Children - Education
The first seven year period (cf. children´s development) exclusively is reserved for playing. A pre-schoolchild must not be bored by learning how to write and to cipher. There are so many things to explore! Building a tower out of blocks will teach the child there is a limit somewhere. Is the construction too high it will suddenly fall down. People forget about this simple experience in later life. You need no math to find out a simple rule.
In Waldorf Kindergarten it is important to let the children experience the rhythms of life. There is a daily rhythm (breakfast, playing outside, cooking, lunch etc.), a weekly rhythm (Monday, Tuesday etc.), and the rhythm of the year (four seasons, holidays).
Particular attention is paid to the child`s ability to imitate the adult (care giver) in doing practical things; thus developing skills. As regards nutrition, usually organic products and a vegetarian kitchen is preferred. The children help in preparing the food. The life in a Waldorf Kindergarten is much like that in a traditional extended family.
Waldorf School (Rudolf Steiner School)
As reported, (cf. seven year periods) after having completed the first seven years the child is eager to become as skillied as the adults. The teacher becomes his example. The child will love to follow him. For the teacher this is a tremendous responsibility to kindle the children´s enthusiasm every day.
There is one form-teacher who will accompany his children from form 1 to form 8. Only thereafter different, specialized teachers will continue to prepare the children for their final examinations after 12 years.
As a matter of course two foreign languages are taught from the first form onwards. Major subjects are taught in "epochs". This means, a particular subject is taught for eg. three weeks to be followed by another subject for a prolonged time as well. There is no hopping from one major subject to another within one day. Thus the pupils have time to merge with an epoch. Handicrafts and needlework are taught to both, girls and boys.
Waldorf School ends after form 12. In Germany (three grade system) examination for basic and middle grade will follow then. Those pupils who intend to achieve the certificate of maturity (access to university in Germany) have to add a further year to comply with the state curriculum. This way children are given time enough to develop and will be old enough to enter a professional career. Otherwise, children easily may lose their youth in the German state school system when they have to leave after form 10 (basic grade in Germany), then being victims of a materialistic society kept in the dark.
In Germany it is customary to separate children after form 4 and send them to basic, middle and high grade schools. This is due to a belief in Darwin´s philosophy (survival of the fittest), I presume.
Children and racing horses have one thing in common. It is not always the horse leading from the start that is the first to reach the finish. Ask a Jockey!
All Waldorf Schools are based on the same concept nationwide and even worldwide. So moving to a different federal state or to another country will be uncomplicated. Apart from the language problems a German child will find the same environment and rhythm in an Israeli Waldorf School as in a German Waldorf School. Of course Christmas will be substituted by Chanukah. The cultural background will and must always be different. Still Waldorf pupils will feel at home worldwide and be able to cope with a new culture.