As an educator and parent I really appreciate the wisdom behind Waldorf education. I am committed to giving my children this amazing education.
Our oldest daughter began at Davis Waldorf School in second grade. Within weeks, we stopped hearing I don t want to go to school. We have never regretted the investment. We now have 3 children at DWS (7th, 4th, and 1st grade as of the 2011-12 school year), and the school has fitted each of them. While some of the traditions (such as limited to no media) often feel strange and even restrictive at first, we ve found that there always seems to be valid reasoning behind them. The school functions like a large and welcoming family, and while (as with any family or community) there may be occasional frictions, we ve never felt anything other than accepted and embraced. We ve found the teachers and administration to be open to communication and remarkably understanding of the unique personalities of our children. The curriculum is challenging enough to keep our intellectually gifted and skeptical teenager motivated while being paced perfectly for our younger children. At Davis Waldorf School, I have found most of the children to be confident, at ease with adults, able to focus on problem solving, and remarkably tolerant of the quirks and individuality of their peers.
We have had nothing but a positive experience for our two children who are now 11 and 13. My children have been through the grades here and are testing very well compared to their public school friends. They are confident, well rounded and compassionate. The Davis Waldorf school has exceeded our families expectations!
Davis Waldorf has been a true disappointment. After a few years it has become clear that it is not simply a school with an emphasis on the Arts. Though almost never mentioned the school is founded on the philosophy of one Rudolf Steiner (labelled an educator but had no credentials), called Anthroposophy. This theory is almost never mentioned but forms the basis for everything which goes on at the school. Anthroposophy is an esoteric philosophy which incorporates karma, racial hierarchies, categorizing children into the four temperaments, and plenty of other Anthro nonsense. Children are encouraged to look back into antiquity rather than modern knowledge for answers. They are taught the ancient 4 element theory is fact, that myths and stories are fact. They are not taught to read until at least 7 years old. Parents are told this is to avoid rushing education. The reality is that Anthroposophy teaches that a child does not incarnate into their Astral body until adult teeth form, this happens around the age of 7, that only once the Astral body has fully incarnated can any intellectual faculty be exercised. This education is not right for my children. Do you feel it's right for yours?
Best school in Davis! Wonderful educational program! Wisest decision we ever made! My daughter benefits from the enriched programs that educate the whole child. In addition to rigorous academics where students average testing far above their public school counterparts, she benefits from an arts-integrated approach that includes goodies such as learning to play several musical instruments, handwork, gardening and nature education, movement classes, fine and sculptural arts, Spanish taught from a native speaker, and so much more! She is surrounded by a warm and loving community of friends, teachers, parents, and other adults. Childhood is so important and investing in her future success and happiness by providing the best possible education is my privilege. Come and check it out for yourself! You will be glad you did!
Our child spent four years at this school. After a few positive experiences in the beginning, we had a miserable time at this school. Our child was bullied, subjected to hate speech, beaten by a bully while being held by the bully's sidekick. The teacher had zero previous teaching experience, pigeon-holed children and treated all according to what she thought she "knew" about them as though she had some special psychological insight into their karma. The teacher was a disaster on the level of personal interaction and in terms of academics. The principal is in a position of doling out financial favors to members of the school board and therefore, rules supreme without any meaningful supervision, and acts arbitrarily. Extremely hurtful environment and academically a disaster.
I have three children that are currently attending the Davis Waldorf School. Our decision to send our children to this school is reinforced on a daily basis by the creative, innovative, and individualized teaching our children are receiving. At this school the children are getting a wonderful liberal arts foundation. They are not just memorizing facts, but really learning, really thinking about the material that is presented to them. Math, lauguage arts, and science are looked at through the lenses of music, art and movement. My children are scoring above grade level in all subjects and at the same time are getting the message that learning is fun and exciting.
My son has attended Davis Waldorf School (DWS) for the several years and we are all very happy. This school provides a warm, nurturing environment where kids can really grow into well-rounded, creative thinkers. While the academic element of Waldorf education ramps up slower in the lower grades (compared to Public schools) the level of work that the higher grades achieve is amazing. What we love about the school is the hands-on approach to learning, the various methods of teaching and the old-fashion style of get dirty play that the kids love. I wish I could have gone to school here! The majority of children at the school start attending in preschool/kindergarten/1st grade and go all the way through 8th grade. Their parents made the choice because of their desire for this style of education, not because their children didn t have other options (and the Davis school system has many excellent options). I am grateful for the strong community feel at DWS and am very satisfied with the choice we have made for our son s education.
I wasn't sure Waldorf was for me when we started our girl in preschool there, but now I wouldn't want her anywhere else. She is getting so much at Davis Waldorf that she wouldn't get at other types of schools. The Waldorf theory about early childhood education is to develop the child's imaginative and intuitive powers through art, music, play, crafts and other modes. Academics are not stressed for the young (under 7) because the kids' brains are not in place to properly integrate that skill. Reading is not a race, some kids get there faster than others, but the slower ones soon catch the early readers, and were not taught to hate themselves and/or school because they weren't fast learners. It's a philosophy that makes good students better and helps struggling students simultaneously. I also like that the strong school wide emphasis on limiting media influence on children.
Both of our children went all the way through 8th grade at this school. They both had beautiful experiences and wonderful teachers at the Davis Waldorf School. Our chidren have thanked my husband and me (many times) over the years for providing them with the exceptional education that they received from the Davis Waldorf. Our son has graduated from college and will attend a Masters program in the Fall and our daughter is in her Junior year of college in Europe. Many professors have commented to them that the Waldorf students that they receive are their favorite students. They know how to think creatively and express themselves intellectually.
My children are graduates of Davis Waldorf School and are now straight A students at the public schools. Their public school teachers rave about DWS students as being deep thinkers that are interested far beyond the knowledge just needed for a test. Even the challenging Davis public schools are easy academically and socially for my children as they've learned to reason, communicate, think originally and get along with others. I haven't seen any difference in the parents in the public schools and the parents at DWS in terms of helicoptering (it seems like many Davis parents helicopter). I do notice that DWS parents are incredible volunteers and are much more active in the school than what I've seen in the public schools.
Horrible experience. My son came from a very bad experience in the Davis School system and transferred to Davis Waldorf in November. He said goodbye to his teacher in June and in July we received a termination letter about his enrollment. We did not receive any contact prior to this letter. I contacted the office but they did not respond at all. My son has now been diagnosed with high functioning autism and could have used the support of this school but they dropped him as fast as they could after taking our tuition money.
As do so many parents out there I evaluate the quality of my daughter's education nearly daily. She is engaged, centered, and delighted to learn in this environment, and that has never changed in our 8 years at the school. She is prepared for the testing environment that permeates our education system, but not persecuted by it. There is so very much happiness in her life here at Waldorf.
The Davis Waldorf School teaches children to be independent thinkers, and connects them deeply with beauty in all it's forms. Responsible citizenship and environmental stewardship, become important concepts to the students. There is a gentleness and sincere caring amoung the students, between the classes, and the children are blessed to have the same teacher for the duration of their years at the school. This a great benefit to both the teachers and the students. The class functions as a close knit group, with empathy and understanding. I can't say enough about the quality of the teachers, or the curriculum. It is an absolutely wonderful and magical place of learning. I am so happy my grandchildren have gone to this school. It has been a wonderful influence on their character, their frienships, and their personal self esteem.
We moved to Davis for the excellent public schools. But once in the system we found them to be too competitive and the kids were over worked and stressed out. We moved them to DWS and they are content and happy and they LOVE to learn. Best thing we ever did.
My kids, now in 2nd and 5th grades, have attended DWS since kindergarten. They are the kind of kids you like to have around. The can listen and respond, they are funny and creative, considerate and responsible. I think I'm blessed to have children like this, and I think it has helped tremendously that their school fosters these traits in all the children. Most of their classmates are similar to them in these respects. Their curriculum has been varied every year, always sourced from art or nature or cultural history (norse mythology, old testament stories, ancient egypt, etc.) They don't just learn about Norse Mythology -- the Norse Mythology is the context in which they learn math, spelling, reading, writing. They are absorbed in the topic and the learning just happens. I also appreciate that the school doesn't make hourly time requirements of all families. Each family does what it can.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD just before starting kindergarten at Waldorf. His teachers never treated him diffeently and now, going into 2nd grade, he is wonderfully bright and social and has developed much better self control. The Waldorf philosohpy of educating the whole child has been a God-send for us. On the downside, the administration of the school is a bit scattered and ineffective. This is made up for by the very active parents. Parents head up all committes at the school and run the annual auction and Mayfaire. Overall, this is a wonderful school.
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