Cole WILL be attending the Waldorf school next year. I had been waffling (Mmmmm… waffles), but events of this morning solidified my position. In fact, it only took three fingers and one word. What three fingers and one word could do what years of deliberation could not, you ask? I’ll tell you! It was the pointer, pinkie, and thumb, held up while my not-quite-4-year-old said “Shocker.”
Oh yes, he did.
And he told me where he learned it, too. Not surprisingly (for me, anyway), it was from his teacher’s son (who is 4) who learned it from his teenage brother. She knew about it, but didn’t know what it meant.
I know that I am overreacting to some extent, but I don’t care. I had been teetering on the fence between public and private school for a long time, and I really needed a push in one direction or another. It is not only this that is making my decision, but this didn’t help public school’s chances, either.
I don’t want my children to be sheltered forever, but I think that 4 is a little too young to know the Shocker. I realize that he doesn’t actually understand what he’s saying- if he did, he’d be in homeschool TODAY- but I also know that’s it’s only the beginning.
I also think that elementary school is WAY too young to be doing boring busy work. We have our whole adult lives for that! I want him to enjoy learning, and to be able to carry that joy of learning throughout his life, rather than having it beaten out of him before 4th grade. I want him to learn about myths and history and math and science, not just as subjects but as things that influence the world around us. I believe that the Waldorf education is an education in context, and that lessons make more sense and stick with kids longer than those taught in the public school model. I don’t want my child learning for the next test, I want him learning for life. I don’t want him to be another number or stat, I want him to be a CHILD.
I also want to be a part of the community, which I think I’ve written about before. I want to be with a self-selected group of parents that are willing to sacrifice to give their children the kind of education they think they should have. I want to be one of those involved parents who helps with Michaelmas and building the Haunted House and putting on the Auction. I think my children deserve to be in a place with parents like that.
I know there are downsides. Having gone to this Waldorf school, I am WELL aware of the downsides to this particular school and to the Waldorf education in general. For instance, I DO NOT believe in Anthroposophy, the guiding philosophy behind the Waldorf model, but I also know that there are major philosophical differences that I have with the Public school model, too, and this seems less harmful in the long run.
I believe that we can give Cole anything that is lacking in his Waldorf education, I don’t believe that we can do the same with Public school. Further, I don’t think that we can heal the damage caused by the Public school system.
I believe it’s Waldorf for us.
Also, THANK YOU all for your kind words of encouragement on my sugar problem. I have had a rough, but mostly successful, two weeks of trying to cut it out. The biggest problem is that I can’t let myself have ANY sweets, no matter what the sweetener. Even agave kicks off the cravings. It’s like (or so I’ve been told, not having ever been a smoker) when you’re trying to quit smoking and you go out for a drink, except that you always used to smoke after having a drink, so now you want to smoke even though you weren’t doing anything necessarily smoking-related. Does that make sense?
The thing that has worked the best is apples. Whenever I get a sweet craving at home, I eat one of the (incredibly lovely, delicious, organic and locally grown) apples I got at the Farmer’s Market. It’s satisfying enough and occupying enough that I usually can stop there. Special bonus: FIBER!