Nursery School

4 to 6 years

Children are passionately eager to make sense of things around them.
If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process,
the independent scientist in the child disappears.

– John Holt

The Nursery School Curriculum

I used to think Waldorf education the most undamaging education,
but then the more I looked into it,
I found it the most beneficial system we have.
People ask, ‘What will happen to my child in the world if he doesn’t learn to read and write very early?’
The issue is that the child’s greatest strength for survival in a world of madness is to be whole,
sane and in touch with the heart. The beauty of the Waldorf School is that it keeps children intact
until they are ready to move out into the world as whole individuals.

Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author: The Magical Child, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg

Steiner believed that introducing abstract academic work too early in a child’s life was unhealthy for the development of that child. Children interact with their world through their senses. They get to know and understand the world by experiencing it – touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing it – not by being told about it. There is no conscious analysis of the experience in the young child.
That’s why the Waldorf Nursery School curriculum is literally the provision of a deeply nurturing, friendly, playful, safe and predictable place. A place where imagination, creativity, kindness and friendships are encouraged in a non-academic setting.
Activities are carefully structured to provide children with the best opportunities to fully experience their world through their senses.

A child does not have to be motivated to learn; in fact, learning cannot be stopped.
A child will focus on the world around him and long to understand it.
He will want to know why things are the way they are. He won’t have to be told to be curious; he will just be curious.
He has no desire to be ignorant; rather he wants to know everything.
Valerie Fitzenreiter

The developmental literature is clear: play stimulates physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development
in the early years. Children need time, space, materials and the support of informed parents and thoughtful, skilled
early-childhood educators in order to become master players. They need time to play for the sake of playing.
Jane Hewes

Read about The Waldorf philosophy of Early Childhood Development
Read a general overview of the Waldorf curriculum here.

Informed parenting

Myth Busting: How Reading is Taught in a Waldorf School

by Sarah Baldwin

Soon after I discovered Waldorf
education, I had a conversation with
a friend whose daughter, like my
son, was approaching kindergarten
age. We lived in Los Angeles,
where getting one’s child into the
“right” kindergarten had as much
significance as getting accepted to
Harvard or Yale.


Read More…

More articles ... books ... movies