How do children at EcoKids learn?
The children at EcoKids are encouraged to explore and wonder openly. They are supported by teachers and an environment that was created just for them. Life is our curriculum, and it is emergent: It is flexible and inspired by children, the environment and life. Children and teachers seek, find, wonder and play with all possibilities.
Art, sculpting, puppetry, stories, circle songs and movements, crafts, baking, yoga and music are integrated into our daily routine. This gives children opportunities to develop their imaginative capacity and sense of self-expression in an inspiring, and challenging way. We seek to educate the “head, heart and hands.”
We value real work and “process over product” in our activities with the children. Children learn about real things that are connected to sensory experiences. They feel the living rhythm of time and space.
Inspired by the anthroposophy of Waldorf education, we “view human beings and the natural world as interwoven expressions of spiritual realities, culturing respect and responsibility for the earth, which provides sustenance for us all.”
Kindergarten mixed-age and preschool classes are play-based programs that provide a solid and integrated base for academic work later in grade school. Play is the young child’s natural way to develop physically and socially. Child-directed play activity also strengthens imagination and attention span.
At EcoKids, we recognize that children are unique individuals, and we strongly believe that each child should be given room to grow at his/her own individual pace and to transition from one level to the next when he/she is developmentally ready. EcoKids accepts children between the ages of 2-6 years.
Pre1 Classes (2-3 years):
At two years of age, children are experiencing a whole new level and understanding of independence. They are beginning to realize that they are separate individuals from other people, particularly their primary caregiver. They are beginning to establish their space in the world and to realize that their actions directly relate to and affect objects and others. They are beginning to make sense of the world and to imitate their environment. In practice, our focus at this stage is to provide an environment where children feel safe, loved and nurtured. We respect this critical time and ensure that the teachers respond with positive, intentional messages that promote respect and kindness to self and others, as well as show children how they can assert their own rights and label their feelings.
Pre2 Classes (3-4 years)
With a newly established sense of independence, three year olds continue to develop their awareness of their own space and their ability to affect others. At this stage, children are beginning to value social connections. During the third year, children are building a greater sense of emotional literacy. There are learning to trust adults and to build relationships, in preparation for the next phase of social emotional growth.
Kindergarten (4-6 years)
The four-year-old stage marks a dramatic shift in cognitive and socio-emotional changes. Children begin to understand that letter formations and numbers have meaning. As their cognitive and language skills develop, their social dynamics become more complex. The social and emotional lessons children absorb at this stage – including experiences of building cooperation, problem solving and conflict-resolution skills – will be carried through into adulthood.
Our schedule is flexible, depending on the children’s interests, the weather and the season. We distinguish between “planning” and “control”. Our teachers build their daily and weekly plans from their observations of children’s interests, and the children control what, how, and where they want to learn! Teachers set up the environment and help the children see the connection between each other, the community, and the world.
The PRE-K daily schedule flow may include:
Yoga / Music
Outdoor play (45 minutes)
The Kindergarten daily flow may include:
Outdoor/Indoor Work & Play
Indoor Group Activities
Small Group Work
Lunch Preparation & Mealtime