Liam’s day at school

  • Author: Jim Toner
  • Date: Sep 23, 2013
  • Location: Rome

Liam spent a full day in class at Waldorf Rome. How was it? Here are his cryptic comments verbatim to our questions:


What was your favorite thing about today?


English class.


What was your second favorite thing about today?


Sword fighting with sticks. This boy just found two bamboo sticks during recess, and then finally the teacher came over to tell us to put them down.


Who was the other boy?




How did you begin the day?


We were in a circle and she said her times table and passed a ball and we said it back to her.


And before that?


We skipped in a circle and practiced a poem.


Do you know what the poem was?


No. I don’t think it was a poem, they were just saying something in Italian.


What was the main lesson?


Handwriting practice.


Did you do any drawing today?




Any art at all?




Dolora: I’m going to say something controversial. I’m so glad to not be eating cheese.

Tell me about recess.


Me and the sword fighting guy were sword fighting. And we played tag, running from tree to tree.


What was lunch like? Where’d you eat?

Just at our desks.


Did you want the other kids’ food?




Were the kids well behaved?


They were terrible, especially Antonio. He’d say, “Uno euro, uno euro, uno euro…. Bahhhhh!” Two girls were sitting next to each other and talking, and when the teacher told them to separate they just hugged each other.


Do you want to go back tomorrow?






I don’t know, it was fun.


What were three things you liked today?


I don’t know.




I am. Just because I like things doesn’t mean I have to think about them.


(I give him a look that says, “Really, is that the best you can do?)


Ok, English. And writing. I liked writing practice.


Tell me about math.


Math was very difficult and it made no sense at all. And the teacher was not very helpful.  I guess a little helpful.


Was there any homework?




How was it different than the Waldorf at home?


They’re not as strict, or maybe the kids just aren’t as well behaved.


Anything else?






On the bus ride home I chatted with another Waldorf mother with excellent English from living in Boston. I learned from her that…


-the tuition is about 3500 euros/year, or about $4500—half of our tuition;


-The economic downturn throughout Italy has impacted enrollment. It’s down about one-third over the last few years. (Liam’s fifth grade class has 12 children.)


-They have no fund raisers, but they need to.


-She brings her two boys here because it’s the best education there is.


-Most parents outside of the Waldorf community don’t understand this type of education. They want their children to read earlier and earlier.










  1. Alle

    That’s the one thing I wished we done in Australia. Norm and Lilly spent a day at a public school that our friend taught at and it was great, but, not the same.

    A long commute and an even longer wait time are penance for your sins.

    • Jim Toner

      Jim Toner

      Turned out that it was a mixed experience: yes, fascinating to visit another school and for Liam to challenge himself by sitting in a classroom full of strangers; but not much learning. The education is in the streets of Rome.

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