The Rhythm of the Day
In contrast to the often hectic pace of daily life, children in our Nursery-Kindergarten experience a predictable rhythm which becomes familiar and nurturing. Beginning each morning with warm greetings at 8:15 am, the day includes free play, games, singing, artistic expression, the preparation and sharing of a healthy snack, story time and outdoor activities.
Learning through Imaginative Play
During well-guided free play, the children create a busy, imaginative world that fills the classroom with singing, building, discussion and laughter. By surrounding the child with the raw materials for play, the children's world can become whatever their imaginations suggest. Each morning the classroom becomes an ever-changing, ever-challenging "laboratory," offering new problems in the realms of physics, construction, human relationships, and artistry. Through experiences which arise, each child has the opportunity to grow and develop in the realms of action, of thought, and of feeling. It is our belief that qualities we value in adulthood will be fostered here: creative and flexible thinking, inner conviction, self-discipline, personal freedom, and self-knowledge.
During cleanup time, all the play materials return to their "homes" on shelves and in baskets, as the children sing and help alongside the teacher; the atmosphere is one of cooperation and lightheartedness.
At circle time, we come together as a group to act out stories through verse and song and to play universal children's games like London Bridge or Ring Around the Rosy. This is a time to experience the rhythms of the seasons through the content of our circle activities.
We gather together around the snack table to share conversation and a healthy snack of fruits or vegetables, whole grains, and a vegetarian protein prepared by the teacher and children together each morning.
Experiencing the Out of Doors
We journey outdoors together every day to tend our garden, walk in the woods, to run and play. We dress for the elements -- experiencing and celebrating the seasons.
A story is told each day. The children listen as the teacher tells a fairy tale, folk story, or story from nature. Our nature stories form a basis for science education through their vivid, penetrating images of the natural world in all of its cycles. Often the stories weave into circle time, the children's play, and our work with fleece and silk puppets. The tradition of listening to the spoken word has, for centuries, deepened our imaginative life and enriched our language; it is this tradition which we aspire to continue.
Ending the Day with Play
The morning ends at noon with outside play. Our 12 acres of meadows, woods, and a trickling brook provide a natural setting where students can collect leaves, harvest vegetables, press cider, collect maple sap, or muck about in the muddy spring yard.
Festivals and special celebrations honor the movement of the seasons.
Our optional afternoon program begins at noon and continues until 3:30 or 5:30 p.m. Children eat lunch (brought from home), rest, hear a story, and play outside.
For additional information on the Waldorf Kindergarten curriculum, follow the links below: