Gone native

I have so much to say and share, including the fact my baby girl turned two on the 13th, but I hate blogging from the phone and I really like including pictures, which is currently a problem. BUT! Something really exciting happened that I don’t have pictures of. We enrolled Jack in a German Kindergarten. That’s not the cool part though. It’s a Walforf School. Walking distance. I’ve been talking to locals about the kindergartens in town (there’s three). Everyone has said the same thing. These two, yes, very
Good. This other one…. well, let’s say you know when you visit. The Germans think it’s totally wierd based upon my small statistical survey. Well, it occurred to us that the name ‘Waldorf Kindergarten’ rang a bell and we had actually read an article about them in the WSJ years ago and thought wow, how much would Jack love that? So, we drove up to the school on Tuesday morning, and found the little kindergarten, and though the big school was out on summer break, there were children in the yard. We walked through the handmade stick gate and were welcomed by barefoot smiling children running around and there was a log table set with plates and utensils outside with a loaf of homemade bread, butter, jam, honey, and a gorgeous bowl of cucumbers and bell peppers and carrots. It was quite possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. We spoke with the teacher, Carmen, and they are on break but there are still a few children this week (is what we gather, you know, language barrier). I look outside and Jack’s on the homemade seesaw with three other children with the biggest smile on you’ve ever seen. We sign him up, fill out the paperwork and the teacher says he may stay, so Jack stayed. (I think I forgot to mention we researched waldorf schools heavily the night before so we were excited going in). Well, when I picked jack up I think he had had enough of no one speaking English for the day but he had fun and they sent us home with what Jack had made that day, a r
Fishing rod and some ‘fish’. It’s a stick with a strip of material tied to it and a hook at the end fashioned out of wire, and the fish were hollowed walnut halves stuffed with clay and fashioned with wire loops so that you could ‘catch’ them with the fishing pole. We asked Jack about making it and he only offered that his teacher helped until we were almost back to our hotel. He stated that the fishing pole part of the contraption used to be brown. Oh, I noticed, and asked how the pole became the golden color it was now? “I took the brown part off”. Me, “really, how did you do that?”. Him, “with a knife”. Really?! They totally gave my four-year-old a knife and taught him how to use it. Do I ever want to see this in practice? No. Am I the one percent of the population who thinks it’s rad? Yes. I would never teach him the things they will (like how to build a fire and cook), but I’m glad someone has the patience and nerves to do it. Basically, a waldorf school is an outdoor school, a ‘nature’ school. They prepare all their own snacks, including grinding their own grains and baking their own bread. There is nothing artificial, nothing plastic, nothing manufactured in the class room. They create their own toys. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s really cool for a developing imagination. They teach nothing formal, no reading, no arithmetic till age seven, period. This of course freaked my American striver self out, but in doing our research, we found that there is a lot of data out there suggesting that introducing formal learning at a later age is best. That’s too much to get into, google it. So, we were able to take Jack one more time before the close of the week and when I picked him up he was knee deep in a mud puddle and incredibly happy. He had spent his day climbing trees and playing in the mud. I can hardly believe there is a place that fosters my son’s natural inclinations and encourages them. They don’t want him to be a duck in a row! Ooh, and if he enters first grade here, they teach only in English and French from day one. Randy is super excited about the possibility of Jack learning French as well. So, google waldorf kindergarten. They are totally weird and crunchy. I love it.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Gone native

  1. Shelly

    Like I wasn’t jealous enough that you are in Germany. I double concur with your Rad!

  2. Darlene

    That sounds like the coolest school ever! My sons would have loved that. Keep us updated on the cool stuff he gets to do. So excited for you guys!

  3. Amanda

    That sounds like so much fun! It sounds like you are getting all settled in. We miss you!

  4. Stephanie

    Sounds like a perfect fit for Jack! I am so happy you found such a great kindergarten for him.

  5. I was jealous of your first post- but now I’ve turned the most flourescent shade of green you’ve ever seen! That sounds like a dream come true- for real. So happy for your boy!

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