What a blessing Waldorf has been for our entire family! Our daughter suffered extreme experiences at Kalsa Montessori school with a horrendous teacher and bad administration. We tried a public school briefly but she didn't feel safe on the playground. She literally cried everyday to school. Now her Waldorf classmates are like family and she loves school. This is one of the only schools in the city that has regular PE! She is very involved in her academic activities and wants to go to school even when she's sick so she won't miss anything. We are not wealthy and receive a generous scholarship. However, the Waldorf community is very embracing and not elitist. It is a fun community.
We have attended the parent-child classes taught by Miss Kim, and recommend them for everyone. Even if you don't like the other-worldliness of the Waldorf approach, or the elitism which comes with every private school, Miss Kim's parent-child classes will probably inspire you and empower you to be a more patient, calmer and more reasonable parent. At least they did that for us. We will always be grateful to her.
This is excellence in education! All of the students from early childhood through 8th grade are truly engaged in the work -- which is interesting to them. They are also engaged in play -- the primary "job" of children -- which makes them happy and healthy. There is academic rigor through a classical education presented in beautiful ways -- it is never tedious for them. Our kids were in accelerated math and reading in their previous school and this curriculum meets them perfectly and deepens their skills. Never in our parenting or personal experience have we encountered faculty that are more dedicated to their students. There is a real connection there that makes the educational experience excel. There is an integrity to it all which is so refreshing. The faculty, administration and parents communicate very well. Tucsonans are fortunate to have a Waldorf School -- an educational model of interest given the recent high profile press (cover of NY Times and featured on NBC Nightly News). Our children are being given an outstanding education -- and we believe this is one of the best parenting decisions we've made.
This school has made a world of difference in my son's and my life. Small classes, nurturing teachers and community, creative instruction. Your child will be engaged and taught to think, notice, and take action here. Education at TWS is creatively engaging all the senses. We attended a highly praised local magnet school that totally destroyed my son's self-confidence and joy in life. Tucson Waldorf School replenished him and he loves going to school and learning. He has dyslexia and learning can be difficult but he is encouraged and helped on many levels here. The movement exercises that all children do at TWS are quite helpful and integrative for helping a child learn. The use of music, art, storytelling, drama, language instruction, outside activities along with regular academics really supports deep learning and connections with the world. I highly recommend this school for developing a balanced, skilled, and feeling child.
Many children thrive here, but beware, this school can be extremely damaging for some children and it took us almost a year to build our child s confidence back up after he attended. The school is beautiful and lively and full of amazing smells, music, and art and we did appreciate the holistic curriculum. However, there is absolutely nothing scientific about the guiding principles of the school, as one parent remarked, but rather the philosophical principals and spiritual path developed by Rudolph Steiner (Anthroposophy), which is very radical. Beware that children are placed into one of Steiners four categories by temperament early on and teachers base their interactions and attitudes with children on these temperaments, which are utterly arbitrary and completely lack social and cultural context. This was extremely damaging for our child, because our child did not fit perfectly in one of the boxes. If only he was slender, elegant, and well-balanced instead of big and fleshy he would have received the proper stimulation and attitude from the staff- -which is a ridiculous basis for interaction between teacher and student.
We have chosen the Tucson Waldorf School for our children for many reasons. The strong curriculum develops true understanding of natural law, language, mathematics and interpersonal relationships. While rooted in the science of human development, the use of beautiful music and art promote a sense of magic and delight all lost to most education models today. The practical skills of gardening, handiwork, construction and physical movement round out each child's ability to achieve. The Waldorf model supports our belief that primary education is only the threshold to a beginning of lifelong learning. The most important reason is that we believe somebody can be happy and successful in this world only if they learn to measure themselves by internally derived principles. With the guidance and commitment of incredibly talented and dedicated faculty, in full partnership with us as parents, our children are able to use their minds, hearts and will to develop at their unique and individual best!
I have three children enrolled at TWS since Fall 2010 and they are all thriving. The campus is amazingly beautiful. I love picking up my CSA Farm Share right there. The River Road Gardens is the unsung hero of the school, and I can't wait for this educational jewel to really be recognized. My family loves the rich grades curriuclum: 2 foreign languages, music, chorus, woodwork, handwork, movement, after school clay and drama, plus the artistic work these kids get to do is out of this world. I don't find any in the school dogmatic despite what others have posted here. I think as always, one's experience depends greatly on one's outlook and willingness to look inside oneself as a parent. If one is willing to be in community with others, you will not find a better school in Tucson.
My child has attended the Tucson Waldorf School since she was 3 and she is now 8. I love and appreciate many things about the school. It is an incredible community which I have found to be a great resource. Moreover, my child is getting a wonderful experience of learning. She reads well, does complex math, is learning to knit, paint, sing, play the flute, and speak both Spanish and German. Moreover, she loves going to school and feels challenged but not stressed. The faculty is incredibly dedicated, experienced and talented. My child has made long term friendships with some incredible kids. I feel she is in the best school and it is worth every penny.
The school has a great atmosphere, and really good teachers. It's a perfect fit for my daughter. Most kids don't want to go school--my daughter doesn't want to leave school at the end of the day (no exaggeration). It feeds her soul as well as educating her mind.
Wasn't the school for us at all and so we had a terrible and traumatic year. My child's teacher was not adept at working with all types of children. Some children appear to excell, but others are judged constantly. There very very few days that I wasnt reminded how to parent better. Be sure to really look into the ideology of this school because it apparently did not align with ours. Not a pleasant experience at all.
Based on Steiner's philosophy of education, known as anthroposophy, it divides education into developmental stages similar to Piaget's stages of child development. This school initially seemed like a dream...the curriculum and teachers view education as holistic and organic and emphasizes a balance of developing the child not only intellectually, but emotionally, and artistically. However, much like Steiner himself...we found this school to be extremely elitist with absolutely no room for conflicting ideas of lifestyle, culture, or ideologies. As immigrants from a non-white country, we found the parents and educators to be more concerned with sugar, gluten, television, and artificial colors then education. In other words, completely out of touch with reality. I also agree with the parent that many teachers are brilliant, however lack the ability to understand children that are not perfectly "Waldorf". I found this school to do the opposite of what it boasts...it is another educational institution that expects the students to learn they way it teaches instead of teaching the way that individual child learns...which is a rip off for the amount of fees parents pay.
This can be a great school for your child or it can be a ridiculous experience. I would advise you to learn the philosophy behind how and what they teach.Some of the teachers are so wonderful and wise. If you had the experience we had it is the result of poor teacher communication,poor administrative communication and poor understanding of children. The teachers inability to correct or understand my child in the most basic day to day classroom experience ensured failure. Ignorance caused judgment by under qualified people which negatively effected the daily life of my child sitting in the classroom. By placing my child in more experienced school he has found so much confidence about how he learns and the questions...oh the many questions he has about the world around him!Many schools offer wonderful opportunities for our children, have fun exploring!
Tucson Waldorf School allows children to learn and grow according to their natural rhythms. It allows them to enjoy their journey of childhood.
My children are happy, healthy, and whole, and I attribute much of that to the Tucson Waldorf School. Our faculty members are dedicated, loving, and thoughtful, and our entire community works together to build our always-growing school. TWS is a haven for my family, an island of simplicity and sanity in an increasingly frenetic world.
The most knowledgeable, loving, dedicated teachers imaginable working in a unique, beautiful school environment! Children are well balanced, internally motivated, acquire real skills, love learning and appreciate their amazing school!
We love the Tucson Waldorf School because it provides our children with a comprehensive and holistic education that makes them happy and successful in the real world. As parents, we are also very happy to feel part of a community of like minded individuals with our children's education as a top priority.
Our daughter is in her second year in the early childhood program and will start kindergarten in the fall. She has made friends with other students and we are very pleased that, although her disposition leans toward the headstrong, at school she is guided as firmly, but lovingly toward being a respectful, honest, caring person as I believe she is at home. (In fact, I have learned valuable parenting skills from the teachers.) I am very pleased with the homelike atmosphere and the fact that the children are expected to 'help' with the work of the classroom and not just be 'served and cared for.' We ultimately want our daughter to become a centered, independent young woman, and the Tucson Waldorf School has helped us to give her a positive start in this direction.
We had previously had our children in District 16 schools. We cannot begin to explain how thrilled we are with Waldorf...it offers so much more than the school we had sent our children to previously and only regret that we had not come to find this fabulous school sooner! There are no complaints about boredom or attending school! The kids at this school really do love to come to school! They are so much more stimulated and the skills that they acquire at Waldorf go far beyond any academic curriculum offered at other schools. The music, art and foreign language programs are amazing...not too mention the academics which are above and beyond anything that we have experienced at the public school. The extremely diverse community of parents is cohesive and supportive of this school. We really cannot say enough good things about our experience at the Tucson Waldorf school.
We love Waldorf education and this school. The early education program is amazing and concentrates on the child as a whole. The children are allowed to be kids and play, while also learning important life skills. My child has learned to sew, bake, and tell puppet stories. The campus is amazing and features real wood play sets with swings! The administration needs to work on communication, as is usual with most schools. I would recommend it for their early childhood program.
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