1397Re: [The Indigo Network] improving schools
- Jan 5, 2007Lorie,
I'd like to respond to your e-mail point-by-point as you bring up some valid
Quoting lbb116 <lorie_b@...>:
> Yeah, that's what I was told too. My daughter is very, very bright.Being a Waldorf Class teacher is a very difficult job. It sounds like your
> On paper, the curriculum, her 3rd grade was teaching appropriate math
> (advanced addition, subtraction and beginning multiplication and
daughter's teacher was inexperienced. The Waldorf curriculum calls for
teaching the four major operationg (addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division) from the beinging. In first grade the children use counting stones
(or something similar) and concretely follow along stories that have them
adding, subtracting, multipling and dividing with the help of gnomes or
somewhat. Each year the exercises become more and more complex as well as more
abstract. In year three the children are still very concrete in their thinking
and need physical aides to assist. Not all children but most, all are
different. They learn math first as a language. In year three the "math"
senstences can be of many steps.
However, she struggled because she wasn't getting enough
> of the subject on a weekly basis or the teacher simply wasn't able toIt is true that Waldorf schools don't require any specific credential. However,
> teach. Her teacher is not certified, she doesn't even have a degree
> in early education.
most schools in the US do want to see a BA and Waldorf Training or equaliante
experience. The fact is experienced Waldorf teachers are in short supply.
School's are openning all over and there are only so many teachers to go
around. And there are poor ones as well. Not all teacher's can do the job.
I'd also like to note that 3rd grade is a very common time for parents to freak
out about - reading, homework, etc.
My concern, as are many who left Waldorf, is that
> when my daughter was ready to leave Waldorf, for high school, sheThe general rule of thumb seems to be that yes they are behind (what does that
> would be so far behind that she would be set up for failure from the
> first day.
mean anyway) until 3rd grade and then transfer find into public or main-stream
schooling. Now this is very individual. My daughter, for instance, could not
have managed in a public school until 9th grade as she didn't read until 7th.
Now she is applying to UC Berekley and other top colleges and will get in to
one of them even with her disablility. You see my daughter has severe dyslexia
but with the support of her teachers and classmates has learned to function in
the 2D realm while not loosing touch with her remarkable 3D vision and thought.
Writing is still hard for her, but she works at it really hard and keeps
getting better. Charlotte (my little one) did very poorly on the SAT and SAT
II because she doesn't test well. It doesn't reflect on her intelligence and
ability and a lot of colleges are beginning to see that standardized tests
don't tell them much about a student.
College was a concern too. There are many who have left
> waldorf emotionally scarred due to the teachers anthroposophicAs for fitting into society or "the real world", waldorf students do better than
> beliefs, rightly or wrongly interpreted or inability to fit into
> mainstream society or schools.
most young people. The do it with confidence, caring and grace. If you have a
Waldorf High School nearby, talk to some of the students - they will engage you
like few people can.
In years that I struggled to make school payments, I'd talk to the high
schoolers. They weren't afraid of adults or distainful. They were poised and
self-possesed. I envy them their secure sense of self.
>However, if your child is indigo, bright and gifted and is
> All I am saying, go with eyes open. It is an alternative school. If
> your child is special needs, ie ADD or ADHD or very sensitive or
> emotionally fragile, then this nurturing environment is probably the
> right one.
> miserable in public schools because of personality conflicts,Personality conflicts are part of life and children need to learn to deal with
them not run from them. Children in a Waldorf class learn to appreciate and
work with people they like and dislike. They can't hide from "difficult"
people . The teachers model and subtlely work with the children on social
skills. What they don't do is demand.
> are not willing to do the extra required to keep his/her academics upAlso, those famous people who've
> to speed so when (s)he matriculates to another school, be aware, they
> will most probably be behind in more than the Waldorf school will
> admit. This information comes from Waldorf alumns and their parents,
> not just my personal experience.
> been at Waldorf, not all had a happy experience. David Gilmour, ofMany people leave Waldorf for many different reasons and I can't comment on
> Pink Floyd, put his kids in Waldorf, partly to his memory of his
> education in public schools. He pulled them out because he too was
> concerned. His 14 year old daughter struggled in a conventional
> school and had to be put back a grade and still struggled.
David Gilmour's experience. My experience seems to be that it is often because
of parent's problems with the school/teacher/children and not the child's.
I was told by two specialists when my daughter was diagnosed that she shouldn't
been in a Waldorf shcool. One therapist had her own children in the same
school. But we (my husband, daughter and I) decided it was more important that
she was happy and enjoyed learning then if she ever learned to read so she
stayed in Waldorf and slowly, very slowly, it came - when her brain was ready.
>Some Waldorf schools are accredited and some not. I think only private high
> Waldorf doesn't require its teachers to be certified or to even have a
> teaching background or degree. Waldorf is not accredited by any other
> body than itself.
schools are accredited. My daughter's school regularly gets the best and
longest accreditation from the Western Schools something or other.
They do not grade or test, so there is no way to
> determine if their graduates will be able to go on to another highThis is true for the most part in the lower 8 grades. Instead of grades parents
> school or to college, as they insist.
get detailed narrative reports from all their child's teacher. Not only the
class teacher, but the speciality teachers. The children are taught by a team
of several teachers. In the middle grades some teachers have qiuzes and tests
for practice at taking tests and TO MAKE PARENTS HAPPY.
Each Waldorf is different in
> their competency and success, since some have actual certified trainedThe Waldorf schools do struggle financially, especially young schools. It is a
> teachers. My daughter did not and that teacher would follow her all
> the way up through 7th grade or beyond. They plan to add 7th grade
> next year and continue to add grades as long as there is interest. I
> doubt my daughter would be in an "honors" program when she got to high
> school with her current teacher. Also, most Waldorf schools struggle
> financially, the one we left certainly does. So it makes me wonder,
> where they would get the capital needed to fund an acceptable high
> school science lab?
problem that is being addressed at many levels in the community.
>Yes Waldorf is expensive, very for a middle class family. It's worth every
> All I am saying is, please ask a lot of questions. Does the teacher
> have a degree in education? Is (s)he certified, and not just in
> Waldorf? Google Waldorf critics. A waldorf education is not cheap.
> As it stands, I paid $14,000 for my daughter to learn how to knit,
> play with bees wax and paint with real watercolors.
I consider the
> rest of her education a total waste, She already knew how to read andHandwork is taught because it engages the senses and is a will activity. The
> write. She did learn about some saints and legends -- their version
> of history. I may not even get a refund of the remainder of this
> year's tuition. That battle has yet to be fought.
child learns they can think something and then make it real!!!!!!!!! Very
important. Children 7-14 still require a lot of physical motion to learn. In
Knitting teaches shape, number and coorination. It refines the sense of touch
and sight. Painting teachs color, shade and tone as well as fluid dynamics.
Singing trains the ear. Oh there is so much more to learn the the 3Rs. Waldorf
students recite times-tables while they jump rope. Reaserch shows that learning
is quicker and easeier if it includes a motion component.
I'm sorry you had a bad experience at a Waldorf school. I would check my
assumptions about education and do some research about child development and
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