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I have been doing a lot of reading about waldorf-mainly early childhood since my baby is only 9 1/2 months. I love the ideas so far but I don't really understand the difference between waldorf and montessori. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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My understanding is that waldorf is based on imaginitve play with a big emphasis on group play while motessori is based on object modivated play with an emphasis on indivigiual work. I do know the Maria Montessori believed that young children did not have the ability to know the difference between "pretend" and "real" so she thought pretending should not be encoraged untill later in the life of the child.
 

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I am a Waldorf parent so I understand Waldorf more than Montessori. This is what I have gleaned.

Maria Montessori was working with poor Italian children who had wild imaginative play but there was little schooling and what there was did not encourage the children to become self sufficient but rather encouraged them to be factory workers and such. Montessori is very practical learning that the child does at their own pace and what they choose to learn. Children become very independent in regards to taking care of themselves, washing dishes and doing tasks. The teacher is there as a resource but does not push the child any particular direction.

Rudolf Steiner was asked to form a school at the Waldorf Cigarette Factory in Germany by the owner for the children of his workers. Germany had just come through WWI and Steiner was very interested in developing independent thinkers so that another WW would not happen. The children in Germany were very practical and there was not a very rich imaginative play in the children of the workers. Waldorf emphasizes letting children be children and sheltering them from things that they are not developmentally ready for. In the Kindergarten, it is all about outdoor play, nature, imaginative play, indoor play and imitating the teacher. The teacher is the example and through the teacher the children learn to bake, clean, knit, sing, tell stories, paint, etc. Rhythm is everything at school and at home. In this way, it is very AP because the child develops independence because the child feels safe and secure. No media is encouraged and sometimes required. This includes no TV, videos, movies, computer games, recorded music or recorded stories. I would say that the visual media is considered worse for a young child than the audio media. There is also no Disney, no Barbie, no Mickey Mouse, etc. It is all about sheltering the child until the appropriate age. The toys at the Kindergarten are wood, wool, cotton and other natural materials. Crayons are made from beeswax and the children model beeswax rather than clay because clay is cold and beeswax is warm in the hands.

Both systems vary from school to school and both systems can be good or bad depending on how they are implemented and interpreted. I suspect that everything depends on the teacher in either system.

P.S. My bad spelling is a product of a public school!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess
My understanding is that waldorf is based on imaginitve play with a big emphasis on group play while motessori is based on object modivated play with an emphasis on indivigiual work...
Actually, Walforf is based on a religion (Anthroposophy.)
 

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i wouldn't agree that anthrophosophy is a religion. I have always considered it a philosophy though not anything that is scientific. It certainly has its flaws but no school system is perfect. Just like no system of education works for every child. My dd was at a waldorf school from 3-6 years and I was also an administrator at her school. I am now a teacher in a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool. The Reggio Approach is inspired by so many different schools of thought...montessori and waldorf among them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pugmadmama
Actually, Walforf is based on a religion (Anthroposophy.)

I know many parents and teachers at our school who are anthroposophists and also Christian, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or Atheist, or Agnostic. I also know many parents who are not anthroposophists at our school.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess
I do know the Maria Montessori believed that young children did not have the ability to know the difference between "pretend" and "real" so she thought pretending should not be encoraged untill later in the life of the child.
as a Montessori parent for 4 years now, that is definitely not the case I can assure you . She believes that children learn through play, and that play is a form of work for children because of the intese potential for learning. We drum, paint, dance the MayPole, have plays and drama, foreign languages and read at very early ages.

Check out the archives for Montessori threads, there are so many!

My Favorite Montessori site and free book is at Michael Olaf Montessori
 

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I looked at two Montessori schools before choosing Waldorf and one of them was definitely short on imaginative play. No plays, no dress up. It was very cold and the children were nasty to each other. The other Montessori school was much friendlier and the children were much nicer but it was too chaotic for us.

We are very fortunate that we have a great Waldorf school but I have heard of some bad ones. Whatever you choose (I wouldn't choose until you look at actual schools) should be whatever is best for your child. All Waldorf and Montessori schools are different from one another because they have different personalities that make them up. While your child is young, you can incorporate both into your home and then decide when you look at schools. Read lots of books on both and take what you like. Both systems can produce some wonderful young people.
 

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If you're looking at preschools, both types of classes woudl have lots of "natural" materials. A Montessori preschool would likely have child sized furniture, and many things for the children to use to prepare and clean up after themselves with- pitchers and cups, small sinks, etc. as well as trays with puzzles, art projects, etc for the children to use. A Waldorf preschool or class would have many objects used for imaginative play- scarves, simple dolls, wood blocks, and will probably include art projectas and baking projects. Montessori philosophy is for the children to have a loose structure, but to pick their specific activities themselves from a selection on hand. Waldorf theory is to have a rythm- first circle time, then snack, then story, or whatever. Montessori really focuses on academics- althoguh it is done entirely through play in the preschool, and Waldorf does not do *any* academics until first grade (although some K's are starting to do a little bit)
 

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Hi yogabug. I just pulled up two old threads on this subject. As you'll see they're very similarly worded to yours. Someday I'm going to find the time to make some archives in this forum! Hope these are helpful.

Lauren
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pugmadmama
Actually, Waldorf is based on a religion (Anthroposophy.)
Hi pugmadmama,

How do you define religion? Before I either agree or disagree with your statement I need know what you mean by it. Thanks.

Nana
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KeysMama
as a Montessori parent for 4 years now, that is definitely not the case I can assure you . She believes that children learn through play, and that play is a form of work for children because of the intese potential for learning. We drum, paint, dance the MayPole, have plays and drama, foreign languages and read at very early ages.

Check out the archives for Montessori threads, there are so many!

My Favorite Montessori site and free book is at Michael Olaf Montessori
Whether a person's Montessori or Waldorf, that is a great website! We bought some modeling beeswax there. They do have a lot of academic stuff and they do have miniature pitchers and child's tools, but they also have a lot of natural toys. A friend on mine who does not like Montessori lent me the catalog, after finding many wooden toys there that she liked. HTH!
 
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