Waldorf educates the whole child — head, hands and heart.
A Waldorf school is a living, breathing place. Our classrooms are indoors and out.
When you enter a Waldorf preschool, you’ve entered an imaginative, magical place where childhood is protected and celebrated, pure and simple.
Walls are hand-painted in lovely, soft colors and adorned with student artwork. Fresh bread or wholesome granola is baking in the oven. The school is awash with the sounds of stories, laughter and songs. Inside and out, you’ll see little altars for the fairies, fresh flowers, gourds and pumpkins and evergreenery celebrating the season at hand. Natural textiles and wooden toys are tucked into cubbies. All day, every day, imaginations are free to wonder, develop and play.
In the Waldorf tradition, learning takes place through experiences, and children learn to cultivate a lifelong love of learning, intrinsic motivation, and the confidence they need to grow into individual identities.
The Waldorf approach works with human nature and recognizes that children develop, like butterflies from a cocoon, at fairly predictable stages. Yet, just as some wings require more sunshine before they are strong enough to fly, we also allow room for individual rates of maturation. This appreciation for the metamorphosis of early childhood underlies the way we guide and care for every child.
The preschool and Early Childhood teachers in a Waldorf school work with young children by creating a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment. Classrooms and learning environments are protective, “held” and secure, and our children can count on predictable, regular rhythms. They can also count on plenty of free play and lots of time outdoors, rain, snow or shine!
Waldorf Early Childhood teachers engage with children in three basic ways:
Sequencing, sensory integration, eye-hand coordination tracking, appreciating the beauty of language and other basic skills necessary for the foundation of academic excellence are fostered in mixed age classrooms and both pre-K and Kindergartens. In this truly natural, loving and creative environment, children learn from a range of meaningful, valuable activities in an educational structure that helps them enjoy the magic of childhood while still preparing them for the next phase of life, including grade school.
The above content is adapted from the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) online.