Mom vs. Mom: Old School?
Weighing in on traditional vs. alternative schools
There are moms who believe that a strict education is the key to raising well-behaved kids, and others who think that fostering creativity is the way to go. These two parenting styles come into play when the time comes to make decisions about a child’s education—which to choose, a traditional school, or an alternative one?
The most renowned alternative education systems are those founded at the beginning of the twentieth century by Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori—Waldorf schools and Montessori schools, respectively. Both Steiner and Montessori believed in nurturing a child’s creativity through play time and art education, and that grades actually inhibit a child’s development. Each philosophy holds that a child’s imagination deserves the utmost respect.
Fiorenza Bariatti, a journalist, is considering enrolling her six-year-old son into one of Milan’s many Waldorf Schools, “We adopted him recently, and we want him to play and enjoy his childhood now. A friend of mine sent both her daughters to a similar school and they loved it. Also, parents are very involved at Waldorf Schools and my husband and I want to be very present in our son's life at this delicate time.” Further down the road, though, Bariatti has other plans. “I’ll probably move him to a traditional school. I think that once a child is a little older, a more structured regimen is essential.” What do you think about alternative schools? What did you choose for your children? —Veronica Russo