Well, Gabriel, my 14 year old, decided to return home. He spent a semester and a little bit at the vaguely Waldorf high school where I was teaching and has had enough. He has come home.
So now both my boys are homeschooling again! Well…. I’m not sure what Daniel is doing really counts – he’s doing a correspondence course for his British exams so that he can get a job or perhaps go to university once he’s settled back in the UK. Gabriel, like us, has no plans for moving and eventually wants to go to college here. Like his brother, he could probably go to a very selective college – unlike his brother, that is a path which interests him. Daniel has decided that he needs grounding and wants to pursue a trade. He is interested in working for the railroad. Or he might go into the Royal Navy, a path which really challenges his anti-militaristic parents – though the discipline and hard work would undoubtedly do him an enormous amount of good. Daniel has always been a handful – largely because of him I have never felt I have “the answer” when it comes to parenting and largely because of him I am very good at strategizing ways of dealing with difficult youngsters with clients! He has also helped me be humble – I might be an expert when it comes to working with children and teens – but he helps me remember that parenting one is a totally different kettle of fish!!
Anyway, he is at home studying – he also goes to the high school to take Spanish. Gabriel will do most of his work here at home but will take a couple of classes at the school as well. He will continue with French and is finishing both a dance class (tango, would you believe!!) and a pottery class. Once they finish he’ll join a theatre class. I am pleased he can do those things at his old school as they are certainly not opportunities I can provide at home (sorry – I don’t tango with anybody!).
There are many reasons why Gabriel came home – some have to do with the school itself. But his main reason is that he likes to study things in depth and that was not possible at school. This was in part due to a school which is not formed very well – there are far too many classes and the main lessons are too short (they are all 3 weeks long). But the nature of school itself does tend to conspire against deep study – even in a real Waldorf school. He tried out school before – he spent a semester and a half in our local Waldorf school in 5th into 6th grade. His main complaint was that he had no time to read books – they had 30 minutes two or three times a week to read – but many of the children were very restless and noisy and Gabriel got very distracted – and when one is used to being able to read uninterrupted for hours at a time, reading in 30 minute bursts just doesn’t cut the cake!
So… we are Real Bona Fide homeschoolers again! And that means I will be sharing with you all what we do! This is good news for the range of curriculum we are orividing as I not only have the high school lessons I taught at school to draw from for publications, but I will be designing lessons for Gabriel and will be churning them out over the years too!
I will also be regularly blogging in the meantime focusing on what I am doing with Gabriel. There are no other Waldorf high school homeschoolers doing this as far as I know (and if you know differently please tell me about it!) so I anticipate this will be of great service to those few lonely souls trying to do Waldorf high school at home. If you know of any place where this blog can be listed where others will find it, do so! Please tell other Waldorf (or open to Waldorf) high school at home people about my blog. Let’s get the word out there so people will be less isolated!
The new blog: Waldorf High School at Home
Posted on February 12, 2008 in High School, Older Children