Five year old DS has been going to a Waldorf kindy for the past 10 months. I changed him to Waldorf from a very strict acedemically oriented Montessori because he was being forced to write there plus given homework (at age 4!) when he simply wasn't interested in those things.
He settled in well to Waldorf, but often remarked that he missed some of the more focussed activities at his old preschool. About 6 months ago, a couple of older boys about 6 years old joined the school, and these boys seem quite "awakened" as compared to the rest of the children - they are both younger siblings so they've been exposed to a lot more of the world/tv/adult concepts than most children their age. They both seem hugely influenced by tv shows and love "fighting"mimicking karate moves and so on. They're also pretty rowdy in their behaviour and use rude language.
DS considers them his heroes beause of their superior physical abilities and loves to hang out with them and try to fit in with them - and in the process has become more rowdy/rude/violent himself. The older boys prefer not to play in the classroom during "freeplay" - they run down to the sand pit to play where they are pretty much left to their own devices. As DS is younger he often gets bullied by them to conform to their orders in play, sometimes gets hit, and is reduced to tears. I saw this once when I was picking him up and tried to intervene, but DS would have none of it. He pushed me away and wanted to continue to play with them. He adores them and misses them during holidays.
I'm concerned they are not a very good influence on DS, and also concerned that there is not enough adult supervision during free play to prevent the more nastier forms of bullying and the "fighting" that can get serious at times. I've taken an appointment with the director to discuss these issues.
As much as the earlier Montessori preschool was too rigid and disciplined, this Waldorf kindergarten he goes to now seems to be at the other end of the spectrum - too loose and undisciplined and free-for-all. I do think kids, especially boys above the age of 5, need some firm limits on their behaviour, and some constructive channeling of their energies. That seems to be lacking in the Waldorf kindergarten.
Am I overreacting? Is this how a Waldorf kindergarten is supposed to be?