Cool School: The Acorn School of Charleston


The Acorn School of Charleston is a unique school, the only one of its kind in the state.  The Waldorf school opened in the Lowcountry last year.  We’re in West Ashley for our Cool School of the week..

The Acorn School is part of the international Waldorf school movement.   There are more than one-thousand Waldorf schools in 83 countries.  Waldorf education is based on the educational philosophy of artist and scientist Rudolf Steiner… and emphasizes the role of imagination in learning. Play based experiential learning is emphasized.  The arts are integrated into all academics.  There is a lot of painting, free play, singing, and story telling. There are no grades or standardized testing in the early grades.

The school’s director and co-founder Dr. Lee Stevens worked for twenty years as a  Waldorf teacher in major cities.  He calls The Acorn School of Charleston an oasis for happy children.  “For the children, we really attempt to create an environment that is a home away from home,” says Dr. Stevens. “We have a play based experiential learning approach, and its all based on practical activities, so when the little ones show up for school in the morning, they help prepare the snack for the day, and everyday it changes.”  Parent Lisa Rehm says,”After all the research that I did, being a Psych major and an early childhood and early elementary teacher, I  just knew this was the perfect place for us.  I love that there is no stress, I can drop him off at school, and feel like I’m dropping him off with family.”   Parent Kristen Bratten attended a Waldorf School.  “They’re not just having fun.  They’re actually thriving here,”says Bratton. “I actually attended a Waldorf school myself starting in preschool all the way through eighth grade. I have absolutely tremendous memories of my childhood of a Waldorf education, so I specifically sought that out for my child, so he would be in an environment that’s completely nurturing of him as a whole human being, so his mind, body, and spirit, not just academically,” Bratten says.

Acorn opened with students age 3 to 6.  They plan to add a first grade next year, and eventually grow to eighth grade.  The private school is housed in the educational building at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, but is not affiliated with the church.  The Acorn School is nondenominational, spiritual rather than religious.

Coming up tonight on News Two at  5, a closer look at The Acorn School of Charleston and Waldorf education, and why  you won’t find any iPads, computers  or Smartboards in the classrooms for the early years,. plus what you will see there instead.

We want to hear about the good things that are going on at your school.   Just send an email to Octavia at omitchell@ wcbd.com.

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