Our Kindergartens serve children between 4 and 6 years of age with classes of 16 children or less. Like our Nursery program, our Mixed-Age Kindergartens begin at 8:30 AM and end at 12:00 PM. We also offer Extended Care options beginning at 7:30 AM and ending as late as 5:30 PM. Our Kindergartens are led by experienced, Waldorf-trained Faculty and an assistant teacher who has Waldorf teaching experience.
Play and the Imagination
A Waldorf Early Childhood classroom is a harmonious place for your child, whose needs are balanced with the needs of a class. An orderly environment full of gentle rhythms helps children feel secure. In a nurturing environment, children learn to explore their world.
Waldorf Kindergarten students paint with watercolors and make healthy snacks. They play dress up, serve ‘tea’ and enjoy puppet plays. They sing songs, play circle games, and participate in seasonal festivals. Mornings always include a wholesome organic snack (provided) and outdoor play in our large playground. Mornings conclude with the telling of a story or a puppet play.
Potomac Crescent students end their day with rosy cheeks after a day of play, healthy snacks, movement and rest. Students of all ages spend time outdoors every day, unless the weather is severe. In rainy weather, they wear rain boots and rain gear, and in snowy weather, they wear snowsuits and snow boots. In addition, our Kindergarten students have a park day once per week, usually walking to Fort Ward Park, which is a 10 minute walk from the school.
Our Early Childhood Classrooms
We believe that “the work of the child is play.” Self-directed and free play is a special feature of a Waldorf Early Childhood classroom. Our Waldorf-trained Faculty create spaces where children can freely play and nurture their imaginations. Because young children absorb input strongly through their senses, our Early Childhood Faculty strive to be models worthy of imitation.
Natural materials such as wood, silk, wool, stones and soft pastel fibers fill our classrooms. Waldorf Kindergarten students wash real dishes and play in an environment free from academic pressure. Children play with natural, open-ended materials that lend themselves to a variety of uses. Free-play with open-ended toys allows a child’s imagination to be the central feature of her or his school experience.
In a secure and home-like setting, children of mixed ages live out the axiom that “the work of the child is play.” Your child will learn self-confidence and confidence under the guidance of two teachers.
A Kindergarten classroom presents learning opportunities in many ways. Children in a Waldorf school who are gifted verbally are encouraged to try physical challenges such as jumping rope, and noisier children learn to find inner balance when they sit quietly to paint. Perhaps that is why Waldorf graduates perform well across the disciplines.
Seasonal Rhythms in a Waldorf School
We also observe a rhythm throughout the year. The young child lives strongly in nature and in the senses, and so harvest time, the advent of winter, and the arrival of spring are celebrated in a way that appeals to a child’s senses and growing body.
We present simple, universally meaningful images in these festivals to nurture a child’s sense of wonder and reverence. Our observances are non-sectarian, since our school welcomes families of all faiths and backgrounds. We welcome your application and look forward to meeting you and your child.