Our kindergarten program provides a home-like setting that offers a rich exposure to language and culture through play, creative and practical activities, daily stories, songs, poems and puppet shows. Children learn best by doing and in a Waldorf kindergarten classroom, children are active participants in all that morning offers: chopping vegetables for soup, cutting fruit for fruit salad, kneading dough for their bread, as well as helping the teachers order and clean the classroom each day. Craft activities and plenty of movement opportunities, both inside the classroom and in neighboring Central Park, bring balance to the day and strength to the child.
Rhythmic repetition is essential for the young child and for this reason our days, weeks, months and year are rhythmic in nature. Each week, the snacks are repeated on the same day (homemade bread each Tuesday or fruit salad each Thursday, for example), as are the artistic activities (painting each Friday), so that children quickly learn what to expect each day and find confidence and security in the familiar. The subtle shifts of the seasons are celebrated in songs, poems, stories and activities, and the celebration of yearly festivals develops a sense of greater community and a rich inner life of feeling, as well as marking the rhythms of the year with joyful thanksgiving.
A sample morning would include free play upon arrival in the classroom, cleanup, greeting and circle, artistic activity (beeswax, bread making, watercolor painting, eurythmy, and drawing), rest, snack and outdoor play. Each morning is designed to provide a harmonious balance between active pursuits and quieter, more receptive activities, such as storytelling. A sense of wonder and whole-hearted participation in the surrounding world are both the special virtues of young children and the aims of the Early Childhood Program.
Our kindergarten classes are mixed aged groups of four, five and six year old children. The classes meet five days a week until noon. For those needing longer hours, there is a full day option which ends at 3:00 pm. Children can sign up for either a three-day program (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), or a five-day program.