In the Parent-Child class parents and teacher work together to create a safe, nurturing environment where children are gently introduced to their first school experience. Adults engage in work and craft projects while the children freely explore the classroom and enter into a world of imaginative play. Each class includes circle games and songs, a wholesome snack, and a puppet show. The class also focuses on parent education, offering parent evenings and articles on parenting and child development.
In the secure and nurturing environment of the preschool and kindergarten children learn about themselves and their world. The days are filled with artistic and practical work, imaginative play and fairy tales, puppetry and music, circle games, and healthy outdoor play. Because children learn primarily through imitation, teachers strive to create and maintain an environment that is worthy of the child’s imitation.
Seasonal celebrations bring the wonder of nature. Songs, verse, and stories presented in the oral tradition provide a developmentally appropriate introduction to language study. A foundation for mathematical concepts is laid through rhythmic movement, finger plays, and simple games. Simple toys made from natural materials stimulate the imagination. The imagination is further developed through a variety of artistic activities including painting, drawing, beeswax modeling, and seasonal crafts.
As children progress through the preschool and kindergarten years, a rhythmic repetition of these activities strengthens and nourishes them and brings purpose to their outward tasks. The beauty, logic, and purpose of what they see imbue them with order and harmony.
The Waldorf early childhood curriculum is designed to build a solid foundation for future academic work by protecting and nurturing children’s senses and their natural creativity. With a healthy physical development, an active imagination, and a true reverence for the world, children are well prepared for the challenges of grade school.