EARLY CHILDHOOD CURRICULUM
Learn By Doing
The Early Childhood program is based on the conviction that the young child learns best by imitation of what is beautiful and meaningful. Each child’s innate capacity for wonder and reverence is valued and nurtured in a carefully planned program and environment. Learning is joyous because children are guided to healthy, creative self-expression. The Waldorf School of San Diego offers an Early Childhood Program that is a mixed-age, play-based where imagination and exploration create a foundation for learning in your child.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CURRICULUM
Beyond The Books
Imaginative play, inside and outside the classroom, puppet plays and storytelling, watercolor painting, crafts, eurythmy, and snack preparation form a rhythm to the day and throughout the week that is enhanced by seasonal celebrations and festivals. Healthy movement and creative play in the early childhood years are key to laying the foundation for later academic work.
WHAT WE STRIVE FOR
Call For Inquiry
(619) 287 – 3054 x 200
The first seven years of a child’s life are devoted to the development of the physical body and play is the child’s work in the Nursery and Kindergarten. Neural pathways in the developing brain are laid down through movement and imaginative play, building a strong foundation for later academic learning. Plenty of free, unstructured play encourages problem solving, creative thinking, and facilitates healthy social interaction. Children learn through imitating the world around them and if children are given the opportunity to imitate that which is beautiful, meaningful and true, then they are able to go forth in life with initiative and purpose.
Our Morning Glory Playgroups provide a lovely opportunity for parents and their young children to come together once a week for a morning of play, song, and activity that echoes the rhythm and atmosphere of the Early Childhood classroom.
The Nursery provides a gentle first “school experience” for children. The Nursery class is designed to meet the needs of the young child in a loving, homelike setting.
Kindergarten classrooms are harmonious, home-like environments that are beautiful, warm and nurturing. Imagination and creativity flourish with children participating in meaningful tasks that develop coordination and cooperative social skills while unfolding capacities necessary for later academic work.
Morning Glory Playgroups
*Due to economic restrictions and challenges relative to COVID-19, this program is temporarily not being offered.
Children enjoy the freedom to explore and test new skills in a safe and beautiful environment filled with natural materials and simple toys. They are guided through the morning by a gentle rhythm of free play, circle/story time, and a nutritious snack. Outside time offers additional fun with sand and water play, gardening, and nature exploration.
Adults enjoy meeting other parents, learning simple songs and games to take home, and insightful discussions about parenting issues. Adults also have the opportunity to make a simple craft or toy each session.
Each age-specific playgroup is tailored to support the needs of the children and parents. Activities vary accordingly. Each playgroup is facilitated by an experienced teacher trained in Waldorf methods. Please contact the school for this year’s schedule and playgroup descriptions.
There are two 16-week sessions per year (there are no classes over the summer). Registration opens for the Fall Session in July and for the Spring Session in December of each year. Classes fill fast each session and often end with a waiting list. You are welcome to complete the Inquiry Form under the Admissions tab for further details.
Sweet Pea and Sunflower Nursery
Young children are deeply influenced by their environment. All they experience through their senses, their sense of movement, their sense of the goodness of the world and the warmth of soul of those around them impress upon their developing bodies and minds. Great care is taken to provide a peaceful environment filled with simple toys and natural playthings.
Children are gently guided through their daily activities with songs and verses. The mornings flow with a rhythm that includes; a circle time of songs and games, indoor and outdoor free play, storytime with puppets, domestic activities, and a warm, organic snack. Seasonal crafts, painting, gardening, and baking are woven into each week. From the warmth and rhythm of the Nursery class, children develop a sense of security and confidence, new friendships, and a reverence for nature.
The Nursery class is guided by a lead teacher with an assistant and has a maximum limit of twelve children.
Sweet Pea Nursery
The program is currently offered three (3) mornings; 8:15 am – 12:30 pm with an option to extend the day through nap until 3:00 pm. Extended care is available from 3:00 to – 5:30 pm.
The program is currently offered five (5) mornings; 8:15 am – 12:30 pm with an option to extend the day through nap until 3:00 pm. Extended care is available from 3:00 to – 5:30 pm.
Our kindergarten class welcomes children 4 years to 6 years of age, and is guided by a lead teacher with an assistant. Classes are held Monday-Friday from 8:15 am to 1:00 pm with an option to extend the morning through nap until 3:00pm. Extended care is available from 3:00 – 5:30 pm for working parents.
The children’s morning naturally flows between social and individual activities that reflect the children’s need for both active and quiet play.
Through oral storytelling, the children create their own inner pictures. They also strengthen their listening skill, memory skills, and vocabulary. In the kindergarten, fairy tales and seasonal nature stories are spoken. Fairy tales bring to life human qualities, such as courage, kindness, honesty, etc., while nature stories enhance the children’s experience of the seasons and festivals of the year.
- Spacial awareness and movement
During circle time, the students imitate the gestures and movements of their teacher. Spatial awareness is enhanced with larger movements. The movements include up and down, front and back, and side to side motions. Through movement and singing of songs and the recitation of verses, the forces of expansion and contraction are worked with from the fine motor to the gross motor. The theme of the circle changes with the seasons of the year. For instance, in the fall the circle may be about St. Michael and the dragon, playing in the leaves or pumpkins, in winter it might be about walking through the snow and chopping wood, in the spring, caterpillars metamorphosing into butterflies.
- Indoor Play
- Outdoor Play
The students are encouraged to participate in healthy and creative play. The teachers provide this with simple and all-natural materials, such as silks and cloths, stones and shells, dolls and wooden figures, dress up, and puppets.
Creative indoor play gives the student time for self-directed exploration and discovery. Through building, transforming and rearranging the indoor environment, the students interact and grow stronger and more adept physically, emotionally and cognitively.
During the outdoor time, students run, climb, dig, push wheelbarrows, play in the garden, jump rope, swing, balance on beams and tree stumps. These activities help the students engage in imaginative play. Outdoor play provides the kindergarteners the opportunity to appreciate and interact with nature.
Free play helps the students develop their sense of touch as they experience themselves in relationships with the rest of the world. The children come to know the world interactively, through doing and experiencing. They also are developing social and cooperation skills.
- Drawing and painting
Artistic work in the kindergarten is an experience that guides young children toward abilities that can be transformed throughout life, for example, watercolor painting, sewing, finger-knitting, beeswax modeling, coloring, drawing and seasonal craft activities. These activities help to develop coordination and the ability to concentrate.
- Movement imitation
The school has a trained Eurythmy teacher who visits each class once a week at circle time and leads the children in a Eurythmy circle in place of the kindergarten teacher’s circle. The Eurythmy circle is a magical time consisting of movement, gesture, song, verse and story.
- Kitchen responsibilities
We provide a warm, organic snack each day, which the children help to prepare.