Pushing Academics into Preschool is Harmful



 A brand new comprehensive study of preschool finds significant drawbacks to pushing academics too early. Researchers found  that any initial academic gains were quickly erased, and children who attended academic focused Pre-K were actually behind their peers in elementary and middle school. Another troubling finding was that students who experienced early academic pressure showed dramatic increases in behavioral issues later on. In Waldorf education, we focus on what is developmentally appropriate for each age group, understanding that children especially need play, movement and art, which are all critical to social-emotional health and academic success. Asking children to take on tasks before they are developmentally ready for them can have lasting negative effects, and that is why we take a different approach to early childhood education.

At Richmond Waldorf School, preschool and Kindergarten learning takes place in our Early Childhood program. Mixed-age classrooms give children opportunities to build social and emotional skills and to practice resiliency and empathy. At RWS, we develop physical capacities through active play and work, in addition to the critical “soft skills” that bring meaning and joy into the learning environment. A Waldorf preschool experience is unique, as we emphasize a developmentally-appropriate curriculum built on a foundation of practical work and play. The experiences of a Waldorf Kindergarten are shown to develop a strong sense of self, a desire to contribute to the group, and an enthusiasm for learning about the world. 

To learn more about the recent study that shows how early academics can be harmful to developing children, follow the link below: 

Early Developmental Competencies: Or Why Pre-K Does Not Have Lasting Effects

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. Our holistic approach to education prioritizes critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.

We are accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year. Join an information session or meet with our Enrollment Administrator to learn more about Richmond Waldorf School. 


Choosing a school is a very important decision in a family’s life. Our admissions process is designed to give you as much information as you need to make an informed decision about enrolling your children. Whenever possible, we encourage all families to book a visit when considering Richmond Waldorf School. We want to meet you! It is just as important for us to know who you are and what you are looking for in a school, as it is for you to know who we are and what Waldorf education is about.

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