Festivals & Celebrations
Mother Earth Day
Honoring the Harvest
The Waldorf Shop
Featuring goods and services inspired by Waldorf education, the Waldorf Shop is more than a one-stop Waldorf shopping experience. It's an opportunity for the world-wide Waldorf community to take stock of our true resources, move beyond competition–toward mutually supportive service, and welcome outstanding providers not directly connected with Waldorf education. The Waldorf Shop is a network of folks creating a more beautiful, purposeful and wonder-filled world.
The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) is a nonprofit membership organization of independent Waldorf schools and institutes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
The Association was founded in 1968 to support schools and institutes. Our vision is to strengthen and nurture Waldorf education and to advance Waldorf principles worldwide.
Today, there are greater than 1,090 Waldorf / Steiner schools in 64 countries, and 1,857 Waldorf kindergartens in more than 70 countries, plus Waldorf associations and teacher-training centers for Waldorf educators and Waldorf teachers around the world. In North America, there are more than 160 member schools and 14 teacher education institutes.
The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) was founded in 1983, originally under the name of the Waldorf Kindergarten Association of North America. Our administrative office is in Spring Valley, New York. WECAN works very closely in collaboration with its sister organization, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). WECAN is also a Full Member Association in the International Association for Steiner/ Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE), based in Järna, Sweden.
WECAN’s mission is to foster a new cultural impulse for the work with the young child from pre-birth to age seven. Based on an anthroposophical understanding of human development, WECAN is committed to protecting and nurturing childhood as a foundation for renewing human culture.
Membership in WECAN is open to early childhood programs, birth to three programs, kindergartens, child care centers, home programs, and teacher training centers committed to the ideals and practices of Waldorf early childhood education, and to individuals who wish to support and contribute to Waldorf early childhood education in North America.
WECAN is a tax-exempt non-profit organization.
Alliance for Childhood
Our mission is to build, strengthen and empower play networks to improve the lives of children. We envision a world in which stress is reduced in children through increased child-initiated and intrinsically motivated free play, reduced screen time and high stakes testing, and increased open-ended, active play opportunities.
When does school start?
Our summer session begins June 14th of 2021. Our fall session begins August 16th of 2021.
What ages do you accept?
Our program serves children ages 3 to 6. The number of available preschool spots varies year to year depending on re-enrollment. Children need to be potty-trained.
How do you do discipline?
For preschool-aged children, mostly through redirection.
Are Waldorf schools religious?
Waldorf schools are non-sectarian and non-denominational. They educate all children, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds. The pedagogical method is comprehensive, and, as part of its task, seeks to bring about recognition and understanding of all the world cultures and religions. Waldorf schools are not part of any church. They espouse no particular religious doctrine but are based on a belief that there is a spiritual dimension to the human being and to all of life. Waldorf families come from a broad spectrum of religious traditions and interest.
When do Waldorf schools introduce reading?
Our goal is to foster passionate readers who continue reading for pleasure throughout their lifetimes. To that end, we introduce reading in a developmentally appropriate way, when students are more comfortable with the written word and fully ready to engage with them.
Waldorf teachers begin teaching reading in the first couple months of first grade by teaching consonants and vowel names and sounds through an artistic approach of drawing, painting, movement, and speech. This artistic, deliberate process engages the children with great interest, and by the end of first grade, children are writing and reading sentences and short texts. Students typically begin reading printed readers with their teacher during the second half of second grade. This thorough and artistic approach to teaching literacy has been proven to build a solid base for advanced comprehension and vocabulary skills in later years.
Why do Waldorf schools suggest limiting media?
Waldorf teachers appreciate that technology must assume a role in education, but at the appropriate developmental stage, when a young person has reached the intellectual maturity to reason abstractly and process concretely on his or her own, which is at around the age of 14. Society might challenge this principle, as many young children are well able to complete sophisticated tasks on a computer; the Waldorf perspective is that computer exposure should not be based on capability but on developmental appropriateness. While many applaud adult-like thinking in young children, we observe that a child’s natural, instinctive, creative and curious way of relating to the world may be repressed when technology is introduced into learning environments at an early age. ~ Excerpt from NYTimes Opinion, 5/2014, Author, Beverly Amico.
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