For parents who are considering alternatives to the traditional send-your-child-to-public-school route, the options are vast, from homeschooling to boarding school and everything in between. For those who are looking into sending their child to a private institution, there are thousands of private schools in the country operating within a variety of doctrines, from language immersion to religion. But two philosophies that stand out, especially for elementary students, are Montessori and Waldorf schools, but what are the differences between them?
Quite a number of things to be frank. While both put the focus on developing the whole child — spiritual, mental, and physical — at the core of their curriculums, the way they reach that goal varies dramatically. And it’s important to remember that every school has its own autonomy. Just as two public schools within the same city may apply wildly different approaches, the same can be said within both the Montessori and Waldorf school framework. But, to paint a general picture, Romper spoke to two experts from both educational philosophies who work at each school to get an idea of what differentiates a Montessori versus a Waldorf school experience.