By design, the Sacramento Waldorf School kindergarten is a home-like, secure, and loving place with a predictable rhythm throughout the day, season, and school year. We offer two years of a mixed-age kindergarten, welcoming younger children’s first venture into school, and preparing older kindergartners for first grade. Soft colors, fresh flowers, the beauty of nature, and natural toys fill the classroom. The kindergarten gently nurtures the development of imagination, verbal capacities, sequencing, sensory integration, memory, social skills, and motor skills that are essential as the foundation for later learning and academic excellence. This is all achieved in a supportive atmosphere free from formal academics.
Sacramento Waldorf School has two kindergartens: Red Rose and White Rose. Each class is taught by two experienced teachers with specific Waldorf Early Childhood training.
There is a delicate balance between teacher-led group activities and free play. Children are given ample opportunity to re-enact and solidify their experiences from the group and build social skills. An atmosphere of warmth and calm sets the stage for a rhythmical cycle of activities, including:
- Storytelling to stimulate visualization, vocabulary, and memory
- Free play and drama to ignite imagination and support social relationships
- Counting games to develop an awareness of numbers and sequencing
- Artistic activities to explore color and motivate expression
- Outdoor play and walks to foster an appreciation of nature and gross motor skills
- Crafts to develop fine motor skills
Activities: The kindergarten week includes arts and crafts, puppetry, movement, painting, story time, cooking, bread baking, singing games, outdoor physical play, walks, and learning social courtesies. With great attention to language, the teachers tell fairytales and multicultural stories while children absorb the images and strengthen their capacities for forming inner pictures. This capacity, when properly nourished, becomes the basis for language arts and future critical thinking skills.
Routine: Regular rhythms – alternating vigorous activities with quieter ones – guide the structure of each day. During nature walks on our organic farm and the adjacent parkway as well as during outdoor play times, children develop a sense of wonder and a love of nature.
Festivals: Celebrating seasonal festivals helps emphasize the greater rhythm of the year. These festivals not only remind children of the cycles of the year, but also hold them in the larger SWS family.
Snacks and Lunch: The children help the teachers prepare a healthy, wholesome, organic mid-morning snack, which they then enjoy as a class. The children bring lunch from home and are dismissed at 12:30pm unless they participate in the Extended Care program.
Hours and Extended Care: Kindergarten starts at 8:20am every weekday morning and runs until 12:30pm. Kindergarten is a five-day per week program. Kindergarten-specific extended care is available until 6:00pm on a contract basis.
The Kindergarten’s Daily Schedule of Activities
8:00-8:20am – Gather in the kindergarten playyard
8:20am – Morning circle activities
9:00am – Creative work and play
9:50am – Clean up/quiet time
10:30am – Snack
10:45am – Outdoor play
11:30am – Story time
12:00pm – Lunch
12:30pm – Dismissal or Extended Care up to 6:00 pm
Parent Child Program
The youngest members of our school community will find a warm welcome in our Parent Child program. Young children from three months up to four years old attend a weekly session with their parent or caregiver.
Sacramento Waldorf School parent-child classes are centered on group play sessions. Small groups of parents and their children come together in an environment that is safe, developmentally appropriate, and emotionally nurturing for the children, as well as peaceful and supportive for the adults. During the play sessions, adults quietly observe their children explore as the facilitator models when and how to intervene. Discussion topics during this observation time often include reading your child’s cues and signals and how to respond; fostering social skills; understanding physical and intellectual development; and the need for safe environments and consistent boundaries. It is often a time for parents to ask questions about their children.
The schedule of the day: One hour of free play for the children while the parents observe and learn about their child’s play. After some singing and finger games, a healthy snack is provided, followed by a walk on our school farm. The day ends with a little story/song.
Classes are limited to eight children. Groups meet once each week during the school year and follow the regular School calendar for breaks. There are three sessions of classes throughout the school year; sign up for one or all three.
Fall Session: Week of September 14, 2016 – week of November 18, 2016
Winter Session: Week of November 30, 2016 – week of February 17, 2017
Spring Session: Week of March 1, 2017 – week of June 2, 2017
(No classes during school breaks)
Click here to find an application and directions for applying to SWS parent-child classes, kindergarten, or other programs.