We believe that young children are concrete learners who learn by doing. They use all of their senses to explore and find out about their environment. They feel a sense of security from pattern, rhythm, and predictability to their days. Young children are looking to the adults in their lives to provide a safe and nurturing environment where they have lots of time for uninterrupted play, to participate in real-life activities, and to simply enjoy being a child.
Play initiated by the child lays the foundation for learning and academic success. While children play, they are learning how to interact with others, they are developing their language skills, they are recognizing and solving problems, and they are discovering their own human potential. Play boosts healthy development in all critical areas.
At least once each week the children will help their teachers to bake bread or muffins, or make another nutritious food to share with the class during the day. Children assist with watering and weeding our vegetable and flower gardens, as well as taking part in every day tasks such as washing dishes, folding laundry, and sweeping the floor. The children learn the importance of helping others and being a valued member of the community.
The children have opportunities throughout every day to explore, observe, and investigate with all of their senses the natural world. These opportunities include walks through the village, field trip to apple orchards and sheep farms, and outdoor play and gardening on the playgrounds. Rain or sunshine, snow or heat, the children come prepared each day to spend ample time out of doors.
The oral traditions of poetry, fairy tales, song and verse instill a love of language, preparing the child for reading and writing work in the elementary school. Rather than structured lessons on learning numbers and the alphabet, we help children develop numerical skills through counting games and rhythmic activities and develop memory and early literacy skills through the repetition of stories, nursery rhymes and songs. Each morning the toddlers and preschoolers gather with their teachers in the preschool for a Singing Circle. The songs and rhymes chosen for Singing Circle are carefully selected and suit the young child’s inner nature.