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1389Re: [The Indigo Network] improving schools

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  • tyler Mazzeo
    Jan 2, 2007
      Lorie, thankyou for sharing your story with me, I really appreciate it. I think you sent it to me a few weeks ago and when I replied to thank you, it was returned. I hope you get this note. You sound like very caring parents, i feel lucky for your daughter however you choose to educate here. Thanks again, ty.

      lbb116 <lorie_b@...> wrote: Tyler.....

      I saw this post asking about information on Waldorf. My daughter has
      just spent a year and a half at a Waldorf school. We left public
      school after 1st grade because she was miserable. The school system
      was very over crowded and she, being an indigo, had very strong
      opinions about how she should be taught. It didn't go over too well
      with her 1st grade teacher. The principal got to know my daughter
      really well.

      After visiting the indigochild.com site and saw that waldorf and
      montessori schools might be a good alternative, we applied to
      Montessori, but there weren't any openings. After visiting Waldorf,
      it seemed it might be a good fit. We knew up front that they delayed
      teaching reading unitl 2nd grade. This didn't concern us since, she
      was a strong reader -- already tested to be reading at the 3rd grade
      level.
      We liked that they had a morning recess after snack and an afternoon
      recess after lunch every day. At her old school lunch was at 10:30!!!
      They very often didn't get recess. She would have handwork class where
      she learned to knit. So far, she's knitted a cat, a horse and a flute
      case. She would have russian and german classes. PE seemed to be in
      the form of a movement class called eurythmy. Language arts, writing,
      history, and math seemed to be rolled up into one block called "main
      lesson". Math was on the schedule only once a week. When I
      questioned this, I was told that they had a "holistic" approach to
      math and it was "folded" into the whole curriculum. Even so, after
      the rushed, over-the-top, pushed down curriculum of public school,
      this seemed to be a kinder, gentler approach to education. Like we
      remembered when we were in grade school. It felt like we were giving
      her childhood back to her.

      The first several months was a big adjustment for her. They have a
      policy about keeping the outside out of school. No character based
      clothing, lunch boxes and no black clothing. They even encourage
      parents to get rid of the TV. That meant she couldn't wear her beloved
      light-up sneakers or bring her Barbie lunchbox to school. She also
      endured quite a bit of teasing and friction from the other kids
      (mostly from a few boys). They delighted in pointing out everytime
      she did something wrong. Slowly she adapted, let go of all the pent
      up anger from 1st grade and began making friends and fitting in. It
      is to the credit of the school and the parents that everyone stood by
      her and refused to let the teasing go unnoticed or uncorrected. She
      loved the school, however we became very concerned that her teacher
      was unqualified (she had absolutely no teaching credentials or
      experience), and the curriculum was a little too lax. There are no
      text books, the children copy off the blackboard into their "main
      lesson" books, using crayons at first and then moving to pencils. At
      the end of the chaotic year, many parents were on the fence about
      returning, as were we. Two actually did not. We did reluctantly, we
      felt we had no other alternative, Montessori would not have any
      openings until the 4th grade. We did not want to put her back in
      public schools. So we returned this school year with much misgivings
      and apprehension. The teacher still did not have control of the
      class, several boys were ADD and she could not handle them.

      In October, we visited the local Montessori. My daughter met with the
      4th grade teacher, at my request, to determine where she was
      academically and how much catch-up we'd have to do to get her ready
      for the 4th grade. We were told she "would not be a good fit". We
      then had her tested at Huntington Learning Center. She was 1 1/2
      years behind academically. She was behind in reading comprehension
      and mathematics. She was struggling with not only multiplication but
      subtraction (multi-digit with borrowing).

      After getting that grim news, we made the decision to contract with
      Huntington to tutor her in reading and math. According to their
      evaluation it will take approx. 153 hours to bring her up to speed.
      So We've withdrawn her from Waldorf. She'll go to Huntington in the
      mornings for 2 hours every day Mon-Fri and I'll homeschool her in the
      rest of the 3rd grade curriculum ... spelling, cursive, science,
      social studies.

      We are not the only parents who pulled their kids out of Waldorf
      because of lack of academics. The parents that pulled their kids out
      of her class last year did it because of academics or lack of.
      Waldorf sounds good on paper and at visitation. But the fact is the
      kids simply aren't getting the basics when they need them. I talked
      to the all-girls middle school where Waldorf girls are supposed to
      matriculate in 5th grade and I was told that they have to be "caught
      up in math." The Admissions director told me this.

      This is something to be aware of and consider if you are looking at
      Waldorf.

      Lorie

      BTW, it will cost us as much as a full years tuition at Waldorf to
      have Huntington tutor her. We chose to do this because all their
      teachers are certified and accredited. And, they are experienced in
      bringing kids up to speed. Waldorf has been a very expensive lesson
      for all of us.

      --- In indigo-schools@yahoogroups.com, tyler Mazzeo <tylermazzeo@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Lily, thank you for your very encouraging email. I am intensly
      interested to know more about the waldorf schools. If it is not too
      much trouble for you, would you mind telling me a little bit about the
      kinds of things your daughter has learned at the Waldorf school? How
      much is tuition a year at the Waldorf schools? I have no doubt that
      they produce fine individuals, but are there statistics about success
      rates or what Waldorf graduates do?
      > I word in an impoverished community, 100% free lunch, 98%
      hispanic, many many immigrants. However, my 11 year old students have
      developed curriculum ideas, vocabulary models, learning heirarchies
      and charts that express more intelligence than anything I have yet
      seen produced by educators. The human potential is untapped where I
      work and the violence and subjegation is criminal, but becuase it is
      the status quo, nobody can see the naked empress.
      > By the way, my personal classroom homepage has as its username,
      Artemis.
      > THanks again for the uplifting note, I really feel alone in my
      opinions and endeavors, maybe I am not as alone as I think, Sincerly ty
      >
      > Lily <artemis@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone
      call rates.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >





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