Education Freedom Report 04-22-14: Michael Strong’s Startup Learning, Waldorf Spotlight

In today's world of standardized schooling, where all students are expected to learn the same subjects, at the same time, in the same way, it's difficult to give our children an optimal learning environment. Fortunately, there are several internet-based resources that are filling that need.

Startup Learning was created by education specialist, Michael Strong. Along with his team of highly skilled experts, Michael offers one on one consultations for parents who are interested in maximizing their child's learning experience. Through these consultations, they identify your child's specific needs, aptitude, disposition, and interests, and help you craft a personalized education experience that benefits all areas of your child's life.

Startup Learning has a multitude of alternatives to the one-size-fits-all public school model. It doesn't matter if your child is attending a public or private school, or is homeschooled or unschooled, Startup Leaning offers guidance for parents who are looking to give their child the skills and education needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Michael Strong and his team encourage parents to explore alternatives to find the one that best fits your child's learning style. They also offer a free monthly newsletter that highlights different education solutions. For more information visit

Waldorf Spotlight:
Waldorf schools strive to transform education into an art which educates the whole child- mind, body, and spirit. Waldorf curriculum is divided into three phases which coincide with a child's development. From birth to about age 7, referred to as the "imitative phase", focus is placed on creating a warm, secure, home-like environment. Routines are in place to provide structure and predictability, such as baking each Monday or gardening each Tuesday. Free play and fantasy play are strongly encouraged within these routines, and children often spend a large amount of their time outside. Toys are typically made of natural materials- pine cones, wood, cotton, shells, stones, and other objects the children collect from nature.

Age 7- 14 is referred to as the "Imaginative phase". One teacher will accompany a class during this time, through grades 1-8, to provide continuity and support during these formative years. The teacher's objective during this phase is to present all academic materials in such a way that they are beautiful, artistic, and provide an experience for each student to reflect upon. Parents will likely note the absence of desks, tests, homework, and technology in the classrooms. As in the "imitative phase", emphasis is on creativity and individual development within the structure of the classroom.

The third phase, during the high school years, is that of Truth, Discrimination, and Judgment. During this time students likely gravitate toward a mentor within their preferred area of study. While focusing on developing individual talents, students are still expected to complete the full curriculum of subjects, gaining the insights and broader perspective of an interdisciplinary approach.

Waldorf could be a great choice for families looking for a blend of structure and creativity.

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