Oh, you all know the lists I am talking about: those ones on the big Yahoo! Groups where Waldorf homeschoolers write in and ask about, “Where is there a vibrant Waldorf homeschooling community?” It always seemed to be answered by some destination in the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest.
I understand. I mean really, the Deep South is not exactly considered progressive in many respects. People from the West tend to be shocked by the lack of mandatory recycling when they move here. It is extremely hot and humid so the air just plain upsets people from other parts of the non-humid country, and I remember being floored by the size of the insects when I moved here twenty years ago. In fact, I distinctly remember thinking they surely were bigger than my dog.
But there good things too: decent economic opportunity, a fairly low cost of living, a good stock of older homes and new construction, a good amount of hiking and biking and canoeing, great local farmers, lots of things to do, there are La Leche League, Attachment Parenting and Holistic Mom’s Groups here….And here, in the metro Atlanta area, we also have a very vibrant Waldorf homeschooling community. It is a close-knit and loving group of really wonderful and wise women; we have supported each other through this journey and have a great love for each other’s families. People who move here from other parts of the country notice that and are really impressed with the intimacy, openness and friendliness of our homeschool community! Always gratifying!
I have written in the past about how our group as grown from mainly meeting just for festivals and mainly kindergarten-type activities to now a full compliment of things for children ages birth through grade six. This year, for example, we have field trips for each grade, seasonal activities like berry picking and apple picking, festivals with complete puppet shows, weekly co-op days with such things as handwork, German, woodworking and an Early Years group, park and swim days, a new annual trip to the beach to end the school year, and lots of opportunities for adult learning where each month has a focus on some aspect of Waldorf education with adult classes and roundtables to learn more, adult classes, and a large curriculum fair that last year attracted folks from five neighboring states… We do work hard to reduce, reuse and recycle as a group…Most of our members are into natural foods and natural living. We even hold classes on such things as how to make your own cultured vegetables.
We strive hard as a group to provide the right thing at the right time, in accordance to what is traditionally done at a Waldorf School, to our children. Sometimes we have bumps in the road as we grow…this year we have 46 children in co-op classes alone…. Growing a group can have its own aches and pains,and to address that we recently formed a Pedagogical Committee for our group that is comprised of committee heads and others to help discern the spiritual direction for our group.
We all live very spread out and are committed to driving to support each other and to make events. If you want your children involved in a like-minded community, sometimes you have to work for it. This can be challenging for folks who don’t want to leave their neighborhood, so that is always something we ask members to consider: the balance of their own family life and the benefits of a like-minded community. The location of things rotate, which sometimes works out well for some people on one side of town,and not so well for others. Traffic can be not great, just like in any other metro area…
But overall, the ride is a good one. So I wonder if Atlanta will ever start to show up on those lists?