“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings, who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.” —Rudolf Steiner
City Garden School in Columbia, Missouri, is inspired by Waldorf Education. We offer a full-time school for kindergarten through 7th grade and part-time homeschool enrichment. (We are adding 8th grade in the 2024-25 school year.) At this time, we hold most of our classes at Karis Church in Columbia. We have partnered with Camp Takimina and offer nature-intensive blocks for 3-4 weeks in both the Fall and Spring in an outdoor camp setting and Outdoor Fridays every week throughout the school year.
At City Garden School, we believe wisdom begins with wonder. Education is not just a matter of memorization and test-taking. We endeavor to bring a curriculum that balances academic rigor to educate the whole child through art and practical skills, music, movement, and social and moral development. Students learn through experience. We are proud to nurture children as they find meaning and purpose in life with confidence and a sense of responsibility.
Five Reasons Parents Choose a City Garden School Education for Their Child
As a parent, you can be sure that choosing City Garden for your child is a safe and smart choice. Your homework has already been done by millions of parents who’ve sent their own children to schools using the Waldorf approach across the globe.
1) Be sure your child will be prepared and successful
Research shows that 94% of North American Waldorf graduates attend university, and an incredible 50% attain a Masters or Ph.D. University professors speak very highly of the assertive and engaged Waldorf graduates in their classes. Yet, leaders and employers are not looking for people who can simply pass tests and follow orders. Graduates are successful because they are confident, creative-thinking individuals with the courage to change the world. Our alumni go on to rewarding careers and continue to value learning, work, relationships, and an ethical approach to their chosen path.
2) Our teachers are personable, insightful, and committed
CGS teachers are well-trained professionals who understand what makes children tick. We know how to orchestrate a class of diverse learning styles and temperaments, using multiple teaching methods to ensure that each child is warmed in their heart, skilled with their hands, and sees clearly with their mind before advancing to the next thing. In the classroom, our teachers interact with others with thoughtfulness and compassion, are capable and interested in many things, and make good decisions. They are like this so that every day your child has an exemplary role model working alongside them. Our teachers are continuously developing their skills, studying teaching practices, student learning styles, and insight into the changing relationship between human beings, the world around us, and how that affects student learning. Finally, our teachers make themselves available to parents as much as reasonably possible, hosting nearly monthly meetings with the parents of their class, regular parent-teacher interviews, and crafting detailed, individualized reports on the progress of your child.
3) CGS teachers focus on the unique needs of your child
As every parent knows, each child learns and acts in their own unique way. City Garden teachers work with your child according to their own gifts and challenges, nurturing and encouraging them just the right amount so that your child will want to be interested in and skilled at the many things they care about. Our teachers know that education is not a competition and young students don’t need more pressure. Instead, we use the philosophy “the right thing at the right time,” meaning that we take the necessary time to discern how your child learns, what they need and when and we know how to draw out their desire to reach for and attain it themselves. Our teachers are ready when your child is, and when we let you know how your child is doing, it is relative primarily to their own development and expectations, not just to the other students.
4) Academic excellence is only the surface of a City Garden School education
Our teachers have a century of student observation at their disposal, and they use proven learning techniques based on insight into brain and physical development, kinesthetic learning, and emotional intelligence. By engaging their minds, emotions, and bodies, students take in more, and they take it in much deeper. When our students excel at math, science, and languages, it is because they learn them experientially, integrated with physical education, music, arts, drama, woodwork, fiber arts, and, yes, recess. Rather than simply teaching to the test, we make sure our students are happy, healthy, interested, and motivated to create things as they learn, making sure they are not only prepared for college, but for life as well.
5) Our school is a vibrant cultural community
CGS is an independent school and, therefore must charge tuition. We are not-for-profit and are known for supporting many families that couldn’t otherwise afford to attend. This economic diversity, as well as gender, racial, and religious diversity, are the thread of the social fabric on which we thrive. Although Waldorf schools are not religious, the movement was born out of a spiritual idea that humanity has evolved due to the dynamic between spiritual wisdom and earthly work and that each child will also develop on this path before having their own capacity to advance it themselves. We celebrate the changing seasons, rites of passage, diverse cultural festivities, and more human ways of working together to show children that we are all equal under the sun, we all develop wisdom, have something to share, and are part of a much larger whole… and that is something worth celebrating.