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We have recently started our two girls in steiner 4 and 6yrs . We are just recently coming to some issues the latest being one of the teachers teaching the pulling eye gesture to the kids when singing a song about Chinese people. after a complaint the head and the other teachers decided it wasn’t offensive and it was part of the curriculum ..... Anyway that’s not the current issue. As the girls are in the same class it seems that the older one gets to do a lot more than the younger one. weaving, making dolls, washing up, etc and as far as I can tell my youngest spends all her day just playing and not having any activities at all. normally they should paint on Mondays, tues = bread making, weds= cutting and sticking, thurs= beeswax modelling and fri= a walk. since we started in sept there have been hardly any walks and they often make bread but the painting, modelling etc seems to be disappearing. They do a lot of singing which is great but i’m wondering is this just this school or are all steiner schools lacking when it comes to the little ones. i’m thinking because the teacher has a class of 23 she doesn’t have time or think the little ones need extra activities.
thanks in advance

Wandermob
SAHM to Tillie 21/09/2007 and Ivy 31/08/2009.

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.  ~Bill Beattie

Our kids aren’t in a Steiner school but we’ve regularly visited the local one.  In Kindie there, they said they would never have more than 8 per adult (3-7 years olds) and their norm was 16 in a class with 2 teachers.

Hope that helps

I think with the young ones it is mostly play based, but I always had the impression there was activity every single day as it was part of the Waldorf rhythm so what you have written surprises me.

I’m gobsmacked about the eye pulling!

There has been issues at the local Steiner school nearby me (my children DON’T go there) with a teacher being sacked because some ‘cut’ (self harm) themselves in her class. I was utterly shocked when I found out.

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Wandermob is your school in the U.K. I am guessing that some school may do things a little differently as they are private and so can run things how they see fit.

However I am very surprised about the eye pulling and don’t think it is appropriate (as the mother of a mixed race white/Asian family). In our school Kindergarten is generally 18 children with two adults.

The youngest children do mainly free play based activity however they do take part in the daily activity of painting, walking, baking etc. When the children are in the top of the class i.e. rising six /six they are given more responsible activities to separate them from the younger ones in readiness for moving up to class one. This is seen as given them a focus to steady/calm them as they are going through a time of upheaval and also a bonding process for that age group that will be leaving kindergarten together to go up to the next class.

sounds very similar with regards to the daily activities, yes rachelN we are abroad and some of the ideas of this teacher are very offensive i.e white represents all that is good and black all that is bad but we are in a country that celebrates black pete and st Nicholas and hardly anyone sees a problem with it. I think this teacher in particular comes from the old steiner ideas, she has been teaching for 25+ yrs, you’d think that they would change with the times but they do like to hang onto ‘‘traditions’‘

Wandermob
SAHM to Tillie 21/09/2007 and Ivy 31/08/2009.

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.  ~Bill Beattie

My son is in a Steiner nursery, he does 3 days and each day they have An activity such as baking, cutting fruit for a fruit salad and veg for a soup. He does have mainly free play and outside play too. Singing and circle time at the end of the morning.
The numbers vary a bit but on the whole I think it’s usually two or mainly three adults to a class of around 10.
I will be asking the teacher about the eye pulling as I’ve never seen anything of the sort and am really shocked at this.
The school has children from diverse backgrounds and I imagine that all the parents would be very unhappy about such a gesture.
It’s hard for me to comment on the older classes as we are right at the start of it all but I would certainly hope that as well as space to have free play there are some routine type activities which set the rhythm of the day- which Steiner classes are meant to be governed by.
Does that help at all?
Maybe you could join the PTFA and raise some of the queries that way?
Clare x

Clare
Mummy to William, Beltane baby born 1st May 2010. Finding my way as a natural mummy respecting baby and the world we live in.

My blog!! http://hawthornfaery.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

One of the common complaints about Steiner schools is the racism that goes on.  Obviously this will vary from place to place, and how “hardcore” the staff are.  Steiners’ works contained a lot of racism, the superiority of Aryan (sp?) race etc.  I have read that black isn’t allowed in many kindies as Steiner considered it an impure colour, but again whether or not this rule is in effect depends on the school.  I did read of a child of Chinese or Asian ethnicity who was reprimanded for colouring in a picture of Adam and Eve with brown skin; her (white adoptive) Mother was horrified when she was told to repeat the drawing but this time use “flesh” pencils (which are Caucasian)  I have read many incidents of racist nature in Steiner schools so sadly this does not surprise me.

Muslim mum of four, home educating, environmental hypocrite (but doing my best) hodge podging through this life…..

I started a thread about this in the discussion forum last year (it was closed as too many found criticism of Steiner to be hard to hear). Might be worth reading through what many wrote about their experiences. 

Mainly our Steiner experiences have been negative, including involvement in two different Camphill communities.  Racism and extreme bullying (that was ‘allowed’ under the guise of anthroposophy theory of reincarnation).

Our local Steiner school had a teacher encourage and support students to self-harm during at Art lesson :(  I know many famous artists were tortured souls, but seriously…!

Angie

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Angie, that’s awful, trying to get my head around it, do you think it was because it was steiner or that the teacher in question was not of sound mind. Can you give more info?

Wandermob
SAHM to Tillie 21/09/2007 and Ivy 31/08/2009.

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.  ~Bill Beattie

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