For many years our family was part of a Waldorf Community. I was there often, helping with classes, field trips, meetings, fairs, etc. I knew nothing of Anthroposophy before we joined and was told it was not in the school. I gradually realized that this is the driving force behind Waldorf Education. I started to learn and read and ask questions. I spent countless hours on the Internet and even spent some time at the PLANS site and their Critics List - just reading and learning. At that time, although I knew something was not quite right at the school I was not ready to throw in the towel. This was the only school our kids knew and we wanted it to work. One day the bubble popped.
After years of wanting to believe in this community and trying to help solve some of the problems the school encountered our family was hit between the eyes by an Anthroposophical 2x4 and the pain was intense. A disturbing incident occurred in the school which required a quick resolution. The matter had to be dealt with and it was not. Many parents pulled their children from the school. I honestly believe the lack of accountability has to do with a version of karma. I was forced to see the school in a totally different light. This realization hurt. The groupthink of some was sad to see - these were members of our community. I was astounded. We had no choice but to pull our children. We were not the only ones to leave. I spent some time phoning other families who had left over the years. I found myself suddenly wondering why I had not contacted them earlier...just to see how they were doing? Strange - we had all been quite close a few years earlier.
The words I heard from ex-Waldorf families to describe how they felt about Waldorf was... "Cult." These old friends - ex-community members, were glad to see us out of the community. They are good people. I came back to PLANS and the Critics List on the Internet with a different perspective - suddenly these folks were not (as I had previously thought) just out to get Waldorf. They were well read on the subject and felt a need to vent and to help. While I do not agree with every critic of Waldorf Education on every topic I now completely understand the essence of Waldorf Education. As painful as it was to leave I am so very relieved to have done so. My children are doing well. We did not have one inquiry from the school as to our children's well being. And still I have nothing against Anthroposophy or Waldorf Education for those who understand and choose this very religious/occult based education. Unfortunately, Waldorf Education promotes itself in a misleading manner. This accounts for many painful misunderstandings.
My children are adapting well to their new situation. It takes time but they want nothing to do with the old school. While some of our Waldorf experience was good (knitting, baking, etc.) the fundamental essence of Waldorf is steeped in occultism, mysticism, karma and (re) incarnation. This is not what I was led to believe prior to enrolling our children. I understand this now. If I had known this before we would not have joined.
I write this testimonial anonymously for a simple reason. When I expressed my serious concerns - through the appropriate channels to the school - a teacher threatened me with a lawsuit. What I had asked for is a meeting. I was ignored. Instead, many of us pulled our children. This matter is not resolved and I am considering my options. I was advised to post this anonymously. I have since learned that the accountability problem we experienced is quite common within the Waldorf movement. I have met many parents with similar stories from other schools. If you join a Waldorf school do not expect accountability. It is a case of buyer beware. You can expect a disturbing version of karma. I write this now for no other reason than to warn prospective parents before they get involved in something they do not understand. There is much more to Waldorf than that which appears on the surface. Research Waldorf Education from every angle BEFORE you enrol your children. Please.