I value the Waldorf School's focus on the individual needs of the child and its efforts to educate our children to be balanced human beings. Also I appreciate the Schools efforts to foster an appreciation of the true,the good and the beautiful in the world and in themselves.
I've been a parent at WHWS for over 10 years. I am the proud parent of a high school graduate, high school sophomore and eighth grader. WHWS is a school that nurtures the whole child while at the same time providing a rich and comprehensive curriculum that creates life long learners. I'm so proud that my children have been to attend WHWS and I'm grateful for the community that is provides for our family.
My two daughter have absolutely loved the school. The have both attended since kindergarten and have thrived. I was concerned because both of their reading skills lagged somewhat behind the metrics set up by the publice school system and as I was told, they would read when they were ready. By 4th grade my older daughter was a voracious reader and finished the entire Harry Potter series in one summer. She has far surpassed all public school standards and best of all she did it on her own without anyone forcing her to read using an arbitrary timeline. We held our youngest daughter back one extra year in kindergarten because we felt she was not ready. The extra time was instrumental in her development. She now thrives in class and truly loves her classmates and her teacher.
I am an educator by trade and have children who love coming here everyday. This is a school where childhood matters, and play is taken seriously by the preschool and kindergarten teachers. Great care is taken to provide beautiful spaces, build social skills and foster creative minds who happily problem solve how to build a fort, sail a pirate ship or be a family of wolves with four other friends. We love that the school community supports our family values of a non-commercial, low-media childhood with lots of time outdoors. We reap the benefits of Waldorf when we see our children being kind to others, working in the garden and being entertained for hours making things with their own hands. The non-academic Kindergarten has somehow fostered the intellectual mind of our second grade child. His passion for reading books is clearly inspired by listening to all those increasingly complex stories. He reads with "voice", has an appreciation for a good story, recalls well and his comprehension is at a fourth grade level. He's a visual learner, so the experiential methods and use of manipulatives in learning math processes works well. We love how learning happens in context.
My husband and I were skeptical before we came to this school, but after five years at the school we are very, very happy with the education our daughter is receiving. The education is quite similar to the highly successful program taught in the Finnish schools, and the teachers, parents, and other students form a wonderful community that's surprisingly diverse. I thought we'd have trouble fitting in, and frankly we don't fit it, but we're accepted, respected, and involved anyway. It's okay to be ourselves. We're especially pleased with the school's focus on using children's strongest desires as a way of teaching them -- teaching math through movement, foreign language through singing, things like that. The children absolutely love going to school, and come home with so much knowledge and wisdom, and are respectful, thoughtful, and artistic too. I just wish there were a Waldorf high school in Bellingham.
This should be a fantastic school, but it is not. The Waldorf style of teaching should be a magical experience, but this particular school is run in a small minded way. Enrollment is falling and funding is an issue here, as so many families have their tuition subsidised, and families keep leaving. Many children have left this school in recent years due to parent disatisfaction at the way this school is run, and how some children are treated by teachers. Recruitment of teachers is an insular activity. Qualifications and experience take second place to being friends with the current teachers. In the last few years, the following subjects have been cancelled: Woodwork, German, Eurythmy. Is this actually a Waldorf school anymore? I think Rudolf Steiner would be shocked and ashamed to see this school operated as it is.The sign of a good school is a waiting list. No waiting list here! If you want a Waldorf education for your child, look elsewhere. You have been warned.
Great school. Our children have attended the school since 1998. Our eldest child has transitioned well to the public high school and we feel grateful for the kind care and broad education he received while attending this school for eleven years. Our younger child is still enrolled in the school. We have received great parenting support in this community and are impressed by the current leadership and parent energy!
It's too bad to read that a parent had a bad experience in the past and has therefore chosen to bash the school as a whole. The school has undergone a major transition - in both administration and teaching staff. They are dedicated and committed to making Whatcom Hills Waldorf School a wonderful place for children to receive a top notch education. Waldorf Education is the fastest growing non-denominational education system in the world. They integrate the arts and academics and teach it in an experiential and developmentally appropriate manner. Waldorf Graduates have incredibly high levels of success. Visit whywaldorfworks.org for more stats, studies and quotes. Both my daugthers are thriving at this school - I wouldn't send them anywhere else!
The Waldorf educational structure takes your children through the stages of learning that their minds and bodies are naturaly in. My first son went from down in depressed in public schools to a happy good student in the Whatcom Hills Waldorf. If you want your kids to learn how to be engaging well rounded humans, this is the place for you. I
I only give it one star because there doesn't seem to be an option for zero stars. This school is not for me, nor if I had a choice, would I allow any of my children to go here again. The school has no written policies or substance. Consequently, their discipline is sparratic at beast. They also claim to want to teach the children openmindedness, tolerance and acceptance. They do a great job of that as long as you subscribe to thier viewpoints, but if you don't subscribe to their viewpoints, don't look like they do, they you will be left out, pushed aside, not even acknowleged at functions. They make extremely poor decisions as a whole.
WHWS truly provides a whole nourishing environment for young people. The community developed holds the whole family in love and support.
Great, talented, inspiring teachers - my three kids all went through from kindergarten and got a first-rate classical, multicultural, rich education. They are bright, creative, outgoing teenagers. It's the best!
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