Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It might not be Harvard, but…

Yesterday, I finally got in touch with the local Waldorf school. Morning pre-school every day seemed a bit excessive at age 2, but I think Connor would enjoy something we could do together, particularly after the baby arrives. What I really want is a program that fosters creative play and imagination. The Waldorf parent-child program seemed to fit the bill. The catch? The class is for children who are at least 2.5 at the start of the school year. Since my little man will turn 2 in August, he clearly doesn’t fit the bill. I initially called the school to see if perhaps he could begin the program during second semester when he’d be closer to 2.5, and the administrator suggested I talk to the teacher of the class – but no, the age limit applies to children at the start of first semester, so it wouldn’t be different if we started later.

I talked to the class teacher yesterday, and she has provisionally admitted Connor to the parent-child class starting in September. We will attend one morning a week. It will be an excellent opportunity for me to hone my bread-making and other domestic skills and Connor can choose to participate in these activities with me and the other parents, or play with his peers and his teacher. We’re on a month-to-month basis. If the teacher or I don’t think it’s working out, we’ll simply drop out. The big thing the teacher will be observing is whether when the other children in the class start to move to interactive as opposed to parallel play, Connor joins in. Only downside I can see so far is that Waldorf children do not watch television, and I was definitely considering introducing TV to Connor when he turned 2 so that I could possibly sleep in a bit on the weekends while he was babysat by those magical moving pictures.

For those who don’t know, Waldorf education is the crunchiest of the crunchy, and I’m very excited for the indoctrination to begin. Should Connor continue with the Waldorf school, he will eventually learn to knit, play a pentatonic flute, and likely never be exposed to a standardized test as a regular part of his education (though Waldorf students tend to score quite high on standardized tests such as the SAT, relative to their peers). For now, we’re only considering it for pre-school, but I’m often reminded in this world of child-raising to never say never. Plus, when my sister reads this, I want her to be able to roll her eyes as much as possible at the thought of my kid going to a school like this, and if I totally disavow the notion that I could send Connor there through high school, it won’t have nearly as big an effect. And, another side bonus is that it’ll give my dad – the retired engineer who appreciates a little structure in life - an opportunity to perform an internet search to figure out what the heck I’m planning for his only grandson. I presume my dad wants this task as he told me a couple of days ago that he planned to wake-up at 5:15 to go golfing with some friends. 5:15! That’s earlier than even Connor manages most days. Dude must need something to do. (Of course, I’m very much looking forward to my parent’s upcoming visit because they always volunteer for morning baby duty, so I’m in no way suggesting my dad should start sleeping later, just that he likely needs tasks to fill all those awake hours!)


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