In our Kindergartens, the young child’s senses are surrounded by beauty and order in small, home-like rooms and enclosed backyard gardens. The early childhood classroom is crafted to nurture the children and provide them with a sense of security. The teacher chooses the items that are present in the room with great attention to detail. Simple toys and natural materials are provided for cultivating imagination.
Children do meaningful work indoors (sweeping, mending, cleaning) as well as outdoors in the yard and garden (pruning, weeding, planting, composting, harvesting). The adults offer the children something ‘real’ to imitate and the children either participate directly in the activities, or through watching, they learn how it is done.
Children develop their fine and gross motor skills during the daily ring time. Reciting poems and singing songs accompanied by movement nurtures the imagination and the soul of the child. Through the particular poems and songs brought to ring time, the relationship to nature and the cycle of seasons is strengthened.
Daily story time fosters the development of the children’s imagination, listening skills and vocabulary. It also exercises the child’s capacity for mental picturing, a significant element of reading comprehension. Story time contributes to a foundation of strong memory capacity in the grade school years.
Artistic activities such as watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, coloring, sewing, woodworking, and seasonal crafts are also woven into the rhythm of the kindergarten. The children develop small motor skills and express their imagination during these activities.
Preparing the food is an integral part of the program, giving the children an opportunity to develop fine motor and culinary skills, as well as an awareness that the food that appears on the table is a result of many processes in which the children can be involved, again strengthening the children’s relationship to the natural world.