About This School
In 2010, Four Winds Waldorf School had 18 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The Illinois average is 16 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2008)
Students Per Teacher (2010)
Four Winds Waldorf School Reviews
A Great School with a Great Community
Our family is new to Four Winds Waldorf this year with my 5 year old daughter attending the mixed age preschool/kindergarten class. My husband and I didn't feel comfortable with the public school system and curriculum so we started looking into alternative schooling methods. We toured a Sudbury School, a progressive school, and another Waldorf School in the Pilsen area. We initially were going to go to the Pilsen Waldorf School because it's closer to our house but decided to tour Four Winds as well to have the comparison. We loved Four Winds from the first tour of school. All the staff here are great. The administrative staff know all our names and say hello. All the teachers really care about what they are doing for the kids. The grounds are beautiful. There is a huge grassy area, a great playground, and woods that the classes take walks in. All the parents we have met are really amazing people too. I feel we were welcomed right into the community.
Our only academic experience is with the kindergarten class. I was uncertain at first about a mixed age class (3-6 year olds) where the kids don't do any academic work (academics start in 1st grade here) but it is actually really great. In just the 2 months my daughter has been here her speech has improved and she is more conversational, she is taking more responsibility for herself and seeming more mature, is making up stories and songs, and loves retelling the stories she hears in class. She also loves having younger children to dote upon. She is eating better and more open to trying new things (the early childhood snack everyday is more of a full, home-cooked meal). My daughter has also integrated very well into the class. All the kids were welcoming and everyone seems to get along really well.
I also really like all the ways that parents can get involved with school. You can volunteer in the class, in the office, to go on field trips, to help on the playground, and way other ways. I think it's really important to be a part of the school community and it is really encouraged and welcomed here.
What I think sets Four Winds apart from the other schools we toured is the general culture. Everyone is just really great and welcoming, from the kids to the staff to the parents. I want my kids to learn in a safe and caring environment and Four Winds definitely has that. They spend half their waking hours in school, I want those hours to be meaningful. I'm so glad we decided to come here and I look forward to many more years.
Faculty to child ratio at Four Winds Waldorf School is fantastic. The teachers know each child and treat all with respect. Facility and grounds are spacious.
Four Winds Waldorf school has saved my sons' life in terms of loving to learn and has always wanted to go to school. This is what it is worthwhile. One day, on the way home, both of my sons said,"Mom, I would give up any of my activities, but I will not give up my school, because I love going to school so much. It is so fun to learn and play at school." As a parent, hearing this statement, I teared with joy and happiness! I know I have found the right place for my sons and I know they are in good hands. The teachers at Four Winds Waldorf school are amazing!
This school is wonderful and for me the only way for my children. They love to go there and they enjoy every day. They still get to play enough and have lots of fresh air and nature. For me it is so important to concentrate on their heart and not only on their brain!
The Waldorf Experience is one that should start in Pre-K but sending a child who has been exposed to media and words like "dumb" and "stupid" makes it almost impossible for success. This school seems to have some challenges. They have a volunteer Principal and they don't have enough students for an 8th grade class next year. The building is less than nice. If you are considering this school, take a look at the directory. Nearly every child is from a recently divorced family. It looks to me like the parents are trying to shelter their children from real life. I question how kids who spend their first 14 years of life in this school will react to the real world when it hits them in the face at High School. You can see that there is also a struggle between the parents and the teachers over who is in charge of their children's education which is not the Waldorf way.
I am very pleased with the academic and arts program Four Winds offers. It nurtures creativity and independent thinking rather than rote learning. I seldom hear my children say they are bored; when looking for something to do, they will read, draw, or figure out something to play (and not video games). The teachers are A+ and the teaching methodology is designed to fit the child rather than the other way around. My family has been at the school 5 years and we are happy we chose Four Winds for our kids,
Four Winds Waldorf School is an amazing school. We wanted an environment where our son would experience the joy of learning rather than be pushed so hard academically that he would be turned off to learning. This is the perfect school. The environment is warm and nurturing and the teachers are excellent. The curriculum is not driven by standardized tests. It is a very rich curriculum and the class sizes are very small. Our son is very happy here.
We were fortunate enough to find Four Winds almost by accident 5 years ago when looking for alternatives to typical park district classes for a parent-child experience for our then-toddler. Once we set foot in Four Winds, we knew we had certainly found something very different and special. The classrooms were warm and serene, the sense of a strong and invested community was apparent, and the connection between teachers and children was unlike anything that I had seen in schools before. The teachers really partner with families to create a learning and growing experience that nurtures children socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. Children at Four Winds are honored for who they are, and educated in a very active and meaningful way. If you're looking for passive learning where kids sit in their desks for prolonged periods of time and count the minutes until the subject is over-look elsewhere. When I asked my child what she feels makes Four Winds special she responded, "I like that I get to make up ideas."
I have been a parent at the school since 1998 and have observed my children thrive in a warm, loving, caring environment. With an emphasis on teaching in a manner that builds imagination, intelligence, and confidence, Waldorf Education has contributed to my children's health and happiness. I observe my children take on challenges that I never could as a child, and I am amazed at what they have accomplished. My daughter has successfully transitioned to a public HS this year, and continues to enjoy learning. Her confidence, ability to adapt, and willingness to try new things without hesitancy, with a belief that she will succeed are all qualities I am grateful for. I believe her unique education has contributed immensely. My 5th grade son, shy and cautious as a toddler in new and familiar situations, has grown into a happy, gregarious, smiling boy, comfortable in his surroundings. I know that the environment, curriculum and teaching style of the school has helped him grow into a capable, creative, and intelligent boy.
Our daughter is now 11 and has been enrolled at Four Winds since she was three. What impresses me most about the school is how the staff instill in each child the desire and drive to learn. My daughter loves to get up each morning and go to school. Her curriculum is extremely well-rounded, including two languages, handwork, choir, orchestra, movement/games (this year her class will compete with other schools in a pentathalon). Her class just finished state projects this month where each student chooses a state. The projects include a written and verbal report, 3-D topographical map, performances of state songs, and sharing of foods originating from the state. My daughter had several of her friends over this weekend and every single one of them could name their state flower, date their state became a state, state bird, state tree, the major rivers and lakes in the state, state song, and cover the history of the state. They really LEARNED about their subject by immersing themselves in every aspect of their subject. Not just memorizing some key facts.
After 3 years of the preschool we made the jump to 1st grade this year. Our daughter is thriving and can't wait to go to school every morning. My husband and I are very pleased with her developing love of learning. Waldorf does not drill concepts into the children but rather spends the time to explore concepts completely. At the end of the day though, it is the teachers that make this school outstanding. My husband and I are constantly impressed with the teachers passion and energy to always go above and beyond in the best interest of the kids.
This school is one of a kind and brought a lot of positive changes in my daughter and has shaped to be a very well rounded individual in a very short period of time. Highly recommend this school for anyone.