WELCOME to "Young Cedars Waldorf Inspired Early Childhood Program" for Ages 3 - 6 years. My Name is Monica Flamenco and I am a Certified Trained Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher of 18 Years. I have over twenty years of experience working with Children and their Families as I am also Maria Montessori Trained A.M.I. Working with Young Children brings me JOY in my Life!
WHAT IS WALDORF EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS?
Waldorf Schools were first born from the deeply profound indications given by Rudolf Steiner on Human Development. I was drawn to these Cycles of human development, primarily the First Seven Years. I am especially moved by Steiner's recognition of the deep connection to the Earth's Natural Rhythms & Human Life. Children have a profound connection to Nature. It was not until my experience as a Waldorf K. Teacher that I was able to apply what I already knew in my Heart to be true. After having taught for ten years at The Vancouver Waldorf School, I can tell you with confidence that this innate connection is the Key to helping Children grow and thrive during their early Childhood Years. The Earth has a Naturally Slow Rhythm unlike the fast paced Man-made one which exists today. It seems that the present time pandemic has actually caused a slower pace in recent months. Hopefully all services will be up an running soon and when they do, can we continue to provide a slower rhythm in the Life of a Young Child? In a Waldorf School, we strive to!
Young Cedars follows the principles of the First Seven Years of development indicated by Rudolf Steiner, primarily to provide a Play environment. The Kindergarten often has a the sound of a babbling brook or busy bee's at work. Yet, the calm daily, weekly and seasonal Rhythm becomes the vessel which holds the Child and the Adults in it. The Movement, Imaginative Play, Story-Telling and Puppetry, Baking and All Artistic Creativity support the Child in developing as a whole individual. The Young Child's Spirit is met emotionally, physically & mentally through the Early Childhood Waldorf curriculum. The curriculum must begin by following a healthy rhythm.
The Earth has a Natural Rhythm which we can observe in Nature with an "In-breath" and an "out-breath". We do not have to look far when we consider the Seasons. We are fortunate to have four in this part of Canada. Young Children especially are sensitive to the changes: notice the Joy of a Child when jumping into a pile of leaves in the Fall, the delight in observing the movement of a Snail in the Summer or the glee at the First Snow Fall.
We could say the Earth has an "Inhale" in the Winter months and an "Exhale" in the Summer months. In the same way a young Child needs their Rest (inhale) & Play (exhale) in order to develop & unfold their Being. A Waldorf environment can provide an in-breath and an out-breath throughout a Rhythm of a Morning and Afternoon, a Week, a Month, a Season and a Year. Here is where Waldorf Education Shines!
Rhythm: It holds the group and helps create a Safe space that is dependable and reliable with regular "in-breaths" & "out-breaths" that Young Children can learn & come to Trust. (see daily rhythm at bottom of page)
"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul." Frederich Froebel
Young Children not only "pretend" when engaged in their Play but they have the ability to BECOME and create from their imaginations.