Perhaps it is not typical (?) for some schools to give lots of Athro info, but our experience was just the opposite. 10 years ago, when I inquired about Waldorf nursery at a start- up school (now well-established) we were invited to an Anthro disussion group as well as a disucssion group about Waldorf ed in the nursery school. I felt really informed. In fact, so informed that I decided to just do the nursery program, but the elementary one. I liked certains parts of the program a lot, even the spiritual component, as we are very interested in that as a UU family. However, I thought I wanted 'more action' in an educational philosophy for an older child.
A couple of my friends continued on there beyind the nursery program, and they were very, very happy and 10 years later, their kids are well and bright etc. I feel like we got 'full disclosure" due to the study groups and book lists etc. There is no way I would enroll my child in any private school whose literature I have not carefully read and understood. It's hard to believe that any educated parent would.
I am once again involved with Waldorf nursery with my 3 year old. We go together to the same school for parent/child playgroup. The class is done by a very Anthro person and she is very honest about everything. I think we should remember a lot of parents really enjoy the the spiritual base of Waldorf. Perhaps it ought not to be getting a dime of public money for that. I think separation of church and state only makes spirituality and religion stronger. That is a good thing.
One thing I object to about WC is their disrepest regarding families who do chose this, even in the private sector. It really does go beyond the church and state line, imo. They make little exceptions to Anthros not involved in public or charter schools. They make sweeping judgements on all Anthros being 'cult members' and too introdrinated in the 'cult' to think for themselves.
The fact is, a lot of spirituality of all types can be thought of as 'cultish" including Christianity, Judiasm, Islam etc. WC snort about the oddness of Anthro philosophy, ridiculing 'the soul and astral bodies' etc . So many WC posts are snippy and disdainful of Anthro philosophy, which, imo, is just as bad as snorting about biblical stories. Adma and Eve, and people turning to stone is just as odd to non -believers. Spirituality is something different to each person, and those beliefs should not be ridiculed. I can't take any group seriously who behaves this way.
Some of the posts there even border on the hysterical, so I find it very hard to trust their motives. I stopped even reading a long time ago too, because it was hard to weed through all the rude commentary that just seemed totally unhelpful. As a parent who choose against elementary Waldorf ed, I lurked to see if I could be of help to other families, but i realized real quick that WC would not be the appropriate forum for my thoughts. I think there is some wonderful 'stuff' going on in Waldorf ed and deserves thoughtful, not hysterical, commentary.
Waldorf for us has been very honest and peaceful. We wear our warm undershirts and keep our ears covered in the cold. We may not to it for all the original Antrho reasons, but it keeps us warm. The peace ,
and whole food shared in the playgroup is lovely. The people are kind. The toddlers are mostly all breastfeedng (even sometimes during group) and the (Anthro) teacher doesn't discourage us in any way. She has even said, "I am finding more and more mothers nursing toddlers and its so nice". Even if early Anthros wrote to wean early, it doesn't mean all Anthros are saying that today-- and it doesn't mean people can't open their minds to new information on breastfeeding.
We also have 3 different spiritual beliefs represented in our group and we all feel welcome. I also see posters, announcements etc in the school about various non-christian celebrations. There is also a Waldorf school in Israel. There are lots of multicultural books listed on Waldorf book sites, so I do not believe that Waldorf is any kind of front for anti-semitism or is pushing racial division. Like many private schools in the US, minority populations are often under-represented. This is a socail problem having to do with inequitable distribution of money.
Anyway, do educate yourself. PLAN has that right. IME, Waldorf is most likely less damaging than much public school philosophy (unwritten though it may be), where children are often drugged (the Ritalin rate in the US is appalling and most of those kids are referred to their doctors by teachers so they can sit still and learn already) and treated inhumanely (no recess, spanking in some states, asbestos-laden classrooms, stupifying curricula etc). I don't think we can say there is really anything out there that is not without issue, and that includes Waldorf.
Read about any school your child might attend, talk to the people. If anyone- Waldorf, or your local neighborhood principal- blows you off, press on. It's your child. Its our job to be fully informed.