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Just wanted to hear your experiences with steiner schools, both good and bad please!

Kate

I take Tansy who is eight months old to the baby group at Greenwich Steiner School, although it’s early days yet, I am a real convert and Steiner evangelist! the more I get involved int he school, the more I learn about the Steiner Waldorf movement, the more I appreciate it. You have to tae the bits you want and leave the others but that’s the same with anything in life isn’t it? The pedagogy is sensitive and sensible at best and a bit way out and preachy at worst but mostly the school operates an even keel between the two ends of the spectrum. I could write an essay on the teaching but you can look it all up and read around it yourself, suffice to say, I love the alternative nature of the schooling and the fact that the children are taught at a child friendly pace and not pushed into ridiculous exams and tests all the time. They are much more well rounded children in my experience and happier, and after all ain’t that the point?! PM me if you want me to go on!

Love and light, Rach. x

We were involved in our local Steiner school for five years after which we withdrew our children in favour of the local primary.

My personal view is that I simply could not fault the care my children got in the early years.  It was almost beyond excellent. It was gentle, concerned, caring, enlightened and just simply wonderful.  However - like the previous poster - some things drove me round the twist.  Plain bonkers - but you get used to it.  Things about state primary drive me nuts too!  Nowhere is perfect.

HOWEVER - when you are paying, you have higher expectations.  I found the pedagogy inflexible in the end and whilst people think it is free and easy it is just as constrained within its own viewpoint as the national curriculum I find.  My daughter was clearly VERY ready to leave kindergarten and move up - but simply because her birthday fell days after the cut off point she was expected to remain in kindergarten for another year - meaning she wouldn’t start class 1 until 7 years +.  That was too late for me so we withdrew her and she flourished in the more structured learning envionrment the local primary offered. 

We have friends who still send their kids there - they are happy with if from lots of points of view - but the persistent worry is the lack of academic rigour.  It may seem very bohemian and unimportant (largely is lol!!) when your kids are 3, 4, 5, 6 and even 7 - but when they get to 9 + you start to see things a bit differently I have found and it seems appropriate that they are really starting to learn.  It worried me that I met too many parents who were concerned their kids couldn’t read at 9.  Don’t get me wrong - most of the kids there COULD read at 9!  It’s just that I would be wanting extra support and help well before that stage not a kind of, “Oh they’ll do it when they’re ready” laxidasical approach.  One family I know feel that their teenager daughter never caught up and has remained disadvantaged as a result.

So in conclusion - my view is that early years is second to none.  All the pedagogical evidence indicates that children don’t need formal instruction before age 6/7 anyway.  But if you plan on going the distance - I would personally be looking to support the academic side a little at home.

I would also say that the most important imfluence in a child’s life is the family and home environment.  If that is happy and supportive then that child is at a huge advantage.  If the home is fractured or there is not a culture of learning and enthusiasm for knowledge then that child is majorly disadvantaged.  I do think that as parents we worry too much about which school etc - and whilst important it is not AS important as getting and keeping our own house in order.

HTH.

Gaialover your comments are really helpful with regard to early years being second to none.  My kids have started at mainstream nursery as I had to return to work.  But over the last month or so it has become clear they need something more holistic and more nurturing and as a consequence I have an appointment to look round the local Steiner Kindergarten. 
Rachel I feel the same , the more I read the more I like.  Everything I’ve read and heard resonates well with me, I hope the place and atmosphere mirror this and also that it works out I can afford the fees, we’ll see but I have reached a point where I need to do the very best for my children and mainstream nursery hasn’t worked out for us.
You can opt for your child to be part of the Forest Kindergarten at the Steiner here which is brilliant - 2 days romping around in the local woods come rain or shine smile

Does anyone know for sure that you can claim tax credits until they are 5 at the steiner kindergarten.  I read on some other forums you can, just wondered if this was right, would make it all the more possible.

love and light X

http://organicfamilylove.blogspot.com/

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am
thankful that thorns have roses

Mamma to Zander River nearly 5, Gaia Arwen Sky nearly 3

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