We came to Camellia in our son’s first year of kindergarten. That makes this our tenth year here. Today was my tenth May Day festival at Camellia. I wanted to write this article because of how impressed I am with the young people who emerge from this school. For the last two years, I have gone to the graduation and been familiar with the graduating children. I have watched them grow up and have been so amazed by them. Yet I wondered, “will my son turn out like that? Articulate, respectful, intelligent, well-spoken?”
My son is not what you would call “easy” or compliant. He has been in trouble. During his first four years at this school, he was sometimes sent home. But the teachers saw him for who he is. They worked with him; they held him in their consciousness; they asked, “how best do we serve this child?” as they ask of every child here. Never have I seen such dedication to the raising and teaching of healthy children as here, at this school.
Many of the teachers have come to me this year and shared their joy in my son and his classmates and who they are. It seems in Waldorf K-8 that the 8th graders always arrive to this year surprisingly developed and mature. More than once I have heard, “Wow, that’s your son?” Or “That’s her daughter?” “They are so responsible, so loving, so kind to the younger children.” The 8th graders step up and take a leadership role because they are ready to. It is striking to me how this education works – how the children are so ready and eager for new things when they arrive – reading, homework, and now high school.
Some people come to our school for the younger grades. Then they leave. This year I have come to realize that Waldorf education is a process and for those who stay throughout the process, the payoff is immense. Even my son, who complained quite a bit during this process, will tell you how valuable this education has been for him. And, speaking volumes to his experience, he has chosen Sacramento Waldorf School as his high school.
This school is amazing, because of the amazing teachers, but also because of more than them. It is everyone, and everything we do here. It is the Waldorf curriculum and philosophies, but it is also how Camellia Waldorf School approaches these philosophies. I have spent much of this 8th grade year writing testimonials for our school because I am so sold on what we produce here – human beings who think on their own and care for each other and our planet.
This school and these children give me hope for the future.
– Cami McLaren, parent of graduating 8th grader
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