Waldorf School

(10 Posts)
wendyjames2 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:23:49

Has anyone heard about this way of teaching? What are your experiences? Given the chance will you be open to send your child to a school that practices Waldorf education?

Yes, I would, if there were a school closer than an hour's drive away. Very creative, very child centred. Admittedly, some esoteric spiritual stuff not to everyone's taste, but in many ways more appropriate to child development than mainstream. Doesn't usually go all through secondary, though, so issues of transferring to mainstream.

Many many mners vehemently against though; they'll be along soon.

ThatsSoVanquish Sun 01-Sep-13 10:16:58

No. I find them a bit cult-like and am uncomfortable with the standards (or lack thereof) in many schools. All the schools are independent of each other I understand, so there is no real oversight of what is and isn't being done. Ironically I think a lot of the practices are quite restrictive. They are not set-up for children who are interested in science, maths or technical subjects.

The attitude towards bullying also bothers me. Children are expected to "work out their karma" - tough luck if you are being ganged up on.

I would also suggest looking into the values of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the movement (they are called Steiner schools in the UK).

I have a close relative whose children attend and there are nice things about the school - lovely focus on art and nature. However this just seems like frosting on a duff cake to me.

CarpeVinum Sun 01-Sep-13 10:40:46

Hell no.

I wasn't overly keen on the single option of Catholic school in one place where we lived, but at least they are very upfront about the Madonna/Jesus/God bit and even had a book that explained their entire ethos/values system etc which they shoved at me with a certain relentlessness. No hiding or ducking the issue at all. So in the interim, while not over the moon, I at least wadn't wandering around in the dark unaware of what my son's teachers believed in to a lesser or greater degree.

Waldorf, you can't necessarily count on that. There are varying degrees of being into gnomes etc, but given that a good number are run on the basis of not being direct about the beliefs that inform the style, practices and content of the education provided you may not have a clear idea what you are getting yourself into.

The Quackometer blog has been looking into Steiner recently, if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you can see related posts

I'm not saying place greater importance on the negative views, if Steiner floats ypur boat, well it floats your boat. But reading the negative as well as the positive gives you a better chance of pricking up your ears if any specific issues you'd have issues with crop up post enrollment. In a forewarned is forearmed sort of way.

Threetofour Sun 01-Sep-13 19:00:03

I used to work in a Steiner school & it's a definite no from me, yes they are creative etc but there are very many strange beliefs held by teachers & those that run them definitely look at the link above

wendyjames2 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:26:40

Thanks for your input everyone. I guess there is always two sides of the coin. I have heard a lot of good things about Waldorf and I must say I am convinced but I cannot discount the fact that there are really some hesitations about this way of teaching.

I am eyeing on this school for next year www.brightwaterschool.org/

ShepherdsPurse Thu 12-Sep-13 16:32:27

Good luck with this thread OP. Some strong opinions about this on MN!
I for one would not be sending mine to a waldorf school

rootypig Thu 12-Sep-13 16:39:26

My husband was educated at a Waldorf school in the US, until he was about 8. He talks about it often, it had a really positive impact on him. He has an incredible capacity to learn as an adult, and I think would credit Waldorf.

That said, I think MIL would concede that there were some problems and ultimately she took him out of the school because of concerns about his reading. So I would consider it for DD, definitely, but probably for aged 4 - 7, something like that - because I think those are the years that kids really benefit from a gentle, play/child centred approach, and mainstream schooling at 4 can badly knock a lot of kids' confidence.

As I understand it there is a lot of variation though, and so it would depend on the particular school.

redandblacks Thu 12-Sep-13 16:41:03

Just marking my place. Ahem.

froken Thu 12-Sep-13 16:41:18

I went to a Steiner school and I will send my ds to a waldorf nursery ( maybe also a waldorf school.)

I was very very happy at school and I hope my ds can feel as safe and happy as I did.

There are some strange things about Steiner schools but for me they were easy to ignore.

I don't thing Steiner education suits all children. There is very little focus on competitive sport and at my school make up and hair dye was banned so if you have a child who values those things it could be tricky.

Bullying was not a problem in the class I was in. The children had a very close bond with each other. My closest friends are still the people I went to school with.

Pm me if you have any questions smile

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