At WSA, our Early Childhood program nurtures a sense of wonder and curiosity in the young child, while encouraging reverence and joy for the goodness of life. The warmth and beauty of the classrooms and the mixed age groupings provide an opportunity for children to play and learn in a home-like atmosphere. When the children join our classrooms, they each will engage according to their age and abilities.
In our Morning Garden program, toddlers come with their caregivers and are happy to be with peers in a homelike environment enjoying a rhythmic morning together.
In the Preschool/Kindergarten classes, the two-year olds (participating in a few classes only) are open to their environment and simply take it all in. The 3-year olds (participating in a 4 hour/day program) and the 4-year olds begin imitating the mood, gestures and work of the classroom teachers (and their older friends). The 5 and 6-year olds develop the independence and sense of responsibility necessary to become active members in the class.
At WSA, the Early Childhood experience is rich in storytelling, puppetry, singing, poetry, domestic and artistic activities. Crafts, handwork, games, and regular outdoor play encourage the healthy growth of the child's body. Toys, art materials, and classroom aesthetics emphasize natural, simple materials, encouraging the child's imagination. Through play, each child learns a broad range of cognitive, social, and linguistic skills. These experiences are fortified at home through parent participation and parental understanding of our curriculum which focuses on the healthy development of the child in relationship to nature and environment.
Daily and weekly rhythms provide a familiar environment and support the children as they move wholeheartedly into play and learning. Meaningful activities and artistic work are at the core of each morning. These may include watercolor painting, baking bread and churning butter, handworking (finger knitting, beeswax modeling, sewing, seasonal crafts), housekeeping (waxing, polishing, washing, mending), and making vegetable soup.
Capacities children will develop in our program:
• Care of others
• Listening skills
• Flexible thinking
|• Fine motor skills
• Gross motor skills
• Good habits
• Aesthetic appreciation
• Story structure (beginning-middle-end)
• Flexible thinking
|• One-on-one correspondence
|• Observational skills
• Sensory stimulation
• Snack preparation
• Nature walks
• Care of environment