There is no homework in the lower grades, and homework is introduced at exactly the right time (around 4th grade usually) and in perfect doses. Everything in a Waldorf school is intentionally designed.
My daughter is getting a perfectly designed education at Kimberton Waldorf School. Having had experiences with many different schools, from public schools to parochial schools to single sex schools to Friends schools to boarding schools, I've come to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing like a Waldorf Education and nothing else I'd consider for any of my children.
I am grateful to Kimberton Waldorf School for the gifts it gave to my children. They learned how to think well, think for themselves, and express themselves well both verbally and in writing. They are resourceful, and have confidence in themselves. They are well-adjusted, well-balanced human beings and I credit KWS for much of this.
Because students are practicing engaged learning they have to work things out together whether it be on the playground or in the classroom; healthy problem solving is going to happen due to the hands on nature of this type of education.
Waldorf education is a healing tonic in a hectic world. It is education at it's best. A place where each and every student can learn and develop at their own pace. A place where students naturally learn by doing. The focus is on holistic learning. Developing the brain by utilizing your hands just as much as your mind. Science backs up this type of learning proving that movement and art or music develops the brain just as much (perhaps more so) than traditional education. The best part is that children thrive when offered mutliple experiences during the day and aren't just sitting at a desk. School begins to fill your child instead of depleting them. It is truly a beautiful thing!
I have attended KWS since first grade, so I have had the chance to experience all aspects of this school. I thought that having the same teacher from 1st to 8th grade was wonderful because she could really get to know each student, and as much as possible teach to a students specific needs. I also know that teachers are mentored by more experienced teachers for their first eight years, and they do continue their training as they teach by going to many conferences and summer workshops. In high school, I think that teaching to the head, heart, and hands becomes even more important. I also love how we are taught through discussion and hands-on experience rather than out of a text book. Naturally, when it comes to studying algebra or calculus, we do use a text book. But even then, it is used as a helpful tool or source of practice probelms, never as the source of teaching. Of course this school is not perfect. Because of its small size it can't offer all that a big public school can. After I graduate this spring, I look forward to going to college as a well rounded student who can perform well on a test, and can also think creatively and independently.
My son has been attending the Rosebud School (preschool) at Kimberton Waldorf School since September 2014. I am so pleased with the amount of care and consideration given to him during the three-days/week he is there. Every day I drop him off, he has a smile on his face and absolutely can't wait to start his busy day with his teachers and friends. When I come to pick him up, he is delighted to see me and tell me all about the adventures of his day. I absolutely love the commitment KWS has to preparing and eating healthy, organic foods; engaging children in enriching activities that are truly age-appropriate; focusing on what each child individually needs; leading by example; and encouraging my son's inner imagination and light to shine! Like others, I wish I had attended this school when I was a kid, and I can't wait to watch my children grow up and thrive in this extraordinary environment.
After researching the many private schools we have in this area, my wife and I chose Kimberton Waldorf School for our two children over 14 years ago. As we watched our children progress through the lower, middle and high school our respect for Waldorf Education grew. Although most schools claim to teach the values children will need in life, we found only Waldorf Education actually implementing these values into each lesson. The curriculum is not just academic but incorporates morality, empathy, creativity, communication, imagination and independence to allow the children to leave school with the tools needed to thrive in this world. The school has been the greatest gift we could give to our children. Is the school perfect? No, there are the same issues I suspect one will find at almost any institution. None-the-less, we find the school to be well run and very responsive to our needs. We are very satisfied with our choice of schools and hope our grandchildren will one day attend.