Why do we love Waldorf Schools? Let us count the ways!
We all know that Waldorf schools are developmentally appropriate, rigorous, creative and relevant. We also know Waldorf schools help students reach their full potential by catering to head, heart and hands.
That’s why we chose Waldorf Education, but why do we love it?
When we tell a friend to check out a Waldorf school and discuss how our children are thriving, what do we really talk about? When we make a gift to the school’s annual fund out of pure generosity and love, why are we giving?
Here’s what you’ve told us:
1. Dedicated Teachers
We love our teachers and they love our children. Waldorf teachers are empowered to teach. They are unfettered and plan lessons around what they know will educate and resonate with students. They are also encouraged to do inner work — on their personal meaning and purpose, work/life balance and relationships both inside and outside the school community.
Add to that the fact that these amazing professionals are regularly supported to continue their professional training, and you can see why Waldorf teachers are SO exceptional! Did we mention that the Waldorf teachers stay with their class over multiple years and build deep, personal connections with each student and family?
2. Time Outside
The research is in! Move to learn, go outside in nature and it will improve test scores and increase wellbeing. But what we really LOVE is the pure joy being outside in nature brings to our students. Unfortunately, some schools are cutting this from the school day when they should be expanding it. Suddenly Waldorf students are “lucky” students who get to come home and tell their families about bugs they caught, games of tag, hikes on the school grounds and time gardening.
We can talk about how it improves academics all day, but what it really improves is the daily lives of children. It makes school fun because children are given the time and space to be kids!
3. Time to Be a Kid
And it’s not just recess and outdoor time that keeps childhood intact for Waldorf students. How about no stress producing homework before 4th grade? Our program is designed intentionally around the developmental needs of students, meaning they have much less homework than traditional schools and more time after school to do what children were meant to do in childhood — play and spend quality time with their families!
Better still, Waldorf culture has deprioritized screen time. So that free time at home is also time spent in creative play and more time outdoors. Their friends don’t have phones, don’t wear the latest in media inspired fashion, and everyone gets to stay in a place of preserved, unstructured innocence for just a bit longer.
In our memories, childhood often seems to go forever. It’s hard to remember this era of our lives, so rich in experience and nostalgia, only lasts about 12 years. We must be very protective of this time for our children!
4. Hands-On Creative Learning
If you have a choice between passive and active learning, between listening to a lecture about decorating a cake, or going to a class and actually decorating a cake, which would you choose? Silly question, right? Learning, in everyday life, happens while we “do” — at home, work and beyond. Why wouldn’t we teach our students this way?
Hands-on, creative learning is about cultivating awareness and bringing lessons from the abstract to the concrete. Woodwork, knitting, drawing, painting, and play are just a few examples of how we do this at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia. Children learn best through these experiences not just because it makes what they’re learning relevant, but because it makes it FUN! Learning fractions by cutting a pizza, makes fractions something you come home excited about having learned!
5. Caring, Engaged Community
We might not be perfect, but we genuinely care for one another and we are unified in our mission to care for and educate our children. All of us come together for our students through volunteering, fundraising, festivals, celebrations and all the kindness and giving we share with one another each day.
Our community is thriving and unique. We know because our alumni parents tell us it’s not the same after they leave. “We miss coming to school each day, …. because this will always be our community!”
Our school community is uniquely engaged in the everyday education of our children. What would we do without each other? As they say, it takes a village, and we here at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia are a thriving and blessed village.
Imagine the possibilities of unrestricted funds to support teachers, students, and all of our programs from early childhood through graduation.
Imagine coming together as one community with gifts great and small. Imagine the possibilities for each and every child.
The Annual Fund at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia requires an extraordinary effort from the whole community. Collective giving is powerful and every gift makes a difference. Please make your gift today.