private schools close to Minneapolis - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 03-15-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been posting about charter schools near to Twin Cities. That was Phase I--I met deadlines and now I know that we are accepted to two charter schools. But, one of them, Cannon River STEM, is quite far away and DH doesn't like the drive distance and wants me to investigate private schools. He even sent me a few links including City of the Lakes Waldorf School. We would definitely consider it.

I would like to do another exhaustive look at alternative private schools we might want to consider, which should be within about 40 driving minutes from Minneapolis. Could be towards St. Paul. Could be in the city, but one thing I am looking for is some nice school grounds because I want the kids to spend more time outdoors as part of their education, if possible.

Would consider progressive and Waldorf - Steiner or similars. I like democratic, and self-paced type looser-style curriculum - but not Sudbury model which feels too loose to me. (We are already admitted to World Learners Montessori which is free charter and good location for us, so I don't see much sense in paying for a Montessori school.)

Any interesting private schools I should check into??

THANK YOU!

(And, I'd be happy to comment on charter schools south of Minneapolis, which is what I just got through investigating. The lotteries have happened for many of them, so it won't do you much good this coming year.)
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#2 of 4 Old 03-16-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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You may want to look into the Friend's School of Minnesota. It is in St. Paul, very near Hamline. There is not an extensive school grounds, but the school does take advantage of the park across the street. I appreciate their focus on non-violent communication and non-regimented learning structures. I worked there as a substitute teacher 10+ years ago, it may have changed, but I'm guessing not too much.

I've heard very good things about the various Waldorf schools in the twin cities. I really like the waldorf educational philosophy. My DD attended a waldorf kindergarten, and we are now homeschooling in a waldorf inspired way. I just wanted to point out to you that as far as educational philosophy, Waldrof and Montessori are at opposite ends of the educational spectrum. One example, Montessori emphasizes the individual at an early age, and moves into the group, while Waldorf emphasizes the group and moves towards the individual. you may want to look into those differences before choosing a school, then again, you may not, but I wanted to throw that info out there, because before my DD started at the waldorf kindergarten, I thought the two were basically the same.

Mama to three - DD : 1/03, DS 2/06, and DS 6/09.
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#3 of 4 Old 03-16-2010, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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cheenya:

Thank you for your suggestions! Someone mentioned the Friends School a long time ago and I had forgotten all about it. It certainly looks up my alley and will be checking it out. I think the reason I am going into search for private school is that the Montessori charter we did get into, while it looks great in and of itself, I'm feeling hesitancy with Montessori also and gravitating toward Waldorf. I haven't been able to spend a lot of time reading about either, just some bits here and there. I worry that depending on the teacher and approach that Montessori could end up a little coercive--do this, do it this way, use these materials but don't build something from scratch. With Waldorf, I'm interested in the connection between the ideas from Integral Institute with Ken Wilber and how they seem possibly similar to Steiner's ideas. I think there is a relationship between those both very complete paradigms of human spiritual development. Also, I'm a fan of Mendizza and Pearce's Magical Parent Magical Child and they mention there that Waldorf is the best system of formal education. Though, I do believe in theory that improvements could be made if working from the ground up starting with Integral theory and practice (some are starting schools based on Integral theory), Waldorf seems to be the best ready-made, already standing schools. You said "One example, Montessori emphasizes the individual at an early age, and moves into the group, while Waldorf emphasizes the group and moves towards the individual. " I think what you probably mean by this (as I'm yet not truly informed) is at the heart of what I'm driving at here (in not very certain terms). That is that development of ego is very important to me and I think I get your drift that it is important that the child identify with the group first before developing a strong ego. Well, I'm glad you brought it up. The ideas will start to solidfy as I go along, I'm sure. I would love to have specific articles or your own thoughts on all of this, whatever you have time and desire to share. In the end, I will know WHY I chose the school I did.

I've been around MDC for awhile, but only off-and-on. I have been haphazard. I "friended" you on here. Hope that's okay. Feel free to send me a private message if you wish. Or, maybe we could take this discussion into the Waldorf forum.
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#4 of 4 Old 03-17-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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I wish I had more time right now, here are two links I have bookmarked about these philosophies.

http://www.jnorth.net/mindmaps/perso...ontesorri.html

http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/edwards.html

There is a lot I love about Waldorf, but I'm not one to believe there is "one true way" in education or anything else.

I do want to mention that if you are considering the Friends School you should check it out sooner rather than later, they fill up pretty fast. I can't say enough good about the time I spent working there, it was a wonderful place to learn as a student and then substitute teacher.

Mama to three - DD : 1/03, DS 2/06, and DS 6/09.
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