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Discussion Starter #1
I visited a Waldorf kindergarten for the first time last week and was very impressed by the school and teachers. The school felt homey and nurturing.

Waldorf is not popular where I live because there is a huge focus on academics here, starting from 3 years old. Homeschool is illegal, so I'm searching for alternatives. I've only been exposed to Montessori schools so far (there are many schools with Montessori in the name, but only one Waldorf), but what I've seen in those schools did not leave such an impression on me as this Waldorf kindergarten did. I get the feeling the teachers really care about the children and believe in the philosophy.

I'm just curious how other parents have come to discover Waldorf and choose it for their kids?
 

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We don't have a Waldorf school around here. There is an active meetup group and some people interested in starting a school. Our meetup group is great and kindergarten looks good too from visiting out of state schools... but first on up I wouldn't do with my kids. I guess it just bothers me the way all the kids do the same lesson at the same time. Somehow it wasn't what I was visualizing after my experience with Montessori. Some Montessori schools can be so rigid though. It can be really hard to tell until the thick of it though.
I am also wary of so many X Waldorfers on this site. It can be culty. Please be aware.
 

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I had only been aware of Waldorf in a vague sense. But then had a bad experience at my eldest son's public kinder, so began looking more seriously into various different private schools, including a charter Montessori and the K-12 Waldorf. A few of my coworkers had kids at various grades in the Waldorf and had glowing reviews, so I toured it and found that I liked it more than any other of my options. We are not a very "Waldorfy" family, and it is not exactly a perfect fit for us; but the longer we have been there (beginning the 3rd year for my two boys), the more and more I am happy with my decision. This is esp. true when I talk to the parents of kids in public school and hear about all of the homework and testing. Not to mention the decreasing amount of arts, PE, foreign languages, and outdoor time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I've read the life after Waldorf support thread here and some comments about how it can be cultish and extreme. Basing off my school visits, I liked what I saw in the Waldorf school vs Montessori or other schools. I'm also looking for themes at home and for after school activities, etc. I liked my dd's previous Montessori school in another country-- it was small and nurturing, whereas the ones I've visited here are very academically driven, and none of them feels right to me.
 

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I discovered Waldorf because there was a school where we live.

I used to mock it but after my son's experiences in a "normal" school, DH and I started looking for alternatives. We ended up choosing the Waldorf school and he's been there since the middle of 2nd grade (he's now in 6th grade). He loves it and it was the best decision we could have made.

I haven't seen anything culty or weird. I guess each school is different, and maybe some have been damaging to students, but the same is true of any school. Anyway, all this to say that I wouldn't let discussions on the internet scare you off from a school that seems right for your kids.
 

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Waldorf schools always fascinated me, but only after kindergarten and first grade in public school, I had seen enough and had to research waldorf seriously, it was offering so much of what I wanted, more movement as part of the lessons, more recess, art, music etc. So I did the same as everyone seems to have and found all the negative bashing in the internet, this got me really freaked out, and disappointed, why the school that seems to be the only school that offers what I want for my kids is this cultish freak world. Thankfully I visited our school and asked questions and learned that totally normal people go there, and the teachers are wonderfully passionate about education and children. I also encountered this website, that responds to the negative stories http://www.americans4waldorf.org/
I still had my own apprehensions too, like why are they all painting the same thing, and molding the same things. But I had to decide between a catholic school in my neighborhood where art was coloring in printouts of virgin mary, the public school where art was thought by the class teacher IF there happened to be free time on a friday, and waldorf... so the choice was clear. Later I've become to understand the "sameness". Art in waldorf is another tool to learn the subject what ever it is. learning shapes at a certain appropriate age and moving from the simplest color mixing to the more complicated. This hasn't resulted in my child being artistically brainwashed into waldorf ways. he still draws violent comics and complicated machines at home with a pen. (thank goodness :wink: ) And even though they may all watercolor a rose using the same colors, not, say black for artistic freedom, because it's a lesson on color and form and what ever... each rose is still different, and my violent comic artist is very proud of his rose.

I can say that 3 years in Waldorf has made us a very happy and balanced family. It just turned my kid around and he absolutely loves learning again, just like he did as a toddler but not in public school. He hates to miss school when sick.
 

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I first was totally into Montessori for the longest time. I loved the concepts of differant age range classes because wd do learn from all ages in life. I changed my mind when in my opinion Montessori makes kids too independant too early and the child led idea is fine but not realistic. Then I gradually heard of Waldorf and started reading about the philosophy and loved it. I was going to homeschool from a local charter school using Oak Meadow but heard of a Waldorf school a coupke of towns from us. My son will be starting preschool next year than we will send him to Waldorf school in kindergarden. We will be saving up fot a few years for it lol. The thing I am concerned about though is will my son be singled out as a child from gay parents? Is it hard to get into a Waldorf school? I guess I am just nervouse since this is all new to me. And btw how can Waldorf br cultish?
 
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