My son Ike has been lucky enough to attend the local Waldorf school one day a week for their Forest Friday program. He also went in for the Eurythmy class. He's learned a lot, made friends, and we have all enjoyed the community.
The school is discontinuing offering classes to the homeschool community. Darn.
I'm annoyed and disappointed. But I have to admit, there is part of me that is not too upset that our mornings two days a week will no longer suck. I think I am going to talk to the Eurythmy teacher and see if she is willing to come into our home one day a week. (She lives out of area and commutes here one day a week, another gig might make it more "worth" it for her) But I am going to miss the community very much. I really enjoyed the festivals and the class plays and all the other activities that made us feel like a part of the school.
I think this gives me the kick in the pants I need to search out other families in the area who are on this journey as well. There has GOT to be more people than just me where I live.
Part 2 follow up post, after someone making a comment about how its shame especially considering the economy
I think they went about it the wrong way.
First of all, I found them by accident, it wasn't like they were actively advertising to the Homeschooling community. And like I told Ike's teacher, the Bay Area is a huge center for Homeschooling and there's a lot of people doing it and a lot of them have a lot of money to spend on classes.
Second of all, they were opening their main lesson times to Homeschoolers. The teacher said that one of the reasons why they decided to close the school to part time students is the fact that the child would be signed up for one day a week, which wasn't often enough for the child to really get the rhythm of the room, AND attendance would be spotty. The families that signed up for days other than Forest Friday didn't seem to take it very seriously (I think I was the ONLY Waldorf , everyone else is ecletic.). So the kids ended up being a distraction because they didn't know what in the world was going on. They thought about leaving the outside main lesson classes open (i.e. art, handwork, spanish), but decided that the spotty attendance thing would get in the way.
She admitted that the Forest Friday worked out well for Homeschoolers, as it was a different atmosphere. However, due to pressure from full time student parents, the Forest Friday program is changing. A few parents were complaining about the loss of "real" classroom time for "real" work and felt that these outdoor excursions should be left up to the parents to provide. So it will become more academic and part of the environmental studies and will be day 2 in the rhythm and continuing work done in the classroom the day before.
But yea, its a shame, but they do have the entire summer to re-think the decision. They may change their mind, they may not. But I have enjoyed my year, so has Ike and I think it provided us a bridge year. We were in school full time last year, part time this year, and all on our own next. I think I need to change some of my plans a bit...this now gives us the opportunity to really enjoy the one co-op we went to a couple of times this year. We quit going because of icky weather and that I couldn't get Ike to do "school" work on that day. So we can change our weekly rhythm to make that our outdoor day.
My commentary at this point
One of the things I have noticed about the perceptions of homeschooling and after a year that I feel is completely justified is that Homeschoolers are flaky. They don't finish classes they've signed up for, they leave groups without notice, they make plans and then change their minds and don't follow through. Okay, not all Homeschoolers are flakes, but there is a sufficient number of them that the perception persists with just cause.
I think this is something we need to work on as a group.
And I must confess, I'm guilty of it as well. We started at a co-op in January. Now this one is a very casual one, no money is exchanged,its a parent led topic on a weekly basis at a local park. We quit going mostly due to crappy weather. Now that its summer (am I really sure about this?) we will start going again.