Early Childhood

Many parents visiting Haleakalā 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.

Our Early Childhood Programs:

‘Apapane & I’iwi Preschool classes serve children between the ages of 3 and 4 years in mixed-age classrooms.

Pueo & Nene Kindergarten classes serve children between the ages of 4 and 6 years in mixed-age classrooms.

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 who 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, both 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.

Pũlama Parent and Child Program

Discover new ways to observe and understand your young child in a beautiful, home-like infant/toddler center called the Pũlama Parent & Child Program. The program, facilitated by Kim Raymond, provides children with a safe and nurturing nursery environment, while offering parents the opportunity to be inspired, supported, and transformed in their day-to-day interactions with their young child.  All classes are held in a classroom designed to replicate the warm atmosphere of a home at the school’s Kula campus.


Click Here to Register for our Pũlama Program

Our Preschool Program - I'iwi and 'Apapane Classes

The I'iwi Preschool Program is designed to help young children (aged 3 to 4 years) mature socially while meeting their changing needs as they transition into the early childhood years.  The children's day will follow a natural rhythm of circle time, indoor play, organic snack and outdoor activity.  This new class offering, held in Haleakalā School’s unique Waldorf early childhood setting, is the perfect opportunity to provide young children with an environment that enhances healthy social relations.

This is the first independent step away from family and home for our youngest children who may have been enrolled in the Pūlama Parent Child Program.  Saying farewell to a parent is a big step for our little children and we give plenty of time so that the transition is smooth and harmonious for all concerned. The "bridge" is formed with consistent communication and the forming of trusting relationships between each family and the teachers.  The home-like environment and rhythm of the morning support the young child's emerging independence and competency.  The program is based on "living arts," incorporating domestic activity, nurturing care, and social ability.

The equipment provided at HWS is simple and made of beautiful, natural materials so that a child’s imagination is stimulated. For example, a length of silk fabric may become the king’s cape, a tent for travelers, or a tablecloth for tea.

Celebration and rhythm are also important aspects of the young child’s daily experience. Each day’s activities include creative play, morning circle (including socializing games and rhythmical activities developing coordination and balance), and storytelling time.

The yearly rhythm of festivals and holidays provides many important celebrations in the preschool enriching the early childhood experience and creating a bridge from home to school. 

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

Our Kindergarten Program -  Nene and Pueo Classes

In morning circle, the child learns to enjoy the sounds of language, to share through socializing games, and to achieve coordination and balance through a variety of rhythmical activities. This experience provides a foundation, readiness, and eagerness for the academics that follow in the grades.

Each child moving from kindergarten to first grade hand sews a baby doll and a blanket, and participates in a beautiful ceremony marking the child's passage into their next developmental stage.

At Haleakalā Waldorf School, we offer two mixed-aged kindergartens. Each kindergarten serves children 4 - 6.

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