I admire a lot about anthroposophy and it's beliefs about children.
However I have a few area's that differ markedly from my own feelings about parenting and have kept me from embracing waldorf.
Most prominent is the push for separation between parent and child. Germany invented the modern "kindergarten" which tranfered quickly to america and beyond. I have read numerous articles which point out that the entire motivation of putting young children in government run schools was to "homogonize" the culture. In Germany now, homeschooling is illegal. The very idea is considered rather dangerous (thus the illegal status), something only religious extremists or anti social parents would even consider. (We homeschool, in case you could not tell
I find that anthroposophy and Waldorf, being German in origin, reflect strongly the idea that a child, around the age of 3, needs the introduction of a non parent *teacher*, and the beginning of parental separation.
As wonderful as many waldorf schools are, I cannot get away from the fact that most truly devoted to waldorf probably believe "school" meets the "needs" of a child, in a way that being at home never could.
This flies in the face of virtually every anthropological account of how humans have raised children since the beginning of recorded history. There is virtually no precedent for such early separation from the mother, and a *much* more common age to begin formal training of *any* kind is 7 or 8 years of age. Even then the child may still spend much of their day with a biological parent.
It strikes me as ironic that Waldorf kindergartens devote much time to baking, gardening, and other domestic activities...one's that normally would occur in the home with mother. In my opinion, the ideal function of "school" is to train an individual in those topics "not" easily found in their home life. Not to simply replicate the home in a new setting...
In many ways I think anthroposophy cannot co exist with attachment parenting (a theory I feel more in line with). I have been told that in anthroposophy, weaning begins when the child starts walking. You would never nurse past one year. Co sleeping is not prefered as the child needs their own space to identify with. There is a strong sentiment of avoiding "holding the child back" which seems impossible to me, if the child is happy where they are at.
These are my problems with the theory, and the reasons I have not investigated Waldorf schooling for my child.