Early Childhood Program
The Early Childhood (EC) Program at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork has one preschool (Starflower) and two kindergartens (Sunflower and Moonflower). The children in the Starflower class range in age from 2.5 to 4 years old, and attend either three or five days a week.
The EC program is built on an understanding of a child’s developmental needs and provides a nurturing, protective environment. Teachers view the whole child and acknowledge his physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual needs. Because we know that young children thrive on consistent rhythm and lots of repetition to master new skills, we establish a daily, weekly and yearly rhythm that offers predictability and gives the children a sense of security and safety. In addition, as the children experience the rhythm day after day, they can begin to understand the logical sequence in the daily events.
The teachers understand that a child’s natural way of learning is through imitation. Children want to imitate what they see and experience in their environment. When the teacher is preparing an activity such as cutting up vegetables for soup, the children are drawn to what she is doing by their innate desire to imitate. Extra materials are available so that they can work alongside the teacher. This helps the children assimilate these experiences in a healthy way. Teachers strive to be very conscious and aware of each gesture and movement as well as the interactions with one another, the children and the environment.