MY FIRST SCHOOL offers a Waldorf-inspired group family child care service to 12 children from three months to four years of age. We are a staff of five experienced and nurturing teachers in a large, sunny apartment close to the Columbia University campus.

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY

  • Respect for the dignity of childhood and a close, continuous relationship with each child is paramount in the Waldorf philosophy.

  • Our environment is unique in that we are a community that enjoys healthy social relationships between teachers, parents and children.

  • The Waldorf-inspired curriculum focuses on children’s will-oriented physical activity. Our teachers largely stand back and observe, because children in deep play need very little input from teachers other than modeling. Our rooms are arranged for this kind of activity.

  • We provide a natural environment that focuses on a slow, steady unfolding of infant and toddler social skills. Infants are fed on the lap, held and rocked, and then integrated into the activities of the older children.

  • Toddlers love practical work and real life experiences in real time.  The housekeeping room allows babies and toddlers to fully emulate grown-up domestic life. Furniture and natural materials—wood, wool, silk, and cotton—encourage imaginative play.  

  • Older children work on large collaborative projects—art, mechanical, and others. Their dictated stories are kept in journals, and they are solicitous of the younger ones.

  • The main room is filled with beautiful materials from which a child may freely choose. One day a child may choose to paint or do handwork, or work with manipulatives. Another day the child might choose sensory activities or light box projects, or simply sit in a box with special treasures. The dress up rack is popular.

  • Music, singing, storytelling and reading are integral to the rhythm of each day.

  • Life at school, as it is at home, is simple, warm, and safe. Many materials are handmade, meals are organic and nourishing and naptime rituals comfort the children to sleep.

  • Daily outings, the time most treasured by the children, afford ample time for freedom of movement and immersion in nature, which is at the heart of our philosophy.