Waldorf education is based on the unique pedagogical insights and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. The pedagogy is oriented to developmental stages and brings age-appropriate content, which engages and challenges the students’ growing and changing capacities. At Acorn Hill we seek to support and encourage the holistic and integrated development of each human being’s unique creative potential.
Kindergarten mixed-age and Pre-K classes are play-based programs with pre-academic activities that provide a solid and integrated base for academic work in the grades. Play is the young child’s natural way to develop physically and socially. Child-directed play activity also strengthens imagination and attention span.
Artistic work such as wet-on-wet painting, sculpting with beeswax, puppetry, stories, circle songs and movements, crafts, and handwork are integrated into our classroom routines. This gives students opportunities to develop their imaginative capacity and bring it to expression in an inspiring, challenging, and tangible way that also cultures a sense of self-discipline. We educate “head, heart and hands.”
We value real work and “process over product” in our activities with the children. For example, in the fall we thresh and grind wheat to make the flour for our harvest celebration, sharing our first loaf with parents. In the spring we plant dish gardens with wheat berries or grass, which children water and watch grow. Children learn about things tangibly and in a way that is connected to sensory experiences. They feel the living rhythm of the day, the week, the seasons and the year. Tasks also have a beginning, middle, and end, and children become competent in life skills.
Waldorf education cultivates strong social connections within and between classes in both students and parents alike, as well as a commitment to respecting diverse cultures.
Waldorf education views human beings and the natural world as interwoven expressions of spiritual realities, culturing respect and responsibility for the earth, which provides sustenance for us all.