At the Rudolf Steiner School, we offer two nursery classes for three-year olds (must be three by June 30) and young four-year olds. The morning and the activities are kept as home-like as possible, out of the recognition that this is often the child’s first experience away from home and parents. Slowly, we help the children adjust to the social world around them, support them in learning everyday skills such as dressing and washing, and provide plenty of opportunities for joyful movement and play.
The day may, for example, begin with a long period of free play, using toys made of natural materials with simple forms that leave room for imagination. Playtime is followed by a circle time of verses, nursery rhymes, songs and games, and there are artistic activities and a quiet rest time each morning. An organic snack, which all the children help prepare, is served before the children are led to Central Park where they dig, run, jump and explore. The morning ends with a simple nature story, folk tale or a puppet show before everyone says good-bye. The week has its rhythms as well, and seasonal activities such as gathering acorns and planting bulbs deepen the children’s awareness of and participation in the natural world around them and in the cycle of the year.
In the natural, rhythmical, and creative environment of the Nursery Program, children are given the freedom, confidence, independence and security to prepare for the next phase of school life.
The Nursery Half-Day Program meets five-days a week from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon, with a gentle, transitional phase in the beginning of the year. We now offer an Extended-Day Program either three or five afternoons a week where children can stay at school until 3:00 pm.