“If a tiny child has been able in [their] play to give up [their] whole loving being to the world around [them], [they] will be able in later life to devote [themself] with confidence and power to the service of the world.”
Caroline von Heydebrand, Teacher, First Waldorf School
We believe that young children have innate capacities for wonder, awe, and imagination and our early childhood programs help nurture and strengthen these qualities. We see early childhood as a rich developmental stage that should not be rushed through.
Our philosophy is based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher, scientist, and educator. Steiner recognized that children develop in distinct stages. In the earliest years, children are best suited to learn primarily by imitation and activity rather than through formal instruction. Our program emphasizes creative play as a foundation for independent activity and creative thinking.
Children meet themselves in the realm of imagination through stories, songs, puppetry, and play. They meet the world through tasks like baking, sewing, hammering, sweeping, sewing, and gardening. These activities nourish and protect a sense of awe and wonder while offering children a way to rehearse for life as a productive adult. An abundance of outdoor play and practical activity connects children to the rhythms of the year and strengthens their affinity with the natural world. The beautiful language of the puppet plays, songs, and stories told by heart begin the foundation for a love of language that is at the heart of true literacy.
The teaching in the Waldorf Early Childhood Program is oral, practical, and creative. It challenges children to gradually develop their awakening capacities to think clearly, to feel fully, and to act freely.
We offer a 3-day morning class (8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for children turning 2 by September 1. The class can accommodate 10 children and is taught by a lead teacher and an assistant. Children are NOT required to be toilet trained for this class.
We offer a 5-day class (8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 3 p.m.) for children who are 3 years old by September 1 and toilet trained. This class can accommodate 16 children and is taught by a lead teacher and an assistant.
Songbirds, Sunflowers, and Waldorf in the Woods (Mixed-Age Kindergarten)
We offer 5-day, mixed-age classes for children from 4 years up to 6 years of age, with half day (8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) or full day (8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) options. The Songbirds and Sunflowers morning classes offer a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, while the Waldorf in the Woods morning program takes place almost entirely outdoors. Each class is taught by a lead teacher and an assistant. Both Songbirds and Sunflowers can accommodate 20 children per class, while Waldorf in the Woods can accommodate 15.
The full-day program, available to children from all three-morning classes, includes lunch (which can be brought from home or ordered from our in-school chef who cooks fabulous meals using local and organic ingredients), a quiet rest time, and additional afternoon activities. Extending the day to 6:00 p.m. is also an option if space is available.