Harvard University Says Education Should Be Joyful

Research from Harvard Graduate School of Education emphasizes the importance of making education joyful. Compared with high-pressure, high stakes testing-driven environments, students retain more and process better in happy, lower-stress environments. In Waldorf Education, our intentional approach prioritizes engaged, enthusiastic learning and our teachers bring joy to every lesson, instilling a deep understanding of each subject and a lifelong love of learning. 


At Richmond Waldorf School, the commitment to joyful learning is at the core of our educational philosophy. We believe that the journey of education should be a joyful and enriching experience for every child. Here’s how we foster joy within our school community:

  1. Engaging Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to captivate the imagination and curiosity of our students in a meaningful and developmentally appropriate way. We incorporate storytelling, arts, music, and hands-on activities into our lessons, creating an engaging and interactive learning environment. By connecting academic subjects with creative experiences, we ensure that every day at our school is filled with moments of wonder and joy.

  1. Dedicated Educators

Our teachers are passionate about their subjects and deeply committed to their students’ well-being. They bring a sense of enthusiasm and joy to every lesson, creating an atmosphere where learning is not just about acquiring knowledge but also about connecting with the subject matter on a personal level. Our educators serve as joyful guides, nurturing a love of learning in each child. As Waldorf teachers, we share a commitment to the Waldorf educational philosophy, personal development, and ongoing training to fully meet the needs of our students, to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into our school culture and curriculum, and to honor the unfolding development of young human beings. 

Many studies have suggested that Waldorf students tend to perform well academically, and they often enter higher education institutions with strong critical thinking skills, creativity, and a genuine love for learning.

  1. Nature-Inspired Learning

Richmond Waldorf School is nestled in a beautiful setting in urban Northside Richmond, and we leverage this environment to promote joyful learning by exposing children to nature, and the neighborhood, flora, and fauna around us. We believe that connecting with nature is an essential source of joy for children. Our outdoor classrooms and nature-based activities encourage students to explore, discover, and find delight in the natural world. Extended outdoor time, walks in nature, biking classes, and adventurous field trips develop stewardship and environmental consciousness in our students from Preschool through 8th grade. 

  1. Celebrating Individual Growth

We understand that each child is unique, and we celebrate their individual growth and achievements. By acknowledging and appreciating their progress, both academically and emotionally, we foster a sense of self-worth and joy in our students. This personalized approach to education ensures that every child feels valued and supported on their educational journey. 

Waldorf education is known for its emphasis on holistic development, focusing not only on academic achievement but also on social, emotional, and artistic growth. Longitudinal studies have often found that Waldorf graduates demonstrate well-rounded and balanced development. 

The emphasis on practical and hands-on learning in Waldorf education can lead to strong life skills. Longitudinal studies have found that Waldorf graduates tend to adapt well to various life challenges and demonstrate a high degree of self-motivation.

  1. Community and Collaboration

Joy is often amplified when shared with others. At Richmond Waldorf School, we emphasize community and collaboration. Our students work together on projects, engage in creative endeavors, and celebrate milestones as a community. This sense of togetherness enhances the joy of learning and fosters strong, positive relationships among students and families.

Waldorf education places a significant emphasis on nurturing creativity and problem-solving abilities. Longitudinal research has indicated that Waldorf graduates often excel in creative professions and are effective problem solvers. 

Waldorf education’s focus on social interactions, empathy, and emotional intelligence has been associated with positive long-term outcomes, including strong interpersonal relationships and emotional well-being.

In essence, Richmond Waldorf School is not just a place of learning; it’s a place where joy is nurtured, celebrated, and woven into the fabric of everyday life. Our commitment to fostering joy ensures that our students not only excel academically but also carry with them a lifelong love of learning and a deep appreciation for the joy that education can bring. As families explore independent education for their child, we are proud to provide a unique, experiential, and creative approach to education from preschool to 8th grade. 


Want to Learn More?

We would love for you to explore the Waldorf approach! Sign up for a tour, or watch our school video where students talk about life at Richmond Waldorf School. Get to know us and see if RWS is right for your child.

At Richmond Waldorf School, we recognize that our student’s physical, social, and emotional well-being are a key part of their ability to learn and thrive. We look forward to meeting you and sharing more information about Waldorf education.

Valerie Hogan
Enrollment & Marketing Administrator
| 804-377-8024 ext 3


Richmond Waldorf School is a non-profit, private school in Richmond, Virginia offering Waldorf education for grades Pre-K – 8th grade.