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Curious about Waldorf Schools, want info.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I keep hearing about Waldorf Schools here, a term I am still fairly unfamiliar with. In search of what these schools are, I searched for Waldorf Schools on the internet and the first thing that popped up was "What is a Waldorf School" with this website, http://www.waldorfcritics.org/ .

I am wondering what the response is to this. I am not completely buying this persons take on the school, but it further raised my curiosity.

If this is in the wrong forum, please feel free to move it.
post #2 of 8
If you do a search on these boards for info about Waldorf, you'll find a ton of stuff.

post #3 of 8
Waldorf, the curriculmn people love to hate...... :

There is a lot of information out in the public forum, both bad and good. I would suggest that you evaluate your sources as well as their information. I also suggest you go to your local Waldorf school for a visit, check out The Association for North American Waldorf Schools and the e mail list available for parents, teachers, and prospectives at LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU Put "subcribe waldorf" in the body of your e mail, minus the quotes.

In the past, Waldorf discussions on this board have turnt into ugly, sniping, snarky free for alls instead of constructive discussion. If you would like my perspective as the mother of a 10 girl who goes to a "Waldorf inspired" home schooling co-operative, and as a member of the Core Council of that school, please contact me off list.
post #4 of 8


I'm a graduate of a waldorf school and would love to share my opions with you.
post #5 of 8
I've been associated with a waldorf school for eight years (my oldest graduates eighth grade next week). www.bobnancy.com has quite a bit of good information, including source material from Rudolf Steiner, but the best thing to do is visit a school and meet the people teaching and administering the school.

The Utne Reader (current/May issue) has a forty-odd page "advertising supplement" that includes several pages relating to waldorf education.

Regards, David
post #6 of 8

you can also read

you are your child's first teacher. i'm reading it now and it has information about waldorf
post #7 of 8
Just something to consider, this is what is true for our family. Please take with the proverbial grain of salt.

I was one of those debating over which type of education too. The best thing I ever did, besides go to open houses at various types of schools (Montessori, progressive, traditional, public, parochial, was to attend a parent toddler at a Waldorf school and then, in addition , talk with some of the people there. That part is the most important because each Waldorf school seems to be very different. We have two in our area and each has completely different strengths/weaknesses. Really talk with the leader, and anyone else at the school you can form a relationship with, about issues you may be having because you will get a sense of whether or not your values 'mesh."

This biggest thing I am finding for us is that in the ideal situation, at least some of one's home-life values are reflected and nourished by the school. These values can vary from Waldorf school to Waldorf school.

In addition, I found it wery useful to compare environments from these other various schools with the Waldorf schools. So much is "Will OUR child be nourished in this schools particular envorinment" and only you can really get the truest sense of this. Other's experiences with this or that educational will only hel in that you know which questions to ask yourself when visiting. Sheesh, I got wordy oops.

Another two great books for Waldorf (at its best) are "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" and "Waldorf Education - A Family Guide" both from Michelmas press.

post #8 of 8
That was a great post from joyfulliving, I second her recomendations. You can really into great depths of studying Waldorf theory, Steiner and Anthroposophy, but I don't think that's what you're looking for.
Here's a nutshell description of Waldorf education:
delayed academics (nothing truly academic in K)
all studies in younger years are imaginatively taught
spirituality and nature are important, but dogma is not taught nor is anthroposophy mentioned to the children
children use all of their senses and imagination in their studies
handwork and crafts are very important, as is music and the arts
seasonal holidays and festivals are observed
TV and media is generally frowned upon as unhealthy for children
materials are all natural as much as possible (beeswax for modeling, beeswax crayons, wooden blocks, silk scarves, etc)
I think that the Waldorf critics site is generally a good one to read. They bring up a lot of valid points, and if it strikes a nerve for you, then Waldorf may not be the type of education you're looking for for your child. Some of the things mentioned on that site are really kind of humorous, and you do some basic reading on Steiner's theories and those that influenced him you will find the asnwers clearly and simply stated.
But, like has already been mentioned- each school is really different. There are quite a few public charters which are waldorf inspired now, and they are also worth looking into.
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