Mixed-Age Kindergarten Eligibility: June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2019
Tucson Waldorf School’s play-based Mixed-Age Kindergarten provides a rhythmical schedule and sensory-rich environment, for children ages four through six, in which to explore and engage in their expanding world. The 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, the child develops social graces and physical competency that creates a solid foundation for future academic work in the grade school.
We offer a three day or five day mixed-age kindergarten program, with pick-up times offered at 12:30, 3:30, or as late as 5:30 p.m. A student in their True Kindergarten year, 5 years old by May 31, is required to attend the five day program.
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.
- 8:30-9:50 Arrival, 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): whole organic grains always served with fruits or vegetables
- 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
- 3:30-4:00 Snack and Play
- 4:00-5:30 Outside play, Seasonal crafts and activities
- 3:00-5:30 Final Pick-Up Time