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kathe-kruse-unicorn-pink-350x368A is three now and has an April birthday, so she will not be starting kindergarten until the fall of 2011.  I had not intended to enroll her in a preschool program until after she turned four, hoping to maximize these precious first few years at home with me.  Well, things change and she is practically begging to spend more time with children so I am now looking at programs starting THIS fall.  The choices are endless: The rec centers offer “preschool prep” programs, there are in-home centers advertised on Craigslist, and private centers all around the city, some offering organic lunches and other perks.  But I have always had my heart set on A having a Waldorf experience.  Something about little kids knitting and running around draped in playsilks sounds to me, well, magical.  So I decided to look into the local Waldorf school.  Philosophy?  Excellent!  Location?  Perfect!  Price?  Are you effing kidding me?!  Two mornings/week (8:30-12:30) would run me $3800 for the school year and three mornings/week would be $5600.  Add to that a $500 “New Student Fee” plus the $60 application fee and there you have it.  And no, this does not include lunch.   My kid means the world to me.  There is not a question of whether or not she is “worth” this expense.  It’s a moot point.  I can’t afford it.  But I’m curious nonetheless.  What exactly is going on in there that separates a Waldorf preschool from the rest?  And by such a large margin?  Does the teacher arrive in the morning on a gilded unicorn, sprinkling magical fairy dust upon the heads of the children, assuring safety, love and future success?  If so, I will find a way to send her there.  If not… if it is just a room full of 3-year olds who are picking their noses, learning about sharing, and eating graham crackers and milk, I think A can accomplish that at the rec center.  Right?  Maybe I can teach her to knit…

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