middle or high school very tough? - Mothering Forums
Waldorf > middle or high school very tough?
meemee's Avatar meemee 07:21 AM 09-12-2010
in your area are the waldorf middle school and high school very intense?

do they give a lot of homework and make you do projects and interns?

i was just talking to a student who switched to a regular public school because he was failing in middle school. he found waldorf extremely competitive with lots of homework.

is that true?

accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 08:34 PM 09-12-2010
you know, i don't know.

i do believe that they have homework and projects, most of which are handwork based, but the big senior project is optional (though most opt to do it).

i don't know how "tough" it is compared to other schools, though, or what have you. i suppose it depends upon what outcome you want from "tough" and whether or not it fits the bill.

i mostly noted kids of those ages knitting a lot. LOL
meemee's Avatar meemee 10:30 PM 09-12-2010
i dont know if it would differ from school to school.

yes there were hand made projects that took a lot of time.

but what shocked me was the high level of academics. this boy was failing and barely getting Ds. he said most of the students who passed out of that school went to ivy leagues schools or abroad.

but he said he had at least 4 hours of hw each day.

it really shocked me because i had such an opposite view of waldorf.

so i dont know if it is this school or waldorf in general.

but he also admitted that you came out of the school well prepared.
DimitraDaisy's Avatar DimitraDaisy 05:13 AM 09-13-2010
I'm no expert as our school only goes up to age 11 or so but yes, there is homework in Classes 7 and 8 and lots of homework beyond that. I have heard of children leaving the local Steiner school for state education and discovering the workload was smaller.

Just because Waldorf starts slowly, it does not mean it continues like that. As far as I know, it is not meant to. Although what you describe sounds quite extreme, it is in the Waldorf blueprint that work gets more and more challenging.

(In fact one can argue that work should be challenging all along, but that's besides the point here.)
lyrebird's Avatar lyrebird 07:53 AM 09-13-2010
I remember doing homework at a Steiner school, but not so much it ever made me think of leaving. It does sound a bit excessive, I'm wondering if the school you mention is an extreme case (and perhaps a little competitive, though I know that goes against the grain of Waldorf ed, but they might be after prestige?). Might it also depend somewhat on the number of subjects/units taken at the senior level?
lyrebird's Avatar lyrebird 07:57 AM 09-13-2010
and I forgot to mention that I nearly did switch schools for my final two years but the school I looked into was so competitive that I decided not to. And I saw a lot of the positives of the Steiner education I was receiving. That was my brush with mainstream and I'm quite glad I didn't go down that path.
lach's Avatar lach 11:56 AM 09-13-2010
I'm sure that it depends on the school, but yes, Waldorf is supposed to get tougher as the student gets older. Steiner divided childhood into 3 seven year periods, and each period is supposed to be more intensive. Just because he didn't think that children under 7 should read doesn't mean he wanted illiterate 21 year olds... the whole 21 year system was supposed to be very rigorous. I seem to remember that, though it seems a very modern trend, Steiner himself advocated a lot of internships, because his system is very much based on "learning by doing."

It's possible that since a full Steiner education was designed to go until the child is 21, schools feel the need to cram high school full of 8 years worth of work to make sure that the child's education is complete. I don't know enough about that to know if there is any basis in fact to that theory.

There are probably practical modern reasons, too. Most Waldorf schools are expensive private schools, and parents expect their children to get into a good college after they've paid a down-payment worth of tuition bills over the years. In order to retain their top students and get them into good colleges, even the Waldorf schools have to compete with other prep schools whose children are doing internships and a lot of homework.