Early Childhood

 
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A Waldorf Early Childhood classroom welcomes the child to a day filled with imagination and inspiration. Focused creative play, rich storytelling, goal-oriented will activities, and healthy social interactions provide the foundation for future academic excellence and personal well-being.


Nursery Hours: 3-Day (Weds-Fri) or 5-Day (Mon-Fri) 8:30-12:30, 8:30-3:00, and 8:30-5:30 Options

Kindergarten Hours: 5-Day (Mon-Fri) 8:30-12:30, 8:30-3:00, and 8:30-5:30 Options

 

Our Parent and Infant/Child Program is designed for newborns through 3 years of age. We welcome little ones with their parents into a warm and beautiful environment full of play, song, meaningful work, and community.

Our Parent-Child programs for the 2017-2018 school year are currently full. We do have an active waiting pool. To be considered for an open spot, please complete the online inquiry. A registration invitation will be sent to you as spots are available in date order they are received.

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"In a society that may be nudging children prematurely into adulthood, Waldorf schools preserve the magic and fairy-tale wonder of being a child." – Parenting Magazine

Our Nursery program is for children who turn 3 years old by or after September 1st when we have spots available. We offer two Nursery classes; a 3-Day Program (Wednesday-Friday) or a 5-Day Program. Each class has a Lead Waldorf-trained Teacher and an Assistant. Classes have 10-12 children ages 3 and 4 who are potty trained.

We offer a 1/2 Day Program 8:30am-12:30pm, a Full Day Program, 8:30am-3:00pm, and an Extended Day Program 8:30am-5:30pm. A snack is prepared and provided by the teacher and children each day at 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 4pm. Parents supply their child with a healthy lunch which the children eat at noon.

Since Nursery school is a time when most children are just coming out of the home for the first time, the rhythm of the Nursery section of the Early Childhood program is simpler than that of the kindergarten. The setting is home-like; gentle, slow, and intended to give the children a sense of being part of a big family. In the Nursery, the children are offered the possibility of participating in the traditional activities that take place in the home: cooking and baking, washing and ironing, cleaning, and gardening. The activities provided allow the children to engage in the work of the adult. Because these activities serve a purpose and are filled with meaning, they help the children become grounded and enter more fully into life at a later age.

Young children love to play. This is the age when they transition from parallel play to social play. That means learning how to be with another human being in a kind and gentle way. Often, this is the first time the child is part of a group, so adjusting to each other and learning to take turns and take part in a circle is a big step for young children. The Early Childhood teachers role model behavior worthy of imitation and meet each child with warmth, respect, and loving care.

In our Nursery program, there is a strong rhythmic element. Through rhythm, a sense of security and a feeling of well-being develops in the child. Each day has a rhythm, which begins with a period of play and work and is followed by circle time with verses, rhymes, and songs. Next, a warm and healthy snack is provided. Then, following a period of outdoor play, the morning session ends indoors with a story and lunch. Each week has a rhythm, as well; there is a day for baking, a day for painting, another for soup-making, and so on. Our snacks are served in a weekly rhythm. The yearly rhythm is celebrated through seasonal festivals and activities which serve to foster a connection to the natural world and deepen the child’s awareness of the world around them.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

We offer three kindergarten classes; each class has a Lead Waldorf-trained Teacher and an Assistant. Classes have 12 – 16 children who are 4 and 5 years old. This mixed-age-group approach allows the younger children to observe and experience various festivals and projects. The older children are given extra developmentally-based artistic and practical projects and responsibilities. We encourage children to attend for two years.

We offer a 1/2 Day Program 8:30am-12:30pm, a Full Day Program, 8:30am-3:00pm, and an Extended Day Program 8:30am-5:30pm. A snack is prepared and provided by the teacher and children each day at 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 4pm. Parents supply their child with a healthy lunch which the children eat at noon.

Play is the central activity of our Early Childhood education. Through play, children learn to grow in their imagination, to strengthen their memory, to develop tolerance and social skills, to enhance fine and large motor skills, and to broaden their language. We consider imagination an essential foundation of creative thinking in later life. Our toys are simple, beautiful, and made of natural materials. At Emerson Waldorf School, children are free to create their own world and, as they imitate the vitality of real life, they become completely immersed in their activities. This ability to focus is later channeled into concentrated academic and artistic work.

All classes offer free play, circle time, outside play, weekly artistic and domestic activities, and daily story-telling. Our kindergarten is rhythmically oriented with daily, weekly, and seasonally-designed activities. We celebrate many festivals during the year, paying special attention to the naturally-occurring changes in nature. Waldorf Kindergarten is a world of lively experiences and joyful interaction in a beautiful, natural, and healthful environment. Each child is met with respect, warmth, and loving care.

In addition to the Half-Day Early Childhood program, both EWS Nursery and Kindergarten now offer a Full-Day program until 3:00pm and an Extended-Day program until 5:30pm. As the 1/2 Day children say goodbye to their classmates at 12:30pm, the Full-Day and Extended-Day children lay their cushions, pillows, and blankets on the floor and prepare their own ‘room’ out of play stands and silk cloths. The teacher reads a story and then watches over them as the children lie on their beds for a nap – sometimes nodding off to sleep and sometimes just lying quietly looking through a book. After nap, the children go outside for free play until the Full-Day children are picked up at 3pm by a parent or caregiver. Extended-Day children have indoor play, a prepared snack, and outdoor play until 5:30pm when they are picked up by a parent or caregiver.