Early Childhood


Many parents visiting Haleakala Waldorf School's Early Childhood classes feel an instant, intuitive connection — often saying, "I wish I had gone to a school like this."

 

The room is warm, colorful, cared-for and filled with nature's beauty and variety—a place where children can let their imaginations roam while feeling reassured and protected.

The young child learns primarily through imagination, action and imitation, by seeing and doing. The goal of the Waldorf Early Childhood program is to develop a sense of wonder in the young child and reverence for all living things.

Participating in household tasks builds a sense of community as well as individual responsibility.

Our Waldorf Early Childhood programs provide a nurturing environment based on an understanding of the young child’s special developmental needs before the age of seven.

We offer:

the Pulama Parent & Child Program for infants and toddlers accompanied by a parent (please see the special section for the Pulama Program details).

2 mixed-age preschools: the ‘Apapane & I’iwi Preschool serving children between the ages of 2 to 4 years.
2 mixed-age kindergartens: Pueo & Nene Kindergarten serving children between the ages of 4 to 6 years.

The mixed-age classrooms have the advantage of being like a large family; the older children benefit from providing a model for the younger ones and helping them along, while the little ones benefit from having role models at the next developmental stage to emulate. Another added benefit is the softness the younger ones bring to the older ones. As the children stay in one class for one or two years, those who were younger get to experience being the ‘bigger’ children at some point. The program is structured to provide age-appropriate activities for all children. As the class progresses in age and ability, teachers shift the activities to meet the changing needs of the group. The curriculum is designed so that children can learn from each other and each can develop at his or her own pace in a non-competitive setting. The mornings typically consist of creative play, an artistic activity, a story, singing, games and finger plays, snack, outside play and lunch. An emphasis on practical life skills, such as children once experienced in a home environment, allows the child’s cognitive skills to unfold naturally. Along with vigorous, healthy play, these are the kinds of experiences that provide the nerve activity needed for higher learning in the areas of language development, dexterity, math skills, social skills, and creative thinking.

The Early Childhood Department is looking for children and their families that are a good fit with our school and its philosophy of play based/nature oriented curriculum. Specifically, we are looking for families that want to enroll their children in our school all the way through high school in a long term relationship with the school and with the “co-parents” in your child’s class.

To facilitate this we are looking for those who share our values and are interested in:

- Preserving a play-filled childhood for their child, in which "formal" academic instruction begins in first grade.

- Learning about child development and the stages of childhood within the Waldorf tradition.

- Helping to create a peace filled, kind, tolerant, media free, community environment allowing each child to safely unfold at his/her own pace.

- Creating a healthy and nurturing, rhythmical life at home that allows the young child to develop to their full potential in mind, body, and spirit.

For more information, please follow this link to our admissions page.