Why I love Waldorf! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I was reading these questions about Waldorf school and wished I had seen these posts when they were originally posted so I could have helped.

Anway, I love Waldorf education for many reasons and I have 2 children in Waldorf school, and 2 in public school (divorce situation) so I get a good look at both.

I would love to hear from some parents about what they love about Waldorf.
Oh, and I am also a trained Waldorf teacher myself, and so is my husband...............
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#2 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 05:08 PM
 
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I love the classrooms! So beautiful and so little clutter. I love the no media (or little media). I love the handwork, the two languages, the singing, the festivals, the devoted teachers who stay for 8 years, the music, the art, the gardening, the math, the reading.... I love how it looks at the whole child not just the academics. I love the recoginition of the spiritual without the dogma of religion. I love how the children are allowed to be children and are sheltered. I love the fairy tales in 1st grade, the saints and heros of 2nd grade, the Old Testement and Jewish culture of 3rd grade, the Norse in 4th grade, the Greeks in 5th grade, the Romans in 6th grade, etc. I love that they celebrate Islam, Christianity, Judism, Pagans and other cultures. My children are being raised Christians in our home but they will have a very good understanding and awareness of other religions and cultures.
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#3 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rhonwyn:

Thank you for replying.......its nice to hear someone on these boards has something good to say about Waldorf!

I think you replied on another thread and said you have children in Waldorf school. How many and what ages? We have ages 3, 6, 7, and 9!

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#4 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 05:44 PM
 
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A 6 year old in 1st grade and a 9 year old in 3rd grade. We are very fortunate to have two very capable teachers with our children.

There are only two things I don't like about Waldorf - the cost and the lack of diversity (probably due to the cost).
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#5 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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Rhonwyn--Can I just say that I love your enthusiasm!

My son has been at a great Montessori school for years with only positive experiences, but whenever I read one of your Waldorf posts, it makes me want to jump the fence!
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#6 of 12 Old 10-13-2004, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rhonwyn:

I agree, the cost is very high. Unfortunately it just costs that much to run a school. The teachers are not (at our school anyway) paid very well. The diversity at our school is pretty good. (If you are reffering to diversity regarding race)And even regarding incomes, they really work hard on being able to provide tuition assitance so that Waldorf education is available to everyone.

I really love how they strive to connect all the different subjects. History, geography, math or art are not just totally seperate subjects but related to everything they are learning. When my husband taught about the Egyptians he taught their history as well as geography of the area and they ended up with math as well! Of course they did paintings and drawings as well. He taught them how they originally decided where to put the fields because of the Nile rising, they had to do this by measuring with ropes and tyipng knots at different points. (Rope stretching) The children loved it. They took ropes and measured out , the same way the Egyptions did, the size of a pyramid.......we are on 35 acres and it didn't fit! So the children got a good idea of how large the pyramids actually are.

I didn't mean to go on about one thing.....I just thought it was neat and a good example of something I love about Waldorf.

I had always wondered what the difference was between Waldorf and Montesorri and I finally found a great explanation. (of course I can't remember where I saw it now..) But it said that Montesorri created her type of education in France at a time when daily life was all about art and music and fairy tales. At that time what the children really needed was to have an environment that provide more acedmic stimulous but still not excluding the arts. Montesorri takes something a child needs to learn, to zip a zipper for example, and removes it from the situation by putting a zipper on a board and letting children zip over and over.

Waldorf education came about in Germany when a factory owner wanted the children of his workers to get a better education that was publically being provided. At that time in Germany the arts were overlooked and children were not allowed to be kids, but often worked or learned through intense acedemic memorization. So Steiner brought a type of education intended to be more well rounded and include all the arts. He felt it was extremely important that children be children, have fairy tales and movement (play) to help them develop while still learning acedemics. Steiner felt if a child needed to learn to zip they should have the opportunity to do it in their play. So a zipper would be on a doll. Both types of education do many practicle things like washing and cooking.

I think both types of education can be very good in different ways.
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#7 of 12 Old 10-14-2004, 10:33 AM
 
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Why I love waldorf.

First, I went to a waldorf school myself, starting in 8th grade. My family had moved a lot, and each move took us through 2 or 3 schools before we found permanent living quarters, so Highland Hall was my 14th school. Highland Hall in 1963 was still a pioneer school and there were many problems. What I especially loved was the interconnections between subjects. I had always felt something missing in my public school education and that was what it was. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had tried to do waldorf for myself, reading fairy tales in 1st and 2nd grade, starting mythology in 3rd and 4th and then moving in to Greek mythology in 5th grade with a natural transition to history. I also loved handwork. My mother taught me to do handsewing, my aunt (a waldorf handwork teacher) taught me to knit and I taught myself to crochet. I also experimented with weaving, making a loom out of an old picture frame.

When I had a child waldorf seemed like the best choice. She started at 3 and went through 7th grade at Highland Hall. We moved to Missouri where she tried public school and then we switched to home schooling. In the end she did 10th - 12th at the Toronto Waldorf School. As a parent I would just underline everything said above about waldorf.

Now my granddaughter is going to our local school here in Vermont. She loves it. For her I can see the rhythm, predictability, order, beauty, harmony and mutual respect are very important. She is a very strong, willful person and waldorf provides her with the right kind of boundaries.

My daughter is running a waldorf style day care in her home, so my grandson is already having his waldorf experience at 15 months.

That said: waldorf schools vary a lot, so do a thorough check before you enroll your children!

Nana
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#8 of 12 Old 10-14-2004, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherKatrina
Rhonwyn--Can I just say that I love your enthusiasm!

My son has been at a great Montessori school for years with only positive experiences, but whenever I read one of your Waldorf posts, it makes me want to jump the fence!

Hey they are free in your state! Arizona has some of the best Waldorf Charter Schools in the country. Montessori can be great too. Like everything else, it depends on the staff, teachers and parent body.
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#9 of 12 Old 10-17-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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We're now in our tenth year as a waldorf family. I originally liked how the teachers could relate the curriculum they were teaching to the child's development (using both traditional and Steinerian development terms). I attended a workshop on teaching numbers and arithmetic that really resonated with me.

After ten years, I can see the results in my high-schooler (at a Catholic high school) and in my eighth grade Waldorf student, and I can enjoy my fifth grader's progress. I can happily say that the promise of Waldorf has delivered for my children and my family.

David
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#10 of 12 Old 10-18-2004, 02:04 PM
 
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I love, love, love Waldorf education. We've been at our Waldorf school for a few years now.

I've loved the community. I love knowing that my child will be eating organic real food at school, be protected from pop-culture, advertising and mass media. I love that the children are treated like children -- they're allowed to have their childhoods! (I agree with the Waldorf philosophy that children are not mini-adults.)

Don't get me wrong, the community is not "perfect" -- no community is and after all, "Where-ever you go there you are!", but our family's values are more closely alligned with this community than any I've belonged to before. I also wish there were more diversity and that the tution weren't so high making it somewhat "elite", which was not Steiner's intention.

I feel very strongly in not having formal academics early. I think we are rushing children out of their childhoods and into their heads prematurely when doing so. My child is starting first grade and does not know how to write all of the letters of the alphabet or know how to read and that is just the way I want it. He's had a rich, rich childhood of play and imagination.

I love the festival life! I could go on and on...

It's nice to know there are others who are happy with Waldorf ed.
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#11 of 12 Old 10-20-2004, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Joyfulheart:

I am so glad to hear you love it! I know a whole community that loves it but sometimes on these boards I miss hearing the positive things!

I love it too! My daughter is in 2nd grade and she has so much fun being a child and yet she points words out to me and tells me what they mean in Spanish or German. She plays the flute and has a fantastic imagination. Her art work is amazing too. Many of the games and play they have in KG is pre reading skills.......not the type you would find in public schools at all and the idea is we gently build these skills through play and as they learn the letters and they write their own brains start to put it together and they beign reading. Sometimes it happens in 2nd or 3rd grade. For my daughter it happened this year! She can read and she tells me SHE figured it out and she is so proud. (The idea with writing is they write before they can read and what happens is, the first thing they ever actually read is something THEY have written!)

Anyway, I could go on and on as well!
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#12 of 12 Old 10-20-2004, 02:52 PM
 
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My oldest is at a Waldorf preschool. I love it since it gives her a chance to be a kid. She doesn't have to sit at a desk or spend time tracing letters on a worksheet. She gets to run and jump and climb and play in a creek and at a park every school day. She gets to act out stories and bake bread and learn table manners. She loves the stories, her teacher is amazing, it seems to be a great group of kids. She is the type of kid who is always pretending to be something -- a fairy, a cat, a donkey, a unicorn, etc. -- and I love that that is embraced by her teacher instead of discouraged. All in all, I can't think of a better place for her right now.

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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