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From homeschool to Waldorf school (6 grade)

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Looking for afterschooling wisdom from experienced parents.  My daughter was homeschooled through 5th grade.  She will start 6th grade at a local Waldorf school in September.   At home, I am planning to continue working on our math curiculum (Singapore Primary Math 6 grade) and incorporate additional instruction in other subjects through her school project assignments and reports as needed.  Any feedback or advice?   This child is a self-motivated, serious music student (~ 15 hour / week commitment.)

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That sounds great and is essentially what I did when my son went to school for two years starting at that age.  If you're interested in adding grammar, MCT is great for sitting together on the couch and thinking about language for a few minutes each day.  Also, if you want to incorporate things like history and science, reading aloud for a bit of time each evening (even at that age) works great (we did the Human Odyssey series this way).

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Waldorf writing in schools tends to be extremely formulaic and prescribed. I'd work on some writing at home. Something light, but something that emphasizes that she can write in her own style and voice.

From what I know about Waldorf schools, you may be up against a wall with the afterschooling. I don't think I'd advertise it much to the teachers.

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We switched from homeschooling to a waldorf charter and back to homeschooling a few years ago; there's an old thread about it around here somewhere.

It is really dependent on school and especially teacher - teachers have in general a lot of power in a waldorf setting, which can be good or bad.  If the teacher follows the pedagogy rigidly, they will not be happy about the afterschooling and I wouldn't mention it.  If they're more relaxed about it they'll allow you to differentiate according to your student's needs and might even allow it to some extent in the classroom.  If your kid is in Singapore 6 in 6th grade, I can guarantee you she'll be well ahead of her class in Waldorf.  Welllllllll ahead.

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6 hours ago, moonflower said:

We switched from homeschooling to a waldorf charter and back to homeschooling a few years ago; there's an old thread about it around here somewhere.

It is really dependent on school and especially teacher - teachers have in general a lot of power in a waldorf setting, which can be good or bad.  If the teacher follows the pedagogy rigidly, they will not be happy about the afterschooling and I wouldn't mention it.  If they're more relaxed about it they'll allow you to differentiate according to your student's needs and might even allow it to some extent in the classroom.  If your kid is in Singapore 6 in 6th grade, I can guarantee you she'll be well ahead of her class in Waldorf.  Welllllllll ahead.

Thanks a lot to everyone for your valuable feedback! A bit of background information - it is a mixed 6/7 grade class. It sounds like the kids have a wide range of math skills in that class, and there is a lot of differentiation going on; e.g., someone was independently working on AOPS Prealgebra last year in that classroom. 

It didn’t even occur to me that afterschooling in general might be an issue since it is part of family life and not part of school. I would love to read the old thread that moonflower mentioned. I haven’t found that thread on these forums yet. (I looked.) If anyone has a link, please send me a pointer. Many thanks again! Please keep your advice and different perspectives coming!

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On 8/6/2019 at 9:52 PM, Farrar said:

Waldorf writing in schools tends to be extremely formulaic and prescribed. I'd work on some writing at home. Something light, but something that emphasizes that she can write in her own style and voice.

From what I know about Waldorf schools, you may be up against a wall with the afterschooling. I don't think I'd advertise it much to the teachers.

Farrar, thanks for the feedback! Do you have a recommendation for a writing program to suit our situation? 

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22 minutes ago, Rasa said:

Thanks a lot to everyone for your valuable feedback! A bit of background information - it is a mixed 6/7 grade class. It sounds like the kids have a wide range of math skills in that class, and there is a lot of differentiation going on; e.g., someone was independently working on AOPS Prealgebra last year in that classroom. 

It didn’t even occur to me that afterschooling in general might be an issue since it is part of family life and not part of school. I would love to read the old thread that moonflower mentioned. I haven’t found that thread on these forums yet. (I looked.) If anyone has a link, please send me a pointer. Many thanks again! Please keep your advice and different perspectives coming!

 

I might have been eternalsummer then, if that helps you find it.  Waldorf schools are often pretty serious about being a part of family life, although ymmv.  Ours made us sign an agreement to not play the radio, watch tv, or use electronics during the school year - which was fine with us, and basically the reason we were doing Waldorf.

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1 hour ago, Rasa said:

Farrar, thanks for the feedback! Do you have a recommendation for a writing program to suit our situation? 

I just think it will depend on your kid and your writing goals. I might do something like the exercises in Rip the Page or just do story prompts or something along those lines. It would depend on her skills and your goals with writing.

And if you've chosen Waldorf, you might not want to listen to me anyway. I'm not pro-Waldorf at all. But if the school community is right but you want to ensure solid academics above and beyond or apart from Waldorf, then I'd just say the math is on the weak side and the writing is formulaic. It looks very impressive because kids are making their own textbooks. But then if you look at them - all the illustrations and all the writing pieces from a class are very close to identical in the Waldorf schools that I'm familiar with. So then you're looking at something really impressive... but it's not a student's individual voice. How much that concerns you just really depends on so much in terms of your goals and your student.

As for Waldorf seeing any boundaries between school and family life... oh my. I'm sure there's a range of different attitudes, but the hardcore Waldorf schools very much believe that anything happening at home is 100% their business.

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