Re: Waldorf schools - anyone have any knowledge/experience?
posted at 1/13/2013 9:07 AM EST
And, yes, I looked at Lexington Waldorf's school's website and wondered why i didn't know about this philosophy earlier, I might have ended up being a waldorf teacher! I was drooling over that school!
But believe me, my sister believes in immunizations, and did think some of the aspects were "woo woo" as she said, but if the style of education works better and he can actually LEARN, then it's a win-win. Their older child is doing fine in the middle school - her style of learning meshes better with the philosophy in the school system.
And, medford, I know what you mean about the school complementing the home life. And that's how I think about Montessori - since they really don't do pretend play/imaginative/creative play which I think is important, I'd be ok sending them there because I know I encourage/allow this play at home, outside, etc. Although I get worried about so much single work done and less social interactions encouraged.
And, yes, I know about the delayed reading philosophy at Waldorf - he's in 3rd grade and can read, however. I think that's one of those things like walking and early talking:
We're all fascinated by the early walker at 10 months, but by 21/2 years old (barring any special needs or gross motor delays) all children move in similar ways and you can't tell which walked at 10 months or "late" at 16 months.
And by 3 or 4 years old the early talkers and the late talkers have evened out and you really can't tell which is which (again, barring language delays that caused the late talking - I'm not talking about that).
So whether you can read in kindergarten or 1st grade or not until 2nd grade, by 4th grade all should be evened out. And many kids just aren't ready to learn to read for real at that young age and when they can't they feel stupid very early, which sets them up for a negative experience in school, and THAT'S a problem. So the Waldorf philosophy is interesting in that way. And believe me, if a child were reading or pointing out letters because that's her interest or what her parents do ('cuz that would be me as a parent) then they aren't going to get thrown out of the Waldorf school, they just aren't going to be doing that type of thing so early at school.
And I have wondered how the transition back to public school would go - this one goes to 8th grade, she was thinking of moving him there until he can go back to middle school in 6th grade at their public school, but given he'd enter either now or in 4th grade, that would give him only 2 years and I'm not sure that's enough time.
Who knows? she'll visit the school, he'll visit the school, and they'll figure out if it's a good (or better, at least) match. But if he could actually enjoy learning (he's alternatively frustrated and bored at school right now) and want to learn and be turned on by it, then that's really one major goal they have. I truly believe children should love elementary school. By middle school and for sure high school there are subjects we aren't as good at, or are hard for us, and we don't perhaps LOVE them. But elem. school should be loved, as that's where the 'love of learning' is developed. If that's squashed or beaten out of a child, how the heck are they going to do well in high school when the going gets really tough? Or college even? And, ultimately, work, when you must learn lots of new things in whatever career and job you do.