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Liv had her third morning at Waldorf preschool today. When I picked her up, I couldn’t resist sneaking a peak at her playing. There was my little girl with four other children, in the hands of the women I’ve entrusted to guide her with love and respect. The first day I had such an anxious stomach ache because part of me feels she is too young for preschool but Olivia was excited to go and gave me a quick kiss goodbye. Today she looked content. Comfortable like she were at home.
The little log house smelled delicious and she greeted me with “I made bread all by myself!” She was beaming from ear to ear as she held out a decorated bag with a cute misshapen loaf inside.
Waldorf is a natural option for us because I also attended until I was nine years old (and moved to a new city where I transitioned into public school). Those first four years of school at Waldorf are years I remember most fondly.
I love that Waldorf focuses on creative play in the early years rather than burden children with unnecessary academic requirements. It’s such a contrast from the hyper exposure in our culture that can’t wait to introduce abstract concepts rather than nurture the development of the spirit. There is storytelling “by heart” rather than read and Liv will also be introduced to puppetry, simple musical instruments, gardening, bread baking, beeswaxing, candle making, felting, sewing, art and woodworking.
The preschool is simple; small and filled with natural textures. All the indoor toys are made from wood. A warm snack of warm grains (millet, quinoa etc) with fruits and vegetables is served after play. Aside from a sunken sail boat, a wood tower with a slide and a mini log house, the outside play area is filled with mature trees and wild flower gardens. There are lots of little magical spots to let the imagination take over.
Interestingly, her school shares a fence with another preschool. This is a more typical preschool with a sand pit, play structures, grass, cement, no trees and lots of the usual plastic toys.
I mentioned the visual difference to Liv’s teacher.
“If you think that’s interesting” she says, “you should listen to the difference in how they play.”
“There’s a lot of discovery here. We play together, simply, using the natural environment. Over there, I hear a lot of fighting over things.”
That is interesting, I hadn’t thought of it that way.
Tomorrow we attend our first festival of the year, Michaelmas. The Archangel Michael is said to help open paths to Spirit by slaying the dragon so that women and men might walk forward of their own free will.
At preschool, we will simply plant bulbs with the children to celebrate the change of season.
We are taking it a day at a time but so far she is happy.
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