Waldorf private school vs. charter, differences? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-16-2009, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Our family may be relocating and are committed to keeping our children in the Waldorf school- they are now in a private school that is affiliated AWSNA and am looking into a Waldorf charter school. I won't be able to visit there until later in the spring so I was wondering if anyone knew what some of the differences might be between the private and charter, I know the public one will require testing... are they allowed to celebrate advent, Michaelmas, ect in the charter, are they allowed to sing their prayers before meals there? The free tuition is very appealing but I would like to know the downsides...
I will ask these questions of the school as well but it would be nice to hear from parents too-
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#2 of 5 Old 12-16-2009, 11:39 PM
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i would love to know too,

I think it really depends on the particular charter, hard to speak for all. In my area we have at least 2 charters I know of and I am considering them for dd. Although we have about 3 years before she goes. She will start off in a private school, but I am not sure we can afford it long term, or once we have more kids for more than one, assuming I am staying home still But of course if it is the same thing as our 15,000 a year school for free I'm all for it!

I have heard that all of the teachers in our charters are trained waldorf teachers. That can be a problem with charters that the teachers need to have their teaching credential first off and ontop of that have waldorf and in many charters it doesnt happen I think.

The charters here do celebrate the holidays, have blessings. The main difference i see honestly is that the private school campus is amazing while the charter schools look more like a typical school with some waldorf influence, physically, no amazing play areas, forts, forests, farms etc.
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#3 of 5 Old 12-23-2009, 02:11 AM
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I agree that it will depend on your particular area.
Where we are the Waldorf inspired charter school is really Waldorf lite.

IMO it's certainly better than the regular public schools, but I would probably prefer to go back to W. hsing if we couldn't continue to attend our Waldorf school.

I would see what they can send you (or find on the website) specifically about curriculum differences in the different grades, what festivals are celebrated, and what a typical day looks like (I would be most concerned about how much outside time the younger ones have).
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#4 of 5 Old 01-11-2010, 02:31 AM
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My kids go to a charter. The downsides are lack of funding - we don't have an amazing site (and are always searching for something better). The playground is minimal and there's no working farm. We do have a nice gardening program though and though the buildings are very basic and unattractive themselves, inside the classrooms it's beautiful and very Waldorf-y. The teachers at our school have all gone through Waldorf training at this point (a bunch got their masters last year).

The upside is that there's a lot of room for parental involvement (which could be viewed as a downside, I suppose). The teachers (I haven't found) don't talk down to you or try to keep you from participating in the classroom - just the opposite. It's got a major community feel which I just love. It's free (though they do ask for a monthly donation or whatever you can give - you can give nothing). I don't find the program to be Waldorf-lite though they don't have *everything* you'd find in a private school (funding). They do have a lot though and I have to say that I'm very happy with and proud of our school. They do say blessings but they can't use phrases I've heard in private schools that say things like "thanks to God". The words are more earth-based than God-based, if that makes sense. We also have many beautiful ceremonies.

I'd definitely check it out with an open mind. Hopefully it will work out for you!

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-11-2010, 01:41 PM
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I would also add that so much depends on the activities of the parents association of any given school. My children (sadly) do not go to a Waldorf school because there is not one within a feasible drive of our home. They DO go to a fabulous small private school which has a very active PA. Our association has provided innumerable special programs, visiting authors and story tellers, facility improvements, classroom materials, etc each year. The less well endowed charter school can certainly be upgraded by an active group of parents!
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