Why does it feel so different, so special, in a Waldorf Kindergarten?
There are many things that contribute to this unique setting, including the natural classroom design, the smell of fresh bread or soup, or the way the teachers move about the room doing purposeful work.
There is also a deeper level of social, emotional and academic learning in the Waldorf Kindergarten that is a pervasive undercurrent in the daily rhythm of our early childhood classrooms.
Here are four unique aspects that make up a Waldorf Kindergarten and differentiate it from some of its more main-stream counterparts in early childhood education:
Play Based Learning
The Harvard Education Letter concurs, calling the early childhood trend of, “scripted curricula and reduced recess” a matter of “serious concern.”
Pre Academic Experiential Foundations
Storytime in a Kindergarten classroom is especially important in the Waldorf approach to teaching reading, which develops a child’s comprehension skills before phonic skills.
Waldorf strives to educate the whole child, and that includes the senses and their relation to the body and movement. Now called “sensory integration,” experts are beginning to understand why the ability to effectively process and organize sensations is essential to learning, especially through visual and auditory processing.