childhood alternatives/ kill your TV?
Let me first put forth the disclaimer that there are many, many
appropriate philopphies of child rearing. This one is pretty
alternative, but wonderful: Waldorf Schools.I am a big believer in the
Waldork Educational Philosophy:
"Waldorf education is a distinctive method of education practiced in
Waldorf schools around the world. The concept was developed by Rudolf
Steiner in Europe in the 1920s. Today there are more than 500 Waldorf
schools worldwide and more than 100 Waldorf schools in North America.
Waldorf schools don't advocate killing your TV, but they do ask that all
families agree to not allow their children to watch TV at all. They
have very limited computer usage in the upper grades. The ideas is that
the child's mind is allowed (forced?) to create its own images, rather
than being spoon-fed images of other people. There is a very strong
emphasis on hand work and creativity. In kindergarten, they all learn
to knit these adorable little kittens. The materials which they do use
are all natural, not plastic and require the child to imagine and create
with them. They are "open-ended" toys, which have no fixed play role
assigned to them.
"The aim of Waldorf education is to educate the whole child -- head,
heart and hands. The curriculum is geared to the child's stages of
development and brings together all elements -- intellectual, artistic,
spiritual and movement. The goal is to produce individuals who are able,
in and of themselves, to impart meaning to their lives."
"Waldorf education places as much emphasis on creativity and moral
judgment as it does on intellectual growth. Pre-school and elementary
classes build on the children's gifts for imitation and imaginative
play, gradually introducing academic subjects in the elementary grades
as the class becomes ready for them.
Throughout the grades and into high school, the curriculum integrates
academics and artistic work -- to awaken students' reverence for beauty
and goodness, as well as truth. The joy with which children attend
school, and the openness, interest and
self-reliance of Waldorf graduates, attest to the value of this
"education towards freedom.""
There is a Waldorf school north of Chapel Hill, about 2 miles, off
Airport/86. In the spring they have a medieval festival, which is open
to the public and quite a lot of fun. The campus is open to visitation
and well worth seeing. It's spread out through the forest and the kids
spend a lot of their school time outdoors. Additionally, their students
generally score excellently on placement tests (the ultimate goal of
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516
Affiliation with AWSNA: sponsored
Dated Founded: 1984
Grades Offered: N-8
"The Emerson Waldorf School was founded in 1984 and our campus is
located on 25 beautiful
wooded acres in a cluster of anthroposophically inspired buildings. We
have just completed a new building for our middle school grades which is
in close proximity to our lower grades building. Our kindergartens have
a lovely separate building. We have grades one through eight and two
preschool/kindergartens with an enrollment of 153."