I love Kai’s Waldorf School so much! We actually moved to our new beautiful home in Culver City last fall from the Valley just so that he could attend. Since Kai was in utero, I've been slightly stalking Waldorf schools. I would go online, research, and dream. The cost for Waldorf schools is typically between $20-30k per year, which is not a real option for our family. I filled out financial aid forms and never turned them in, dreaming on my own, slowly planting the seeds.
When Kai was 5, I went to the local kindergarten near our school in the Valley for a tour and went through all the motions of meeting the teachers, touring the classrooms, etc. I was crying the entire time. The school didn't feel right. Everything inside of me felt like screaming. I knew Kai would be amazing anywhere and survive, but I know he's meant to thrive. I then found out via a close friend about a Waldorf school on the Westside, that is *FREE*. It's a LAUSD public charter school, specializing in WALDORF! I couldn't believe my ears. Adi and I immediately went for a tour and applied, putting our names down for a lottery. That was last February. In June, they called to let us know they were opening a new kinder class and asked if we wanted Kai to be included. I snatched up the spot immediately and cried tears of gratitude.
The school was over an hour and 15 minutes each direction so we moved in the fall. My heart is so complete. With their vibrant gardens and outdoor play area, baskets of wooden toys, and rows of books, they’re incredible at promoting creativity and encouraging active, hands-on learning.
At Waldorf, the kids sing songs, tell stories, do dramatic performances, and memorize fun rhymes and verses! I like that the teachers also pair language arts and music with specific movements, games, and patterns to boost coordination, concentration, and support different types of learners.
They weave math organically throughout the day with fun activities so that the kids learn to love it at an early age and really see its value! Kai and his class play with shells, stones, and beans to learn patterns of organization and also get to design necklaces, finger knit, sew, and count with circle games.
And of course, art is huge at Waldorf. Kai absolutely loves drawing and watercolor painting time! They also offer modeling with BEESWAX. (What other school does that?!)
As I mentioned earlier, gardening and the outdoors is integral to the Waldorf curriculum and serves as a beautiful intro into the science world. As a zero waste school (where EVERYTHING is reusable!), they cultivate an early appreciation for nature and teach the kids that the world is innately good and needs us all to work together to protect and support it. This has helped ME be less wasteful and more mindful of every single thing we use and don't use in our home.
Leo will go there as well in the fall as a T-K student, and the school goes until 8th grade. I feel so content and at peace. When I pick Kai up in the afternoon, he’s always bursting with excitement to tell me what he did that day – I couldn’t ask for more in a school.
If you have any interest in learning more, I encourage you to look into Waldorf-inspired preschools/schools in your area. You'd be surprised how many schools there are (or even after school activities with a similar theme). Please feel free to ask any and all questions – I hope this helps!
I'd love to hear what you do as mamas + papas to give your kiddies the best education possible! Please share with me on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!