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Old 09-03-2012, 05:55 PM
 
2,609 posts, read 3,160,721 times
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Hi All,
So we were thinking of putting our 17 month old baby boy into Montessori school next fall.
Have been hearing good and bad on Montessori schools and have begun to research Reggio Emilia- and Waldorf-based theories.

In particular, one question that I have about the Reggio Emilia approach: how is it different from kids playing at a daycare? Want to understand what sets it apart from the less expensive childcare facilities where a kid can play to his heart's content? How do you ensure that the school is following the principles since there isn't a governing/certification org or any type of specialized materials? (Not criticizing, asking genuine questions). Does anyone have any data on how well-prepared kids are for kidnergarten after attending Reggio Emilio-based preschools?

Any personal experiences that you'd like to share that would be insightful as to what to look for (good or bad) when evaluating a school?

Similar questions for Waldorf (although I know that there is a governing org for this one).
Also, is there anything in the Waldorf philosophy that has to do with witchcraft? Not trying to be funny, seriously asking. From reading, it seems that there is a focus on mythology and there is also celebration of the seasons so just wondering if there are any influences having to do with sorcery or anythig of that nature. Weird question, I know.

Thank you (in advance) for all of your feedback!
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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To add a bit more as to the reason for my question on Waldorf re witchcraft/sorcery, founder was a mystic and I have read that some aspects of what the children experience (where they sit in class, color of crayons used, etc.) is guided by his visions. He also incorporated ideas of incarnation (as in reincarnation, if I understand properly). I understand celebration of seasons to be something that is found in wicca or witchcraft so asking. Ok if it is, just want to know for myself.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:30 PM
 
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More about Waldorf schools???? Gnomes and critics at Waldorf schools
Ok, now I'm really disturbed. Anybody out there. Is this stuff true? Do they really believe gnomes live in the forest, prohibit black clothing and crayons because black is an "undesirable" color? The article goes on and on. This is sounding more and more weird.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,993 posts, read 4,764,001 times
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I don't have any first-hand experience, but I know someone whose child went to the Waldorf school in Atlanta. Personally, it seemed very non-academic to me. In Kindergarten, no academic concepts were introduced at all. They spent time doing things like weaving, churning butter, and doing lots of crafty/nature-based activities. A little too loosey-goosey for my taste. I don't know anything about the witchcraft business. The family I knew was very "crunchy granola," so they liked it a lot.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:00 AM
 
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CMMom,
I got the impression that Waldorf was non-academic (at least in the early years also). It's hard to imagine not teaching a child to read (or not even trying) by the time the child is in kidnergarten and 1st grade. I would feel very uncomfortable with that (especially if I wasn't 100% sure that my child was going to be in a Waldorf program throughout - b/c if you try to move them to public school, they will surely be way behind). Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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I looked into both but decided to go with a different private, traditional sort of preschool for my daughter (soon to be 4 years old but too young for Pre-K).

My take is that both are play based curriculum. Also that a lot of research shows that preschool aged children learn best through play based learning, so that is a plus for both. Montessori is more child based IMO in that they let the child do activities based on their own interests. I visited a few facilities for Montessori as there are more of them around, at least the ones I knew about. I only visited one Waldorf school, and they were as described above for small children, but as the children get older they are more directed toward learning. Also Waldorf shuns technology for kids in a lot of ways, which is something that I like as well as I don't see the benefit of the 3 year old knowing how to use an tablet or cell phone when they should be learning social skills and doing more discovery of the real world. Waldorf in older grades is more teacher based, similar to traditional schools where teachers teach a lesson but Montessori, depending on the school is still more child based IMO and for that reason, I liked Waldorf better becaue some kids don't want to learn subjects they don't like - like math or writing or reading and I just don't want to leave learning up to the whim or attitude of a child.

I have never heard of the info you provided regarding Waldorf and I can see how it would be surprising. From what I saw though, there wasn't really any sort of wicca/witchcraft focus, just a regular school but more "crunchy" like the other poster mentioned. But I do understand your concern. I also looked at a 7th day adventist school but after finding out some things about their past, decided against it as well.

Like I said, we went with a traditional preschool. It is NAEYC certified and uses the Creative Curriculum for kids and my daughter loves it so we are satisfied. When asked if she learned anything on a particular day she will usually tell me about something they did at school that was fun, usually something about "science" which I think is cute or about how better she got at writing an "s."
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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NAEYC is a joke and so is creative curriculum. I am very sorry to be so blunt. We are facing an epidemic where children are being drilled with knowledge but have no real anchor to learning.

Children do not learn through worksheets, children do not learn through flashcards. Children learn through experience based learning. I could give you a million examples but take it from someone who knows CREATIVITY and a child's self esteem combined with exposure to concepts will create a child who is eager to learn. We live in a world where KUMON and LEARNING RX are ripping parents off. Truly. Parents should understand that many of the more established curricula were created for the industrial revolution and will not create out of the box learners. The kind who created the iphone or apps that go with it. We need innovation and right now we have a real problem.

Some of the "best of the best" are not only causing children to have sensory issues (no playground!?!?) but treating kids like they all learn the same. They don't! Children should be taught the basics and then allowed to run with their imagination, learn reading through music (it can be done and happens every day where I now work.....I USED to volunteer but love it so much I joined the team!). Early childhood education is by far the most important time of a child's life. I wish parents would learn what their children need so that they can be their educational advocate for life. We need a huge change. Not more Montessori schools. That is going back in time.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:59 PM
 
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Yes, Reggio-Emelia, when done well, is amazing. The kids learn to think deeply, to appreciate the truly beautiful, to create. They learn by doing, by going outside, by planting seeds and climbing over fallen trees. I could go on and on.

Lovelysummer, I want you to tour St. Anne's Day School. It is one of the flagship schools in the country for Reggio. They just had a conference that I attended with attendees from around the country and world. Removed per OP. All of the schools listed on the Inspired Practices website are implementing Reggio in meaningful ways. Read the book Bringing Reggio Emelia home. There is no witchcraft here. It is just based on some ideas that actual preschool teachers started to see working in a small town in Italy, and it isn't referred to as a philosophy or anything, just practices--it is not rigid or formulaic. I think of it as a museum school--kids learn about nature and art and the teachers document what they are doing and expound on what the kids are interested in. Removed per OP. Westminster and Lovett have both come to tour St Annes in the last few years to incorporate Reggio elements into their lower school programs, so I think they see that it works.

Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 06-21-2013 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:12 PM
 
2,609 posts, read 3,160,721 times
Reputation: 1460
Buckheadmama,

I must admit that I have a very difficult time following you and your posts.
You came on here before when we were all asking for leads to good preschools in the intown area and you would only denigrate all of the schools while telling us that you had found the perfect school - but which you would not identify when we asked...multiple times. You appear to have a pattern of denigrating places with no real helpful solutions.

Also, much of what you say doesn't seem to make sense. For example, below you say the creative curriculum is a joke but then you say that children need to learn through music, explore, exercise creativity. That's what the creative curriculum emphasizes. There are no flashcards or worksheets, it is all experience-based learning in which children experience different centers and learn in ways that are amenable to their particular styles. I almost think you are trolling sometimes.

I don't get it. Once again, the post below has the basic underlying message that everyone is wrong and that you have found the panacea.

Also, your comments about montessori, it seems, are quite unfounded. We decided not to go with this approach because of some differences in philosophy with regard to interaction with children (e.g., praising/not praising) but montessori IS based on individualized learning in the format that the child chooses and at the child's pace. It is one of the most child-centered approaches out there.

Do you have any type of formal education in early childhood education or just a bunch of random ramblings that you like to appear and spout from time to time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckheadmama View Post
NAEYC is a joke and so is creative curriculum. I am very sorry to be so blunt. We are facing an epidemic where children are being drilled with knowledge but have no real anchor to learning.

Children do not learn through worksheets, children do not learn through flashcards. Children learn through experience based learning. I could give you a million examples but take it from someone who knows CREATIVITY and a child's self esteem combined with exposure to concepts will create a child who is eager to learn. We live in a world where KUMON and LEARNING RX are ripping parents off. Truly. Parents should understand that many of the more established curricula were created for the industrial revolution and will not create out of the box learners. The kind who created the iphone or apps that go with it. We need innovation and right now we have a real problem.

Some of the "best of the best" are not only causing children to have sensory issues (no playground!?!?) but treating kids like they all learn the same. They don't! Children should be taught the basics and then allowed to run with their imagination, learn reading through music (it can be done and happens every day where I now work.....I USED to volunteer but love it so much I joined the team!). Early childhood education is by far the most important time of a child's life. I wish parents would learn what their children need so that they can be their educational advocate for life. We need a huge change. Not more Montessori schools. That is going back in time.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:17 PM
 
2,609 posts, read 3,160,721 times
Reputation: 1460
AtlJan,
This is an old post, dug up by Buckheadmama for reasons unknown to me.
However, we selected a school and it is a lovely foreign language immersion school that also incorporates Reggio Emilia (among other) approaches. Thank you for your comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlJan View Post
Yes, Reggio-Emelia, when done well, is amazing. The kids learn to think deeply, to appreciate the truly beautiful, to create. They learn by doing, by going outside, by planting seeds and climbing over fallen trees. I could go on and on.

Lovelysummer, I want you to tour St. Anne's Day School. It is one of the flagship schools in the country for Reggio. They just had a conference that I attended with attendees from around the country and world. . All of the schools listed on the Inspired Practices website are implementing Reggio in meaningful ways. Read the book Bringing Reggio Emelia home. There is no witchcraft here. It is just based on some ideas that actual preschool teachers started to see working in a small town in Italy, and it isn't referred to as a philosophy or anything, just practices--it is not rigid or formulaic. I think of it as a museum school--kids learn about nature and art and the teachers document what they are doing and expound on what the kids are interested in. Westminster and Lovett have both come to tour St Annes in the last few years to incorporate Reggio elements into their lower school programs, so I think they see that it works.

Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 06-21-2013 at 07:24 AM..
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