Morning Garden is a special gathering where young children and their parents, guided by a Waldorf teacher, enjoy a rhythmic morning of songs, movement, handwork, snack, and conversation. Parents learn from each other, sharing life experiences and insights, while modeling for the children the joy of meaningful activity. The Morning Garden program is an opportunity to slow down, enjoy our children and each other, and bring a precious moment of peace into our lives.
Approximately eight families participate for one morning each week. Children will benefit most from this program if they are 1 1/2 years (and walking) to 3 1/2 years.
Morning Garden activities include:
The Morning Garden program will be offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 9:15 to 11:45 am and Thursday afternoons from 12 noon to 2:30 pm.
- As the children arrive, they are greeted by the teacher in the play yard.
- Outdoor play is an important aspect of the morning as children experience freedom through movement.
- Circle time, lasting about ten minutes, is a special part of the morning. During this time, seasonal songs, nursery rhymes, and verses are brought to life through movement.
- Families are invited to share in the preparation of a snack and table setting.
- Adults engage in and model the art of conversation and social graces during snack time.
- Play is the work of the young child; during free play, a true imaginative faculty begins to develop as children learn about sharing, taking risks, role modeling, and resolving conflict.
- Parents engage in purposeful work (doing simple crafts and projects) while keeping a loving eye on the children's play. This is also a time for parents to share ideas and experiences about child development and education, facilitated by weekly articles and excerpts from Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
- The teacher presents a short story, bringing to life objects from nature according to one's imagination.
- Morning Garden ends with a goodbye song.
Questions or more information? Contact Stacey Alston at 404.377.1315.
To apply for the Morning Garden program, download the application form
in our Admissions section.
Faculty - Morning Garden Teachers
We are delighted that the following individuals will bring their experiences as parents and Waldorf teachers to the Morning Garden program this year.
Sondi Eugene was raised in rural New Jersey. She later moved to Louisiana to attend Grambling State University. Sondi received her Waldorf certificate in early childhood education from Sunbridge College in 2004 and she became certified in the Lifeways Early Childhood and Human Development Program in 2009. Sondi has been teaching at WSA since 2000. She helped develop and now teaches the Afternoon kindergarten class, as well as two days of the Morning Garden Program. Sondi enjoys hiking, bike rides, cooking, crafts, and singing. She has two children, both of whom attended WSA since kindergarten and are now high school students at Academe of the Oaks.
Sara Michelson graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Sunbridge College in 1996 and is a former preschool/kindergarten teacher at The Waldorf School of Atlanta. She recently completed a one-year intensive program in Maine, and received a certificate in the Lifeways Early Childhood and Human Development Training. Sara has two sons; one is almost four years old and the other is in the fourth grade at The Waldorf School of Atlanta. This is Sara's seventh year teaching Morning Garden.
Annie Sommerville-Hall was one of the founding parents of The Waldorf School of Atlanta. She began teaching at WSA in 1993 and has taught the Morning Garden parent/toddler program and 3-day preschool/kindergarten for many years. Born in White Plains, New York, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Annie attended Georgia State University and the Southeastern Center for the Arts. She received her Waldorf certificate in early childhood education from Sunbridge College in 1998. Annie has been a teacher of many subjects, including swimming, art, barn management, horseback riding, and beekeeping. Annie taught art at The Friends School of Atlanta and had a Waldorf playgroup in her home prior to joining WSA as a preschool/kindergarten teacher. Annie's varied interests include spending time in nature, beekeeping, swimming, and the arts - theater, photography, storytelling, and crafts. Annie has been married more than 30 years, and has two daughters, both of whom have graduated from WSA. Her oldest,
one of the first graduates of WSA, received her Masters in Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her youngest, a graduate of Academe of the Oaks, the local Waldorf high school, has a B.S. in psychology from Georgia College and State University.