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20 Nelson Road
Ithaca, NY, 14850
United States


Why Waldorf?


Why Waldorf? 

Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does. Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study. The textures and colors of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of humankind fill the Waldorf students’ imaginations and the pages of their books. Education grows into a union with life that serves them for decades.

By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.

- Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Amherst College



Waldorf education meets my kiddos exactly where they are. They find joy and learning through playing, they have developed a sense of community and caring through activities with their peers, and they are building passions and interests faster than we can keep up. They love learning, and as a parent, I love knowing that this intentional education is helping to build them as people who love learning, exploring, and critical thinking, and who will have empathy for and the ability to connect with people their whole lives.
— Andrea Alary, Global Management Consultant for Accenture and parent of three early childhood students
I am told, “But the kids in public school are ahead of the Waldorf kids, and how will your kids enter into public school?” Here is my answer from experience. My children have never been made to feel bad if they were behind in something. They were given the time to learn at their own level. They have also never been held back. They are pushed to continue and do harder work when they are ready. There is a fluidity to their learning that gives them confidence in themselves. The main thing that happens in a Waldorf classroom is that the curriculum comes alive for the students. They are not just taught something, and then move to the next unrelated thing. What they learn is integrated into many lessons. Their learning is reinforced over the years. All this will help them when they get into public school.
— Laura Harrington Ithaca Waldorf School Interim Board President
There is a feeling of humanity among the children. My child is a full person for being here. He makes friends easily and is comfortable in his own skin. He is excited about his peers’ achievements, and they are excited about his. It’s a noncompetitive environment and celebrates all qualities.
— Elizabeth Simkin, Professor of Cello, Ithaca College School of Music and IWS mother
In math my children were way above average, beyond where the other sixth graders were. Both of their teachers say that they have great deductive reasoning skills, they are a pleasure to have in class, they think outside the box. My son’s teacher at Boynton Middle School said if she had to do it over again, she would have sent her own kids to Waldorf.
— Liz Hess, Nurse Practitioner at Gannett Health Services at Cornell University and alumni parent of two children.


WECAN - Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America

WECAN’s mission is to foster a new cultural impulse for the work with the young child from pre-birth to age seven. Based on an anthroposophical understanding of human development, WECAN is committed to protecting and nurturing childhood as a foundation for renewing human culture.


AWSNA - Association of Waldorf Schools of North America

AWSNA's mission is to support schools through collaborative regional work, professional and resource development, accreditation, community outreach, and advocacy.

Other Informational Articles

Make Arts Education Standard, The Boston Globe, January 2, 2017
Catching STEAM, ARTSBLOG: For Arts Professionals in the Know, December 7, 2016
Forget the SAT, This New Standardized Test Measures Artistic Ability,, August 22, 2016
Who Knew Math and Knitting Were So Closely Knit? , My Learning Spring Board, January 18, 2016
Can Learning to Knit Help Learning to Code?, MindShift,, October 7, 2013