Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?

When children tell an adult that they are in Kindergarten, many ask, “Are you learning your letters and numbers?” This is a product of the new requirements in public education.  30 years ago, Kindergarten was the gradual transition into social play and the beginning of structure in an environment outside the home.

In the Waldorf classroom, this is still the case, and so children between the age of 4 and 6 come together to learn to:

  • work within groups
  • listen to stories
  • interact with a teacher
  • follow a routine
  • lengthen attention span
  • develop memory skills

Although the children would never notice, the teacher is also focused on each child’s development. Physical and mental skills are fostered through imitation and social activities that include:

  • singing
  • painting
  • recitation
  • beeswax modeling
  • baking
  • coloring
  • story telling
  • creative play

In our next article, we will discuss how each early childhood activity develops a child’s skills and fosters a love of learning.