Circle time brings everyone together with the teacher leading the children in movement and verses, tongue twisters and finger games. Circle time is followed by a healthy snack that is dependable to the day of the week: Wednesday is millet-roll day with children helping to grind the grain; Monday is rice day with nori and carrots; Thursday is soup day with collards from the garden and potatoes prepared by the children.
Outdoor time in the play yard, garden and pine woods comes next. Regardless of the weather, we venture outdoors. On warm spring days we linger in the sunshine; on rainy days the children fill buckets and channel streams; on winter days we bundle up in many layers.
After outdoor play, it is time for a story often accompanied by puppet play. If the weather agrees, the children remain outside to listen, soaking up the elaborate and playful language of fairy tales, folk tales and cottage stories.
Children bring their own lunch, and gather for a quiet meal after the busyness of the day before being picked up at one o’clock.
Children staying for aftercare build sleeping spaces out of play stands draped with silks, and lie on their sheepskins to be read a story before rest. After resting or upon waking the children play indoors and out before being picked up at the chosen 3 or 3:30 p.m. time.
Our nature table brings the outdoor realm into the classroom. Seasonal changes influence the school day: pressing cider, boiling marigold blossoms to dye silks yellow, making “jack frost” paintings by leaving the children’s watercolor paintings outside overnight, waking up the vegetable beds in the spring and preparing them for planting.
School festivals follow the path of the seasons including a harvest festival at Michaelmas, a Lantern Walk in November, an Advent spiral walk and a May Day festival.
Just as the structure of the school day holds the children, the cycle of the natural year holds the school.
OUR SCHOOL DAY is founded on the ideals and practices of early childhood Waldorf education as developed by Rudolf Steiner and is structured to give children the opportunity to learn through movement, imitation and exploration. The teachers provide the routines and rituals of the days, weeks and seasons, allowing for a secure and rich environment for the unfolding of each child.
The day begins with free play. Our simple wooden and handmade toys become whatever the child imagines—puppet shows are performed, bridges and roads are built for trucks, houses and living spaces are made and remade—while the children transform into queens and kings, kittens, cooks, doctors and astronauts.