Posted by: Alex Borders | January 30, 2011

So you’re moving to 1st Grade!

Sunday 30th January

WSP Parent, Artist, Designer and Photographer, Kim Soles was recently asked to share her wealth of Waldorf experience with kindergarten parents with a first grade ready child. Here is what Kim had to say:

My daughter Leila is now in 7th grade and we have been at this school since moving here nine years ago from Brooklyn.  When I think of the move to the grade school I first cannot forget how the kindergarten experience may never leave you. Every year, on the first day of school, I find myself at my daughters old kindergarten teacher’s classroom door.  I give her a hug and spy the nature table and wooden tables and chairs, I remember my daughter riding her make shift bus on top of one of the tables.

Yet after the 3 years of kindergarten, I know that your child is bursting at the seams to move on. And the transition begins to a whole new world filled with hands-on learning. This learning is assisted with beauty. And I’m not talking about the handwork or the music. The academics are supported by color, and feeling. One of the biggest gifts is that your child will not be sitting dazed in front of a computer. Movement and song will inspire reading and math. The teacher will be involved not only in their learning, but getting to really know your child. This connection will strengthen your commitment for the next 8 years. The gifts are endless.

As with any journey, ups and downs will be presented along the way. When my daughter moved into 1st grade, she struggled a bit. Going from the free time in kindergarten to sitting at a desk and following along with others was a challenge for her. Doing things her own way was now overshadowed by her teacher and her teacher – of course – had her way of doing things. In my experience with Waldorf Education, her teacher was willing and open to making changes in herself and helped to support the challenges my daughter was having. The teacher discovered that meeting my daughter with more humor was beneficial and in turn this helped their relationship to grow. Whenever I was met with discomfort for any reason throughout the years, I made sure to contact the teacher and this created a stronger bond between us.

And now as my child is half way through her 7th grade year, I’m grateful for the confidence and independence that this education has given her. With thoughts of CAPA and Central High School, Germantown Friends and Penn Charter.  She knows that anything is possible.

A transition will soon meet us once more and I know that with the foundation from ten years at this school my daughter will have what she needs to meet these new challenges in her own capable way.  Enjoy the incredible journey to all of you who are about to make transition from kindergarten to the grade school.

Leila doing her homework.


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