Shining Mountain offers full and partial-week options for our mixed-age classes. This means that in our Bluebell Prekindergarten class there are children 2.5-4 years old. In our Red Rose and White Dove Kindergartens there are children 4.5-6 years old.
Walk into the soothing, home-like environment of the Early Childhood classrooms and feel the warmth and beauty of the soft pink walls, the colorful silks and cotton cloths, the natural materials in the toys, and the subdued lighting. Here your child plays contentedly and creatively, his or her imagination guiding the way. The teachers speak softly but firmly, and move with quiet purpose, as ones whose actions are worthy of imitation.
Regular rhythms – alternating vigorous activities with quieter ones – guide the structure of each day. The Early Childhood Education program week includes arts and crafts, puppetry, eurythmy, cooking, bread baking, singing games, healthy physical play, and learning social courtesies. With exquisite attention to language, the teacher tells fairy tales and stories over and over; children drink in the images and thereby strengthen an innate human capacity for forming inner pictures. This capacity, when properly nourished, becomes the basis for literacy and future critical thinking skills.
During walks and outdoor play times, children experience a sense of wonder and a love of nature. Celebrating seasonal festivals not only reminds children of the cycles of the year, but also holds them in the larger Shining Mountain family.
Shining Mountain has one Prekindergarten and two Kindergartens—Bluebell, Red Rose and White Dove. The Bluebell Prekindergarten class welcomes 15 students, while the Red Rose and White Dove Kindergartens welcome 18 children each. Each class is guided by a lead teacher with an assistant. Children may join the Prekindergarten program when they are age 2.5 and on their way to being toilet independent (they may still be in a pull up or diaper, as long as they have begun toilet training). The kindergarten classes are full day programs, with a half day option for younger children. Children age two and a half to four years old have the option of attending 3, 4 or 5 mornings a week.