The Core Elements

Early Childhood

A Waldorf kindergarten provides a relaxed and joyful transition from early childhood to the the grade school by creating a warm, home-like atmosphere where the child’s inherent abilities can naturally unfold.

Learning through doing.
Play is a manifestation of work.

We consciously build a strong foundation during these years by encouraging imaginative or so-called “free play” for the young child learns most deeply through imitation and engaging in meaningful activities. One might even say that play is the work of the young child, a notion which is supported by many scientific studies. So, we avoid actual academic instruction at this age but through artistic activities such as painting, music, handcrafts, story telling, as well as nature walks, and practical activities such as baking and cooking, we help the child discover their world and prepare a solid basis for future intellectual work.

Through their play, children learn basic life skills such as sharing with others, exploring possibilities, and even risk taking and conflict resolution. Rich, imaginative play and purposeful activities are the first steps in the grander cognitive processes that develop in the years to come and guide the children without stress towards becoming free, creative thinkers and decision makers for the remainder of their lives.

Parents, the teacher, and adults who care for young children are the primary role models that children imitate and our conscious, purposeful activities naturally lead them to more fully engaging their whole being in the building of self confidence, developing trust in the world, as well as fine and gross motor skills. Nurturing the imagination of the child by engaging them artistically speaks to their inner feeling life and cultivates a sense of wonder for the world. Rather than teaching only to the head with intellectual or abstract concepts, we introduce and show the child how human beings live life on earth through strong conscious rhythms in our day, the week, and the year.

Emphasizing the rhythms of life is comforting and gives a sense of security to the child by helping them to anticipate what is coming next. The children learn to know the days of the week through their activities; coloring day, painting day, pasting day, beeswax day, and cleaning day. The rhythm of these activities is highlighted with special festivals, celebration of the seasons, and of course, birthdays, our own and those of our friends. The celebrations of festivals whether it be Diwali, Eid, or Christmas are magical times which are reverently brought without unnecessary explanations for the experiences themselves fill the children with joy and allows their wonder-filled imagination to have free reign. The conscious and purposeful rhythms of our morning circle activities, the day as a whole, the week, and year provide needed balance to our unstructured time of “free play”.

Imaginative play, including dressing up, playing house, make believe, building forts and the like are a familiar part of childhood and are further expanded to include simple sewing, soft crafts, beeswax modeling, painting with watercolor, drawing and coloring, putting on simple plays, finger plays, story telling, puppet shows, and much more. Free play times, with proper oversight but without excessive adult intervention, allow children to exercise their creative imagination, work through their questions and anxieties, learn from their peers, and provide them with opportunities to model the healthy images provided by adults in their work.

It is also very important for young children to be outside and experience the natural world. In today’s busy and fast paced life, particularly in cities, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for children to move around and engage in the wonders of nature. For this reason we encourage children to be outside a good part of the day when the weather permits.

The young child is always on the move, exploring and investigating the world through their play and for this reason it is important that they have some quiet time to rest. After story time and lunch, we have a nap time, providing a still, quiet time to rest and digest the stimulation of their morning.

Originally, Waldorf education in early childhood was designed for children 3-6 years of age and no distinctions were made between pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Later in the grade school years the children are separated according to age, but we feel that it is appropriate and healthy for children in this age group to have opportunities to play together. We can characterize early childhood as a very dreamy time and the young child is not self conscious or overly aware of the differences between their ages. We provide a safe and sheltered environment where the children may wake up to the world and themselves in a more natural way and at their own pace.

Dear Parents,

We hope you and your family are safe and healthy as you read this letter.  Thank you for your patience and understanding, as we have been adjusting, like you, to the drastic changes in life and work responsibilities during the last few weeks. We are extremely appreciative of our students, parents, teachers, staff, and administrators for their positivity, flexibility and resilience during these trying times. Although none of us have experienced a pandemic before, we all have to be together, understanding the situation we are in, and limiting our expectations during this challenging phase.

As we miss all of students, distance learning for Prerana Waldorf School is in full motion. We are concerned for our students’ health and well-being, as well as their families.

Our goal is to provide continuous educational opportunities and practice for students while schools are closed but also to eliminate as much stress as feasibly possible for students, parents, and teachers.
Our teachers and our staff are working long hours from home while dealing with their new, but temporary, normal.
While it is our responsibility to continue to help our children learn, we also want to compassionately take into consideration the variety of difficulties that our families and staff  are enduring during this time. We also ask for your patience and understanding as we travel this new territory, too.

Thank you for the photos, the appreciation, and the helpful feedback. Your positive responses are affirming the truly amazing work our faculty is doing to translate their teaching expertise into effective distance learning.  We appreciate you as well for doing your best to carve out space and time in your work and home life to support your children’s learning.

From 17th April 2020 for classes I to X and from 24th April 2020 for class XII scheduled summer vacation is starting, and when school resumes on 11th June for classes I to XII, and on 18th June for Nursery and Kindergarten, hopefully, life will get back to normal, eventually.
After this experience is over, our lives will include more appreciation of our blessings and our freedoms.  “This is not a time for us to panic. This is a time for us to come together.”
A huge debt of gratitude also goes to all of our doctors, nurses, hospital employees, first responders, the state Police and our state leaders for all they are doing to keep us safe and healthy.

Stay at home, stay safe!

Prerana Waldorf School