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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I would love some recommendations for either an in-home, Waldorf inspired preschool setting or a Waldorf preschool somewhere near Apple Valley. DS will be 3 in July and I think he would really love something like that, from what I have read. I appreciate any advice or direction!! TIA!
 

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I live in Eagan and was also looking for a waldorf nearby. I have toured the waldorf school in maplewood and driven past the one in Minneapolis. There are probably some great Montesori school nearby. I am looking at one on lone oak Road and one in Burnsville - they are simlar to waldorf.
 

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As far as I know, there are no schools near Apple Valley. Locations: Minneapolis, Blaine, St. Paul, Shoreview, Roseville. If you are curious about any of these I can give you contact information. If you are interested in Waldorf inspired homeschooling for preschool, try Oak Meadow curriculum. Preschool materials are simple and affordable. There is a Waldorf homeschooling group in the twin cities with play groups and other activities. Perhaps you have a friend you could co-op with?<br><br>
Best to you!
 

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I'm not sure what schools you have found yet, but I thought it only fair to point out that Montessori is not at all similar to Waldorf education. It attracts a similar demographic in parents, those looking for an alternative to 'traditional' schools with a holistic approach and respect for the child.<br><br>
The methods and philosophies are very much opposite of each other in many ways. If you are looking for a Waldorf elementary education, then a Montessori pre-school will not work for you. The opposite also applies.<br><br>
Waldorf schools do not teach reading until the child is 6 or 7, but a Montessori student is reading often before age 4. Waldorf education is very much based on fantasy and imagination, while Montessori educators believe a child must have a grasp of and strong base in reality before they can imagine what is not real. I would advise you to look into the philosophy of both, and determine which one you seek for your family.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Yet, I will say that I know some children who have had experiences in both settings and both were positive enriching experiences. There are parents who like aspects of both Montessori and Waldorf, which is why we have things like Enki education that combine aspects of both (and International methods) into one curriculum.<br><br><a href="http://www.enkieducation.org" target="_blank">www.enkieducation.org</a><br><br>
As far as I know, there's only one functioning Enki school at present...in Albq, NM...which doesn't help us here...<br><br>
edited for correct link...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>healthymantra</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would advise you to look into the philosophy of both, and determine which one you seek for your family.</div>
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Wow, thanks ladies for all of the information. I really need to get a better feel for each philosophy, but I'm leaning towards Waldorf only because ds is only almost 3, and I just want him to play and be a kid and not worry about academics yet. So I think the type of preschools that really emphasize academics just turn me off.
 

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I feel that I have to clarify something here.<br>
It's probably in the wrong thread, but I think this needs to be said.<br><br>
Montessori schools do not 'emphasize' academics, or do they discourage play or imagination. They present a beautiful environment full of real things and concrete materials, and allow a child to discover for herself. The teacher merely presents a material, in the same way that you might demonstrate something to your child at home. The teacher then moves away and lets the child repeat and explore other ways to use the material.<br>
A good analogy would be how you show a baby to use a ball.<br>
You hold it, say 'ball' and roll/bounce/throw the ball.<br>
You give it to the baby and say 'your turn'.<br>
The baby promptly puts as much as possible of the ball in his mouth, before exploring other things to do with it. You don't tell him it's wrong (unless it's dangerous), but sit back and enjoy watching him learn. Eventually he'll get the hang of rolling/bouncing/throwing. But through his own 'work'.<br>
A child does not know the difference between 'work' and 'play', since they are the same to him.<br>
In a Montessori learning environment, a child is free to read/look at books, do puzzles, talk and play with friends, draw pictures all day long. He also gets the chance to make waffles, feel the difference between rough and smooth, learn to clean up a spill, make a tower, learn about continents, learn numbers and letters, embroider, pair and match colors and shapes among many many other things.<br>
The child in the Montessori environment <b>does not</b> get pushed into academics, and I'm sorry if I'm ranting, but I get really frustrated by this characterization of anything that's not Waldorf. They don't have the monopoly on imagination, and frankly from what I understand, if your 3 year old was interested in learning to read for himself, that interest would be discouraged in many truly Waldorf schools. They would say that it's more important for you to read to him, or tell him stories orally, or act it out. The emphasis is more teacher-led, whereas the Montessori classroom is child-directed.<br><br>
Again, apologies for the rant.<br><br>
Also again, check into and observe in an environment for each philosophy before choosing one for your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Healthy... I'm sorry if I said anything that triggered your defenses!! Really I am not that educated about the different types of preschools yet, and the limited exposure I do have is from websites that I've pulled up. It seems that almost all of the Montessori websites I have read have said something about academics, so I guess I just got the impression that it was common. And then I read somewhere else that parents not wanting that type of environment should look at Waldorf. But seriously, I'm just beginning my search. I do have a cousin that attended a wonderful Montessori school for a few years at a young age, and she absolutely loved it and still talks about what she did there. So if I can find the right place, I don't care what they call it honestly - I just want my son to be happy and have fun and experience wonderful things. One thing that maybe you could shed some light on, if you have time, is that I have read that Montessori tends to teach kids that toys/objects/whatever have only one way to be used or played with, and that they are taught that way and corrected if they don't do it that way. Now I could be TOTALLY off on that, but that's the impression I got.<br><br>
I really appreciate your taking the time to share your view!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Dolphin</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One thing that maybe you could shed some light on, if you have time, is that I have read that Montessori tends to teach kids that toys/objects/whatever have only one way to be used or played with, and that they are taught that way and corrected if they don't do it that way. Now I could be TOTALLY off on that, but that's the impression I got.<br><br>
I really appreciate your taking the time to share your view!</div>
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Y'know that's exactly the kinda stuff that just wrenches me sideways.<br>
I'm sure you have read that, and sadly I'm also sure that there are Montessori teachers out there who would say that's right.<br><br>
So here's my approach/experience:<br><br>
Most things a human makes/uses has a purpose. Also, many toys were designed to teach or exercise one skill. (think 'operation' -careful hands, ball-hand-to-eye coordination, 'risk' -strategy, dolls -to a greater or lesser extent care of the person and respect for life)<br>
In a Montessori classroom the materials and equipment were designed and chosen particularly because they address a single difficulty or concept, isolating it to make it easier for a child to comprehend.<br>
If you were demonstrating to your child how to use a sponge, you'd show her one way, right? If you were playing with legos you would use them to build things, not as projectiles, right?<br>
Well it's the same with the Montessori materials, we show the child how to work them the right way.<br>
NOW PAY ATTENTION, I'M ABOUT TO MAKE MY POINT<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The truly respectful Montessori teacher will not correct how a child uses a material unless they are going to break one of the 3 rules of the classroom:<br>
1. Thou shalt not hurt thyself<br>
2. Thou shalt not hurt your friend<br>
3. Thou shalt not hurt the classroom materials<br><br>
(Old Testament styling added for effect) -and who says Montessorians cant be fun!<br>
The whole point of the materials teaching, rather than the adult, is that the child should be free to work and experiment to his heart's content, and through repeated interactions with the material, should come to discover the right way for HIMSELF<br><br>
Y'see that's where many Montessori teachers go wrong. In even calling ourselves 'teacher' rather than 'guide' we put the emphasis on ourselves, and do not let the child do his own work.<br><br>
If you'll let me rant for one more moment, I'll give you this analogy, most appropriate if you're into crosswords or sudoku...<br>
The puzzle only has one solution, but the fun is in all the erasing and re-writing, until you figure it out for yourself. How would you like it if someone came along and did it for you -or worse yet, stood over your shoulder tutting and telling you where you went wrong and what to write next. You'd soon stop writing, wouldn't you?<br><br>
Rant over, did I answer your question?
 
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