Early Childhood2023-2024 School Year
Our Pre-K classes offer care for children 3 to 4 years old in a warm and loving environment. The preschool is a ‘home away from home’, where children experience the smell of baking bread and the sounds of gentle singing as a bridge for spending time away from home.
Our experienced Waldorf early childhood teachers hold a strong but flexible rhythm of the day, which allows for plenty of time to play, to eat, to go to the restroom, to rest, to hear stories, songs, and rhymes, and to be out in the fresh air. The classrooms and play yard are filled with open-ended, natural toys and materials for imaginative play, and the classroom is entirely screen-free and media-free.
Mixed Age Kindergarten
Our Mixed-Age Kindergarten class serves as an introduction into school life. Children are guided in activities which the whole class are experiencing together, and begin to learn that there are times for free play, and times for working together.
Each day our experienced Waldorf Early Childhood teachers guide the children in artistic activities and crafts, an imaginative circle time with songs, poetry, and movement, an engaging story presented in the oral tradition along with dramatic reenactment and puppetry, as well as extended time in free play both inside and outside.
The classrooms and play yard are filled with open-ended, natural toys and materials for imaginative play, and the classroom is entirely screen-free and media-free.
At Waldorf School of Bend we offer a unique outdoor Kindergarten program. Their ‘classroom’ is outside in our school garden, where they will spend time immersed in nature and the natural rhythms of the seasons. A large outdoor hunting tent provides a simple shelter, while an indoor classroom space is also available for truly inclement weather. Our Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cyndi, is a Biodynamic Farmer & Gardener, whose inspiration to bring an Outdoor Kindergarten stems from her passion for farming and her indigenous cultural background.
The children are guided through play and nature based learning. This helps to cultivate pre-academic experiential foundations and sensory integration. Children learn all kinds of imperative skills through play. Self-directed play promotes neural pathway development, hones social skills and peer navigation, advances large and small motor skills and strengthens motor planning and coordination. All the while our Kindergarten teachers are nurturing the children’s developing skills.
Each day the children hold a rhythm in which they participate in free play, activities and crafts. They have an engaging circle time with songs, stories, and movement. The classrooms and play yard are filled with open-ended, natural toys and materials for imaginative play, and the classroom is entirely screen-free and media-free.
Pre-Kindergarten, Mixed Age Kindergarten, and Kindergarten Programs
Our youngest children are nurtured in a warm, beautiful, and loving environment in our pre-kindergarten, mixed age kindergarten, and kindergarten classes by early childhood teachers who are specifically trained to meet the needs of our youngest students.
Our early childhood teachers help your little one to feel secure, protected, and confident—grounded in the consistency of our daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms and activities. Through daily outdoor free play and creative exploration, we aspire to cultivate a love of—and respect for—our natural world.
Young children learn through imitation and play. Our teachers model respect and reverence in their interactions with your child. Our play-based curriculum is substantiated by research from the American Academy of Pediatrics that states play is integral for a healthy childhood, and necessary for social and intellectual development when formal academics begin in the grade school.
Children attending the Early Childhood program at the Waldorf School of Bend are prepared for future academic challenges as they engage their will through meaningful, practical activities and develop language through story, song, and verse. By the time he or she enters first grade, your child is ready and eager to experience the intellectual rigors of the grades curriculum.
Early Childhood hours are from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM with Aftercare available until 4:30PM.