Why Waldorf? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why did you choose Waldorf over Montessori?
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#2 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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I can't really answer that, because we chose Montessori. But I'm just wondering what your personal list of pros and cons are? It might help people give you some ideas of what environment is best for your family.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#3 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think fulltime homeschooling is in the best interest of DS. But I don't know if I can pull it off. I want to do it, but I am not organized or knowledgable about how to do it, even though I've read that you don't have to know everything to homeschool. But still.

I live in Japan. It is rare for people here to homeschool. There is more homeschooling support in Tokyo, but we are far from there... we're in Osaka.
I was thinking of doing homeschooling using the Montessori philosophy. Not sure how I'd do socialization and work out the part where mingling with other kids gives them the benefit of helping one another out and learning from/observing other children. The expense of shipping any high quality Montessori items would be too much for us.

I don't even know about other types of homeschooling methods as I am just starting to look into things. I briefly saw mention of things like Sonlight and others, but I don't know if that's what I want exactly. I want DS to enjoy what he does and to feel free to learn according to the way his character is. I don't think he will be the book type, sit down and study, do homework kind of kid. I think he needs to have hands on and practical and fun stuff.

I kind of read up a little on unschooling, but I do think DS would need a bit more structure than that. Something to gently guide DS and prompt him to get some academics in, but not give him complete free range to do anything he wants or to do nothing.

So I lean towards Montessori, but thought I'd see if there was anything (of a negative aspect) that I should be aware of. I thought maybe those who do Waldorf might say why they chose that over Montessori, as I can only think of the high cost of Montessori.
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#4 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 08:18 PM
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well, i suppose it begins at philosophy.

while we are not 'hard core' anthroposophists in any way (we do a cherry picking approach), we do subscribe to many aspects of anthroposophy. waldorf extends out of or applies anthroposophy, and so it is likely a good fit then.

montessori is a good method and has some similarities, but i believe it is academic focused, and against the idea of imaginary play. not hard core against it, but enough that it goes against my personal philosophy about imaginary play.

for my own part, we are strongly leaning toward waldorf inspired unschooling.
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#5 of 12 Old 05-16-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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We never viewed Montessori as an option.

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#6 of 12 Old 05-16-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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We looked at both and found Montessori to be cold. The children were often rude to one another and no one corrected them. They spent too much time inside and were not allowed to play in the dirt or climb trees. It was too academic focused.

We found a lovely Waldorf school and fantastic Kindergarten teachers. The kids spent every day outside rain or shine, climbed trees, dug in the dirt and sand and imagination was king/queen.

My son is graduating from 8th grade and as a geek in training, Waldorf strectched him as Montessori never could have. He is more well rounded and confident person because of the experience.
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#7 of 12 Old 05-16-2010, 08:23 PM
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My DD is in a Steiner school in NY, honestly I didn't even knew what Waldorf was and I didn't took the time to research. The only reason that we picked this school, it's becuase they didn't had any trouble with DD missing school often becuase we have to spend a three month period in Yerevan for work reasons. Even though we still had to pay those three months she was away. Fine we'll do it.
BIG MISTAKE!!

We're pulling her out, it didn't really worked for her and the reading factor is one them. Not to mention that it's way too expensive that it's ridiculous, DD's tuiton this year was almost 30k and she's in K', I can't imagine Elemenatary and Middle School.
Not to mention that the school is kinda cult like, but I understand that varies from school to school. So that's not happening.

So well no more Waldorf for us.
Just to pinpoint, DD was not "unhappy" during here time there.

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#8 of 12 Old 05-17-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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we tried both... and waldorf won for imagination above all else. We are a Waldorf inspired homeschooling family, so we don't go to a Steiner school...
but we tried out a Montessori preschool and it was too rigid for DS. The Pink Tower can ONLY be made into a tower. Not a castle, not a tunnel, not tables for gnomes. And it can't be combined with other materials to create something. That just didn't fly with DS. Plus so much emphasis on working alone. DS was/ is was too social for that, he's a people person and if there are friends in the classroom, he wants to work with them, not along side them.

The open endedness of Waldorf really won us over.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#9 of 12 Old 05-17-2010, 04:13 AM
 
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We didn't look at Montessori, but I can give you the reasons we chose Waldorf schooling for our children:

-they encourage the use of a vibrant and active imagination
-they spend tons of time outdoors
-the "head, heart and hands" approach to learning
-the focus on protecting childhood, limiting media, and the value of rhythm and a peaceful home life
-the beautiful festivals
-the other families: we have met so many amazing people

I could come up with more, but it's late and my head is in a fog.

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#10 of 12 Old 05-17-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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I really do not like the Montessori philosophy, so it would not be an option for me.

I encourage an active imagination and I find that Montessori really inhibits that. Without getting into too much detail, I find the philosophy too leniant in some ways and much too rigid in others. It is very child led in terms of academics and I do like that children are able to go at their own pace and that they are responsible for the care of their environment, but I really dislike how every material has to be used in a very specific way. The biggest turn off to me is that imaginary play is not favoured and that is of huge importance to me in early childhood, much more than academics.

There are things I dislike about Waldorf, but the things that attracted me to it most are..

-the early years are focused on oral language and hands-on, discovery, play based learning
-imagination and creativity are highly encouraged
-there are strong daily rhythms, which I find young children thrive on
-children have time to develop and perfect skills they will use in their future academics (things like pre-reading and pre-math skills in the early years, as well as fine tuning the the fine motor skills they will need)
-I also really like the way subjects are taught

I think mostly it depends on your specific child. Different children thrive in different environments and with different philosophies.

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#11 of 12 Old 05-18-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn View Post
We looked at both and found Montessori to be cold. The children were often rude to one another and no one corrected them. They spent too much time inside and were not allowed to play in the dirt or climb trees. It was too academic focused.

We found a lovely Waldorf school and fantastic Kindergarten teachers. The kids spent every day outside rain or shine, climbed trees, dug in the dirt and sand and imagination was king/queen.

My son is graduating from 8th grade and as a geek in training, Waldorf strectched him as Montessori never could have. He is more well rounded and confident person because of the experience.
I agree!
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#12 of 12 Old 05-18-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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I never considered Montessori, either, but I know people who have had really good experiences with the schools, so I wouldn't tell someone not to send their child to a Montessori school.

I had an aunt who was a waldorf handwork teacher, so that was my first, indirect exposure. When I was 13 I started in a waldorf 8th grade in the middle of the year and continued through the middle of 10th grade. It was far from perfect, but it beat out all 13 of the public schools I had attended in my eclectic educational life. It was the first school I encountered where the teaching matched up with the way my mind works: I tend to think in a net, rather than in a line, seeing connections and patterns and gradually building a picture. Waldorf education works the same way.

In a few years I was a mother, so after trying one other school, I put my daughter into the same waldorf school I had attended (my brother and sister also went there, for more years than I did) and she stayed for 10 years, through the end of 7th grade. After a brief try at public school (she didn't like it) we homeschooled for a bit and then she went to the Toronto Waldorf School for her last 3 years of high school.

Now my grandchildren are at a truly lovely waldorf school and they love it.

Besides the general teaching approach, I like the outdoor play, the physical movement, the handwork, the breadth and depth of the curriculum, the way drama is incorporated into every grade, the music curriculum, the amazing exposure to literature, the artistic activity...

My daughter, among other things, is an engineer. I like the way that waldorf provided her with the ability to be artistic and logical.
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