Special thanks to Berkeley Rose Waldorf School (BRWS) for sponsoring 510families. BRWS offers care and education for children ages 2½ to grade 8 with additional early childhood supports for parents and babies. Berkeley Rose started as a kindergarten and grew to offer Nursery, Kindergarten, and all 8 grades for the first time in 2021.
The Waldorf Educational Difference
Choosing a Waldorf path for your family means learning through art, play, cooking, music, and outside exploration. It is a deliberate choice to forego or significantly reduce media usage in favor of outdoor time, crafts, games, family time, reading, and adventuring. In today’s fast-paced, screen-intensive world, doing so feels strongly counter-cultural and is best enjoyed as a lifestyle that the whole family can support. Berkeley Rose holds high academic standards and its graduates attend private, public, and Waldorf high schools with great success.
Berkeley Rose Waldorf School is notable because they offer both a rigorous and imaginative education, free from computer use. Waldorf teachers consider teaching an art form. BRWS integrates the arts in all elements of academic disciplines and children spend more than an hour outside each day.
Early Childhood at Berkeley Rose
Young children learn best through imitation, through their senses, and through activity. The Nursery and Kindergarten programs are play-based and are founded on the idea that a child’s work is to play imaginatively. A teacher’s job is to be worthy of that imitation.
A typical Early Childhood day begins with a walk around the block to warm the limbs and to take in the changing natural world. Back in the classroom, young students take part in fine motor activities such as preparing soup, painting, or bread baking. The rest of the schedule includes free play, shared meals, and outdoor time. Repeating stories and puppet shows give young minds vivid imagery, rich vocabulary, and the ability to focus. On Fridays, the Early Childhood programs hike for the entire day, spending 45 minutes to 1 hour just getting to the location for the day where they’ll play, have lunch, make treasure hunts, and explore.
Nursery begins at age 2½ and Kindergarten begins at age 4. Learn more about the BRWS Early Childhood programs >
Grades 1 Through 8 at Berkeley Rose
The Waldorf pedagogy in grades 1-12 is developmentally balanced for the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs of a child of each age. This Developmental Curriculum covers world history, geography, religions, cultures, and arts. Sciences include zoology, botany, geology, astronomy, physics, and chemistry. In third grade, students practice survival skills such as cooking and shelter-building. In eighth grade, the study of the biographies of great thinkers, and courageous do-ers allows students to be inspired, avoid cynicism, and harness their ideals to pursue making the world a better place.
In the grades, days begin with a 2-hour “main lesson,” when students are freshest. Arts are integrated into every main subject and play an essential role in digesting and understanding the material, making it more alive and giving students a way to express their relationship to what they have learned. Students paint, draw, write poetry, sing, build, sculpt, cook, and act out stories that complement the science, history, culture, or language arts curriculum they are studying.
Students are scaffolded to take on more responsibility and deepen their learning as the years progress. In third grade, students begin violin, and in fourth grade, they can choose a cello or viola. Spanish starts in first grade. Needlework such as knitting, sewing, and embroidery is taught throughout.
Field trips at Berkeley Rose allow students to explore aspects of the curriculum they are studying by immersing themselves in that world for a single day, a few days, or even a week. Eighth graders work hard and are proud to raise their own funding for their end-of-year class trip. Learn more about the BRWS grades program >
Discovering Meaning on the Farm
Berkeley Rose Waldorf School is the only school that offers Waldorf education in an urban setting with regular trips to an organic and biodynamic farm in Bodega as a part of the curriculum. Farm trips offer students the opportunity to learn about the way our food grows, stewarding our land sustainably, shelter-building, raising animals, and the Native Americans who cared for this land long before us. Three Springs Farm offers overnight camping trips to Waldorf students who bond with their classmates over chores, bonfires, meal preparation, and a chance to see stars, breathe fresh air, and fall asleep to the sounds of coyotes and owls.
Visit Berkeley Rose Waldorf School to see for yourself
Join an upcoming informational interview or their special Experience Waldorf Day for adults (1/21/23). Parents, grandparents, and community members become students for a day, with hands-on classes in math, painting, clay work, music, science, and movement. This day is just for adults to immerse themselves in the pleasures of Waldorf education.
– January 19 at 8:30 am
– February 16 at 8:30 am
– March 9 at 8:30 am
Register on the website for a tour or to start the enrollment process.
Early Childhood interviews happen in January and February. Kindergarten admission decisions are shared in March and Nursery in February. Grades applications are due January 27. Admissions decisions are shared on March 16.
Thank you to Berkeley Rose Waldorf School for your support.