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NicoleSochacki's avatar

Has anyone had any experience with Waldorf schools or Waldorf education?

Asked by NicoleSochacki (139points) April 6th, 2010

I am thinking about what to do post BA, thinking about teaching, interested in Waldorf philosophy. I haven’t visited an actual school, merely met people who have studied Steiner through various portals. I seek first hand advice from experienced people to fill me in on the Waldorf reality.

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12 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

We sent my sister there when we couldn’t afford Montessori for her, she loved it and has kept a few friendships made there from her grade school years. Our family see her schooling there as a success.

susanc's avatar

No reading till you’re in 3rd grade. You must believe in fairies. Your toys must be made out of virgin wool and organically harvested trees from thickly forested nations. Also in 3rd grade, you will work in a garden. You will have the same teacher for the whole time you’re in the school. You will learn a lot of songs, with harmony, and learn to take it for granted. The fact that you’re a child will be understood and protected.

Adagio's avatar

Are Waldorf schools the same thing as Rudolf Steiner schools? @susanc your description sounds very similar.

dpworkin's avatar

Both my older kids went to a Waldorf school (Hawthorne Valley School in upstate New York) and they loved the whole experience from K through 12. My son now has an MFA and makes his living as a photographer. My daughter is a wildlife rehabilitator, and spent a lot of time in Namibia caring for lions, cheetahs, monkeys, etc. They are both happy, fulfilled people.

NicoleSochacki's avatar

Thanks everyone…it seems like the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy fits well with my own. I guess I’m just worried about job stability and credentials. I know they offer their own training and licensing but I’m wondering if I should get a regular CA credential first then do the Waldorf thing? Or should I leap and pursue Waldorf?

NicoleSochacki's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Love the sea glass. Have you gone scavenging in CA? I’ve heard up north is good, around SF but am wondering if there is any place in So Cal…I picked up about 5 pieces of glass from San Onofre but that’s about it.

thriftymaid's avatar

My granddaughter is in a Waldorf school. My daughter feels some of the philosophy to be flaky and needs a little more academic focus.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve scavanged for glass all along the coast of California :)

susanc's avatar

Sorry, I know there’s a glitch here, but these sea-glass inserts seem so consistent with Waldorf magicality that I have to smile.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

tee hee, I’m a Montessori child, wanted to become a teacher for them on the back burner of my life.

ucme's avatar

I had a Waldorf salad once from an inept hotel owner in Torquay,England.The man was an oaf.

liminal's avatar

My children have had some involvement with waldorf and I appreciate much of it. I believe the holistic curriculum of ”“head, heart and hands” is commendable. I have integrated many waldorf practices into my own homeschooling curriculum. In the chicago area waldorf is weak at providing multi-cultural exposure and awareness.

I have friends who are waldorf teachers and it is very clear waldorf specific training is required if you want to be a lead teacher in that environment. (I have heard of rare exceptions.) I considered becoming a teacher myself, but realized my disagreements with much of anthroposophy would hinder me.

@Adagio yes waldorf is the same as Steiner. In whose thoughts I sometimes have trouble with, particularly his relationship with anthroposophy. Yet, unless you are a teacher, I believe it is entirely possible for person to experience Waldorf education and never become aware of the anthroposophical roots,.

Personally, I ran up against some opposition when I started to question how anthroposophy is integrated into the curriculum. For example, my son is left handed and I had a teacher tell me, through her waldorf training, that she came to realize that left-handedness was a sign of ‘poor incarnation’ and I should be committed to training him differently (This is a teacher of 20 years). I went on to see several teachers (not just from his school) ingnore his offer of a handshake until he would present his right hand instead of his left. In the early grades all materials are passed to the right hand and so on. There are several things about waldorf curriculum that worry some people. You can find out about those things here: Open Waldorf and here is an article that offers some defense against certain allegations. I think an aware person can navigate their children away from certain things and find Waldorf a good environment for their child. I say this because while I may not agree with many of the tenants, they don’t proselytize (except for maybe getting a little gun-ho over eurythmy), and it is Waldorf’s tenants that cause them to value children highly.

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