Waldorf Preschool Programs: Everything You Need to Know
This refers to an imaginative combination of knowledge and strong structure. In the Waldorf Preschool Program, children of varying ages study in classrooms via play-based educational programs, e.g., art and music classes. In this program, considerable emphasis is placed on originality and outdoor learning, much more than the regular school program. These school programs don’t involve any form of take-home assignments or scored tests.
The basis of the Waldorf Preschool Program is an understanding that each child is a unique individual who looks for ways to learn and grow by experiencing the path of earthly life. Educators who work with young children at the beginning of this journey can experience astonishment and awe for the concealed, spiritual processes that direct the child’s growth and development in the early years. Even the untaught achievements of children during the first three years of their lives, including learning to walk, speak, and think, are remarkable. The goal of the Waldorf Preschool Program is to help children continue this journey in a healthy way. The Waldorf early childhood educator facilitates this through an in-depth understanding of the human body, spirit, and soul.
It’s not just professional educators who can become Waldorf early childhood educators. Anyone who either lives with young children or cares for them can be inspired to become a Waldorf early childhood educator and get an enriching experience.
Though Waldorf Preschool Programs may vary according to geography, age range, group size, culture, and individual teaching approach, they have some fundamental characteristics as follows:
· Loving acceptance of and interest in every child
· Opportunities for children’s self-initiated play by using simple play materials
· Guide young children to actively explore their physical and social environment and help them learn through movement, imitation, and various sensory impressions
· Emphasize real (and not virtual experiences) to support children in creating a healthy relationship with the world
· Involve children in artistic activities, like music, storytelling, painting and drawing, modeling, and rhythmic games that promote the healthy development of creativity and imagination
· Engage children in predictable rhythms through the day, week, and year, which provide them with a sense of security as well as the wholeness of life
· Help unfold the children’s human capacities by providing them with meaningful, practical work, such as gardening, handwork, etc.
Waldorf Preschool Programs provide the children with a wide variety of experiences to help them develop capabilities and interests from the initial stages of life while learning everything at their own pace.