The HVWS educational philosophy instills a love of learning. Students are encouraged to deeply engage in the process of whatever developmentally appropriate activity they're doing - irregardless of whether its geared to developing the head, heart, or hands. The teachers and staff are accessible and supportive. If you're not familiar with Waldorf schools, come for a visit!
My daughter is now in the 4th grade of HVWS, and we couldn’t be happier with our school choice. This school offers a carefully thought-through curriculum and a nurturing environment, rich in movement, music, artistic expression, to help children grow their curiosity and love for learning and become independent, critical thinkers. I always marvel at the sense of beauty and appreciation for the world we live in that the school instills in our children, from classrooms adorned with beautiful chalkboard drawings and wood-carved shelves to students’ notebooks filled with cursive writing and paintings. The children learn to appreciate and care for what their hands and minds create.
There are some parents there who have helped me see beyond the human foibles that have occurred as they do in any community- they helped me see the bigger picture beyond the petty stuff. There are some very special teachers and parents at this school who are generous, kind and loving people who believe in this educational approach and do everything they can to offer it to children who come.
A great emphasis is placed on the importance of childhood and to have space for the imagination, for time to be bored, for self-directed play and activities after school. HW starts in 5th grade and it is just enough and I am so glad my daughter still has her love of doing work and has not burned out like all the children around us.
I don't know that I would use those words. I would say that what I love the most about this educational approach is the love of learning that is instilled in them. With this love of learning and curiosity, they become open minded, hungry students of life and all the world offers.
Respect is a fundamental principle they focus on since kindergarten. Through stories, through actions (serving tea, helping their friends and teachers) the children are exposed to the importance of respect for others as well as being challenged and developing an internal self-respect with each new accomplishment.
I feel the philosophy on which this education is based, stresses the importance of being your best self and doing good- not just good work for a grade, but really doing what is right and good for others and oneself.
Waldorf education is very unique in its approach to educating the whole child- not just the brain. My daughter is very creative and artistic and has enjoyed her experience at HVWS for the past 7 yrs. I am grateful for the attention and care the teachers give their students and the thoughtfulness of what is taught and how it is taught. If you know nothing about Waldorf education, I strongly encourage you to come for a visit- it will be an interesting and memorable experience whether you choose to join the school or not.
My daughter is 5 years old and goes to the early childhood (mixed kindergarten program). She started at age 2.75 and I have been more than satisfied - actually, delighted with the care and quality of education that not only my daughter has received thus far but also the support I have received as a working mom! The program is play-based with lots of outdoor activities, gentle form of discipline and great wholesome/organic snacks! I believe children - especially the really young - i.e. 6 and under need their growth to be supported in a way that develops their imagination, joy and spirit as well as bring forth their unique gifts that lie within each of them. I have found over the last 3 years that each teacher in this school radiates joy and love for learning and is a worthy role model for my child and me.