Frequently Asked Questions
- How do children fare when transferring from a Steiner class to a mainstream class?
Generally, transitions are not difficult. The most common transition is from primary to secondary school, and usually takes place without significant difficulties. This education releases capacities, keeps the mind and imagination fresh, and awakens life interests. Middle school teachers have conveyed that the children carry these qualities with them to middle school.
Transitions in the lower grades, particularly between the first and third grades, can potentially be more challenging because of the differences in the timing and approach to the curriculum. These issues can be discussed with the class teacher on an individual basis.
- How does the Steiner approach challenge the children who enter first grade already knowing how to read? What will such children learn, won’t they be bored? How can we encourage a balanced development?
The approach to writing and reading involves the child’s mind, body and feelings, which provides a meaningful connection with the work that maintains the interest, involvement and delight of even the most intellectual of children.
Imaginative play and the arts can have a healing influence. Images from fairytales are deeply nurturing to the unconscious elements of the young child. The dreamy state of childhood is an essential element in the healthy formation of the physical body during the first seven years. Because the job of the intellect is to analyse and exercise critical judgement, very bright children may have difficulty relating emotionally with other children, a problem which can intensify as the child becomes older.
If parents want a child’s power of imagination to be nourished and cultivated, if they have faith that not learning to read as quickly as a neighbour or relative expects, then the child will retain the openness necessary to enjoy and benefit from the Steiner approach.