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Waldorf is Scrumptious

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My 3 year old son and I have been doing the parent and child program at our local Waldorf campus. I cannot say enough good things about it. I would love to have him do junior kindergarten through to grade 8. Our program just ended this weekend and I already miss it! We'll be going again in the Springtime, when the earth wakes up again. The kindergarten is the only grade at our Waldorf that does not have a scholorship program so I don't think it is going to be a option for us given our current financial situation (I stay at home with my son and therefore don't make alot of money). Waldorf is the only school I feel matches my ideal learning environment for my son. Our Waldorf is so magical and the vibes are very positive. But, as with most things in life, it is not for everyone. Some parents are intimidated by the strong philosophy of the school...some families visit once and do not return. If you want your little one to blossom and flourish in a non-competitive environment surrounded by natural beauty, Waldorf is the place for your family. I look forward to discussing Waldorf with all of you.
Amie & Donovan
post #2 of 12
Just a quick post(dinner is on the stove), DD and I are attending a parenting class at our local Waldorf school as well. We love it too. Our session starts again in Jan, and I'm really looking fowrad to it. DD is only 14 months, so it will be a while before kindergarten. The waldorf inspired pre-schools are very expensive here, so I'm not sure about it yet.
post #3 of 12
i am curious about the philosphy behind waldorf schools. i am just starting to think about our options for educating our two year old. i am really in the exploring stages and would love to hear some general information and where i can get more. anything would be appreciated
thanks jennifer
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi Gals

Yes Waldorf is extremely expensive, to be sure! We have a very modest income. I am going to do everything possible to ensure that my bright little guy gets an awesome education. I have found the teachers to be very intuitive and intellegent. Scholarships rely on contributions to the school, because ours is completely independent, non-profit and tax exempt. Waldorf focuses on the child's inner strengths, paying close attention to how and when the child is taught. The philosophy is to keep the child's head, heart and hands in healthy balance. What I've seen is a rare and refreshing thirst for learning in the students, they love to learn and can't wait to go to school in the morning. They really focus on your child's unique individuality and emotional equilibrium. Waldorf is based on the life's work of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Stiener. I'm not sure how many Waldorf schools do the Parent and Child Programs (for 2-4 years). Since Waldorf is independent each school is run differently. The website for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America is www.awsna.org. Ah, it's a beautiful thing. I hope this helps!
post #5 of 12
Jennifer, There is more info posted on the Waldorf? thread...check it out.

Amie, I had the same reaction when my ds started with a Waldorf school. He was a part of one of the first groups in a very new school. That was back when it was only a kindergarden and he was almost 3. Now there are 3 grades and it keeps moving up with the first class. Ds is now in 1st grade and is blossoming.

It frustrates me that it has to be so expensive. I understand that is how it is with a non-funded school, i just wonder if there is not a better way to give the opportunity to *all* children not based on financial means. There would sure be alot more diversity if $$$ were not an issue. A friend of mine read a book called "Freeing Education" which speaks to this issue and i need to read for myself. The book is in favor of community funded education, not government controlled and the idea is to build sustainable community...i find that so fascinating.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding stClaire

I'm going to look for that book, it sounds like it's right up my alley. I agree that it's too expensive and it definitely discourages some parents from even bothering to look into private schools. How a child is educated and introduced to new concepts is something that stays with them for their whole life and determines how they are going to live that life. I worked out how much it would cost to give my son a ten year Waldorf education and came up with a figure of $66,910.00 Canadian, not including inflation. If that's not intimidating to most of us I don't know what is! It is actually more economical to give each student in an independent school a percentage of the (provincial or state) per student cost. Statistically the average independent school operates at a much lower per student cost than public school does. So many factors go into this...can you imagine what this world would be like if university was free as long as the student was dedicated and willing to follow his or her dream? There's alot of things I would change about this system if I could.
post #7 of 12
Just a note about expensive Waldorf schools ...

I've read of several groups who have Waldorf co-ops.
There isn't a school building, but rather a barn or part
of someone's home. The teacher is hired and makes
*yippee!* a living wage. The families pitch in for supplies,
and it costs maybe $500 a semester. For some folks,
this is the ideal ground between expensive private school
and homeschooling. I'm heartened to read about this,
and hope to learn more as it may be our best option,
especially as our boys grow.


(Mommy to Kieran (4 1/2), Dallen (1), and Bronte (7 1/2, living
now forever in heaven and in our hearts))
post #8 of 12
What a great idea! I really like it. I wonder where i can read up on that option...any ideas??

Blessings, Kelly
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes! What a wonderful idea, and a sensible alternative to forking over so much money on tuition. I just joined a group called C:HOICE (Co-operative: Home Options in Childhood Education) and somebody in this group may know something about this. I'll keep you informed.

post #10 of 12
Yes, you can follow up on this in a few ways. I first heard about it in the Waldorf Education Homeschooling email list. You can go to yahoo groups and search WE_HS (the name of the group). Another way to learn about Waldorf co-ops is through the homeschooling conferences. You could attend one - there are some upcoming in California and Nebraska that I know about - or order the conference proceedings of a recent one to get contact info. You might go to www.waldorfworld.net to find out about both of these. Lastly, you might decide to connect locally with Waldorf homeschoolers and your school about this. Our local Waldorf school, and many I've heard of, work very openly and happily with homeschoolers. Our local one recently started homeschool outreach - craft, music, and language classes taught by one of their teachers at very little cost to us. Also, we've hired a local Waldorf teacher on our own. I met other Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers by posting a flyer at our local health foods store. The possibilities are limitless!
post #11 of 12
My DD has attended Waldorf from K to 4th and just finally started public this year for 5th.

Our experience? I loved it. She loved it. We only switched because a funky teacher took over her class last year.

I didn't study anthroposophy in great detail, but do know that it isn't actually taught in the classroom, rather, it is a tool for the teachers in understanding the children.

I really feel that public schools start our little ones too early in reading and math, and while many are capable, they burn out too early. The non-media aspect also works with our household.

Waldorf seems to inspire learning in children through rhythm and nature, imagination and creativity. There is no rush rush. Just observing a kindergarten class, you will want to be a child again. I am not kidding. The flow from one activity to another is done with such grace and beauty (no bells ringing and yelling to line up the kids), but a singsongy voice that triggers the next activity.

As for the delayed reading? My 11 yo didn't read until after she was 7, and now reads like a maniac. We will get a stack of 15-20 books and she will devour them in a week (no exxageration). Thank goodness for libraries.

Be prepared for major critiscm from relatives and others. For many who questioned the academics, my DH came up with a good analogy for those actually interested (and not just wanting to criticize) and that was that the learning is more like a nice marinara sauce that takes time to be done, as opposed to a fast food education. The end result? A real love of learning seasoned with creativity that allows for problem solving and happiness.

She integrated into the public school this year with no problem, and brought home her first report card: straight A's. I feel her foundation is very solid and she can either continue in public, or we may return to our local Waldof school (depending on the teacher situation).

Good luck to all!
post #12 of 12
My daughter attended a Waldorf school from K-3rd grade.
We loved it and left becasue of an eneffective teacher for my daughter's particular needs.

Anthroposphy does undergird but is not taught in the school. There is traditionally the following of a festival calendar which is somewhat newage chrsitianity, although our school observed some jewish holidays. Much of that depends on the children in the school.

Some of my favorite intro to Waldorf boks are:

"Waldorf Education" Michaelmas Press
"Waldorf Parenting Handbookl" by Lois Cusick
"Waldorf Schools: Kindergarten and Early Grades" - Mercury Press
"Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" Michalemas Press

Also along Waldorf lines...
"Natural Childhood" Fireside / Simon and Schuster
"You Are Your Child's First Teacher"
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