We had our kids in a private school before that was based on common core curriculum. Watching our kids approaching different assignments, seeing them being constantly stressed about grades, tests and overall performance, we asked ourselves if this is what we want to give them. Seeing their schooling as a very stressful race from one test to another, with lack of common sense in many assignments, lack of logic in many homework tasks, constant push on repetition instead of encouragement to free thinking, and finally suppressing our kids’ freedom to ask questions, was very concerning.
Having four kids, we don’t know who they will become as adults, but we certainly want them to be people who aren’t afraid to question the status quo and find their own ways towards happiness and fullness in their lives. Common core education didn’t give us the perspective nor tools to help them grow as individuals who discover themselves and the world around, rather it was a process of creating stressed, tired and discouraged young souls who were not interested in learning as an adventure. It was seeing education as a system, an artificial way of possessing enough short-term knowledge necessary only for purposes of tests.
Waldorf showed itself as a journey, where kids are approached according to their age and current state of being. Where even complex matters can be explained in accordance with kids’ natural way of understanding, processing and absorbing information. Waldorf appeared to be the answer to help kids to fall in love with learning, reading, counting and discovering beauty of the world without unnecessary stress and encouraging a long-term interest in expanding their interest in many topics instead of the “learn-pass test-forget” process.
The amount of time the kids spend with nature, from feeding goats to getting dirty in the woods, is absolutely wonderful! As Eastern Europeans we missed this at our previous school. The emphasis of art being largely incorporated into Waldorf curriculum, in our eyes, was a very important factor in helping kids become fascinated with education. No electronic devices policy: what a relief it is. Since we came to KWS my kids don’t even mention anything about cellphones. We decided to completely give up on TV a couple years ago, so we have great evening times together, more time for fun, reading, discussions, games, Torah studies, or simply to be together. It is a very liberating experience. – Current KWS parent