This school feels magical and a long awaited haven from the public school rat race. The teachers are warm, dedicated and gifted in what they do. Most of them. However the administration is draconian, inaccessible and disrespectful. Don't expect communication from anyone if you have concerns about your child. They have no interest in a holistic approach to families - i.e. sibling preference for classes - which creates an extremely awkward situation for numerous longstanding families. They have no endowment, and little ability to manage money. The administration does not support the teaching staff, particularly with classes that have children who may have special needs. The state of the school under the current leadership - and particularly the director, who stays locked in a room unseen - is tenuous at best, particularly in the greater Boston area. Waldorf philosophy yes. Waldorf of Lexington, a big disappointing no.
I always envisioned my children attending our neighborhood public school. That was until I discovered the Waldorf School of Lexington, an Independent school 20 minutes from our home. The Waldorf School is unlike any other school my husband and I have known. Our children will attend this school from Pre-school through 8th Grade. What speaks to us at this school is the underlying philosophy of developing a child's "heart, hands and head". Our children are blessed to be attending a school where experiencing nature is paramount to a child's healthy development. In addition, there is an emphasis on weaving art and music through the curriculum. The uniqueness of this school never ceases to amaze us.
As a parent of two children at this school, my experience of it is very different from the review of May 28, 2011. I have found this school to be less driven by business/finance than others, very willing to work with families who are committed to the ideals they work toward. Kindergarten is run as it was originally designed back when that word was invented: to play and to learn through play. Academics do not start until first grade, when ABC's are learned in a most beautiful and memorable way (not second grade, as the reviewer states). If you want an academic kindergarten then don't go here. But if you want developmentally-appropriate learning, then this is the place. My oldest is about to graduate 8th grade after being here since the parent-tot program. She arrived a shy introverted child and while she has retained the beauty of who she is she is also able to stand up on stage and speak, sing, and play music. She has learned to observe and think for herself rather than becoming a bucket full of facts. She has had the opportunity to develop skills in many areas, and thus has balance in her life. The opportunities here wonderful.
It is like any other private school doing business (the business people are pretty hard-nosed, if I may add) sugar-coated with their "philosophy"...you may be taken by the their presentation skills but don't expect to learn ABCs until 2nd grade or so.. and the kindergarten teacher told me that the school discourages teaching at home...and the children have counting "in them" and they learn to count on their own without anyone teaching them... . . huh!
The Waldorf School offers an alternative approach to learning that draws upon a child's natural curiosity, creativity, and need for connectedness to other people, nature, and innate spirituality.
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