Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can my child attend Free Spirits?
Family Days are for children of all ages with parents staying. Childcare is available for children aged 3-7 with additional provision for children aged 7-11 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Children outside of this age range may attend at the Manager's discretion.
Can I stay with my child at Free Spirits?
We offer Hygge Sessions for children and parents to attend together. You are warmly welcomed stay with your child for their first few sessions of our Childcare sessions as they settle in and become used to the environment and staff.
What will happen after my child turns 7?
It is widely recognised in the education systems of other countries, and by followers of anthroposophy - coined by Rudolf Steiner, founder of Steiner Waldorf education - that 7 is the age at which formal learning should begin for most children.
Childcare at Free Spirits is play-based, with children learning through natural rather than contrived experiences. Once children reach the age of 7, they are likely to crave more formalised learning and will need a more challenging learning environment. We can currently offer such experiences on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for children aged 7-11 on the understanding that such children will otherwise be Home Educated.
Alternatively, children may transfer to a local primary school, attend the nearest Steiner Waldorf school (in Ringwood) or experience some of the many other Home Education groups. There are hundreds of home educating families across Wiltshire and Hampshire and such communities can be found on Facebook.
Won't my child be 'behind' by the time they are 7?
Children who spend their formative years in a more natural, informal learning environment are usually much more independent, responsible, inquisitive, creative, self-confident and motivated to learn than their state-schooled counterparts. At Free Spirits Education, they will have been developed physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually in a holistic manner, possessing the foundations necessary for being enthusiastic future learners. Children will reach their potential in technical writing skills when they are physically and emotionally ready.
Children in Finland, for example, do not start school until aged 7, and are the global leaders in English, Maths and Science education; their government prioritise well-being, creativity and joy in learning. See The Guardian's article: