The effort to complement students' natural abilities begins at an early age and continues throughout their time at a Waldorf school. It is encouraged by the curriculum and supported by the fundamental understanding that a child's strength should not become their weakness because of one-sided development.
Understanding Waldorf Education
Early Childhood Programs
Our Early Childhood Programs provide the bridge from home to school while nourishing and supporting the development and growth of each child as a unique individual. The programs include the Playgroup for child and parent together, Pre-Kindergarten (three, four or five days per week) and Kindergarten.
The early years of a child's life are full of wonder and joy while also being the most critical years of development. The Playgroup at the Waldorf School of Orange County not only offers the children a rich environment for exploration and play, but also offers the parents support in creating a healthy home life. Through meeting together in a group with like-minded parents and an experienced early childhood Waldorf teacher each week, a warm and loving community is formed.
The beauty of the changing seasons will create a natural rhythm as we move through the year with songs, verses, activities and stories. Play is the heart of the young child, and children will have opportunity to explore this world of play in the beauty of the brand new classroom and garden designed especially for them. Come prepared to splash in the puddles and dig in the mud.
Playgroup Sessions and Available Classes:
A complete breakdown of our current Playgroup sessions and available classes can be found Here.
The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten day includes circle time, story, creative play and outside play. Play, being the work of the young child, is the time for the child to live in his/her imagination and imitate, reenact and explore the world around them. Seasonal circles and stories are offered daily. Circle time integrates movement, songs and recitation. The children's imaginations are engaged through storytelling and puppetry. Activities include watercolor painting, baking, handwork (crafts), gardening and walks in nature. Each artistic activity has its own special day and contributes to the soothing rhythm of the week.
The Pre-Kindergarten program is for children who are 3 years, 9 months by September. The class size is 13 with a teacher and an assistant. The children experience socialization and play outside their home and away from parents in a loving, warm and nurturing environment. A daily and weekly rhythm of activities provides both structure and spontaneity through developmentally appropriate circles, play and story.
Pre-Kindergarten is available from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm:
The Kindergarten program is for children who are 4 years, 9 months by September. The class size is 18 with a teacher and an assistant. The Kindergarten curriculum provides the foundation for the grades through a movement and language rich curriculum. Circle time, play and activities are selected to stimulate and support the development that is the foundation for the cognitive work to come in the grades. The stories, circles, activities and creative play of the Pre-Kindergarten continue, but become more sophisticated and interactive.
Tuition and Fee Schedule:
A complete breakdown of all associated fees is available Here.
Mandatory Early Childhood Information Evening:
The application process for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten begins with a mandatory Early Childhood Orientation Evening. Reservations are required - please go to our Events Calendar to see specific dates for these events.
Your attendance at this meeting is the first step in the application process for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Our Early Childhood teachers will describe the curriculum and activities, as well as the developmental philosophy of our program. Ideally, both parents should attend this meeting. Adults only, please.
Morning in the Kindergarten:
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten-aged children and their parents are invited to experience a "typical" morning in the Waldorf kindergarten. This is an opportunity for you and your child to experience a shortened day in the classroom and for you to have a peek into the life of a Waldorf classroom. Reservations are required -- please go to our Events Calendar to see specific dates and to rsvp for these events.
Participation in our Playgroup program is beneficial, but is not a requirement for consideration to Pre-Kindergarten.
The Application Process:
A complete breakdown of our Early Childhood enrollment process may be found Here.