Child holding rake.

Parent & Child

Green Meadow is a private school that inspires true engagement in learning.

Overview

Green Meadow Waldorf School’s Parent & Child program supports and empowers parents, guardians, and caregivers during the formative early years of family life, when children build a foundation of health that stays with them throughout their entire lives.

Woman instructing class of parents and toddlers.

the waldorf difference

The Garden Nest Program for Caregivers and Children

Green Meadow offers Parent & Child/Infant playgroups for preschool-aged children that meet weekly. In a friendly private school setting, classes provide grownups with an opportunity to learn more about the principles of Waldorf Early Childhood education and how they can be applied in the home. The atmosphere is one of warm and supportive companionship with other families, facilitated by a Waldorf educator, creating a beautiful experience for both parents and children.

Girls leaning on dad outside.

a unique private school

Parent & Child

At the heart of our Parent-Child program lives our desire to support and empower parents, guardians, and caregivers during the formative early years of family life. In a nourishing and warm atmosphere both parents and children are held equally by the teacher. We strive to create an environment where parents find companionship, inspiration and a sense of being seen and valued in their work of parenting; and where children are given space to show us their innate wisdom and competence.

Fall 2022 Updates

Classes begin on September 19, 2022. We offer a variety of options; some classes are all outdoors and some have indoor-outdoor activities. We have a newly dedicated outdoor classroom that provides a welcoming place for children’s play and parents’ activity. Our friendly indoor classroom is light and well-ventilated.

Fall Session 2022 Class Schedule

Session 1: 2-hour classes
11 week cost: $704, 9 week cost: $576 

Mondays, 9:30-11:30am Little Squirrels (9 classes, cost $576) INDOOR/OUTDOOR MIX
Ages: 12 months to 30 months with Leslie Burchell-Fox
9/19, 10/3, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5 (12/12 make up day)

Mondays, 1:45-2:45pm Little Chicks (8 classes, cost $200) ONLINE
Ages: Infant to 12 months with Mina Rogers
10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5 (12/12 make up day)

Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30am Little Squirrels (11 classes, cost $704) INDOOR/OUTDOOR MIX
Ages: 12 months to 30 months with Leslie Burchell-Fox
9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/22, 11/29, 12/6 (12/13 make up day)

Wednesdays, 9:30-12:00pm Little Bunnies (11 classes, cost $704) OUTDOORS*
Ages: 26 months – 3.5 years old with Mina Rogers – Bridge Class- see description below
9/21, 9/28, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30, 12/7 (12/14 make up day)

Thursdays, 9:30-12:00pm Little Bunnies (11 classes, cost $704) OUTDOORS*
Ages: 26 months – 3.5 years old with Mina Rogers
9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8 (12/15 make up day)

Fridays, 9:30-11:30am Little Squirrels (11 classes, cost $704) OUTDOORS*
Ages: 12 months – 30 months with Mina Rogers
9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9 (12/16 make up day)

Saturdays Forest Program, 9:30-11:30am Little Bears (9 classes, cost $576) ALL OUTDOORS
Ages: 2 to 4 years old with TBD
10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 12/3, 12/10, 12/17

Rhythm of the Morning

Spring 2022 session will be held outdoors. In accordance with our Health and Safety Guidelines, you will be informed about current masking protocols while on campus in the welcome letter from your teacher after you register.

Everyone arrives and play follows. During the children’s explorations and play, we will have a simple nature craft for parents. This will help you to be good observers and allow the children to freely move about and interact with each other. The experienced group leader will be available to grownups and the children.

We will tidy the toys after some time together, then gather for a Morning Greeting and some finger games. Then we’ll join together for hand-washing and a simple snack. We’ll complete our morning with a nature walk before our joyful singing of goodbye.

What Children Do

Children in our classes…

  • Explore a child-friendly environment that challenges and nurtures, with simple play materials.
  • Delight in 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 at their stage of development, while developing social capacities.

What Grownups Do

Grownups come and…

  • Experience an environment that encourages the valuable exchange of ideas and information.
  • Explore the value of observation in seeing and understanding what their children are doing and how they are learning as they play.
  • Delight in the joy of sharing songs and games with their children that support speech and language development.
  • Meet other grownups and find a community of sharing and support.
  • Discover new tips for caregiving.

“Parenting is the development of an extremely vital relationship, the model for every future relationship our child will engage in.” Janet Landsbury

“It’s often hard to stay calm and carry on! We forget how little and vulnerable they actually are. Especially when our toddlers’ behavior is confusing, irrational, and frustrating to us.” Tovah P. Klein

Self-Initiated Play/Movement

“When you teach a child something, you take away forever [their] chance of discovering it for [themselves].” Jean Piaget, Psychologist, Genetic Epistemology, Child Cognitive Development Theory

Young children are geniuses at coming up with the best possible play/movement for their respective developmental stages. Let’s not take away their victory over gravity (standing, climbing, jumping, balancing) and mastering skills of various fronts, of body, mind, and soul. Our job is to get out of their way in their self-initiated play/movement while securing their safety and providing a rich and age-appropriate environment. When given trust and time to do it on their own, they learn the best, while building confidence and resilience.

Boy looking at camera with blue eyes.

Two ways we can encourage their play and imaginations to blossom…

1. Observe.

Tune in to their world and what they are experiencing. Wait before we bring our idea to them. To practice this, we have quiet observation time in class.

2. Do your work.

Children love to imitate us. Grownups quietly focused on their work create a mood that assures the children that all is well and that they are taken care of. It then draws their natural interest to imitate us, either outwardly by watching and helping us, or inwardly by echoing the focus in their own play. Better if our movements are visible and repetitive, such as the practical work of growing and preparing food, building and caring for the home. Today, our work is often done through devices and in our minds, which children cannot make sense of or imitate. We have to intentionally create such opportunities. In our class, we can model how our hands and bodies are productive. We make crafts, chop vegetables, collect acorns and kindling, tidy up, etc. We will work together to find creative ways to bring purposeful activities into our everyday life with young children.

Tuition Information

Younger siblings are welcome upon a discussion with the teacher. This is to ensure that both siblings have a successful experience in the group. Tuition for the second child is free until the child is 6 months old. We offer a 50% discount for accompanying siblings 6 to 12 months old and a 5% discount for those 12 months and older. All fees are non-refundable.

More Information

*Please note: For exceptionally inclement weather classes may be held in our Parent and Child classroom in the Lower School Building.

Make-up days have been added in the event of weather related school closings.

The Bridge Class is designed to be a year-long experience for children and parents, building a community in the class. Following the Fall 2022 Parent and Child session, the focus shifts in the Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 Sessions so parents can allow the children and teacher to form into a teacher-led playgroup. Parents will, at times, step out of the room as part of the “bridging” support for their child. Parents have the option to register for the Fall session only.

To be added to our email list for updates or questions, please contact Andrea Gambardella in the Admissions Office at 845.356.2514 x326.

show more

Hear From Our Alumni Families

Class of '89

Stefan Schaefer

Filmmaker

As a Waldorf lifer, I ventured out into 'the real world’ with some trepidation. But I was able to tackle college and graduate work with ease. The breadth of curriculum I’d been exposed to gave me a sense of curiosity and willingness to take risks in my learning that many of my peers lacked.

Class of '89

Dan Feldman

Director at Verizon

In Waldorf Education, we were guided to solve problems creatively vs. memorizing facts. It is this curiosity, creativity, confidence, and awakeness that allows Waldorf students to excel at just about anything they choose to take on.

Class of '95

Agamemnon Otero

CEO, Repowering

I remember painting, drawing, sculpting, book-binding, eurythmy, acting, and poetry with fondness, and math, biology, history, and orchestra with fits of frustration. My teachers supported my development, knowing full well that once a passion for learning is lit, it will burn for a lifetime.

Class of '99

Kirstin Wolfe

DDS

Waldorf Education taught me to solve problems. I attribute that to my ability to be both analytical and compassionate. I also am so grateful for the lifelong connections I have with friends and members of the Waldorf community.

Class of '98 & '99

The Chapin Sisters (Abigail and Lily)

Musicians

One of the most important things that our Waldorf Education gave us is a community of passionate, engaged people. Many of our closest friends are people we met at Green Meadow. They have careers (in the arts, sciences, academia, business, and the military) and a genuine love for their work.

Class of '01

Zaria Forman

Artist

I value so much about my Waldorf Education, it's difficult to chose one thing! The enduring friendships I made, how art was woven through every subject, the attention and care given by the teachers. I will be forever thankful for those very formative years of my life.

Class of '05

Phil Constable

Music Producer (DJ Hardwerk)

Our beloved class teacher and friend, David Blair, taught me the value of never giving up on something because it gets difficult, you don’t like it, or it’s an inconvenience. He taught me that seeing your goals come to fruition after you have faced obstacles makes the victory that much sweeter.

Class of '12

Alex Chin

Graduate Student in Physics

Green Meadow fosters great relationships between teachers and students and allows students to participate in so many different activities. I was able to get my first job in college, building sets for the theater department, because of the work we did on high school plays at GMWS.

Want to know more?

Find more information about Waldorf Early Childhood Education.