Nursery & Kindergarten
As children take a first step on their own into the warm, homelike environment of our early childhood classrooms, they are met with nurturing teachers and a rhythmical day of free play, song, artistic activity, storytelling, purposeful work, healthy food, traditional circle time games and ample outdoor time on our lovely campus.
MWS offers a variety of schedules to accommodate the varied needs of our families.
Chickadee Class (Nursery)
2.9 – 4 years
3, 4 or 5 morning options
7:30am Early Drop-off Available
Marigold Class (Kindergarten)
4 – 6 years
5 morning option
7:30am Early Drop-off Available
2.9 – 6 years
2, 3, 4 or 5 afternoon options
12:00–3:30pm or 12:00–5:30pm
RHYTHM OF THE DAY
In contrast to the often hectic pace of daily life, children in our Nursery and Kindergarten experience a predictable rhythm which becomes familiar and nurturing. Beginning each morning with warm greetings, typically outside, the day includes free play, song, artistic activity, storytelling, purposeful work, healthy food, traditional circle time games and ample outdoor time on our lovely campus..
Imaginative Free Play
In 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 raw materials for play, their world can become whatever their imaginations suggest. Each morning the classroom becomes an ever-changing "laboratory" offering new challenges in the realms of physics, construction, human relationships and artistry. Through these experiences each child has the opportunity to grow and develop in their actions, thoughts and feelings. The 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 and many parents find that the children proudly bring these helpful habits home with them!
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 also a time to experience the rhythms of the seasons through special circle activities.
We gather together around the 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. Snack is served family-style, where a happy mood and warm conversation are encouraged!
A story is told each day. The children listen as the teacher tells a fairytale, folktale or nature story. Our nature stories form a basis for science through their vivid, penetrating images of the natural world in all of its cycles. Often these stories later weave into circle time, free play and puppetry.
We journey outdoors together every day to tend our garden, walk in the woods, run and play. We dress for the elements so we can fully experience and celebrate the seasons and changing weather. Our 12 acres of meadows, woods and streams host our many seasonal activities including apple cider pressing, maple sap collecting and vegetable harvesting.
Ending the Morning with Play
We end our morning with outside free play, where the children's imaginations lead them in climbing rocks and trees, building structures, visiting the animals, collecting leaves, inventing games and more! At noon, we close the morning with a circle of verses and seasonal songs.
Children who stay for the afternoon program are welcomed with games and songs as they prepare for lunch. The children bring their lunches from home and enjoy a family-style meal around the table. A quiet time follows with stories, songs and rest, flexible to the specific needs of each child. The children typically spend the rest of the day outside with relaxed activities, nature-crafts and playing with friends.
Continuing the journey : grade school
Graduation from Kindergarten marks the transition into the exciting world of academic learning. Eager to understand the world around them, most Kindergarten students continue on to our Grade School for a whole-child approach designed to meet each student in a developmentally appropriate way.
Visit Grades 1-8 >