PLAYGROUP PROGRAM

Parent and child classes for 18 month to 3-year-old children

Why Waldorf?

The early years of a child’s life, full of wonder and joy, are also the most critical years of development. The Playgroup and Bridge classes at the Waldorf School of Orange County offer children a rich environment for exploration and play and offer parents support in creating a healthy home life to create a solid foundation for learning. Through meeting together in a group with likeminded 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 a classroom and garden designed especially for them. Come prepared to splash in the puddles, dig in the mud, and dance in the sunshine.

Click here for 2019-20 Playgroup brochure.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination,
dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important to
healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age
engage and interact with the world around them.

Playgroup Classes

18 months to 3 years

Tuesdays 9 – 11am
Thursdays 9 – 11am
Fridays 10:30 – 12:30

Playgroup Schedule

Playgroup Session #1
September 16 – December 13
Playgroup Session #2
January 6 – April 3
Playgroup Session #3
April 20 – June 12

Bridge Classes

3 years old by Dec. 1

A “bridge” between Playgroup and Pre-K

Mondays 9 – 11am
Wednesdays 9 – 11am
Fridays 9 – 11am

Bridge Schedule

Bridge Class – 1 session
September 16 – June 12

Registration Begins:

June 1, 2019


Daily Rhythm

Arrival

We begin our morning with free play for children while the caregivers work nearby in purposeful activity and enjoy discussion with one another. This is an ideal time to observe your child at play! If you have a handwork project from home (such as sewing, knitting, mending), you’re welcome to bring this along to work on as well.

Welcome Circle

During our circle and story time, we will journey from fall into spring in verse and song. This is a special time to enjoy being with your child, undistracted by your housework, phones, and other tasks.

Snack Time

We begin with a blessing and enjoy warm snacks which the parents can help to prepare, such as brown rice and peas. Snacks are homemade and use organic and local ingredients when possible. We follow this activity with dish washing.

Outdoor Free Play

Please be sure that you and your child have appropriate clothing for the changing weather. We will go outside rain or shine!

Closing Circle

We finish each class with a verse and warm goodbyes.

Play is the highest form of research.

Albert Einstein


Recommended Reading

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge is an award-winning book that belongs on the nightstand of every parent with young children. Full of everyday wisdom for busy parents, this treasure of a book is for all caregivers who value imaginative play, the necessity of daily routine, and the benefit of creative discipline.

Co-authors Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley offer realistic suggestions for creating a healthy family life that can be incorporated into any lifestyle.

Simplicity Parenting. Today’s busier, faster, supersized society is waging an undeclared war…on childhood. As the pace of life accelerates to hyperspeed, with too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time – children feel the pressure. They can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now, in defense of the extraordinary power of less, internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim fo rtheir children the space and freedom all kids need, allowing their children’s attention to focus and their individuality to flourish.

Both books are available for purchase at our school store, The Company of Angels.


Your Teacher

Jenell Carlson was born and raised in Southern California. She received a B.A. in literature at San Diego State University and her Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate through the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She has also completed the Spacial Dynamics program for movement instructors and the Consciousness Studies program at Rudolf Steiner College. Jenell has been teaching since 1999: as a kindergarten teacher, a movement instructor, a high school humanities teacher, grade teacher and Playgroup Director.

Children come and…

Explore a child-friendly environment that is safe, challenging and emotionally nurturing with simple play materials.

Delight in the special attention given to support their unfolding interests, motor abilities, and problem-solving skills.

Experience social interaction in play that stimulates their speech and language development.

Engage with other children in their stage of development, while expanding social capacities.

Parents come and…

Experience an environment that encourages the valuable exchange of ideas and information, and provides a framework for why Waldorf works.

Explore the value of observation to see and understand what their children are doing and how they are learning as they play.

Delight in the joy of sharing songs and games with your child that support their speech and language development. Meet other parents and find a community of sharing and support.

Discover new tips for parenting and caregiving.


FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Playgroup and Bridge classes?

They differ only in that the Bridge classes provide an opportunity for the children to play independently, for a portion of the class, under the guidance of our teachers, while parents meet nearby for a study about Waldorf and parenting.

What happens if I begin in a class and need to withdraw unexpectedly?

Refunds are available only until the end of the first week of your starting date, and will be 50% of the total fee.

Can I purchase more than one Playgroup session at a time?

Yes. Sessions may be purchased one at a time or all together at a discount. They fill very quickly, so we encourage you to consider signing up for more than one if you are considering it. We don’t want you to be disappointed if classes fill before you are registered!

What happens if I have to miss a class?

No problem! We recognize that there are going to be days when you are not able to make it. Since our Playgroup curriculum is play-based, there are not concerns about missing a class. It is the overall rhythm of attendance that is important. There are no “make-up” days offered.

Can another adult bring my child to class?

Certainly. We are happy for either parent, grandparent, nanny, or friend to bring your child. In fact, it is a lovely way to introduce that person to the Waldorf School curriculum.

May I join a Bridge class mid-year?

If there is space remaining in a Bridge class, we welcome a new student at a pro-rated fee.

Which days are you closed for holidays?

The teacher will post a calendar with holidays and school closure dates. This is available on our web site and will also be included in your class roster for your reference.

Why is there such a specific age cut-off for Bridge classes?

Bridge classes are the “bridge” to our Pre-Kindergarten. Pre-Kindergartners are at least 3 years and 9 months old by September 1st of the year of entry to Pre-K. Therefore all students in the Bridge classes must turn 3 years by December 1st as they will be considered to transition together.

When do we apply for Pre-Kindergarten?

It happens very quickly! The deadline for application for the fall of 2019 is January, 2019. This deadline is important to note as our Pre-Kindergartens fill each year and we want to be certain that we can welcome our Playgroup students first.

How can I learn more about Waldorf Education?

Why not begin by joining us for an all school tour? These Walk Through the Grades tours are offered throughout the school year. To RSVP – www.waldorfschool.com/admissions-calendar.

What if I have questions? Who do I ask?

Registration/fees/refund questions are directed to Kathy Christian, Registrar – kchristian@waldorfschool.com – (949) 574-7775 x206.

Application to Pre-K and long-term program planning questions are directed to Linda Timmons, Admissions Director – ltimmons@waldorfschool.com

Your child/classroom conduct/suggestions are directed to your teacher, Jenell Carlson – jcarlson@waldorfschool.com

Playgroup Fee

$400 per session (or) $1,000
for all 3 sessions purchased at once

Bridge Class Fee

$1,000 for the year
All fees are paid in one non-refundable payment

Registration Opens

June 1, 2019

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