“When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own. Waldorf schools are designed to foster this kind of learning.” — Henry Barnes, Waldorf Teacher and Former Chairman of the Board of AWSNA
To face the future in our rapidly changing world with confidence, our children need to develop emotional stability, intellectual flexibility, and moral values along with academic skills. Waldorf Schools work effectively to develop such qualities.
In 1919, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, scientist, and educator, founded the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany. Today, with locations throughout the entire world, Waldorf education is the fastest growing independent, non-denominational school system in the world.
Fundamental to Waldorf education is the insight that children learn differently at different stages of development. This means that the curriculum of each grade is carefully chosen to work in harmony with the phases of the child’s inner development.
In the first eight grades of school, children encounter the main branches of human knowledge. During that time, they also form their sense of self and their attitude toward others and the world around them. In short, they lay the foundation for their future striving and development. It is the aim of Waldorf education to make their foundation resilient and broad.
The children participate in choral and instrumental music, express themselves through drama and a variety of other artistic media, practice hands-on skills such as knitting, gardening, and woodworking, and enjoy physical education in addition to solid academic subjects such as English, history, geography, mathematics, and the sciences.
THE CLASS TEACHER
Children learn best if they love their teacher. When children enter Grade 1 in the Waldorf School, they meet the person, who ideally, will teach them the core curriculum for the next eight years. The relationship between teacher and child is constantly evolving and deepening, and provides a continuity often lacking today. Mutual trust and confidence allows the development of an authority that is not arbitrary and to which children respond without aggression or resentment. In this way, parents and teachers can work together over long periods of time, orchestrating their efforts to meet the changing needs of the child.
THE MAIN LESSON & MAIN LESSON BOOK
Each day begins with a two-hour period devoted to a single academic subject when the children’s concentration is at its peak. One topic is studied for three or four weeks and then a new topic is begun. This method allows the teacher to cover a subject in-depth, using a variety of approaches.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
The best way to make an informed decision about whether or not your child should attend The Waldorf School of San Diego would be to attend a guided tour called “A Day at the Waldorf School” held once a month during peak enrollment times. This adult-only tour gives a complete overview of all programs from Nursery through High School, including an opportunity to observe the teachers in action with their students. Please call us at (619) 280-8016 to learn more.