For the Waldorf student, writing, literature, legends and myths, math, science and history, art, music, dance and theater are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced. Through experiential education, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals, certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child.
Mountain Laurel Waldorf School is part of a worldwide association of schools dedicated to bringing forth the full creative potential of each child. Waldorf education speaks directly to children’s experience, addressing each of the different ways we relate to the world; through the intellect, the emotions and the will – the ability to get things done. The Waldorf approach also recognizes that children have distinct, age-related educational needs according to their particular stages of development. Our goal is that our students meet life’s challenges with clear thinking, balanced emotions and self-initiative.
When you enter a Waldorf school, the first thing you may notice is the care given to the building. The walls are usually painted in lively colors and are adorned with student artwork. Evidence of student activity is everywhere to be found and every desk holds a uniquely created main lesson book.
Another first impression may be the enthusiasm and commitment of the teachers you meet. These teachers are interested in the students as individuals.
• How do we establish within each child his or her own high level of academic excellence?
• How do we inspire enthusiasm for learning and work, a healthy self-awareness, interest and concern for fellow human beings, and a respect for the world?
• How can we help pupils find meaning in their lives?
Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. They achieve this in a variety of ways. Even seemingly dry and academic subjects are presented in a pictorial and dynamic manner. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and behavioristic rewards to motivate learning. It allows motivation to arise from within and helps engender the capacity for joyful lifelong learning.
Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, Nursery through 8th grade, was founded in 1983 and is fully accredited by the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America (AWSNA). The school is housed in a beautiful Victorian home, in the heart of New Paltz, a short walk from the village center, with its shops and library, SUNY New Paltz, and the peaceful Wallkill River. Our building has large, light-filled classrooms, a sculpture room, a handwork room, music practice rooms, a performance area and administrative offices.
We invite you to learn more about us: we think that you will discover not only a fine school but a community of parents, teachers and friends who share a love for learning and living.