Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sonoma County, California
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My DD has attended Waldorf from K to 4th and just finally started public this year for 5th.
Our experience? I loved it. She loved it. We only switched because a funky teacher took over her class last year.
I didn't study anthroposophy in great detail, but do know that it isn't actually taught in the classroom, rather, it is a tool for the teachers in understanding the children.
I really feel that public schools start our little ones too early in reading and math, and while many are capable, they burn out too early. The non-media aspect also works with our household.
Waldorf seems to inspire learning in children through rhythm and nature, imagination and creativity. There is no rush rush. Just observing a kindergarten class, you will want to be a child again. I am not kidding. The flow from one activity to another is done with such grace and beauty (no bells ringing and yelling to line up the kids), but a singsongy voice that triggers the next activity.
As for the delayed reading? My 11 yo didn't read until after she was 7, and now reads like a maniac. We will get a stack of 15-20 books and she will devour them in a week (no exxageration). Thank goodness for libraries.
Be prepared for major critiscm from relatives and others. For many who questioned the academics, my DH came up with a good analogy for those actually interested (and not just wanting to criticize) and that was that the learning is more like a nice marinara sauce that takes time to be done, as opposed to a fast food education. The end result? A real love of learning seasoned with creativity that allows for problem solving and happiness.
She integrated into the public school this year with no problem, and brought home her first report card: straight A's. I feel her foundation is very solid and she can either continue in public, or we may return to our local Waldof school (depending on the teacher situation).
Good luck to all!