Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | July 18, 2016

Choosing Homeschooling Over a Waldorf School (part 2 of 3)

k and l on chair

Please check out the first post in this series, Choosing Homeschooling Over a Waldorf School (Part 1 of 3).

Once we received our big girl’s letter of acceptance to the Waldorf School, we sold our south of Boston home and bought a home in a town neighboring the Waldorf School.  We threw out (most of!) our plastic toys and put our television in the basement (for Patriot’s games).  We did not sign up for so much as one afterschool activity, nor did we send our girl to school on Fridays (despite paying for the requisite five days of kindergarten).  We had simplified!  Now all we had to do was sit back and watch the magical transformation!

And there was an amazing transformation.  For starters, she spoke at school!  She spoke quietly and only to those she trusted.  Our girl loved her teacher (both teachers actually, the assistant was as angelic as the main teacher).  And she loved her friends and playing at school.  She loved the food the assistant lovingly prepared for the children’s snack each day.  Her heart opened as she spent hours outside each day.  She stopped caring what her classmates thought of her clothes and began to choose clothes based on her own likes and dislikes.  She learned to relax deeply into play.  She now could get lost in play – and play independently – for hours.  Even at the time, we understood that the gift of play is the cornerstone of a happy, healthy childhood.  And I am forever grateful to our beloved kindergarten teacher for these gifts.

Two things, however, did not change:  the sleep and tantrums.  Afternoons and evenings were a series of tantrums.  We would walk on eggshells in an attempt to get through the day in hopes of avoiding those dreaded episodes of kicking, punching, screaming and crying.  But our poor girl just could not unwind from her day.  She could not fall asleep and as a result, it was incredibly difficult for her to get up the next morning for school.  Weekends were much easier because she could just sleep in and would wake up much happier on her own time table – and with several hours more sleep under her belt!

Though age eligible for first grade, we opted to have our daughter do a second year in the kindergarten (a decision we will never regret).  We figured that the sleep and tantrums would work themselves out during that second year of kindergarten.  But by the time we reached January and there’d be no signs of improvement, I knew that full-day first grade wasn’t going to work for our girl.  Our family couldn’t even sustain the half-day kindergarten schedule; there was no way we could endure the first grade.  And so I started my research on homeschooling.

Please stay tuned for the third and final post in this series

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