KINDERGARTEN / UPK
At Northern Lights School rhythm and repetition are critical to our Kindergarten and UPK curriculum. We foster a warm, home-like environment in which the children feel a great sense of comfort and security. The day, week, and year are planned with routine and repetition so the young child can relax into a known rhythm and feel safe to explore the world around them. We establish a consistent and gently flowing daily and weekly
routine as well as observe and celebrate seasonal rhythms in nature.
We are inspired by the Waldorf approach and believe that children learn best through hands on experience, imitation, and play. Play is the heart of our day. We offer transformative toys
which allow the children to build imagination, creativity, and ingenuity. The children play with shells, wood, handmade toys, and other natural items. They use this time to carry out their creative designs as well as to build important physical and social skills as they learn to work together with many others in one space.
During free play the children have the opportunity to care for our classroom. We bake bread together, chop vegetables for soup, set the table, or engage in a seasonal nature craft. The children freely move in and out of these activities and choose to work or play out of pure desire. We enjoy a hearty snack which all of the children have helped to prepare.
Each day includes the very special ritual of circle time. During this time the whole class is following the direction of the teacher and engaging in song and movements designed to develop fine and gross motor skills as well as perfect the art of self control. The children will then hear a seasonal folk or fairy tale filled with rich imagery and language that they come to understand and use in their work and play.
We spend a good portion of our day outside experiencing the natural wonders of our yard. We climb trees and wooden structures, build with stone, sand, and wood, plant and
tend to our gardens, and care for our yard through real, practical work which builds a great sense of responsibility among our students. Our overall goal in the Northern Lights
Kindergarten/UPK classroom is to help students to become independent, capable, caring individuals with a great sense of pride in themselves and all they have to share with others. We seek to educate the whole child—hands, heart, and mind.