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Re: [The Indigo Network] improving schools

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  • Lily
    Greetings, As the parent of a 14 year Waldorf Student I feel the need to reply to this letter about the lack of academics in Waldorf education. It simply
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 1, 2007
      Greetings,

      As the parent of a 14 year Waldorf Student I feel the need to reply to this
      letter about the lack of academics in Waldorf education. It simply isn't true.
      It is just that the academics are hidden (so to speak) in the lower grades.
      Reading isn't stressed in the lower grades either and it is because different
      students "get" reading at widely different ages. For example, my daughter
      didn't really read, couldn't, until seventh grade, 13 years-old. Today she is
      a senior with a B+ average in a Waldorf high school that is considered to be an
      "honors" program (whatever that means) and colleges are dying to get her.

      The waldorf program is designed around developmental needs, not societal or
      parental needs. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that "imagination stops
      once a child starts to read" and I believe it is because they are getting
      someone else's ideas and pictures of reality instead of making up their own.

      My daughters friends, some who have been in the same class with her for 14
      years, are some of the finest, brightest, kindist, self-motivated and
      intelligent people I've ever met and they will save the world.

      A parents (or teacher's) job is not to impart information to their child, their
      job is to clear away distractions (TV, bad food, pressure, worry,etc.) so that
      they can discover what they already know. And each child is different and
      Waldorf respects, honors and loves that individuality in all it's wonderous
      forms.

      A good book is "You are your child's first teacher" by Rahima Baldwin.

      Don't compare Waldorf/Steiner schools to other school systems, there is no
      comparison.

      As a parent, past teacher & staff member of a Waldorf school I have learned as
      much from the experience as has my beautiful daughter and her outstanding class
      and schoolmates.

      Namaste,

      Lily


      Quoting lbb116 <lorie_b@...>:

      > 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]
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      Namaste,

      Lily
    • Lily
      Tyler, Waldorf schools in the U.S. are very expensive but most do offer some form of tuition assistance. I never knew from year to year how we were going to
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 1, 2007
        Tyler,

        Waldorf schools in the U.S. are very expensive but most do offer some form of
        tuition assistance. I never knew from year to year how we were going to pay
        for it, but blieveing it to be the best school for all of us, we have managed
        it and my daughter graduates this spring (and is paying for her own college,
        thank you very much). We felt that with a quality primary and secondary
        education under her belt she would be prepared for whatever the world threw at
        her.

        There are Waldorf-type charter and public schools about and more staring every
        day so look for those.

        AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) has a website that will
        lead to lots of Waldorf info. They do not however list public waldorf
        schools.

        Start your own.... Homeschool - there are Waldorf circulum out there. Get a
        few families together and run your own class (homeschooling together) and hire
        a qualified Waldorf teacher to teach. That worked very well for a friend.

        It's all about priorities - if your child's education is a priority, you will
        find a way.

        Namaste,

        Lily


        Quoting lbb116 <lorie_b@...>:

        > 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]
        > >
        >
        >
        >


        Namaste,

        Lily
      • Peter Marko
        Well said, Lily - thank you! Peter Lili wrote Greetings, As the parent of a 14 year Waldorf Student I feel the need to reply to this letter about the lack of
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 1, 2007
          Well said, Lily - thank you!
          Peter

          Lili wrote"
          Greetings,

          As the parent of a 14 year Waldorf Student I feel the need to reply to this
          letter about the lack of academics in Waldorf education. It simply isn't
          true.
          It is just that the academics are hidden (so to speak) in the lower grades.
          Reading isn't stressed in the lower grades either and it is because
          different
          students "get" reading at widely different ages. For example, my daughter
          didn't really read, couldn't, until seventh grade, 13 years-old. Today she
          is
          a senior with a B+ average in a Waldorf high school that is considered to be
          an
          "honors" program (whatever that means) and colleges are dying to get her.

          The waldorf program is designed around developmental needs, not societal or
          parental needs. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that "imagination stops
          once a child starts to read" and I believe it is because they are getting
          someone else's ideas and pictures of reality instead of making up their own.

          My daughters friends, some who have been in the same class with her for 14
          years, are some of the finest, brightest, kindist, self-motivated and
          intelligent people I've ever met and they will save the world.

          A parents (or teacher's) job is not to impart information to their child,
          their
          job is to clear away distractions (TV, bad food, pressure, worry,etc.) so
          that
          they can discover what they already know. And each child is different and
          Waldorf respects, honors and loves that individuality in all it's wonderous
          forms.

          A good book is "You are your child's first teacher" by Rahima Baldwin.

          Don't compare Waldorf/Steiner schools to other school systems, there is no
          comparison.

          As a parent, past teacher & staff member of a Waldorf school I have learned
          as
          much from the experience as has my beautiful daughter and her outstanding
          class
          and schoolmates.

          Namaste,

          Lily
        • tyler Mazzeo
          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
          Message 4 of 13 , 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]
            >





            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lbb116
            Yeah, that s what I was told too. My daughter is very, very bright. On paper, the curriculum, her 3rd grade was teaching appropriate math (advanced addition,
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 4, 2007
              Yeah, that's what I was told too. My daughter is very, very bright.
              On paper, the curriculum, her 3rd grade was teaching appropriate math
              (advanced addition, subtraction and beginning multiplication and
              division). However, she struggled because she wasn't getting enough
              of the subject on a weekly basis or the teacher simply wasn't able to
              teach. Her teacher is not certified, she doesn't even have a degree
              in early education. My concern, as are many who left Waldorf, is that
              when my daughter was ready to leave Waldorf, for high school, she
              would be so far behind that she would be set up for failure from the
              first day. College was a concern too. There are many who have left
              waldorf emotionally scarred due to the teachers anthroposophic
              beliefs, rightly or wrongly interpreted or inability to fit into
              mainstream society or schools.

              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. However, if your child is indigo, bright and gifted and is
              miserable in public schools because of personality conflicts, and you
              are not willing to do the extra required to keep his/her academics up
              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. Also, those famous people who've
              been at Waldorf, not all had a happy experience. David Gilmour, of
              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.

              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. They do not grade or test, so there is no way to
              determine if their graduates will be able to go on to another high
              school or to college, as they insist. Each Waldorf is different in
              their competency and success, since some have actual certified trained
              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?

              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 and
              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.




              --- In indigo-schools@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Marko"
              <peter.j.marko@...> wrote:
              >
              > Well said, Lily - thank you!
              > Peter
              >
              > Lili wrote"
              > Greetings,
              >
              > As the parent of a 14 year Waldorf Student I feel the need to reply
              to this
              > letter about the lack of academics in Waldorf education. It simply isn't
              > true.
              > It is just that the academics are hidden (so to speak) in the lower
              grades.
              > Reading isn't stressed in the lower grades either and it is because
              > different
              > students "get" reading at widely different ages. For example, my
              daughter
              > didn't really read, couldn't, until seventh grade, 13 years-old.
              Today she
              > is
              > a senior with a B+ average in a Waldorf high school that is
              considered to be
              > an
              > "honors" program (whatever that means) and colleges are dying to get
              her.
              >
              > The waldorf program is designed around developmental needs, not
              societal or
              > parental needs. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that
              "imagination stops
              > once a child starts to read" and I believe it is because they are
              getting
              > someone else's ideas and pictures of reality instead of making up
              their own.
              >
              > My daughters friends, some who have been in the same class with her
              for 14
              > years, are some of the finest, brightest, kindist, self-motivated and
              > intelligent people I've ever met and they will save the world.
              >
              > A parents (or teacher's) job is not to impart information to their
              child,
              > their
              > job is to clear away distractions (TV, bad food, pressure,
              worry,etc.) so
              > that
              > they can discover what they already know. And each child is
              different and
              > Waldorf respects, honors and loves that individuality in all it's
              wonderous
              > forms.
              >
              > A good book is "You are your child's first teacher" by Rahima Baldwin.
              >
              > Don't compare Waldorf/Steiner schools to other school systems, there
              is no
              > comparison.
              >
              > As a parent, past teacher & staff member of a Waldorf school I have
              learned
              > as
              > much from the experience as has my beautiful daughter and her
              outstanding
              > class
              > and schoolmates.
              >
              > Namaste,
              >
              > Lily
              >
            • Lily
              Lorie, I d like to respond to your e-mail point-by-point as you bring up some valid concerns. ... Being a Waldorf Class teacher is a very difficult job. It
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 5, 2007
                Lorie,

                I'd like to respond to your e-mail point-by-point as you bring up some valid
                concerns.




                Quoting lbb116 <lorie_b@...>:

                > Yeah, that's what I was told too. My daughter is very, very bright.
                > On paper, the curriculum, her 3rd grade was teaching appropriate math
                > (advanced addition, subtraction and beginning multiplication and
                > division).

                Being a Waldorf Class teacher is a very difficult job. It sounds like your
                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 to
                > teach. Her teacher is not certified, she doesn't even have a degree
                > in early education.

                It is true that Waldorf schools don't require any specific credential. However,
                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, she
                > would be so far behind that she would be set up for failure from the
                > first day.

                The general rule of thumb seems to be that yes they are behind (what does that
                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 anthroposophic
                > beliefs, rightly or wrongly interpreted or inability to fit into
                > mainstream society or schools.

                As for fitting into society or "the real world", waldorf students do better than
                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.
                >
                > 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.


                However, if your child is indigo, bright and gifted and is
                > 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.


                and you
                > are not willing to do the extra required to keep his/her academics up
                > 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.


                Also, those famous people who've
                > been at Waldorf, not all had a happy experience. David Gilmour, of
                > 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.

                Many people leave Waldorf for many different reasons and I can't comment on
                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.

                >
                > 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.


                Some Waldorf schools are accredited and some not. I think only private high
                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 high
                > school or to college, as they insist.

                This is true for the most part in the lower 8 grades. Instead of grades parents
                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 trained
                > 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?

                The Waldorf schools do struggle financially, especially young schools. It is a
                problem that is being addressed at many levels in the community.

                >
                > 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.

                Yes Waldorf is expensive, very for a middle class family. It's worth every
                penny.


                I consider the
                > rest of her education a total waste, She already knew how to read and
                > 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.


                Handwork is taught because it engages the senses and is a will activity. The
                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
                education.

                Namaste,

                Lily
              • Lily
                Hi Lorie, I forgot the emotionally scared from Waldorf education. The kids I know, have known, etc. love the school. Some don t like classmates or
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 5, 2007
                  Hi Lorie,

                  I forgot the "emotionally scared" from Waldorf education. The kids I know, have
                  known, etc. love the school. Some don't like classmates or teachers. I've
                  never heard of a child being "emotionally scared" by a waldorf class. Though I
                  have heard of some individual teachers that were abusive to the children in some
                  manner. It is taken care of quickly by the community - believe me.

                  I would love to hear your story.

                  Lily
                • lbb116
                  Unfortunately, Waldorf was not the best fit for my child. She is quite creative and artistic and needs that outlet. She takes ballet (since the age of 3),
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 7, 2007
                    Unfortunately, Waldorf was not the best fit for my child. She is
                    quite creative and artistic and needs that outlet. She takes ballet
                    (since the age of 3), has started with a local theater group and takes
                    art lessons from a local artist. She is thriving at Huntington and
                    catching up in both reading comprehension and in math. Home
                    schooling seems to be going well too, although we've only finished her
                    first week. We're tackling spelling and cursive, science and social
                    studies. We've started with ancient Greece and began with mythology.
                    Monday we'll take a trip to the science museum and study simple machines.

                    It broke my heart to learn that she was struggling in math at Waldorf.
                    She loved the school and enjoyed handwork and eurythemy. However,
                    she's a visual learner and that's not how they teach at Waldorf, at
                    least math anyway. She was totally lost during "mental math"
                    exercises. She needs to see the numbers or at least have "counters".
                    When she was pulled out of Waldorf, she totally hated math. Now,
                    she's becoming excited about it again.

                    It was disturbing and gut-wrenching to see my bright, intelligent and
                    gifted child backslide. Either the program was not challenging enough
                    or the teacher was simply not doing her job. The frustrating part of
                    it all was whenever the parents made suggestions on improving the
                    classroom, we were told it's not according to steiner. The parents
                    just don't seem to have any clout or say unless they're on the board.

                    Public schools are pushing too much too soon and it seems that Waldorf
                    schools are at the opposite end of the spectrum. It was not a good
                    fit for us, my child needed more structure and challenging curriculum.

                    We were desperate last year to find a school for my daughter to help
                    her recover and learn to enjoy school again. We took a leap of faith
                    that Waldorf was the right school. Our choices were limited to
                    Waldorf, public or religious-based. It was a very rough year. She
                    healed emotionally, but she lost what she'd learned in 1st grade. I
                    really don't know if it would have been different if the teacher
                    actually had a teaching background. I've talked to other former
                    waldorf parents (from other schools) and my feeling is it probably
                    wouldn't be much different.

                    My daughter pretty much learned to count to 20 before preschool, knew
                    her alphabet and was learning to recognize words. She learned to read
                    in kindergarten. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. When
                    she takes a particular interest in a subject, she soaks it up like a
                    sponge. When she was four, she took an interest in butterflies. She
                    can now identify all the local butterflies by sight. She can also
                    talk about probably 10 or 15 more. It's the same with rocks. She
                    can identify all the variety of quartz as well as several other minerals.

                    > I would check my assumptions about education and do some research
                    > about child development and education.

                    My point exactly... Waldorf is touted to being the perfect alternative
                    for the indigo child. What I have learned is that may not be the case
                    for all indigos. One size doesn't fit all and neither does Waldorf.
                    It is troubling that a school can open its doors with untrained
                    teachers. It is troubling that a school doesn't have to answer to
                    basic standards. I realize it is a private school, but it should at
                    least have to fulfill some basic state licensing requirements and
                    certifications. How many parents are savvy enough to ask all the
                    right questions and do a complete assessment of a non-accredited
                    alternative school?

                    I am not totally bashing Waldorf. I'm simply trying to bring to light
                    some things about the schools -- hiring untrained, non-credentialed
                    teachers.



                    Lorie

                    --- In indigo-schools@yahoogroups.com, Lily <artemis@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Lorie,
                    >
                    > I'd like to respond to your e-mail point-by-point as you bring up
                    some valid
                    > concerns.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Quoting lbb116 <lorie_b@...>:
                    >
                    > > Yeah, that's what I was told too. My daughter is very, very bright.
                    > > On paper, the curriculum, her 3rd grade was teaching appropriate math
                    > > (advanced addition, subtraction and beginning multiplication and
                    > > division).
                    >
                    > Being a Waldorf Class teacher is a very difficult job. It sounds
                    like your
                    > 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 to
                    > > teach. Her teacher is not certified, she doesn't even have a degree
                    > > in early education.
                    >
                    > It is true that Waldorf schools don't require any specific
                    credential. However,
                    > 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, she
                    > > would be so far behind that she would be set up for failure from the
                    > > first day.
                    >
                    > The general rule of thumb seems to be that yes they are behind (what
                    does that
                    > 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 anthroposophic
                    > > beliefs, rightly or wrongly interpreted or inability to fit into
                    > > mainstream society or schools.
                    >
                    > As for fitting into society or "the real world", waldorf students do
                    better than
                    > 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.
                    > >
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    >
                    > However, if your child is indigo, bright and gifted and is
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    >
                    > and you
                    > > are not willing to do the extra required to keep his/her academics up
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    >
                    > Also, those famous people who've
                    > > been at Waldorf, not all had a happy experience. David Gilmour, of
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    > Many people leave Waldorf for many different reasons and I can't
                    comment on
                    > 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.
                    >
                    > >
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    >
                    > Some Waldorf schools are accredited and some not. I think only
                    private high
                    > 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 high
                    > > school or to college, as they insist.
                    >
                    > This is true for the most part in the lower 8 grades. Instead of
                    grades parents
                    > 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 trained
                    > > 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?
                    >
                    > The Waldorf schools do struggle financially, especially young
                    schools. It is a
                    > problem that is being addressed at many levels in the community.
                    >
                    > >
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    > Yes Waldorf is expensive, very for a middle class family. It's
                    worth every
                    > penny.
                    >
                    >
                    > I consider the
                    > > rest of her education a total waste, She already knew how to read and
                    > > 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.
                    >
                    >
                    > Handwork is taught because it engages the senses and is a will
                    activity. The
                    > 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
                    > education.
                    >
                    > Namaste,
                    >
                    > Lily
                    >
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