Cedar Bridge puts Waldorf in a rural setting

Waldorf education is an experiential, connected and practical approach to learning

  • Aug. 23, 2017 2:30 a.m.

Todd Hayes

Special to The Morning Star

Here in the Okanagan diversity comes in many forms, from geographical terrain and ecosystems, to the residents and their lifestyles. There are community groups to support all interests and choices including several independent school systems. One such school is Cedar Bridge School, which offers Waldorf education.

When we decided to enroll our children at Cedar Bridge School it was because of the unique, rural location. We loved the idea of our children being outdoors and playing in the forest daily. We also liked the access to Vale Farms and the experience that would provide. What better way to support our desire to form active and healthy lifestyle habits for our children than have their elementary education in such a setting?

The one area we didn’t know much about was Waldorf education. It sounded great, but it was not the initial draw. Now, two years into our Cedar Bridge experience with three children, we are seeing the benefits of Waldorf education and know that this is the true gem of Cedar Bridge School.

Waldorf education builds from the philosophy that education should be “alive.” Play and practical hands-on activities are the focus with the young preschool and kindergarten children. In grade school, concepts are taught experientially. Music and art are woven into every subject. The core subjects of language and math are rich and interesting. Children sing and move during lessons — skipping and juggling while reciting their times tables, for example. They learn two foreign languages starting in Grade 1. They are instructed in handwork (fibre arts) and woodwork, and spend time doing chores each day. All of these details lead to a whole and rich education.

I love that my children seem to deeply understand what they have learned — they haven’t simply memorized it, they know it in a whole and complete way. And it wasn’t until sitting down with my daughter’s teacher at the end of this school year, looking through her workbooks, that I truly appreciated the gift of Waldorf education. It is setting her, and my two boys, well on their way to becoming a creative and confident individuals.

So in Vernon, where most parents know about the options of French immersion, the Christian or Catholic schools, Montessori, and the outdoor programs, I wanted to be sure to spread the word about the Waldorf education happening at Cedar Bridge School. This is truly a wonderful and rich educational option in our community.

Most of the approximately 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide are non-profit, independent schools. Cedar Bridge School, a recognized BC Group 1 independent school, brings Waldorf education to the North Okanagan and is located on an 18 forested acres campus 20 minutes outside of Vernon. Students currently travel from Vernon, Armstrong, Lake Country, Coldstream and Cherryville to attend.

For more information about Cedar Bridge School, call 250-547-9212 or email info@cedarbridgeschool.org

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