Our Observation classes are the first step for families new to our program. They are a wonderful ‘first class’ and take place in the beautiful and historic Arts and Crafts Parish House of the Swedenborgian Church just down the street from our grade school campus.
Large picture windows look out onto a lush walled garden and parents and children are warmly welcomed into a space that is cozy and homelike. There is plenty of room to move and explore, open-ended toys to play with, and a special time that we call ‘quiet observation’ where parents hold back from their adult conversations and turn their attention towards what the children are doing.
Weekly readings and discussion further healthy attachment and family life. Each class has a consistent rhythm and routine marked by special songs for transitions, helping the children feel secure and allowing them to more deeply engage in play and exploration. Adults model for the children ways to be during play time, clean-up and snack time and support the children when the normal toddler struggles arise. A freedom simply ‘to be’ is offered to both the children and the parents, which nourishes and supports parents and caregivers’ own intuitive knowledge as well as the possibility to consider new ideas and practices.
While Observation classes are often the first step in a family’s exploration of Waldorf education, they are also enjoyed by seasoned parents who return with their second or third child to enjoy this special mood created especially for the young child. Some families participate for multiple sessions before moving into a Work and Play class.
Classes are divided by age – Babies (up to 12 months, including pregnant mothers), Young Toddlers (ages 12-20 months) and Older Toddlers (ages 20-33 months) – to address the ever changing needs of each phase of development.
All new participants in our program start with an observation class which must be completed before participants may enroll in a Work and Play class.