Canadian Waldorf Schools - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-17-2004, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

I am interested in finding out if anyone here has a child/children who attend/attended the Toronto Waldorf School? I understand from reading other posts that every school is different and if I can I'd like to chat with someone who has experienced this school. We have been attending the Parent and Tot and at first I wasn't sure if it was for us. After attending for a while I have started to change my mind.

Any thoughts/comments, good or bad would be appreciated.

Thanks....
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#2 of 9 Old 11-17-2004, 10:04 PM
 
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Well, my daughter went to the Toronto Waldorf HS in the 1980's. I think that isn't much help. At that time it seemed to be an excellent school and well run.

Hope somebody is here with more up-to-date info.

Nana
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#3 of 9 Old 11-18-2004, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you don't mind me asking, how does your daughter feel about her experience there?

Thanks..Kristine
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#4 of 9 Old 11-18-2004, 10:26 AM
 
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She has extremely positive feelings about her entire waldorf school experience. She attended Highland Hall, in Los Angeles, from nursery school through 7th grade and the Toronto Waldorf School from 10th-12th.

Things she especially mentioned liking about the Toronto school:

the building (it is one of the few waldorf schools in North America with an anthroposophically designed building)

the teachers, especially her chemistry teacher Mr. Pickering

the class trips - they did a bicycle trip to Stratford to see two plays, a canoe trip in the wilderness and also visited Quebec City

the HS curriculum which she felt gave her an excellent grounding for doing college level work in both the sciences and the humanities

She is very positive about waldorf. She has served on two waldorf school boards, currently has her daughter in a waldorf nursery school and is running a waldorf day care in her home.

One question often asked: can waldorf kids make it in the real world?

She supported herself through college, usually working two jobs, sometimes three, while carrying a full course-load and completing an engineering degree in environmental engineering with an emphasis in water quality. For her senior project she produced a report on water run off for a recycling center.

Then she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as an intern for 1 1/2 years, collecting and analyzing water quality samples. While there she worked with a team to produce a scientific article on water quality problems in one region, writing one section of the article.

After that she found work at a environmental consulting firm, where she managed a variety of projects. Currently she is running, as I mentioned above, a waldorf style day care in her home.

Oops! I forgot to mention that she was active for several years as a volunteer in a friends of a river group.

No, I can't say I regret spending all that money on waldorf ed. As a single mom it was frequently very difficult to come up with the tuition and it was especially hard having her go away to school in Canada starting at 15. After I dropped her off I cried for a good 200 miles...but I don't regret it. I envy her her education. We are very similar in intelligence and basic capacities, but my public education blunted my capacities and didn't do much to develop my thinking, while her waldorf education fertilized her capacities and built an excellent foundation for clear thinking.

Nana
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#5 of 9 Old 11-18-2004, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you soooo much! That is great information. Sounds like you have a great daughter!
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#6 of 9 Old 11-18-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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Well I think so. She is one of my best friends. And I adore my grandchildren. Got to spend the morning taking care of my grandson while my daughter did an errand and then got to read two books to my granddaughter. Being a grandmother is one of the best things going.

Nana
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#7 of 9 Old 01-27-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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Thanks for asking about this. I'm currently pregnant and starting to think about where I want my children to go to school. It's nice to hear some school specific info!

Sarah
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#8 of 9 Old 01-27-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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I am really torn about where to send my dd's to school. We live north of Toronto but have a Waldorf School close by. My DH went to this same school all the way to grade 8 but went to a regular public highschool. His sister wanted to attend the Waldorf high school in Toronto but it was to expensive. I would realy like my dd's to go through french imersion though. I think that children absorb and learn new languages fairly quickly and I would love for her not to struggle with french like I did.

Also from what I have read the Waldorf shools don't start teaching curriculum until the age of 7. I would not normally have a problem with this except that right now my 2.5 yo dd LOVES to learn. As soon as she has enough patience for me to teach her how to read, I will. However, I have spoken to a father who had his son at this waldorf school and he said his son did not start reading till he was in fourth grade. But as soon as he did, then he loved to read.

I guess the main concern is about their curriculum. Are students of Waldorf missing out? I know that they do gain so much through Art and studies of nature.

Also this Waldorf school does not hold classes on Fridays. I am also not sure how I feel about that. I felt that my public school education was pretty intense and I just can't imagine losing one day of school a week.

What a hard decision.

BTW, my dh and all his siblings loved the waldorf school.

My dh studied geology in college and worked as an environmental engineering technician. His sister is now going to college for ecosystem management, his youngest sister is still in high school but plans on going to college for either art or environmental studies, and his brother is an organic farmer.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-28-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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http://www.educationnext.org/20012/8elkind.html

Quote:
An older study was carried out by Carleton Washburn, the famed Evanston, Illinois, educator. He introduced children to formal instruction in reading at different grade levels from kindergarten to 2nd grade. The children who were introduced to reading at these three levels were then retested in junior high school. The assessors didn’t know the grade at which each child had learned to read. Washburn found little difference in reading achievement among the groups. The children who had been introduced to formal instruction in reading later than the others, however, were more motivated and spontaneous readers than those who had begun early. Similar findings were reported in the Plowden Report in England, which compared children from the informal schools of rural areas with children who attended the more formal schools of urban centers.
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