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Any steiner school experiences?

(67 Posts)
mollysmum82 Wed 08-Jun-11 14:22:20

I went to a toddler group at our local steiner school today and it was just lovely. There was such a calm atmosphere and my daughter adored it. We've been thinking about schools for a while now and I wondered if anyone had any good (or bad) experiences of a steiner education, in preschool, primary and secondary levels. Many thanks in advance

LordSucre Wed 08-Jun-11 14:25:07

you will get plenty of replies on this one wink

midnightexpress Wed 08-Jun-11 14:26:12

You will indeed. So much so that MNHQ don't like Steiner being discussed on the boards...

mollysmum82 Wed 08-Jun-11 14:28:07

Oh god what have I done? smile

I didn't know this was a contentious issue (perhaps because I'm a relatively new poster...or perhaps I'm a little naive?!) But its a genuine question and I'd love honest opinions!

montmartre Wed 08-Jun-11 14:28:24

<<pulls up chair>>

LordSucre Wed 08-Jun-11 14:35:04

well there are those who live and breathe steiner, and there are those who have been 'damaged' by steiner.

So prepare for the long haul. I would say 600 plus posts once it gets underway grin

snice Wed 08-Jun-11 14:36:17

"Oh god what have I done?"

Just you wait grin

LordSucre Wed 08-Jun-11 14:40:06

bit slow to start at the moment, but 'word needs to get around that you are asking' first.

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 08-Jun-11 17:59:24


FairyArmadillo Wed 08-Jun-11 18:11:55

mollysmum82 - I wanted to ask the same question on here, but then I did a search. Do a search on "waldorf school" or "steiner." It's not popular here. However, I have friends who have kids in kindergarden and lower school who love it, and friends with two adult children in their 20's who enjoyed it too. I get the impression that it's a lifestyle. I went to an open day/fair at our local Waldorf School, had a chat with some parents and teachers, looked at the Ofsted reports. It sounds like a lot more of a commitment from a parents' point of view than a more conventional style school. I haven't made a decision for DS but am mulling it over.

pointythings Wed 08-Jun-11 21:21:08

It's really not a lifestyle, more of a religion.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 08-Jun-11 21:24:14

How do you feel about gnomes, OP?

AtYourCervix Wed 08-Jun-11 21:26:30

brace youself.

i rather like the whole ethos and i'm not adverse to a bit of gnome and alien theory but i'm too sane to join up wholeheartedly.

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 21:27:09

A friend has a children in Steiner and really likes it.

I think you have to be quite committed to the lifestyle/philosophy of it though. Some of it is a bit wacky-spiritual.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 08-Jun-11 21:30:43

[settles down]

I visited one once. With a view to sending my DD. It was quite a distance from our home but we were really keen on finding a stress free and creative environment for DD.

It was one of the oddest experiences I've ever had...from the fact that the school looked like Old Mother Hubbards cottage (all peach and with no sharp corners) and was nestled deep in a forest...with weird the fact that all the art looked like the same person had drawn it....coupled with a wooden dish of gnomes with no faces and feral kids who almost bashed newborn DD2s head in with a big stick...while the "teacher" looked on was not the school for us.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 08-Jun-11 21:32:13

OOoh OldLady do you like gnomes? What about plastic toys? Do they feature in your life....because Steiner schools are usually very against them. And clothing with ANY pictures or writing on them.

TerrysNo2 Wed 08-Jun-11 21:34:00

My sister (10 years younger than me) went to one from the ages of 12 - 16 because she hated her school and just couldn't get on in a results driven environment, she is not academically challenged by any means but she is not the best at tests or working fast.

She really loved the Steiner school and got on much better there, she is an amazing musician and they really harnessed that kind of talent. However, IMHO they do not necessarily prepare you very well for life in that the child is the focus and you are taught to learn things at your pace and it seemed that you weren't really punished for things like you would be in a state school (lateness etc) which are life lessons I think are important - especially if you then step into a more driven college / university / work environment.

I think it really depends on the type of child you have.

Hope that helps slightly!

PS - I've never posted about Steiner schools before and had no idea they were controversially discussed on here! <off to search it>

MumblingRagDoll Wed 08-Jun-11 21:37:07

Google Anthroposophy OP

ScarlettIsWalking Wed 08-Jun-11 21:52:23

I love the idea of them but DH just wouldn't go for it in a million years, too unorthodox.

ParanoidEyes Wed 08-Jun-11 21:57:55

My friends daughter goes to a Steiner school and they both love it.(They're quite 'hippy'. I like the idea of it per se, but my daughter needs the boundaries and rules of the local primary so it depends on the child I suppose.
I can imagine my DD just lazing about all day given the opportunity!

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 21:59:56

I'm not that keen on their approach to art either - very regimented rather than giving children free reign to be creative.

montmartre Wed 08-Jun-11 22:05:37

Nah- google 'anthropophagy' <<sniger>>

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 08-Jun-11 22:07:27

How would you feel if, as a parent, you suggested to the Head of College (or whatever they call them) that some security measures, such as a locked gate during the school day, might be put into place, and were told 'the angels will look after the children?'

Or your child not being allowed to look at letters or numbers until their second teeth were coming through?

Or your child being refused entry into Class One because the picture she drew of herself for the Anthroposophical doctor (who tests the children before they leave kindergarten) showed her floating above the ground? (This apparently indicates that her soul has not sufficiently 'incarnated' into her corporal body, and she is not ready for 'head-learning.'
I am not making any of this up.

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 08-Jun-11 22:13:10

No football (blunts the brain and makes the children too grounded (also basic snobbery against it). Interminable hours spent copying pictures and stories off a blackboard, 'learning' about Norse myths.

Literacy and numeracy introduced at too late a stage to diagnose any problems, no support when they eventually are.

Karma used as a guiding principle; if a child is bullied it's karma - either for something they did in a previous existence, or a lesson they need to learn to take into their next incarnation - did I ask whether you believe in re-incarnation?

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 08-Jun-11 22:18:33

Cruel and inconsistent, inappropriate punishments for normal behaviour (summarily being sent out of the classroom from the age of seven and made to stay there, or being sent to the office to sit for a good hour.
Older, teenage children being brought in to drag a seven yo out from under the desk he is hiding beneath - abuse of each child concerned, as well as the rest of the class exposed to it.
Wild, innapropriate behaviour tolerated because it's perpetrated by children of good Steiner families. Toeing the Waldorf line considered more important than basic, decent human behaviour.

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