Saturday, June 9, 2012

Leaving Waldorf - Parent Support\

One poster:

Thanks for this thread-I really need it right at this moment, my hsb. and I are
making the decision at this moment to leave our WS. This is so difficult, and
brought about by many, many concerns on behalf of our child. I am really hoping
to share with others whose children have transitioned to other schools, while in
the grades. I feel almost like we are surrounded by a fog that is gradually
beginning to lift after many years, yet I am so apprehensive. I am worried for
my child-we haven't discussed this change yet, as our decision has been
evolving, and I am worried that we will lose our community of friends, as those
leaving are generally portrayed as problematic. I can't believe we are in the
middle of this...sigh.

Second poster:
HI ______, you aren't alone. It can be difficult and worrisome but I think it
will get easier once you've decided to leave. My dd was angry 2 weeks ago when
we told her. Now she's getting excited about the change. We went past the public
school she will be attending and she was shouting "There's my new school,
There's my new school." I think she's know something isn't right for a while
with WS. So it's sort of a relief to not go back.

First poster:
Thanks for the support. Can I ask how you explained your decision to your
daughter? Our grown up concerns obviously are for us alone-all my daughter will
see is the loss of her friends of several years, and change is difficult for
her. On the other hand, perhaps I should be looking for the strengths and
resiliency that she has, rather than focus on the anxiety of the situation? Any
thoughts are helpful to me!

Second poster:
I guess it helped that my daughter has asked to go to public school for a while.
My dh, teaches in the school disctrict we are sending her. We also know at least
one other Waldorf family who sent their children for Kindergarten only at
Waldorf and is now at the same school where dd is going. My dd also knows a boy
in a grade ahead of her because of my dh's business. Plus being a teacher in the
school district we know lots of teacher's and administrator's. So we just told
her that she was going to public school because we were not happy with the
teacher that was selected to teach the class. We would find tutors to continue
her german and violin lessons. I think I may have told her something like, to be
a good parent sometimes means making big decisions to protect her interests and
remove her from situations which I see are harmful. We pointed out that she was
behind in math and that she would need to be tutored over the summer. If Waldorf
education was the best we wouldn't have these concerns. So she was pretty happy
because we were going to let her take violin. Any other questions about friends
I answered we shall see what happens. She asked about birthday parties, etc...
Since it was a year ahead of time we told her we couldn't answer things like
that, right now. My daughter never thinks in the here and now. So the transition
went easily. I never really let myself get really close to anyone in the class,
so it's not like I really felt she had strong ties to the children. The women I
talk to have either younger or older children and completely understand what the
class has gone through. They would have taken their kids out too. So she will
continue to have relationships with Waldorf children but just not the
dysfunction that went on with her class.

It also helps that many of my good friends live out of the state. So she sees
that my own friendships aren't limited to the Waldorf community. Plus with my
dh's business we have friends we only see once a year when we travel for shows.
So to me, a friendship is not limited to people you see on a daily basis. She
was also on the bullying end of the totem pole and I'm sure it's a relief to not
be going back to that. I hope this helps you and that it is understandable. I
was interupted by my littlest too many times to think straight.

Third poster:
I am glad you found us. I agree that focusing on your child's strengths is a
good place to start. Without trying to sound tacky, I felt my leaving the
Waldorf was very similar to leaving a cult. I was shunned and lost everything.

I was literally in a daze and humiliated. Maybe those feelings are stronger than
what you are going thru, but in any event, it helps to know how others dealt.

I cannot state strongly enough that my son blossomed after leaving Waldorf.
Quite frankly, he never looked back. At 12 years old he still talks about how
unhappy he was there, even when he looked like he was having fun.

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You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.