Waldorf Schools Feed the Mind, Heart and Soul of a Gifted Child
Parents of gifted kids who are concerned with their children's lack of challenge in the elementary school years should consider a Waldorf school. Without the need for pull-outs or acceleration, gifted kids will be fully engaged in a regular Waldorf classroom.
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The content of the lessons draws on the essential knowledge that underlies all the branches of learning. The material is presented by the teacher with story, song, demonstrations and active participation. The children process what they've learned and retell and illustrate it in books they create at the level of complexity that they can handle.
Writing and drawing becomes as fluid and expressive as oral speech. Children are given regular opportunities to develop oral presentations, individually and as a group, growing over time in self-confidence and poise.
All children sing daily, play the recorder daily, study a stringed instrument, learn two languages, learn handwork and movement in a joyful and relaxed environment. Two periods of outdoor recess enable children to move freely and take a mental and emotional break. For gifted kids who may excel academically but not in activities that require fine motor skills, visual-spatial perception and coordination, the Waldorf curriculum provides daily developmental challenges that help children overcome weaknesses as well as hone their strengths.
Ideally, a child will have one teacher from 1st through 8th grade in a Waldorf school. A parent with an open mind willing to work with a Waldorf teacher will receive -- and will enable their child to receive -- a committed, impassioned and devoted partner in promoting their child's development.
The rich content, the variety of activities each day, the encouragement of imagination, questioning and self-expression ensure that the gifted child will be challenged and engaged in a Waldorf classroom. Curiosity and love of learning will remain unquenched as the heart and soul of a gifted child is fed.