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  • sandralzires
    Dec 9, 2005
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      Hello all,
      Thanks for your emails. My children are 7, 5, & 2. I am very
      familiar with Waldorf schooling. I believe it is the most child-
      centered approach available. Teachers have to undergo one year of
      spiritual training as apart of their curriculum. Montessori and
      Waldorf differ in that Montessori prefers to keep children in the
      concrete (i.e. using mini real world objects as toys) Waldorf also
      uses such toys, however they prefer to keep the child in their
      natural dream-like state until after 6 or 7. They feel it's a left-
      brain vs. right brain thing. Both educational approaches do agree
      that there is a developmental shift at 7. They are both much better
      than public schools.

      I personally like Waldorf better based primarily on their notion of
      keeping a child in the dreamy state. They do not push hardcore
      academics until that 7-year shift. They believe that not pushing
      too early is helpful in fostering a love of learning. I had a
      Montessori teacher ask me over the phone once if my 3 year old had
      Montessori experience? She sort of snubbed us when I replied no.
      On another occasion a Montessori teacher asked me if my 6 yr old
      could read. She wasn't sure they could take him if he couldn't.
      Those two experiences made me wonder if Montessori wasn't too
      academic too early.

      Another interesting education is the Sudbury model. They are
      democratic schools. Children can work on what they like and
      intermingle on a campus-like setting with adults. Some children may
      decide to join in on cooking, while others decide to work on a
      garden project. These schools are also somewhat hard to find.
      I'll attach the link below.
      I wish I could find a nature-based school. Lets say, an old
      Victorian home with lots of property to roam. Add a bit of
      Montessori, Waldorf and Sudbury and viola, a rich learning
      environment (mostly outdoors) with the child-centered approach. How
      does that sound? Well, we can dream can't we? Have a good weekend

      http://www.sudburynetwork.org/h a link.
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