I began mapping out details for this in-home program last November, started searching for interested families in mid December, and now, mid March, I am happy and thankful to welcome a brother and sister into our home on Wednesdays and Fridays.
It was a beautiful day, full of creativity, songs, tenderness, and a few tears when mommy left for the day.
Some of my reflections:
Singing and a soft tone works
I had too good of a time (softly) bursting into seasonal songs throughout our day. Anytime I wanted the children to pay close attention to something I was doing, I'd sing a song. It caught on, and I saw them actively listening to the lyrics. A soft tone of voice is an invitation to listen closely.
Imaginative play rules the day
I was thrilled to sit back and watch these tiny imaginations unfold throughout the day. Listening to a child sing a made up song, put on a puppet show, or talk to themselves while engaging in independent play is like a small glimpse into their soul. Already I feel like I have learned so much about these children and their emotions, likes and dislikes, and comfort levels just by quietly observing.
I don't care for an abundance of toys (even open ended toys), but a puppet theatre, some handmade dolls, and playsilks of different sizes were the foundation of many, many vignettes yesterday.
This large blue silk was an ocean full of seashells and sand...
We hear this term all the time in Waldorf circles...it really is the driving force of life. It is how children feel safe and confident. Adding small and thoughtful details to your daily rhythm helps a child know what is coming next.
The children set our table with placemats (pictured above were a fantastic thrift store find...), napkins, bowls, and utensils....Not only is this a meaningful task, but it also helps us in transitioning to snack or lunch time.
Snuffing out our mealtime candle, clearing the table, and helping each other wash dishes in a large plastic bin is closure to snack or lunch time.
Our rhythm is brand new at this time....
soon it will be the guide to our day!
This was the highlight of my day. This is where I feel like I can really spread my wings and fly.
I am following the advice of a wonderful Waldorf Early Childhood teacher I am observing this Spring; I will unfold one story per week, build on it somewhat, and repeat it. Beautiful and imaginative stories lose their magic when they are told to very young children just once. It makes sense to revisit the tale again....do you recall a time when you read the same book over and over again? I still do sometimes; with good reason!
Silks set the stage, provide a great backdrop, and enable characters in a story to emerge and hide...
I won't feature many photos of our playschool days in this space, due to respecting the privacy of this lovely family. However, stay tuned for some of our crafts and story outlines:)
Thanks for reading, loves. I wish you all joy and peace always!