What Kindergarten Is Right For Your Child?

What Kindergarten Is Right For Your Child?

This week our children are returning to school. They are ecstatic, and we’re pretty excited too. This is the beginning of our fourth year as Waldorf parents, and our enthusiasm hasn’t waned over time. On the contrary, every year we are more certain that Waldorf is the perfect place to send our children.

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The effect of a Waldorf education is to grow a child, with careful tending, into a strong, deeply rooted 土瓜灣 k3, freethinking adult, at home in matters spiritual and mundane — and able to see the spiritual in the mundane. The Waldorf curriculum recognizes the child is a creature of nature and of spirit, and both of these aspects are cultivated and interconnected as the child grows.

Tidy cubbies. Near the entrance to the room is a line of wooden cubbies holding rainboots and rain gear (or snow boots and snow gear, depending on the time of year), slippers, shoes, and a change of clothes. Children in Waldorf play outside for at least a short time every single day, regardless of weather (well, except for thunderstorms and blizzards). Children this age are still closely tied to the natural world, and they need that outside time like they need sleep and food. There are no names written on the cubbies; each cubby has a hand-drawn personal symbol (a fawn, a squirril, a maple tree…). This same symbol is used to mark the child’s seat. No writing is used, because Waldorf kindergartens do not teach reading. (See footnote below.)

Room organization. There are no lines of desks. It’s an open space with a mixture of carpeting and floor, a large table with the children’s chairs around it, and activity areas lining the walls — a small working kitchen, a dress-up area, a privacy nook, etc. — all beguiling to a child’s heart.

Natural materials. Speaking of ceramic, glass, and cotton, everything you see around you in the room is made of natural materials — wood, stone, metal, glass. No plastic. Children this age are still integrating their senses (as you know if you know a child with sensory integration difficulties, as we did), and it is very helpful for them to be able to match up texture, weight, color and pattern consistently. Nataural materials such as wood always look and feel the same; the child gets a consistent message. Plastics have dazzling colors and any number of strange textures and weights. Furthermore, natural materials are simply more comfortable for a young child.

Dress-up area. Over here is a rack of costumes hanging, and a bin stuffed with crowns, boas, sashes, and capes. All costumes are made of cotton, wool, silk, and other natural fibers.

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