This organization, as well as Prairie Moon Waldorf School specifically, promotes the bizarre, racist, and cultish philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, a self-proclaimed occultist who called his beliefs "Anthroposophy". I would encourage anyone interested in Prairie Moon or Waldorf in general to research Anthroposophy and Waldorf critics and personal stories. Anthroposophy isn't specifically mentioned to parents when they inquire about the school; instead Prairie Moon is sold as a nature based, "whole child" school where students learn charming skills like gardening and bread-making. In actuality children below the age of around 7 years are denied books (older children make their own), writing instruments, black or dark brown crayons, paper with square corners, dolls with faces, or modern technology. All of the walls are lazured to allow "spirits to pass through". Children aren't taught to read before they lose their baby teeth so that the connection to the child's past incarnation is kept intact. They're denied black crayons or anything pencil-shaped or with sharp corners for the same reason. The children are surreptitiously assigned a "temperament" by the teacher on the first day and taught to that temperament. Bullying is not addressed or intervened with because Waldorf dictates that children must work out their "karma". The school is rife with superstition, rituals, incantations, and magical teachings that defy logic or scientific fact. For instance, when my son asked where the flame in a match came from when the teacher lit a candle prior to lunch, the teacher told him that the flame came from a "fire sprite" who lived in the match. When the match was blown out, the "fire sprite went to sleep". It is frustrating and infuriating to know that children (and more subtly, the parents) are indoctrinated into this bizarre cult without any amount of transparency and that it is the children who ultimately suffer with the bullying and academic delays that this type of school imposes.
We love Prairie Moon Waldorf School. The staff, teachers, and parent community displays a sincere, genuine interest in nurturing healthy, responsibile children. The school fosters a mentality of caring for the "whole child" through integrated learning. My son attends preschool and is happy, content, and socially-adjusted. For me, I'm thrilled to know that my child is exposed to creative play where negotiation and cooperation skills are a must. In addition, the school's curriculum encompasses active participation which relates to critical thinking skills. I truly believe my child is being taught how to write a test verses how to take a test. I'm proud to be part of such a proactive educational environment. We look forward in supporting the Waldorf Association of Lawrence in years to come!
My two children are excited every Sunday night that next day their school week begins! They tell me each afternoon what they have done that day... a wonderful range of work and play, from maths, language and local history to playing the fiddle and climbing trees. My oldest daughter, who had no confidence in her ability to draw, is bringing me home beautiful pictures. And her academic work is stronger than ever. She's beaming. The teachers are so enthusiastic and interested in the kids... they communicate with us through email and phone. If we have any concerns, they respond immediately. We moved our kids to this school from what I considered to be a very good school in the area... This school is far exceeding my expectations.
My girls are going to this fabulous school. It is hard to get them in the van at the end of the day...they are always beaming when I pick them up. When we get home they are in a tree knitting and playing dress up. When they come inside and draw pictures from stories they have heard at school .and explain them to us at length...they happily practice different art techniques they have been shown. Then they knit some more. They are satisfied and inspired....and so are we.
After checking the beavers' progress building their dam, my son made plaster casts of animal footprints along the stream that runs a few hundred years from the school. My daughter came home happy, singing songs she had learned with her friends. What a great school! I am so delighted with Prairie Moon. My kids are having fun learning, exploring and discovering. The other parents are great. The teachers are creative, engaged and work well together. As a child psychiatrist myself, I know how important school is for a child's intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development. I am grateful that this school is here for us.