Today was the first Monday of first grade, starting of our third week at Emerson Waldorf School. Here are some things I'm loving so far:
- I still don't have a job, so I'm still the designated driver, which means I get all that great car time with Little C. We already have a tradition established of listening to quiet music on the way home, and not really talking much. I'm trying to refrain from peppering her with questions, and allow her to process the day in her own time (it usually comes tumbling out in the darkness of bedtime...) In the morning, it's usually rock-out time.
- The switch to a whole day at school (from 1/2 day kindy) is a lot for Little C (in some ways she still seems so little) but they have a rest time every afternoon when they lie down with a blanket from home while the magical Ms. Rogers tells them a story.
- Every day at drop off and goodbye, Ms. Rogers meets each child at the door, shakes their hand, looks them in the eye, and greets them. It's lovely, and it makes the drop off totally without anxiety or chaos. Little C goes directly from the attentive care of one adult to another.
- Music, art, movement and nature are all part of the rhythm of each day. While she does have a special music teacher who comes down the her classroom on Mondays, she sings with her teacher every.single.day. Some of their other "special" classes (when another teacher comes in to work with them) are German and Handwork. Ms. Rogers does painting and form drawing with them daily, and various movement activities.
- They have *2* recesses per day. Little C is becoming an excellent jump-roper, and getting such strong legs as a result! Their playground is shaded from the North Carolina heat under tall trees that filter down the most magical light.
- The classroom is beautiful, carefully attended to and outfitted, and home base. They leave it for recess, but otherwise all their classes and lunch time happen here in this sacred caccoon. People wonder "Are children in a Waldorf School over-protected?" In my reading and observation, it's all about timing. The high schoolers are plenty savy to the ways of the world, but yes, they do try to protect the 6 year olds and give them a safe foundation that then grows into the courage to explore.
- Ms. Rogers is a seasoned teacher, who wisely saw right through Little C's dramatic and effervescent demeanor to the sensitive, sometimes insecure child within. (Not the the dramatic side isn't real, but there's also this quiet brooding part of her that many adults miss in the face of her verbocity and charm!)
~Prayer flags over the archway that greet us as we come and go~
~Showing me her blackboard, adorned with an image of the little prince that is the main character of many of the stories her teacher tells~
~Her friend's little sister wanted to get in on the photo shoot~
~Beauty and order~
~Saying "goodbye" to Ms. Rogers at the end of the day. I love how her face is shining!
~The "hallway" of the school is outside under a protective roof. This boggles my New England mind~
~There's a jump rope in there somewhere~
~Oh, but the LIGHT is so magical~
~At an all-school picnic on Saturday evening. It's such a wonderful group of families~