We joined the West Coast Steiner community in early 2015, with our then 6-year-old son. He started kindy at age 4 at the local catholic primary school. He was bright eyed, energetic, and had an infinitely enquiring mind. He was most excited about learning and making friends.

Having started kindy reading and writing, wanting to know the why’s and how’s of everything around him, he quickly became frustrated with the repetitive number and letter tracing and was getting no answers to his big questions and no freedom to move and explore.

He tried to go through the motions, feeling completely unheard and totally misunderstood. By the time he was in year one, our beautiful child had become increasingly anxious and withdrawn. I would watch him physically shrink into himself as we arrived at school each day, in his pressed collared shirt and tie and tiny black polished shoes.

Our morning routine soon involved lots of tears from both mother and child, and it became so difficult to leave him each morning. Eventually we made a decision to start looking for other schools. We were told about a lovely little Steiner school in Nollamara by a psychologist who had heard great things from another family. We knew very little about Waldorf education but after a school tour and lots of reading, we knew immediately that this was the right fit for our son.

The spark in his eye and the happiness within him didn’t take long to reignite. I know that he feels like he belongs in this school by the spring in his step as he arrives, and the smile on his face as he leaves.

His creativity and love for learning is being nurtured and he is also given the freedom to be a child, and more importantly be himself!! Given his heightened cognitive abilities, we had been advised to find a school with a strong academic curriculum to allow him to excel and ultimately complete his schooling earlier.

However, after meeting with Sarah, the school administrator, we began to see that his childhood is a precious and fleeting moment in time. By giving him freedom to move and play, and a rich and worldly curriculum, we have seen him flourish.

He still has big questions and a deep desire to know the how’s and why’s but he is able to find the answers to his questions and process them without pushing, testing and expectation to perform.

Through all that we have learned and experienced on this journey, we know that Waldorf education has it so very right and feel so truly grateful that this amazing school has given our son a chance to be his amazing self.

– Maeve Nugent