AWS Alumni : Myth Busters + Advice

Here are Waldorf Myth Busters + Advice that a parent gathered from the outstanding AWS Life After AWS Alumni Student/Parent Panel on May 20.
“Waldorf students leave 8th grade unprepared for high school math.”
Wrong.  In fact, many AWS grads think they can do math so well that they skip Algebra 1 and go straight into Geometry. Yikes! Here’s where it can get challenging (unless you’ve taken Algebra 1 in summer school beforehand like one student did), but because they LOVE LEARNING, they figure it out and get the extra help they need. So really, we’re sending children out into the world who are confident and willing to take challenges.
Also, in Isabeau Barnes’ high school algebra class this year, she is one of three students who don’t have to take the final because they have an “A” already.  The other 2 students are fellow AWS graduates.
Mike Price, an alumni parent, mentioned that his daughter Anna did struggle with math in high school. She seems to have gotten over it however since she is currently a Math and Physics major in University.
“Waldorf students have a hard time with the social transition into a large high school.”
Wrong.  Many students cited their ability to MAKE FRIENDS MORE EASILY because they’d been in smaller classes their whole lives and had been forced to not only deal with many personalities in an intimate setting for years, but also to maintain these friendships day in and day out.  Can’t just ignore someone you’re annoyed with for the rest of the semester at AWS, right?
Many students cited how their involvement in cross country running and cross country skiing gave them an instant community.
One student did know her limitations in a crowd, and the desire to be in a smaller school lead her to Polaris for high school. Here again, we’ve sent a child out into the world who knows who she is and what she wants. She is the editor of their school newspaper.  Did I mention that she WROTE A NOVEL for her 8th grade project?
“If a Waldorf class doesn’t have the same teacher for 8 years, something is wrong.”
Wrong.  While this is the ideal, most of these students had 2 or more teachers for their experience at AWS.
“Waldorf graduates are totally unprepared and naive to the seedier aspects of high school like teenage sex and drug use.”
Correct. But would you want this any other way?
So, what can we do as AWS parents to prepare our children for high school? A couple of things stood out:
1.) Enroll them in an online typing course.
2.) Teach them to use a combination lock and explain the concept of having to lock up their things.
3.) Go to the library and do a quick overview on the concept of a “text book.”
4.) Teach them how to do proper research online.
5.) M-a-a-a-y-be have a brief sex and drugs talk.
Enough said. Many thanks to those who attended our panel and asked (and answered) such outstanding questions.  It was just the spark and renewal that I needed. These are phenomenal people we are preparing for the world and we should be very proud of our school in its ability to do so.



Tuesday May 20, 6:30-8pm in the Hall at Anchorage Waldorf School. Come and meet some of our alumni, an alumni parent, and high school teachers who appreciate the qualities our students bring to high school. Find out who they are, and what they do after they graduate from AWS.