How this forum works:

This forum is open to all Waldorf parents. You are encouraged to discuss the topics posted on this blog using "comments". If you have a question you would like to have addressed, please e-mail me, and I will put it on my schedule of topics. Contact me as well if you would like to post a topic yourself, so I can send you instructions.

Please remember, this forum is about supporting one another, our children, our teachers and our schools. By participating in this forum, you agree to keep your thoughts and ideas positive, even, and especially, when the topics are delicate. Try to avoid naming specific people or schools except when congratulating them on achievements. I reserve the right to remove any postings or comments that are not in the spirit of compassionate mutual support.

- Ms. Ilian

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Choosing a School

     As parents all over the country know, enrollment/re-enrollment time is upon us the the wonderful world of school. Parents have been investigating their options, trying to ascertain what the best choice is for their children and families. For each family there are a variety of influences that determine the final choice. Each situation is unique. And the questions each family is wrestling with are also case specific. Some parents are debating: Waldorf school, or something else? This question may center around what is available - or it may be a philosophical question. It may be influenced by financial considerations, or pressure from family, friends, and neighbors. It may be influenced by the child's age and level of schooling, or by the child's current school experience.

     There are those families who have already decided that their children will attend a Waldorf school. If there is only one school in the area, than the question of which school is moot. However, there are areas where Waldorf education is thriving to such an extent that there are multiple Waldorf schools, Waldorf method charter schools, and/or Waldorf home-school groups within reach. Although the decision, Waldorf or something else, has been made, choosing the right program can still be challenging. Home schooling requires a larger investment in time and energy from the parents than sending the child to school. Charter schools ease the financial burden, but are regulated by the government, and are not free from high stakes testing. Private schools are expensive. The child's personality, developmental stage and need for social outlets needs to be considered. The size of the school and class  affect the social atmosphere, as does the reality of whether the child's class is a single or combined grades class.

     These, and many other considerations go into the decision making. How to educate your child is not a light decision. And if you are drawn to Waldorf, it is a most effective decision if it is made in the spirit of the family enrolling, and with a view to a long-term relationship with and commitment to this form of education and your school.

     With these thoughts, I open the forum to comment by readers. As moderator, I am available to answer questions, but I hope the readers will be able to connect and help each other as well.

For an excellent article by Sarah Baldwin describing what a Waldorf early childhood program is like, follow this link.


  1. I knew I wanted my children to attend a waldorf school, because I had done so myself, from 2nd through 12th grade. The main benefits of waldorf for me were that the waldorf school taught me to learn and instilled a confidence in me that I would be able to learn whatever I put my mind to. In this way, Waldorf prepared me for my life as an adult.
    As far as the choice of which school to send them to I had heard on "the grapevine" which schools had particularly good reputations and chose one of those. I have not regretted my choice!
    All my children attended waldorf from kindergarden through 8th grade. 2 attended 9th as well, while the 4th went through high school at waldorf school.

  2. Ilian,

    I just want to thank you for this forum and wish you well. I also have been a Waldorf teacher for many years, and I know that parents have many questions about explore Waldorf Education. How nice to provide a friendly place to do it. I hope it goes well and look forward to following.


  3. This is a great question and something that so many are grappling with. It is especially difficult when you live in a community without any Waldorf grades options (yet). I teach in a Waldorf early childhood program- this is my second year. I have two children, ages 4 and 6. Thanks for starting this group, Ilian!