This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted March 23, 2015
- a parent
I have one child currently enrolled and will have two next year. We made the transition a few years ago from a traditional private school and have never looked back. My boys are blossoming in the Waldorf environment. The curriculum is both challenging and fun and meets them at their level. They are not sedated with countless hours of homework but are encouraged to use the real world to learn. My boys are not dissuaded from being boys and are encouraged to explore their physical and creative limits. They are pushed to be good humans as well as good students. The community is a joy to be a part of!
I have two children at this school, and we love it. The school has a really rich, comprehensive curriculum including Mandarin and Spanish in all grades, orchestra, sports, fine arts and practical arts (including metalwork and woodwork). In the early grades, the children move a lot in class and still get a good amount of recess time (and are not burdened with a heavy homework load). Urban Prairie values a deep learning experience--the children really dive into their coursework. Recently the 6th graders were studying Rome--not just reading about it but role-playing the conflicts with different tribes, building a functioning aqueduct, and learning about what was happening in art and mathematics at that time as well. I found it really inspiring and wished that I had learned the same way!
This is not the school for everybody. That having been said, it may be the perfect school for your child and your family. This new gem was started with the blood, sweat and tears of the parents of the graduates of City Garden Early Childhood Center in Pilsen. If you need a school that looks like a big techno-computer lab run by a cold bureaucracy, go elsewhere. This is a tiny school with small class sizes governed largely by passionate and invested parents. The classrooms are gorgeous and devoid of all signs of current trends and fads. The teachers have been through a rigorous teacher training program called Arcturus, which is based upon the 100 year-old Rudolf Steiner pedagogy--which is taught around the world. The school is full of programing that has received the axe from mainstream curriculum: art, recitation, languages, theatre, movement, music and yes, recess. The conscientious parent who wants their child to do more than be proficient at test-taker will notice this school attracts a different kind of parent and creates a different type of child.