How to Explain the News to your Children...

In recent months, we, as a nation and global community, have had to face many challenges. The state of our nation and our world weighs heavy on all of us. Since November, we have observed interactions between children playing with one another and children interacting with teachers indicating they may be struggling with processing information about world events they have either witnessed on television or through well-intended conversations with parents about troubles in the world today. Unfortunately, young children cannot process this information in the way adults can. These well-intentioned exposures to world events has a troubling effect on the very young.  It doesn’t better prepare them to live in our modern world. It doesn’t foster compassion and understanding. It makes them feel unsafe and insecure.

From the Waldorf School of Philadelphia -

The first Waldorf School was established in 1919 in the wake of World War I. The impulse was to pioneer an education to help create a just and peaceful society. To that end, Rudolf Steiner crafted a curriculum to educate the whole child – head, heart, hands.

Receive children in reverence,

educate them in love,

and let them go forth in freedom.

– Rudolf Steiner

In spite of recent days, we must continue to believe that there is good in the world, and we must continue to educate our children to have reverence, respect and love for all living things.

But how do we speak to our children about terrible news events? In 2011, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia published an article written by Shannon Stevens. Shannon wrote the article as she was trying to process news of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Her advice for parents of young children is applicable today, especially as we struggle ourselves to come to terms with the never-ending war, the unsettling political climate and great divide within our nation, and the tragic refugee crisis our world is facing. 

To read Shannon's article and advice from expert Kim John Payne, click the link below.

How to Explain the News to your Children...

 

Toilet Learning

Buttercup change of clothes.jpg

An interest in using the toilet will naturally develop in children. It can be encouraged by joyfully reading about toileting and by observing parents and older children using the toilet.  Children want to fit in and will use the toilet sooner or later, it is important not to force or pressure a child about toileting.  Rushing the process only creates complications and will lengthen the amount of time it takes for a child to become "toilet trained."

Click the link below to learn more about toilet learning and the approach used at our school.

Toilet Learning at A Child's Nature

How Your Child Grows

Parents often hear teachers talk about developmentally appropriate activities, behaviors and milestones. Parents searching for care and education also notice many different educational philosophies expressing the importance of providing children with developmentally appropriate environments and activities. If parents do not have a basic understanding of child development, how are they supposed to make well-informed decisions about the environment and activities they create for their children both inside and outside their home?

The State of NH has created a very helpful tool called NH Early Learning Standards to help parents and teachers better understand the developmental ages and stages children experience birth through age 5.

They also provide basic guidance, regardless of philosophy, outlining essential components necessary for the healthy development of young children - these essential components should be present not only in the school environment, but are also important for parents to understand and strive to provide at home.

How Your Child Grows - Essential Components for the Healthy Development of Young Children

NH Early Learning Child Development Charts

What is Waldorf Early Childhood Education?

A classroom inspired by the principles of Waldorf education is a beautiful, carefully cultivated environment. Many parents drawn to sharing this gift with their children wish to learn more about the inner workings of the classroom and philosophy behind all the goodness and beauty they experience when visiting.

The article in the link below was written by Susan Howard and was published in Gateways, the newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, in 2006.

It paints a clear picture of the intention and work that goes into a program inspired by the principles of Waldorf education. It is a helpful piece for parents who are seeking to clarify the difference between a Waldorf inspired program and daycare - parents who are looking for more information to decide if our philosophy of care and education is the right fit for their family and lifestyle.

What is Waldorf Early Childhood Education