"I guess I will share my experience with Waldorf here in case it helps anyone
looking for more information. Of course every Waldorf school is unique and my
experience is unique as well.
I attended Waldorf in grade 6. My family had just moved out to BC and heard bad
things about the local public schools and I was all set to enroll in one year
into a private Baha'i school so we just had one year until then.
Because I had gone through years in the public school system and was learning
reading with my mom at home even before we started it at school, I was very
shocked at suddenly being immersed in such a different style of learning.
We had no books, we never read in class or for homework. A class usually
consisted of the teacher giving a lecture and we could draw pictures or write
what he or she said. 2 kids in my class of 9 could not read at all, they were
the 2 who had gone through Waldorf from kindergarden age. Math class was drawing
shapes in our sketchbooks and also one time I remember nailing little nails into
a sheet of plywood and wrapping yarn around them to make it look like a star.
It was very hard to learn French and German because we couldn't practice reading
from a text at school or at home. Our teacher would say words and we'd repeat
them. That's it.
By the time I finished the year and went on to the next school, I was so far
behind in my Math that it took me almost the entire seventh grade spent in
after-school tutorials to catch up. Luckily I loved reading and had been reading
books at home even though it wasn't part of my school work at Waldorf, so that
didn't suffer. We didn't learn any science or geography or social studies at
all, so I was behind on all of those too.
I'm so glad that I only went there for one year, other wise I know it would have
taken me longer to catch up and Math has always been a challenge for me.
After that experience, I know I will never send any child of mine to Waldorf. I
loved learning to read when I did - reading was a very special part of my
childhood and I hope it will be for my children too. Also I want them to be
prepared well for university, and I know that if I'd stayed on at Waldorf for
all of high school, I'd never manage with college/university courses.
My younger sister unfortunately struggled with these same issues, since she also
attended Waldorf that year. She was in grade 3. After that year, my parents took
her out and put her in another school since we had moved to another area with a
better public school. She almost had to repeat grade 3 because of Waldorf, but
luckily the new teacher she had was willing to help her out after school if
needed with her reading etc.
Thanks for letting me share my experience, and very glad this thread is here for
those who need it."