My two children have attended Minnesota Waldorf School for four years. We made the decision to have them attend a Waldorf school after seeing a friend's (now adult) daughter's experience in a California Waldorf school. Both children have thrived at MWS and are happy and excited to go to school every morning.
The mixed ages Kindergarten is wonderful. My oldest attended it for one year, and my youngest is in her third (and final) year. I love that my youngest begins every day with a nature walk and spends most of her day engaging in outdoor and creative play. The early childhood staff are warm, nurturing, and empathetic.
Our experience with grade 1 and up has been equally awesome. Waldorf teachers stay with one class from grades 1-8, and this has allowed both our daughter, my ex-husband, and myself to form a deeper relationship with her teacher than we could have in just one year. Class sizes are small and, in part due to the mixed ages Kindergarten, children form friendships across grades. Lessons about friendship, sharing, and caring for our planet are built into the academics, which are presented in a creative and engaging manner. Each year the third grade class is responsible for caring for the school's chickens—a responsibility my daughter and her friends really enjoy.
At one of our first grade class parent meetings, my daughter's teacher communicated that that spring the class had been having an increase in behavioral problems. Her response was to ask herself what she could do differently, and so she began taking them on a daily walk again (a regular part of the Kindergarten classes' routine). This emphasis on outdoor play and the whole child is one of the primary differences between Waldorf education and the test-based focus currently common in public schools.
MWS is a great community. I love being part of a community of families with shared values (no/limited screen time for young children, outdoor play, art, music, recess, natural and organic foods, tolerance, emphasis on reduce, reuse, recycle). The support of its teachers, staff, and other parents has been invaluable.
I am incredibly impressed with the staff and parent community at MWS. The curriculum is so thoughtfully delivered to the children - each lesson addresses my child at her developmental level and celebrates her as a unique individual. The students get loads of recess on 8 acres of beautiful land with groves of trees and gorgeous views and there is NO HIGH STAKES TESTING! The children enjoy the school day, creating, playing, sharing and learning. My daughter is standing strong at 9 years old - healthy, happy and full of the knowledge of who she is. Take a tour - it's an amazing place.
From the first time my daughter saw the school, met her teacher, and began interacting with her (future) classmates, we knew this was the right school for her. It shares our values and is a true community!
This school has helped our daughter become an incredibly gifted and capable young woman. She is able to comprehend ideas and thoughts way further than most 16 year olds. MN Waldorf gave her the skills she needed to become a whole citizen in these fast paced times. The lack of "technology" in the classroom really helps facilitate it in the later years. These children are great people when they leave the school and ready for anything the world brings them. The teaching staff is second to none.
My kids LOVE to go to school and they receive tons of compliments on being well rounded. The Minnesota Waldorf School has an amazing core curriculum of math, science, language arts, and humanities, as well as music, art, recess, foreign language, gym, recess. In addition to all this the material is presented at just the right time and in just the right way so that the process is fun and meaningful to the children. I wish I had gone to the Minnesota Waldorf school. The only thing I wish is that more people knew about it .