The Early Childhood Program at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is a vibrant place - filled with the energy of both the children and the close community of parents and teachers that form around them. We offer three mixed-age classes for children ages 3 to 6 years, various parent-child programs for parents with children ages 1 to 3 years, and parent-support classes and workshops throughout the year.
Baby Garden: Birth to 18 months
Parent-Child: 18 months to 3 years
Peachblossom Nursery: 3 and 4 years
Little Folks Pre-Kindergarten: 4 and 5 years
Kindergarten: 5 and 6 years
The curriculum begins with two basic tenets: that the young child, before the age of seven, learns most through imitation, and that play is the real "work" of early childhood. With this in mind, we work to create an environment and activities worthy of the child's imitation in which the child feels secure in exploring the many possibilities for creative, free play. Located on a 400-acre biodynamic farm, we make frequent visits to the farm animals, gardens, woods, and streams, while also saying hello to the farmers, gardeners, cheesemakers, and others around campus.
Through these activities, the children become acquainted with their physical body and senses, the natural world around them, and people of all ages. These social skills, awareness of self, and tactile experiences form a firm foundation for academic learning through the grades and through life. We look forward to supporting you and your child as you being your journey together through life.
Rhythm and play are defining elements of life in the Early Childhood Program. During the early years, young children gravitate towards familiarity and predictability. Thus, we work consciously with rhythm — the great rhythms of the seasons, as well as the smaller rhythms of the weeks and days.
Through story, verse, song, and movement, we live with seasonal moods and experience subtle changes. Some of our weekly rhythms include storytelling (with beeswax modeling), watercolor painting, eurythmy (a movement class), bread baking, and soup making. Some of our daily rhythms include circle-time, coloring, free play, snack preparation, clean up, rest, snack time, and outdoor activity. Through these activities and others, a vessel of security and predictability is created in which each child can relax and grow with confidence.
Honoring the Essence of Childhood
Welcoming children to a world of wonder where
a love for learning is experienced every day:
In nature exploration of forests, waterways, and fields,
Through creative arts and play, story and song,
Experiencing the plants, animals, and people of the farm,
Building confidence through meaningful work,
Celebrating friends and community!
Educating the whole child - head, heart and hands.