The Waldorf Early Childhood program is based on the conviction that the young child learns best by imitation of what is beautiful and meaningful. Each child’s innate capacity for wonder and reverence is valued and nurtured in a carefully planned program and environment. Learning is joyous because children are guided to healthy, creative self-expression.
Imaginative play, inside and outside the classroom, puppet shows and storytelling, watercolor painting, crafts, eurythmy, and snack preparation form a rhythm to the day and throughout the week that is enhanced by seasonal celebrations and festivals. Healthy movement and creative play in the early childhood years are key to laying the foundation for later academic work.
The Early Childhood Program at SMWS consists of our Fairy Blossom, parent/child classes, and three mixed age licensed PreK/Kindergarten classes, White Dove, Red Rose and Larksong, that meet five days a week from 8:30am to 12:30pm, followed by a licensed extended day program from 12:30 to 3:00pm.
I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think that the same is true of human beings. We do not wish to see children precocious, making great strides in their early years like sprouts, producing soft and perishable timber, but better if they expand slowly at first, as if contending with difficulties, and so are solidified and perfected. Such trees continue to expand with nearly equal rapidity to an extreme old age.
- Henry David Thoreau