Kindergarten and Early Childhood Programs
When parents are touring our school and walk into one of our early childhood classrooms we usually hear a sigh and often a comment like “I wish I could have come to school here”. When you see the orderly classroom filled with natural play objects, special art materials and wooden furniture you can see and feel that it is a place where young children can thrive. If, on your tour, you are able to see the teacher in a circle with the children reciting a story with movements and them imitating her every move and word; you will have a taste of the experience that the students receive every day in our unique program.
cookingThe Waldorf approach to early childhood education is largely imitative, sensory, and based on play. Our teachers create a thoughtful routine that provides a rhythm to the day, the week and honors the larger rhythms of the seasons. These rhythms form the basis of the stories, puppet plays, activities and artistic experiences that happen in the cozy home-like environment. There is daily outdoor playtime and a warm snack is served to all of the children. We strive to create an environment and activities that are worthy of imitation in a setting that allows the child’s own imagination to flourish.
In Waldorf theories of child development there is an emphasis on supporting the childs’ physical development, motor skills and imitative capacity in approximately the first seven year period of life. This prepares a student to be fully capable to begin formal multi-disciplinary academic instruction in grade school.
We have programs for all ages:
A parent/child group called the Little Acorns
A preschool, typically for two year olds, called Sweet Peas
A preschool, typically for three year olds, called Golden Rose
Two mixed-age kindergartens, typically for four to six year olds, called Willow Wind (5 day) and Morning Glory (4 day)
Currently, our Sweet Peas Preschool, our Golden Rose Preschool, and our Morning Glory Kindergarten is full for the 2015/2016 school year. A short waiting list is offered for each class. Please call for more information.
Entering grade school as a child is like walking though a new door into an unexplored world. They are guided in this world by their class teacher who, in most instances, stays with them through eighth grade. The rhythm of the day now centers on the Main Lesson period taught by the Class Teacher. This is when one subject is taught for the first extended morning period for three to four weeks. During each Main Lesson block the children create their own textbooks, full of illustrations, from elements presented by the Class Teacher. This Main Lesson time is filled with movement, recitation, reading, writing and artistic work and each day is thoughtfully prepared to work harmoniously. The day continues with track classes that are taught by the Class Teacher but also specialist teachers that are designed to broaden a students’ practical, cultural, academic, and social skills.
art_classAs a student travels through the grades we see that capacities develop over time and consciousness changes slowly. There is no switch to flick; rather, the child unfolds new abilities and understanding as a plants unfolds shoot, stem, leaf, flower and fruit. The teacher’s task is to support and guide this development, to uncover latent talents in a healthy and balanced way. We believe that the path to an active will, a rich and sensitive feeling life, and an enlivened and flexible thinking lies through our arts-infused education.
In these early grades, a child enters into a world rich in movement, numbers, imagination, language and art. Numbers and letters are discovered through drawing and story. Scientific observation and knowledge is woven into each grade level. The telling and recalling of stories, legends and fables develop memory and imagination. Waldorf schools are well known for their language-rich environment which promotes language usage and comprehension in English as well as Spanish. A deep foundation in math skills is developed and constantly reinforced. Students approach the processes and concepts of mathematics through blocks devoted to math but also through math track classes each week. Motor skills and spatial orientation are developed with the class teacher through rhythmic activities as well as work with the handwork and games teachers. All learning is developed through artistic practice in painting, drawing, modeling, recorder playing, singing, poetry and drama.