At Mountaintop Waldorf School, great attention is given to daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms, as well as the rhythm created by the natural environment in which the children play. The use of rhythm in guiding children is essential to their sense of security, allowing for deep play and a peaceful, smooth flow for the day.
In recognizing that reading must be grounded in a rich field of oral learning, we lay a strong foundation for literacy through storytelling, singing, and movement games. This is a contrast to the demands and pressure created through early academics.
Outdoor playtime can include caring for the vegetable gardens, hauling rocks and logs to create forts, or simply digging in the sandbox. From outdoor play, the children transition into circle time, where they experience a combination of movement, songs, verses, and finger plays.
During child-led, indoor playtime, all are invited to use the materials in the classroom. The teacher may lead activities such as watercolor painting, coloring with natural beeswax crayons, or sculpting with modeling beeswax while hearing a story. Stories are told by the teacher through puppetry, using colored silk cloths, wooden tree-blocks, and woolen animals and characters. The children participate in preparing wholesome, organic snacks which include a different whole grain each day.
Activities and stories are chosen according to the seasons of the year, strengthening the children’s connection with nature and allowing them to truly experience their world, rather than learning about it as an outside observer. This encourages and supports the child’s development, nurturing a sense of awe and wonder. We believe that reverence for the rhythms and mysteries of the natural world comprise the ideal curriculum for the young child.