Oh man, I'm so very sorry. I didn't catch why you're leaving waldorf, but if it's financial perhaps they have an assistance program there that might work out for you? Or Homeschooling? Or if they allow you to go to schools outside your neighborhood maybe a different (not the Waldorf one) charter that's a better fit?

ETA: Also, sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, KWIM. Kids will always drop out before the year starts. I think some people just apply to every charter to see which ones they will get into. Keep bugging them!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by maxnmaizy View Post
I visited the "better" of the two neighborhood schools today. Made an appointment with the principal. I got there with a list of questions, trying to have an open mind. He introduced himself and promptly introduced two fifth grade students as my tour guides. Um, no. I told him that I would like to sit down with him and discuss my family's situation and had many questions that I would like answered. He told me to e-mail him. I asked for a face-to-face and said I thought it would be good to speak with the teachers too. He told the kids to take me to the first and fourth grade classrooms and again told me to e-mail him any questions.

The rest of the "tour" went about as well. I can only describe the place as a den of chaos. It was just awful. Crap in every nook and cranny. Papers all over the walls, floors, desks. Even the teachers desks were chaotic messes. The way the teachers talked to the children was irreverent, disrespectful and modeled such poor communication skills that I was absolutely appalled. The first grade has 30 students! I could smell the grease from the lunchroom. There is so much more. It was a total assault on all of my values and sensibilities. There is no way that my children will be going to school there. It is time for me to come up with Plan C. I absolutely will not throw my children into that kind of environment.

So....Plan C....

I couldn't read without posting
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for posting.

The reason I was looking at the public school is that our small waldorf school fell apart this year. We have several other Waldorf schools in the area but all are completely out of my price range, even with scholarships.

We have decided to homeschool my ds. The director of our previous waldorf community is offering a 2 or 3 day homeschool program. We will do the program with her, and the rest on our own or find other families to co-op with. There is a huge homeschool community here, plus I have myself, and my boyfriend to actively participate in the hs. The kids' dad isn't on board, but at least he will be available to care for ds so I can work. It will be an adventure, but I am committed to giving my dc the best education possible and at this point it seems this is the best option.

Oh, and my dd got into the waldorf charter for first grade! That means ds will eventually get priority on the waiting list bc of the sibling thing.
 

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Quote:
Max will be in third grade next year. He is just now starting to read.
This will probably cause a lot of complications for him. My dd attends public school and they insist on retaining her in 1st grade for not reading above her grade level. (she is a perfectly "average" reader).

Homeschooling would probably be your best option. We are considering it also.

edit: Just read your last post, great choice!
 
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