School begins on Tuesday, August 26th! If you’re new to Spring Garden, and even if you’re not, here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Early Childhood drop off.
What is The Meadow?
The Meadow is the Early Childhood only play area for our students in Pre-K and K classes. It is behind the fence adjacent to the right hand parking lot. It is divided from the older students’ playground by a small creek and the outdoor stage area.
When is Drop Off?
Young children are to be brought to The Meadow between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
When does school start?
Early Childhood Classes begin at 8:30.
Do I bring my child to The Meadow?
Yes. Please walk young children into the The Meadow and help them locate their teacher. Please join your child in saying good morning and shaking their teacher’s hand each day. This is a small gesture with much wisdom behind it. It is the beginning of teaching children to be comfortable approaching and speaking to adults and at the same time gives the teacher a glimpse into the child’s approach to the day.
When should my child wear their outdoor clothes?
Every day, rain or shine, if your child is a student in Early Childhood. Have your child come to school wearing their appropriate outdoor rain or snow gear. This includes rain pants, boots and jacket. And snow pants, boots, jacket, hat, gloves and scarf in winter. Children are encouraged to be kids and get dirty and these items ensure that children are dry and clean in their classrooms.
Do they wear outdoor gear if it’s sunny and hot?
Yes! Teachers will make the call as to whether the children can shed their outerwear items as the day goes on, but morning dew and Meadow mud requires all students in Early Childhood wear outdoor clothes each morning.
What if we’re late?
Children coming in late must get signed in at the office with their caregiver and receive a pass. If the early childhood students are still in the meadow at this time, the caregiver and child can then proceed to the meadow and give the teacher the late pass when they meet to greet each other. If the class is already in the room, please knock softly at the door and wait patiently for the teacher to come and welcome your child. It may take a few minutes as the teacher will not disrupt circle time to answer the door.
Is there Before Care?
Before care begins at 7:15. Please walk in with younger children. Before care is located in the First Grade classroom. Early Childhood children will put on their outerwear and be walked to their classrooms at 8:15 to meet their teacher and proceed outside for morning recess.
August 4th from 9 a.m.-11:00 a.m., join us to experience the rhythmic, warm, sensory-rich experience of a Waldorf Early Childhood class.
On this day, you can join your child and walk through the rhythmic, warm, sensory filled experience of a Waldorf early childhood classroom The morning will include circle time, bread baking and story time lead by our Nursery Preschool teacher, Miss Kathy.
This unique experience is free, but registration is required due to limited space.
As a special offer, parents who choose to apply for preschool following this experience will be discounted the application fee ($70). Please contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Many of our prospective parents wrestle with the decision of whether to send their children to a public school or to Spring Garden Waldorf School. There are many differences between public education and Waldorf education, though a general summary might be that Waldorf education places a high value on art, critical thinking, and creativity, and does not begin academic instruction before the age of seven. Public school, on the other hand, puts a high value on standardized and measurable academics, with a focus on math and reading starting at age five.
Watch this video to learn why one public school teacher chose to send her son to Spring Garden Waldorf School. Or for read this article more information about the differences between Waldorf and Public school.
If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 4, and are interested in learning more about Waldorf preschool, please join us for a sample preschool morning on June 20th from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. On this day, you can join your child and walk through the rhythmic, warm, sensory filled experience of a Waldorf early childhood classroom The morning will include circle time, bread baking and story time lead by our Nursery Preschool teacher, Miss Kathy. This experience is offered to you at no cost, but you must register as space is limited. Please click below for more information or to register.
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When: April 8th 9 a.m.-10 a.m. or April 8th 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Mr. Gannon, an experienced Waldorf teacher, has graciously offered to give a talk for parents. His talk will cover how skills and curriculum are approached in the first grade. This is an exceptional opportunity to educate yourself on how Waldorf education meets the needs of the child by presenting developmentally appropriate material, or, as we like to say, “the right thing at the right time”.
This event is FREE and open to all SGWS families as well as the greater community. We hope you are able to join us for this informative presentation. Please feel free to bring friends, family or acquaintances who would like to learn more.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Opponents call it the One-Size-Fits-All education, while supporters say it’s holding children to higher, more in-depth learning standards than current achievement tests. Common Core Standards are rolling out this year and are estimated to cost school systems millions. But what does it mean for families?
Too much, too soon, too stressful
Children will be tested earlier and more regularly. Child clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Koschnick is concerned that many of the early childhood Common Core Standards are developmentally inappropriate for young students not yet reaching Piaget’s concrete operational stage. And her peers at the American Principles Project are concerned that no developmental or neuropsychologists were involved in the committees for creating the Common Core. According to Koschnick, there is also little to no scientific research supporting the aptitude recommendations at early grade levels.
As Koschnick said in this video:
When standards are not developmentally appropriate, “Teachers are going to see typically developing children as delayed, parents may be informed that their children are behind and kids are going to get measured against inappropriate standards and might be held back or tracked into remedial classes that they don’t really need.”
In addition to the standards being potentially inappropriate for a child’s cognitive abilities, principals in New York, who adopted Common Core early, also say the standards are causing undue stress to little ones. They have written an open letter of protest saying the Common Core was too hard on younger children and they reported crying and physical ailments like vomiting and wetting during test taking.
And it’s no wonder the children are stressed. In Ohio and several other states, there are strict consequences for failing the third grade test. Students unable to pass a retest will not go to fourth grade with their peers. Ohio has joined others in the 3rd grade common core retention law meaning 3rd graders who fail to demonstrate sufficient reading ability on the new state standardized test will be held back.
Are Late Readers really “Behind?”
Many great thinkers and leaders throughout history reported being late readers or late bloomers in general including Albert Einstein who could barely read in the third grade and Nobel Laureates Richard Axel and Gerardus Hooft. Would Winston Chruchill, who failed 6th grade in a traditional education system, have passed a Common Core third grade test? Hard to say. But children who are labeled as “behind” in today’s world are often thought to be, or believe themselves to be, below average.
But if a slow-reading third grader is agreed to be “behind” what is required for testing, does that mean he/she is developmentally delayed or below average? The new standards push early reading and many studies show that those who start reading at 5 versus 7 show no differences by age 11. Does this mean the only benefit to early reading proficiency is the ability to take tests? In today’s public school system that question is irrelevant, as is the psychological concern of labeling students “behind” when they are initially slower readers.
What’s The Common Core FOR?
As Common Core strives to raise standards among global peers, many find it telling that top Western school systems prescribe to an opposite approach. The ever-popular, idealized Finnish school system does not allow children to even begin academics before age seven, which means reading instruction is delayed. But students in this school system do not need to read test instructions by first or even third grade. In fact, students in these high performing schools are not required to take tests or even receive grades until 8th grade.
Sir Ken Robinson’s popular TED talk explores the idea that U.S. education is outdated because it was created during the industrial revolution for jobs that no longer exist and is also modeled after an industrial process rather than considering the unique skills and talents of individuals. He maintains that a culture of testing and standardization has inappropriately labeled students and stunted curriculum. And often he points to the Finnish system as a model for how to address individual learning styles while still competing globally.
Waldorf Education and The Common Core
Waldorf Education is often cited for mimicking the Finnish system, which has a low-stress, non-testing environment for early elementary students and also takes a different approach to reading, with comprehension skills being taught first and phonics decoding beginning in first grade. What is core in Waldorf standards is catering to a student’s individual learning style with reverence and respect for each child and their gifts.
Waldorf educators also encourage a love of lifelong learning, which they believe cannot flourish in an environment where being slightly behind in one skill set:
- Causes undue stress and defeatist attitude.
- Elicits a label for a child as being less intelligent.
- Leads to a child being unnecessarily held back – delaying learning of other skill sets and social growth.
Waldorf Educators also subscribe to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which deconstructs the idea of one “general” intelligence ruling someone’s abilities. In other words, a slow reader is not a slow child.
Is your child at risk of being labeled “behind” because they are a late reader or an anxious test taker? Consider Waldorf. Learn more at our website, visit us, request information or call 330-666-0574 to speak with our Admissions Director.