Wonder Garden for children ages 2 years 9 months to 4 years.
Kindergarten for children ages 4 to 6 years.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited.
In early childhood, young children are nurtured in a home-like environment. Their days include time in nature, artistic activities, creative play with natural toys, stories, songs, and practical activities such as building, sewing and cooking. The curriculum fosters the curiosity and joy of childhood and builds the self confidence and pre-academic skills that become the foundation for formal learning in the grades.
All elements of the kindergarten are guided by trained teachers who deeply understand how your child learns – engaging him or her intellectually, emotionally and physically. The curriculum is supported by a strong oral tradition that provides rich language experiences that are successful in cultivating good speech and expression. This approach exposes your child to significantly larger vocabularies than those found in early-reader programs, allowing her or him to expand their literacy skills through dramatization, poetry, puppet plays, songs, storytelling and drawings - creating a foundation in reading and writing.
Wonder Garden and Kindergarten
For ages 2 years, 9 months (by Sept. 1) to 4 years
3 Day Wonder Garden (M, T, W) 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
3 Day Wonder Garden (M, T, W) 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
5 Day Wonder Garden (M, T, W, F) 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
(TH) 8:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.
Ages 4 to 6 years
5 Day (M, T, W, F) 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
(TH) 8:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.
Before and Afternoon care programs available
The Kindergarten in the Waldorf School*
The early childhood teacher in a Waldorf school works with the young child first by creating a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment, which is protective and secure and where things happen in a predictable, regular manner. Here she responds to the developing child in two basic ways.
Firstly, the teacher engages in domestic, practical and artistic activities that the children can readily imitate (for example, baking, painting, gardening and handicrafts), adapting the work to the changing seasons and festivals of the year.
Secondly, the teacher nurtures the children's power of imagination particular to the age. She does so by telling carefully selected stories and by encouraging free play. This free or fantasy play, in which children act out scenarios of their own creation, helps them to experience many aspects of life more deeply. When toys are used, they are made of natural materials. Pine cones, wood, cotton, silk, shells, stones, and other objects from nature that the children themselves have collected are used in play and to beautify the room.
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 the Kindergarten. In this truly natural, loving and creative environment, the children are given a range of activities and the structure that help them prepare for the next phase of school life.
*This article originally appeared in the AWSNA publication, Windows into Waldorf: An Introduction to Waldorf Education. A special thanks to author David Mitchell who generously allowed for its use.
Why people love Prairie Hill Waldorf School?