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Old 04-14-2008, 11:49 AM
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For those of you familiar with the Waldorf approach...what do you think??
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:10 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
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It's right for some kids but not for others. My experience with Waldorf is second-hand, but from what I gather it takes both a structured and creative approach to education. I believe writing is strongly emphasized. Some kids find it somewhat socially limiting, as classes tend to be small and the teachers tend to move along through the grades.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:40 PM
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Waldorf seems very gentle and earthy... but some of their ideas I find strange. No TV/computer/radio or learning to read before they start losing their milk teeth (age 6ish). I know that in some Waldorf schools, the teachers use a sing-song voice with the children, and there is an emphasis on fairy tales and mythology. It's not for me, but I know some homeschoolers who use Oak Meadow, which is a waldorf curriculum. The only waldorf school I know of is very expensive, but I don't know if it's just that school, or the norm for Waldorf.

Hope you find what you're looking for!
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:17 PM
Location: St. Louis
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I'm like you bean--I was drawn to it and repelled at the same time. I didn't have a problem with no TV and the mythology, but I had to wonder how well the kids would fit into society later, and this is from a mom who homeschooled for years. Of course I think sometimes that the world is so sick I'm not sure I want them to fit in completely, but you don't want them totally out of it either.

I joined a Waldorf mother's group once to help them make handmade toys for a sale, and I thought it was really neat, and was thinking about signing my daughter up, but we decided to move, and then we had an altercation on the playground and all the kids were accusing my daughter of hitting them. (She was 4) I'm not one of these overprotective, not MY daughter types, but it was so out of character for her because she has always been so sweet, and still is at 16. So who knows, but I had all the mothers giving me the hairy eyeball because I didn't discipline her for something that none of the adults had actually witnessed, though I tried to talk to her and asked her if she had hit the kids and she just looked puzzled. Well I'm sorry, that was off topic maybe, but it seemed like we just weren't on the same wavelength with these people and I wasn't really sure which discipline method they thought I should use anyway, since spanking probably isn't done. I just had this funny feeling that something was expected of me, but wasn't sure what that was.

Also, if your faith is Christian or Jewish or something more mainstream, be advised that Waldorf draws in people who tend towards more new age beliefs maybe, which might bother some people. At least that was true of the school here and the school here is expensive.

Well I know I sound negative, so I should point out that my experience was rather limited.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:43 AM
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I know several parents who have tried Waldorf. I think you really have to have a certain child for it to work. By that I mean self-motivated.

One friend of ours finally plucked her daughter out of third grade at a Waldorf school because she still hadn't learned to READ. Seriously. The poor girl had serious problems adjusting for the next two years.

And adjusting to the real world is also something I think Waldorf has problems with. The unstructured environment, etc. etc., is all wonderful in some ways. But, at some point, the child has to enter into the real world of deadlines and assignments. Waldorf seems to create an insular little bubble and, when the child leaves it, the kid is in for a rude shock.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:56 AM
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Smile CEO of AmExpress & Martha Stewart's daughter are Waldorf educated

I know this is probably too late to respond, but I just wanted to note that the CEO of American Express and Martha Stewart's daughter were both Waldorf educated (from what I know). So, these kids *are* able to work in the *real* world. However, it is such a unique program that I don't think they can move easily between Waldorf and other educational methods.

I worked in children's programming / TV for years and for this reason, don't allow my kids to watch tv at all. Was disgusted at what I saw and with the marketing/selling/brainwashing that goes on there is it any wonder we have a generation of kids whose lives are based on consumption. We also do gardening and grow organic foods, etc...which also attracted me to this program.

Honestly, I get annoyed when I hear people refer to education being *Earthy* as if humans are somehow disconnected from the Earth and these are not important views to have, teach and nurture. And yet, learning to sit in front of a computer and peck at a plastic box all day is viewed as *natural, normal and positive* for children's development?? It's absurd.

I was very attracted to the Waldorf program, however, I have the same concern as one of the other people here...*if* my kids ever need to go back to a traditional public or private school situation...how easily will they be able to make that transition?

From what I know about their program, it would be a wonderful education if you know you can and will have your children follow the entire program from K-12. The Waldorf programs near us (Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA area) were also prohibitively expensive....starting at around $15k+/year/per child for K and going up from there. It's really a shame and ironic because Rudolf Steiner originally created and intended the Waldorf program to be widely used for as many children as possible, but it has become a very niche education for only the very rich.

My children were in a Catholic school that was excellent, however, we moved, and our new Catholic school is the worst experience in education we've ever had, which is why we are going to be homeschooling next year.

I am still drawn to the Waldorf method, however, from my experience with Catholic private school, I can't imagine that the Waldorf kids would be able to transition into our school without tremendous difficulty.

It is a wonderful program, but it is such a completely different approach that it is something you have to stick through from beginning to end (imho) not easily interchangeable with other more traditional schools. My fear is that should we reach a point where I am not able to continue homeschooling them, we could never afford to enroll them in a Waldorf school, and they would be lost in, say, a Catholic High School trying to learn Latin.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:12 PM
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As a homeschooling curriculum, I knew a woman who used it but she was able to adapt it to as she wanted so I wouldn't see much problem with it although I won't use it myself.

As far as the school approach, I wonder if schools vary from each other. I know that the approach is to segregate students in classes by their aura or spirtual being based on what they said it was. The says it is dangerous for certain students to interact with each other. It suggests that they marketing should omit certain details and that they should not trust the parents. There was a great site that I was at that was really in depth about this not too long ago. I'll post if I can find it. Here is a little I did find.

Here, Roger Rawlings has put together an article about his experiences at his Waldorf school. Here is what he learns in his 12th grade biology class:

Racist Undertones

Sometimes secrets were partially revealed. Surprisingly, at least a few seemed to involve race. During twelfth grade, my class was taught biology by Mr. Gardner. I don’t know what credentials he had in biology, if any, but because he was headmaster, his authority was unquestioned. I respected him greatly. He was tall, dignified, and articulate—just what a dominant male should be. Still, I remember being troubled by a lecture he delivered one morning about the overarching structure of the family of man. He explained that the various races stood at different levels of moral development—each was forging its own destiny. He said these things sympathetically, with no hint of condescension. Yet the vibe was in the room that morning: The terms he used were more metaphysical than biological. The oriental races, he said, are ancient, wise, but vitiated. The African races are youthful, unformed, childlike, he said. Standing near the center of humanity’s family are the currently most advanced races, the whites, he said.
...she veered off topic to warn us never to receive blood transfusions from members of other races. Blacks and Orientals have blood types that are physically different from ours, she taught us, and receiving such inferior blood would diminish our “Aryan” qualities.
My Experience As a Waldorf Student

Hitler lived from 1889 to 1945. Rudolf Steiner lived from 1861 to 1925. Many of the core principles have similarity between these two, however, Hitler denounces Steiner, who during the day was becoming very widespread and popular, because he felt it made students weak militants.

Here is another site from a former student: Waldorf Problems - Clues They state direct quotes from the Stiener/Waldorf doctine. Here are just two:

“We also need to speak about a prayer. I ask only one thing of you. You see, in such things everything depends upon the external appearances. Never call a verse a prayer, call it an opening verse before school. Avoid allowing anyone to hear you, as a faculty member, using the word ‘prayer.’”[/quote]

[quote]“That little girl L.K. in the first grade must have something really very wrong inside. There is not much we can do. Such cases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings ... I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. ”[/quote]

Directly under that he says:
Not all teachers at Waldorf schools today are Anthroposophists. Not all Waldorf schools today promote Anthroposophy vigorously. But some do. The problem for parents is determining which do.

And he gives quite a list of things to look for to determine if what kind of school you are looking to enroll your child in. Here is another site that is indepth: http://sites.google.com/site/waldorf...ce-for-parents These should help.

Personally, I'm not interested in the program. I tend to the artsy side in some areas but without strange spiritual ideologies being attached to it.

Last edited by flik_becky; 04-15-2009 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:54 PM
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Waldorf is so far superior to anything in education. I've seen it all.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Also, if your faith is Christian or Jewish or something more mainstream, be advised that Waldorf draws in people who tend towards more new age beliefs maybe, which might bother some people. At least that was true of the school here and the school here is expensive.
This cannot be emphasised enough.

Waldorf draws in people with New Age beliefs because its philosophy is based upon neo-pagan (New Age) beliefs which are entirely antithetical to the monotheistic faiths. If you are a Jewish, Christian, or Muslim parent who takes your religion "straight up" (i.e. without watered-down syncretism) steer as clear as you can of Waldorf. I know some "Christian" parents who send their kids to Waldorf, but these are people who embrace a kind of "emerging church/postmodern ' Christianity' " of their own devising.

I would never send a child to a Waldorf school and believe it is dangerous to their spiritual welfare to do so.

Last edited by DreamingSpires; 11-04-2009 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:22 AM
Location: Niceville, FL
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There's a big emphasis on letting children work out problems among themselves without adult interference. Great theory, but I've heard far too many negative stories about it ending up being very Lord of the Flies on the playground and the teachers blaming the victims for doing something that must have started the problem while failing to address underlying bullying issues.
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