Tucson Waldorf School’s mixed age preschool and kindergartens provide a rhythmical schedule and sensory-rich environment for children, ages two to six, where they can explore and engage in their expanding world. Teachers provide opportunities for learning through a variety of creative, hands-on experiences that emphasize the process rather than the product. Through imaginative play and healthy movement, children develop social graces and physical competency that create a solid foundation for future academic work in the grade school.
We provide the essential foundation for academic learning:
- Healthy physical development through play and movement opportunities that emphasize development and consolidation of motor skills and the integration of the physical senses (balance, movement, touch).
- An enriched language experience through daily immersion in story, song and verse that supports the development of comprehension and visual imaging necessary for reading and abstract thought.
- The development of imaginative capacities through play with open-ended, natural materials enabling a child the freedom to transform his or her surroundings as an individual and in collaboration with others. Play is the foundation for creative and flexible thinking, and encourages cooperation and social engagement.
Benefits of a mixed-age kindergarten for older children:
- Children usually attend our kindergarten program for two years. The mixed-age group enables a child to experience a more complex social dynamic.
- For the older child, a mixed-age kindergarten provides particular challenges for the older child in taking more responsibility and developing leadership capacities by setting the example for younger peers in a familiar setting.
- The relationship between the teacher, child, and the child’s parents deepens during two years of working together, enabling better support for each child’s unique developmental path. Teacher-led activities challenge each individual’s developing capacities and physical skills.
- Younger children are often inspired by the older children’s expertise and the older child has the opportunity to encourage and support younger peers while continuing to consolidate necessary skills for grade school.
- The rising first-grade children from both kindergartens have the opportunity to work together on special projects, strengthening fine motor skills while supporting the development of relationships between the classes in anticipation of forming the next first-grade class at Tucson Waldorf School.
- A comprehensive developmental assessment is undertaken for each child in the spring of their final year of kindergarten.
- 7:30-8:30 Early morning care provided
- 8:30-9:50 Outside activities, including: child-directed play and seasonal gardening, walks, woodwork, jump rope, games and more
- 9:50-10:00 Transition to the classroom
- 10:00-10:20 Circle: a seasonally-based teacher-led activity, including: rhythmic movement, singing, circle games, fine and gross motor challenges
- 10:20-10:50 Snack (provided)
- 10:50-12:00 Inside activities: child-directed play, teacher-led activities, including crafts, painting, drawing, modeling, and baking
- 12:00-12:10 Clean up
- 12:10-12:30 Storytelling by the lead teacher
- 12:30 Early Afternoon Dismissal
- 12:30 Lunch (provided from home)
- 1:00-2:00 Rest (no pick up allowed)
- 2:00-3:00 Outside play
- 3:30 Afternoon Pick-Up Time
- 3:00-5:30 Snack and Play
- 5:30 Final Pick-Up Time