Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Waldorf School
A big part of this spring has been the Waldorf school. SwedeGirl is on her third year at this play school, and it was SwedeBaby's first year. I hoped to have her settled in by the time the baby came, and it worked great. At the end of pregnancy it was icy, dark, and gloomy out and I wanted to curl up and hibernate. The kids went off almost daily to school to play, sing, be fed, and go outside with someone who could bend over more easily than I to get their boots on. After the baby came, their attendence helped keep them busy and entertained while I laid in bed nursing and recovering. This worked very well. The children got to play, I got to gestate.

The 6 year old can climb up the big tree

The two year old does well on this nifty branch climbing structure.
They mostly just do free play, but they do do a few projects at the school for the 4-7 year olds. They planted plants, made soap, colored, and made wet felted balls this spring.

Spring Grass for Easter
Each Wednesday they pack a lunch and go on a walk, and have a picnic lunch out in one of the nearby wild areas.
The little kids eat at the picnic tables on the playground when it is not wet out.

The day goes like this:
8:00am- School Opens, Oatmeal Breakfast served until 8:45am
8:30- Free Play Indoors, teacher may be working on a craft or project the children can help with.
10:00- Circle Time. Little ones do finger plays and songs, the older ones do games and songs.
10:30- Tea Time. Children get warm herbal tea in teacups, rice cakes, skorpa (hard toasted bread- crackers), knackebröd (like swedish bread like wasa crackers), with butter or sesame paste.
10:45- Outdoor Playtime.
11:30- Lunch Time. Organic Vegetarian lunch prepared by school cook and served at the classroom dining table. On Wednesday the go out for picnic wit ha lunch packed from home.
12:00- For Little children, nap time. They nap in pram style strollers lined with sheep skins. For older children, it is quiet time- they lie on sheep skins and are told a story. After the picnic outing in the winter, the children get warm foot baths and foot massages with lavender oil.
1:30 - Snack Time. Fil (fermented milk like kefor), Proviva (fruit soup with cultures), something baked by the school cook, or fruit.
2:00 - Free Play outdoors, teachers may be doing work in the garden or yard the children can help with
4:00 - School closes for the day.

SwedeGirl carried this chicken around the whole day
The old hen house is a play house now
The kids love the chickens, and pick eggs and feed them
The new hen house was designed and built by the 8th graders as a class project.
The play ground, SwedeBabys class room is in the building in the background.
My Kids love lots of just Sand box time
The school leaves out boards, wooden pallets, old cable spools, buckets, wheel barrows, shovels, garden tools and cutlery the kids use for all kinds of things.
They make pretend soup and soap
Sunny Sandbox time!
This is their best friend, my girls share a playground so they usually play together, and this little girl is almost always at their side.
Wooden boards make a balance beam.
The rope swing
SwedeBaby's classroom

A little kitchen
A farm
Playthings
The adjoining classroom
The shared eating area
Dress up time!
There is a very deliberate and spiritually grounded method to everything in a Waldorf school. To learn more about Waldorf -Steiner Education, you can read a short summary about it here or read these original sources- lectures from Rudolph Steiner, the philosopher who founded Waldorf Education.

6 comments:

Stephanie S. Payne said...

That sounds like an AMAZING day for the kids... I actually wish I could do that. Hikes, picnics, and soap-making. Lovely!

Rose said...

Sweetness!!!

kollene carlsson said...

what lucky children to go to this sweet sweet school! maybe we could have a visit when we're in Sweden this summer...?

Liquid Pen said...

What a great little school! I love the warm foot bath piece...really, does it get sweeter than that?

saraelise said...

What an absolutely beautiful school, Heidi! I am just setting up our humble little learning space here in the new house in Philly and these photos are so inspiring. Much love to you and that lovely family of yours.

Jutta said...

miss your blog entries... hope, you had a great summer!