Our family has been at Camellia for six years now, and it has been such a wonderful place for our two girls to grow, learn and flourish. The teachers are so warm and caring, and the teaching method is extremely engaging - my 6th grader especially has been so excited about what she has been learning lately, at an age when a lot of kids are hard to engage.
Camellia teaches kids to have a life-long love of learning, a deeper depth of understanding, and excellent critical thinking skills. It is not just rote memorization of facts that they will soon forget. Due to the small class sizes, teachers also can really cater to the interests of the children in each class.
But more than that, Camellia helps kids grow into wonderful human beings. When my husband got his haircut recently, he was chatting with the woman cutting his hair. When it came up that our girls go to Camellia, she said "I can always tell when [I'm giving a haircut to] kids that go to that school. They always have something interesting to talk about." That kind of sums it up!
I am humbled and amazed by the dedication the teachers demonstrate year after year at Camellia Waldorf School. They are able to focus on each and every student, find ways to reach and encourage the student, and help the student discover and act on his or her own potential. It may sound quaint, but I have gotten the strong impression that the teachers genuinely love each and every child at Camellia Waldorf School.
Camellia Waldorf School cathects honesty, integrity and fairness in students in everything it does: Through stories, history and fables that are told with vivid detail. Through helping children work through disagreements and differences in ways that focus on mutual respect and reasonable compromise. Through demonstrating these qualities: The faculty and staff is dedicated to discernment and fairness and it shows in how they work with the students.
When we chose Camellia Waldorf School for our children, I was confident that it would be a warm, loving environment for them in preschool and kindergarten, and an increasingly challenging and engaging environment as they progressed from first through eighth grade. This has proven to be true and our children are thriving. What I did not realize, was how much this school would influence my entire family for the better. We used to be a family that came home from a long day of work and daycare, heated up something from the freezer, and watched TV. We were too tired to do anything else and I think I missed out on many precious moments with my children because of my adherence to the "daily grind" mentality. But, at Camellia Waldorf School, I met so many families who had found other ways to organize their family life, that I became inspired with possibility. My spouse and I found a way for me to work part time, and now I spend a lot more time with, and have more energy for, my family. This evening, after dinner, the TV was off, as it is every weeknight now, and we played board games and danced to some old pop tunes. My son and daughter were exuberant and joyful as they flew around the room. This is now a nightly occurrence at our house. I am so grateful to the Camellia Waldorf School community for being welcoming to my family from the very beginning. It is an extraordinary place for children - and parents!
My children have received an education that has taught them how to think critically, problem solve, and ask amazing questions about life, relationships, and how the world works. Creativity is threaded through their problem-solving abilities, as well as through their artwork and how they play with others. I have two avid readers. They truly hold a love for learning about the world, whether at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose (5th grade field trip) or at Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley (3rd grade field trip).
Moreover, they attend a school with a close community. We parents volunteer out of love for special events like Protected Path and Winter Faire, and also participate in ways to support the faculty and raise money for the school.
Camellia Waldorf is diverse in terms of race, culture, and socioeconomics. This is important to our non-Anglo family with mixed-race children.
Final words are that I am glad this option exists in Sacramento. Teachers are dedicated and committed. The Administrator is solid and accessible. With some recent changes (the school is moving to the Pocket neighborhood), the school is committed to the education and well-being of our children.
So far, with a middle school-age child, I feel the amount of homework daily and weekly has been just right. Periodic projects have been helpful in teaching my son to manage his time and pace himself through a longer process of gathering, analyzing, and presenting information. Having to do oral presentations and participate in plays have also been beneficial in building confidence.
The teachers have been great. Very dedicated and attentive to details. They really care about the students and how and whether they are learning and thriving. If I ever have questions or concerns, I approach individual teachers for answers. The class teacher and other subject teachers for Spanish, music, and gardening have been accessible in my experience.
Yes, overall. If and when there are concerns in this regard, teachers reach out to parents to together address any issues; there are avenues for parents to initiate such conversations. The school has invested resources in a social inclusion program as well.