Early Childhood

Celebrate the Seasons with a Waldorf Teacher

Join us on Saturday, December 9 from 10:30am-12pm for a special seasonal event. Spend time in our beautiful cozy classroom on a cold December morning, while children play and adults have time for conversation. We will make felted acorns and learn some verses about Little Jackie Frost and King Winter. We'll also share a bowl of warm oatmeal together. Slow down, connect with new friends, and allow your little ones some time for an unhurried, magical morning.

Please register with Barbara Mann at 845.356.2514 x326 or bmann@gmws.org.

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Summer Blog Series: Principles of Waldorf Education

We wrote last week that every child goes through three developmental phases: birth to 7, 7 to 14, and 14 to 21. In this third post in our Summer blog series, we want to talk about the way that Waldorf Education offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Here are some of the ways that we engage students at each stage:

Birth to 7
In the period known as Early Childhood, children learn best through play, exploration, and imitation. Our approach to education meets students with a balance of activities that challenge their emerging skills and capacities. In warm, home-like classrooms and nature’s bountiful wooded play spaces, children at Green Meadow are welcomed into learning environments that nourish their senses. Our instructors invite their innate desire for self-initiated exploration and movement, and inspire their budding imaginations. These are the seeds for a lifelong love of learning, and they provide the foundation that every young child needs for self-confidence, resilience, and future academic excellence.

7 to 14
Green Meadow’s integrated Lower School curriculum is designed to engage the vivid imaginative nature of the child from ages 7-11, weaving together storytelling, creativity, and engagement in every academic and specialty subject. By helping children connect their experiences with their education, we help deepen their understanding of the subject matter while planting seeds for future creative and analytic thinking.

The curriculum broadens in Middle School, where students are engaged in a new way, appropriate for this developmental stage filled with rapid growth and transformation. Designed to engage the tumultuous, questioning inner life of the young person aged 12-14, our middle-school curriculum helps students connect their experiences with their education and begin to develop analytic thinking.

14 to 21
Green Meadow’s High School is a place that inspires a true engagement in learning: where rigorous academics are brought to life through exploration, inquiry, and experience in order to promote critical, independent thinking. Our academic curriculum is inspired by opportunities in the arts, music, drama, movement, and real-word experiences. Students become part of a cohort of dynamic peers, supported by an engaged and accessible faculty, to create a strong community that values integrity, honesty, and empathy for and understanding of others. As a result, Waldorf graduates can look at the world from multiple perspectives and chart their own path in life with confidence.

Why Waldorf? (Part 6 in a series)

In this series, we have been introducing you every week to a teacher, parent, or student who shares something about why they love Green Meadow and Waldorf Education. Today we hear from Marieke Duijneveld, a Kindergarten teacher who has three children in the school and is herself a Waldorf graduate from the Netherlands.

Click on the title of this post to see a photo of Marieke with her family.

I love teaching in the Early Childhood Section of Green Meadow Waldorf School because working out of anthroposophy brings out the best in children and in me!  I love to constantly reflect and ask myself the question: "Why I am doing what I am doing?" It's inspiring for me to be thoughtful regarding every moment I create in my class: how can I best offer a program that serves the individual child in their development?  What craft, movement, story, song, snack, and ritual will help them become who they truly are?  

That’s what I try to give the children: a foundation for the future, growing the roots to be strong, interested, brave human beings that will meet the world with love, joy, and resilience. It’s a real honor for me to provide that gift of a Waldorf environment; I’m convinced it’s the best way to start the "career" of becoming a healthy adult!

Why Waldorf? (Part 1 in a series)

This week, we are excited to launch a blog series featuring the perspectives of parents, teachers, and students from across the school. We will hear why they have chosen Waldorf Education, and what it means to them. Stay tuned for weekly posts on this theme through the end of May!

Why Waldorf?
Week 1

From Jessica Rowe, Early Childhood parent

It all started on a spring day three years ago. My husband, Jim, passed me an article in The New Yorker magazine about the rise of Waldorf schools in China. In considering the educational path we wanted for our children (Ozzie, Luke, and Luna), we were stuck between public school and homeschooling, but neither felt right to us. Our lives changed that day as we were introduced to Waldorf Education. The following week, we took a tour of Brooklyn Waldorf School, and later that month, we enrolled Ozzie in kindergarten. 

Initially, we were drawn to the beautiful pink walls of the Kindergarten rooms, the smell of fresh bread baking, and the ample time for free play throughout the day.  In the past three years, there have been so many other things we’ve come to value as our children’s education has infused our family life: spending time together on a walk through the woods, saying a blessing together before we eat our family meals, tapping a maple tree in our yard for its sweet sap, or snuggling up together and reading a fairy tale.

Our love of Waldorf Education has continued to grow at Green Meadow because it nurtures the individuality of our children while teaching them the value of working and playing within a group; because our children’s teachers have given them freedom to explore along with the structure they need to feel confident and relaxed within that freedom; and because it’s a place where we’ve been supported in learning and growing as parents and as people. We’re so grateful that we’ve found Waldorf Education.

Watch our school videos!

Have you seen our four school videos yet? We produced them in Spring and Summer 2016: a general short film on Waldorf Education, and one video for each section of our school: Early Childhood, Lower School, and High School. Take a look, and deepen your understanding of why and how we do what we do at Green Meadow.