Our vision is to make the ideals of Waldorf Early Childhood Education accessible to families in Portland, Maine. We offer a community-based education rooted in a deep understanding of the nature of the young child and void of premature academic pressures. Working out of the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, we strive to create a warm, beautiful, and nurturing environment where children learn through imaginative play and creative explorations. The school also acts as a community center that provides parent-child classes, a parent study group, and crafting classes. We invite participation from the broader community as we celebrate a diverse range of festivals.
The Pre-school / Kindergarten Classroom
In our mixed age Kindergarten we create a beautiful and nurturing environment where children can learn and grow at their own natural pace. First and foremost our early childhood classroom is a place for creative play. The children develop confidence and creativity, as they initiate play, explore, and work together. They develop competence socially as they work, play, discover and wonder together in a safe and secure homelike environment. Daily and weekly rhythms create a sense of security that is vital to healthy development for the young child. The teacher helps to create an environment of calm and purpose. She engages in meaningful tasks, which children can imitate in their play, or join in along side the teacher offering their help.
Weekly activities include handwork, baking, making soup, gardening, sewing, painting, and drawing. These activities strengthen the imagination and support the child’s developing gross and fine motor skills, as well as their social skills. Stories and puppetry nourish the child’s developing language skills, help to develop the ability to internalize and follow a story thread, strengthen children's attention spans, and prepare the child for later academic learning. Throughout the year we celebrate the cycles of nature, including seasonal festivals, which help the child intimately relate to the world around her and feel the warmth of community and family.
We offer 2, 3, and 4 day programs from 9-12:00 or 9-2:00. Your child can participate in our morning or full day program.
Parent / Child Classes
In our parent/child program we offer an opportunity for parents to come with their young children between ages birth to 3 in a special, peaceful setting in community with other families. Here parents can experience a Waldorf setting and deepen their understanding of early childhood development through conversations with the teacher and other parents. Parents will have the opportunity to engage in simple craft activities while their child plays. This allows parents the chance to observe their child from a distance and to connect with other parents. Observation is the key to deepening our understanding of our children, so we will use every opportunity to allow them to teach us!
Topics of conversation will include things such as creative discipline, daily and weekly rhythms in the home, ideas for healthy activities, and creating a home environment that is supportive of your child's changing needs.
Our crafting classes will meet twice a month and focus on making toys for children. The simple projects will include making baby toys like rattles, simple dolls or animals using cotton or wool. The more elaborate projects will include sewing a Waldorf doll, felting food for the play kitchen, and making fairies and decoration for the seasonal table. Depending on the level of skill, the class will be for people who have material and just need some guidance or company, and also for people who are interested in learning something new. The toys we will create are wonderful and your children will play with them for a long time!
The study group provides parents and educators an opportunity to come together as a community, learn more about Waldorf Early Childhood Education, and support one another. In our study groups we learn together, and have fun! All are welcome. Contact us for more information. This group is on going and meets monthly.