Swimming Party = Educational Adventure

Last month, my husband and I attended a birthday party for our grandchildren in California. Two families rented a section of the public pool area, with its own small pool and party area. I would say that there were maybe 30 kids attending, ages 4-10 or so, all with parents in tow.

You need to understand that my husband and I are both long-time teachers. He has taught at the K-12 level and also for many years as a college professor. I’ve done the same, only the opposite: longer in the public system, shorter as a college teacher. My whole point in telling you this is that we have both had long experience with kids of all ages, including our own! So we know how these parties can go: tantrums, bullying, unwanted splashing, crying.

Here the picture was different. For three or four hours, we did not see one tantrum. No one whined. No adults intervened with children playing, but they all cooperated and played beautifully together.

As an example, someone brought two pogo sticks to the party, and there was a perfect area for playing. Of course, everyone wanted to play on the pogo stick. The children lined up (on their own) and took turns. A child would try it till he or she fell off, and then politely brought the pogo stick to the next child. No throwing down the pogo stick in a rage. No tears. No complaining.

“What is going ON here?” my husband finally asked. I had an idea, but just to make sure, I asked my daughter.

“Are these children mostly Waldorf School students?” I asked.

“Yes, they are all Waldorf kids,” she smiled.

Just ask yourself: what is school for? Test scores? What value is an education with high test scores if children do not learn to be good human beings?

I have to admit that I am impressed. Waldorf Schools are academically admirable, but their larger achievement is helping to raise admirable human beings.

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