Waldorf Kindergarten: Opening Pathways for Critical Thinking
“I loved my time at Waldorf; it was truly a childhood-shaping experience,
and the values instilled in me here will last me a lifetime. I am now a first-year student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying physics with a focus on astronomy, as I would like to pursue a career in astrophysics research later on. Now, more than ever, I am able to truly appreciate the creativity that Waldorf inspires each of its students to pursue.”
~ Maya ‘20
This past weekend I attended our Early Childhood’s Come Grow With Us event. Families had the opportunity to meet our teachers and learn about our program, had an interview while their child explored the playground with a teacher, sowed some seed, and watched a puppet show. They went home with a potted plant and a smile.
A common question from parents at this event is, “Why should my child have two years in kindergarten?” The mainstream thought is that the sooner one starts first grade, the better. The Waldorf thought is that the social education and the education of the body that takes place in kindergarten is foundational for academic achievement. We want their large and fine motor skills to be solidly in place. This allows the body to rest and move in a way that does not require extra work from the child. The child is free to fully take up the learning of the grades.
The title Come Grow With Us states it truly. Waldorf students grow, stretch, expand – deepening their inner roots while they stretch out into the world of learning. Our Kindergarten doesn’t prepare children only for first grade; our Kindergarten program prepares children to be life-long learners.
It works! Our current seniors, who started their education in our Waldorf Early Childhood, have been accepted to Lafayette, Lehigh, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Villanova, Berklee College of Music, Barnard, Brandeis, Bryn Mawr, Cornell, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall, Holy Cross, Ithaca College, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Skidmore, Tufts, Fashion Institute of Technology, NYU, Pratt Institute, Parsons, Art Institute of Chicago, to name a few.
With the roots planted in Early Childhood and the heart nourished in the Lower School, The Waldorf School of Garden City intentionally opens the pathway for critical thinking to blossom in the High School and beyond.
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