I loved going to PHWS!!!! I graduated from PHWS in 2007, going there for nine years, with only fourteen kids in my class, and it was the best decision my parents made for my education. People keep talking about how PHWS doesn't prepare their kids/themselves for high school subjects like science and math, but the way we work with those subjects just makes us even more ready. We work at things harder; we care more about school. Because of a teacher I had back then, I am now pursuing an English major at UW-Stevens Point. The teachers really do care about how the students learn, not only the academic subjects but also the social situations too. So many of the programs there help both academically and socially that it makes one a better-rounded person in the end, even if you just went for a year. Sure, it's expensive, but it's completely worth it. Everyone, teachers, administrators, parents, and kids alike, chips into the school in one way or another. I love coming back and seeing what I can do to help out, whether it is with the library, the website, or a subject a teacher is teaching. Absolutely great!!!
Prairie Hill isn't 'just' a school - it's a 'community'. I've been a parent at the school for 11 years now between my two children and they both refer to it as their 2nd family. They look to their teachers as parents and mentors and the beauty of it is, the teachers honor and care for the children with reference and true caring. Prairie Hill has been a wonderful place for my children to learn and grow and our family is stronger as a result.
Prairie Hill is a true alternative school that is one of the best kept secrets. It is not a public school wrapped up in a pretty package, but rather an experience that develops the whole person , their spirit, and their creativity. My kids are excelling in all areas from academics, to their social skills and emotional health. They are learning to be creative problem solvers and not just tech junkies. I can see why the Google executives send their kids to a Waldorf school.
The school is not teaching the children to be compassionate to one another. Maybe they learn to have respect for the earth, nature and their schoolwork, but it seems to end when they enter recess. There are too many incidents of inappropriate language and behavior. The school seems to not take it seriously enough to implement rules to keep everyone emotionally and physically safe. The Waldorf curriculum is wonderful and impressive, but the school lacks the guidelines that holds the children responsible for their ill behavior. The most important thing we can teach our children is to be kind to themselves and others.
The 2009-2010 school year at Prairie Hill has just concluded, and it was simply amazing to experience another year with such a strong, rich and diverse community of families and teachers. This school is a rare find, where student growth, education and development is CLEARLY the first and foremost goal of the school. A refocused leadership group has the school in good shape to weather the economic downturn that many private schools are experiencing.
Prairie Hill Waldorf School provides an exceptional environment for children to grow and learn in a non judgmental, nurturing way. i am a longtime parent with three children attending and i have seen first hand how this education has allowed my children to become confident, creative, and insightful. the teachers bring the curriculum in such an interesting, engaging way that it doesn't feel like schoolwork and the children really respond to it and enjoy it.
I have been a long time parent and find that the most important thing to me is the way the curriculum meets the students at their age and deveolpment. They are getting exactly what they need for the stage of development that they are in. The teachers are engaging and teach to each childs level and help them reach what their potential should and could be.
We have been a family with the school for nearly 3 years now, and the school just has not maintained an acceptable level of safety regarding access into the school. There is no buzz in or check in process. Anyone can walk in and this is a huge safety issue to me. My son had a horrible experience as a kindergardener directly related to this. The school was aware, but nothing was done. Use caution when sending small children here, they may not be as protected as you are lead to believen they are.
Our three sons attended Prairie Hill. Two of our sons had wonderful experiences and had two of the best teachers we have ever known! Our then 3rd grader had a truly horrible experience with a teacher that he is still trying to heal from. Sadly, I cannot recommend the school overall. Other children had a similar experience and also left, but their siblings are still in other classes. The classroom environment must be safe physically, emotionally and spiritually for a child to learn, grow, and thrive. All of the teachers must be emotionally stable. Because of the school's horizontal leadership structure, overall lack of leadership and economic pressures, serious safety issues still exist. Please use caution when interviewing a potential teacher for your child.
We chose the school for our oldest son. We were troubled by the homework and long hours of indoor, worksheet assignments he was given in a traditional classroom. In Waldorf education, childhood is cherished with a slow unfolding of academic work. The children are led through a daily rhythmn that includes a classical, block-study, curriculum each morning. Afternoons include handwork, 2 languages, 1 or 2 instruments, drawing, pottery, woodwork and ample outdoor play/study. There are no textbooks as the material is 'living' from teacher to child. It was a good match for our son who benefits especially from the challenging fieldtrips- farm work, camping, rope climbing, etc. The teacher remains with the class all 8 years- an invested long-term relationship. As a family with 3 children now through the early childhood and into the grades, we have found PH to be a welcoming community and a support to our family life.
This school speaks to the heart of the child without neglecting any facet of development. The children are nurtured through academic, physical, artistic, and social development with care and respect for them as individuals. It is a joy to watch not only my own children but all of their classmates reach for their potential.
This is a great school for parents who want their child to enjoy learning how to problem solve through critical thinking and collaboration rather than a scantron.
I have been going to prairie Hill for two years now and I absolutely love it. I go to schol because I want to; not because I have to.
I can't say enough about how wonderful this school is. We have two children in the early childhood programs (Wonder Garden and Kindergarden) and its such a nurturing, warm, calm environment. The kids play with natural toys, eat homemaid snacks and get oustide for a bit every day (must have a good supply of rain gear and snow gear!). I have three boys and I wanted to find a school that would bring out calm creativity versus the loud and crazy play that can come with young boys. Its wonderful! My kids are ahead of the game when it comes to writing, drawing and even learning to read (at 3 1/2.) The early childhood program does not include academic work, per say, yet my kids have such an open mind and ability to focus on tasks, which is related directly from their school experience.
The Waldorf pedagogy in itself is very prescritpive. But, we found Prairie Hill to be very rigid. Not good with special needs.
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