Can someone give me info on this style of education? What is your experience so far? I have found info on it online and took from it that this is an art based education? Is that correct? Also, how young did you start? Would just like a parents' perspective of what this style means to them and how it has been going for their child. Is it for 'gifted' children or anyone? Thanks!
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Interested in learning about Waldorf education
The site "Why Waldorf Works" has lots of good information and links.
We started when our oldest was 2.5. Now both of our girls have been through a Waldorf nursery program and the oldest is in first grade at our local Waldorf school. For our family it is going very well! We were drawn to it because of the beauty and how it just lets kids be kids (which unfortunatley can be hard to find these days). We are very happy with how our children are doing in this enviornment and plan to continue with it for as long as we can afford it!
I started working at a Waldorf school before I was even pregnant; having encountered several Waldorf kids in my travels, I was intrigued by this form of education and wanted to find out more. Currently, I have been at my job for 3 years and have a 22mo DD; what I have observed at this school has made me a firm believer in Waldorf education. Yes, the arts are integrated into all academic subjects. Yes, there is a strong focus on free play in early childhood. But one of the things that strikes me the most is how intentional everything is, how every one of these children is held in the thoughts of their teachers, even the administrators. Waldorf truly strives to educate the whole child, based on what is developmentally appropriate. Because of the way subjects are taught, gifted children often feel engaged by the material while other children with minor learning differences may get a better grasp by being able to approach the work in multiple ways.
Honestly, the best way to get a sense of it all is to visit your local Waldorf school; Wisconsin has several excellent options.
There are also a lot of good videos on YouTube that describe Waldorf; right now I like this one.
Thank you all for the replies! The link from Wish was very helpful.
Quirkymama - I actually contacted one of the schools that piqued my interested. I did get a reply and now waiting for someone else to contact me to visit the school.
pvdvt-Thanks for the info. What you mentioned about thinking and less tv/computers is what I am interested in.
This is great advice. Go check out the schools and talk to the parents. There are also several great videos on youtube that help describe and, moreover, show what this beautiful and sensitive education is all about. I have found that no one US school has been able to post the all materials that are needed that are helpful when making this decision so I would encourage you to go to the websites of several schools. I liked Waldorf conceptually before we started but now I feel its the unexpected little things that are making it stand out from other options. I am immensely grateful that we found Waldorf and that we could afford it for our kids.
Waldorf is considered an art based education as well as a whole brain education too. I completed a Waldorf teacher training circuit back in 1999-2001 and taught first and second grade thereafter. I wrote about a typical Waldorf morning here: http://lanivcox.blogspot.com/2010/01/waldorf-morning.html. You might also find this useful: http://lanivcox.blogspot.com/2009/12/we-think-in-pictures-damn-it.html
Good luck with your visits and search. Waldorf can be a great educational system. The earliest age depends on the school. All the best, cheers.
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