This morning we checked out the open house at a new Waldorf School up the street (http://maplevillage.wordpress.com/), and we had a ridiculously good experience. In fact, no matter what I seem to do to evade Waldorf, it keeps coming back around to me. After this morning, it’s hard to imagine not going the Waldorf route with our family.
My husband has always been super clear that he doesn’t want Blake Dean to end up like either one of us. I know – ouch. But I think what he means is that he wants him to be a lot more outgoing and confident than either of us are. When it comes to social ineptitude, I’m your girl. (One of my friends once suggested I get a tshirt that says “Making people uncomfortable since 1977.”) Whether he likes it or not, Blake is a lot more reserved than most kids. So in the end, more than a school that focuses on reading and math (which we know BD will kick ass at anyway) we want to find the right environment where BD can grow and flourish and find that confidence that will carry him throughout his life.
Enter Waldorf, which focuses on just those things right from the earliest years. Their program starts even before pre-school with a parent-toddler bridge program to help the monsters get used to attending school with a parent and then gradually moves on from there. After that, it focuses on learning via head, heart and hands – learning about things, caring about things, and doing things – so that when kids learn they do it at a super deep level. It’s also a super small, home-like environment, which really builds confidence and a love of learning.
The families we met were amazing. There was everything from a pair of gay dads with triplets to a pragmatic pilot with his wife and three kids – and Blakey was happy as a clam chilling with all of them. Though it’s an alternative type of school, it just seems to fit so many different types of people so wonderfully … though I love the co-ops and beach schools we’ve seen, I’m wondering if Waldorf might fit closer with the learning experience we want to give our children.
Regardless of where BD ends up, I want to thank my husband (a Catholic boy from Virginia) for being open enough to go to the event with us. Though we have a lot in common, we’re also super different on many levels, and it meant a lot to me that he would consider this type of school for BD.