My wife and I were drawn to Maple Village Waldorf School soon after moving to Long Beach in 2010 and it quickly became clear to us that the Waldorf style of education, as well as the small class sizes, the warmth of community at this school, and emphasis on healthy, sustainable living were going to fit our family well. After four years with the school I now feel that Maple Village is one of the best private school values in greater Los Angeles. Both of my children (currently in kindergarten and 2nd grade at the school) have flourished in an environment that teaches the whole child, with particular emphasis on art, handwork (e.g. knitting, sewing, and woodwork), music, storytelling, and movement to compliment the typical main lessons covering math, language arts, etc. I am happy to add that Maple Village also incorporates Spanish language instruction beginning in 1st grade and continuing through 8th grade. Teaching such a breadth of topics at a Waldorf school and incorporating creative ways to reinforce concepts is no easy task but so far my children’s teachers have been more than up to the task. This is a great school and I cannot recommend it enough for any parents considering the Parent-tot, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Grades programs up to 8th grade. Note that for working (or busy) parents morning and after-school care are available (morning care is free for Grades students).
The best place for any kit to be. We love it and have integrated the philosophy into our own home and family, by the support from the loving and carrying community.
Just take a look at the school and you'll fall in love.
There is no homework given to my son in kindergarten so he has time to process what he has learned and done in school and continue to play and explore before we prepare dinner and eat as a family. Quality family time and natural child development are valued over worksheets and homework packets.
Enrolling in Maple Village for kindergarten was the most seamless transition we ever could have dreamed of for our son. Maple Village's dedication to "educating the whole child" makes for the most entirely enriching school experience. With children spending so many of their most alert hours of each day in school, it was important to us that our son experience his education in a way that will encourage him to be a creative and imaginative problem solver and life-long learner. Through song, dance, stories, painting, and woodworking the children of Maple Village are having a joyous kindergarten experience while developing skills such as memorization, rhythm, and coordination. Math and social skills are happening as they prepare their daily snack together and eat as a group around one large table. They take walks three days a week to local green spaces and the lagoon where they are able to run, explore, dig, and build. Their minds and bodies are preparing to learn the same academics other children will learn, but it is through real world applications and experiences rather than testing and memorization so they will be able to carry these skills with them into adulthood. Every days' activities follow a flow that mimics the natural rise a fall of the children's energy that makes for such seamless and healthy transitions. Most of all, we love to ask our son every single day how his day was at Maple Village's Sunflower Kindergarten, and for any number of reasons, his answer always begins with, "Great!"
After enrolling my son in this school and experiencing his first year here, I simply cannot think of absolutely any other school for him! At Waldorf, they truly educate the whole child. If you believe that children are meant to learn by doing and not simply by repeating, copying or watching, this is the place for your child. Great teacher-student ratio, walks to the park, second language learning, music, dancing, painting, strong interaction with nature, promotion of healthy eating habits... they are all part of Maple Village's amazing curriculum and vision. This school is indeed a little village, a great community of teachers, children and parents who work harmoniously on constantly improving the school. Living in this "race-to-nowhere" society has helped me realize the importance of retraining our brains to breathe, be present, and enjoy nature and life! We love Maple Village because it grounds us and helps us accomplish these goals as a family. I couldn't be more proud of my son's school. I love it and look forward to our next 8 years here!
Teachers are uneducated in curriculum. They push their beliefs and opinions onto parents and children rather than focusing on children's potential. It's truly unfortunate for this school, because parents try their best to conform to this schools ignorant philosophy. Teachers are lazy and want what's easy.
Maple Village School is a school with an amazing heart. We loved it from the moment our children started there, in kindergarten and in the 2/3 combo grade class. The teachers are dedicated and responsive, the staff and administration are always listening and caring, and parents are very eager to support the growth and well-being of this little fledgling school. Just by visiting this school, you can feel how special this school is. It really operates on the three-fold aspect of Waldorf education: head, heart and hands. I highly highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a self-and-community-centered education--the school creates a beautiful balance--and wanting their child(ren) to be strong, courageous and imaginative citizens of the future. What more can a parent ask for in an education, in a school? You will fall in love, I am certain.
I will forever be grateful that my family found Waldorf, and Maple Village specifically. Having had a "conventional" school education myself it took a while to begin to appreciate what they do and how they do it. I now have my two young kids at Maple Village and I truly can no longer imagine sending my kids to another school. The school and the wonderful teachers seem to take full responsibility for the children, as individuals -- not just for their academic education or for their entertainment or for their socialization. I feel like my children are being guided through their first steps outside of our house, physically, emotionally, academically, and spiritually. My experience with Maple Village has already changed many of the ways I view education and even the way we raise our children.
I have been a parent at MVS since it's inception. I now have 2 children there, grade 1, and parent / toddler. I can't safe enough about the warmth, compassion and reverence that goes into every aspect of this school. The approach to education is unparalleled. I am now a student in Foundation Studies for Waldorf Teacher training. Knowing that every teacher my children meet along this journey has gone thru this training makes me feel even more blessed to have found Waldorf Education. The community of parents, teachers and administrators is like family! An inspiring, warm, compassionate group of human beings!
II am so glad one of my friends told me about Maple Village School! My daughter is enrolled in the Parent/Toddler class and we both love it. There is a real sense of community at this school. I value the focus on nature, connection with the seasons, play, and healthy living and eating. It is a very nurturing environment that your child will blossom in. I highly recommend you go to their website to learn more about Waldorf education and set up an appointment to sit in on a class. They currently offer classes up through 2nd grade or 3rd grade I believe. You will be so happy you did!