My DS is 3 1/2. I struggled last year over switching him out of his daycare/preschool (which is mostly excellent, Reggio-based but suffers from some focuses like pre-fab art projects, TV talk, cupcake parties, etc that I'm not fond of). I looked at and liked both Montessori and Waldorf but could never decide between them enough to make a decision, and out of inertia (and with a great teacher this year) stayed where we were.
I'm looking again now. Waldorf appeals a lot to me, particularly in their emphasis on creativity and the arts, as my son is a bit inflexible and perfectionist and I think it would do him good to break out a little. At 3 1/2, he dislikes coloring because he can't do it well enough! He has a terrific imagination, though, and I want him to thoroughly explore it.
But, I'm a scientist at heart, and I am concerned about the long-term aspects of his early education. I know the excellent research on Montessori-based education (and remember touring one as a child and being really pissed at my parents for not letting me go back to the "open school"). Most of the Waldorf stuff I've read have been by Waldorf teachers, etc. I'd love to read some articles by outsiders about Waldorf as well, to get an unbiased point of view.
On a side note (not to thwart the original thread intent), do any people have problems combining Waldorf education with a desire to teach practical matters as well? I love that my son is also interested in how the body works (we have a great new Usbourne book on it), and I don't see myself avoiding giving him scientific answers for things, even if I also teasingly talk about fun mythologies as well.
Shannon, mama to Jack :
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