Ask Kytka Archives: August 7, 2000
Q. I homeschool, but I often find myself wishing for a school. How do you handle this?
A. When I was involved with the school, we created an Enrichment Program and actually hired a part time teacher for the homeschoolers in our community. Some weeks the classes were full, others not at all, but the school did make an effort for the community outreach. I also created a flier which I presented to the school about a “handwork club” which was to take place after school hours on the playground (and at the school in case of rain).
The main reason for this club was to get the children who were home schooled as well as the children from the school who were staying after a while to enjoy the playground to meet… and to have all of the children of all different age groups play together while moms shared ideas, and so on. The “trade off” was that the crafts we created were donated to the school to sell at fundraisers, etc. It really worked quite nicely.
I think schools who are just starting, or go through 1st or 2nd grade are open to co-oping with home schoolers, because they want a community as well… but that older and more established schools, schools which have faculties and all the grades, etc… they DO tend to put out the image that they know best, and it IS much harder to get in/or any respect as a home schooler from them. At least that has been my experience.
I do have to say however, that our enrichment program grew the following year into a healthy first grade, as many of the parents learned or discovered that their children got “used” to the “group” friends, etc.. and WANTED to be there all of the time… so I suppose each person has to really look deep within and see what it is they REALLY want or expect from such an arrangement.
I am a strong believer of where there is a will there is a way, and being the one who initiates or makes the first move is sometimes necessary when you are the one wanting the community, after all, the “school” already HAS their community! Also, when I had the catalog, the school invited me to sell at fairs, etc… I was never asked to give anything to the school, but always did give a percentage, because I figured if I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have made that money…
Most folks were thrilled that the school has me come, but several of the more “strict” types (on the board, and so forth) really seemed to resent it and would bring up the “fact” that the school doesn’t endorse our company, etc…
It’s really what each individual brings to it, and expects to take away at the end of the day. Community, and “Waldorf” community are really one and the same… your local merchants, neighbors who DO share some of your views and ideals ARE your community! Enjoy them!!! and if you still long for more, CREATE IT! Be pushy, go to the school, offer your ideas, suggestions and time… go to their open house, that’s always a place to meet folks who are thinking Waldorf, but maybe not actually thinking school…
Best of Luck to you!
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