Nurturing a child's natural wonder
A Walden Pre-Kindergarten classroom provides a thoughtfully prepared environment that contains materials and activities chosen to foster intellectual, physical, personal, and social growth. Children are given rich, hands-on opportunities for experimentation and manipulation of materials. Play is recognized as children’s “work” and is respected as a medium through which children learn.
While the development of pre-academic abilities and skills is a component of the program, emphasis is given to the development of habits: work habits (responsibility, organization, tenacity, striving to do your best) and habits of being (conflict resolution strategies, manners, caring for our environment). Another emphasis is the development of a social consciousness, with many aspects of the curriculum contributing to the creation of a caring community. All-school assemblies, Buddy Classes, Sixth grade mentors, recycling, composting, and service learning help to ingrain a sense of self in relation to others and the world.
The purpose of the program is not to pressure and urge children on to the next step in a hurried way. Children are given time and personal space in which to grow; the time to be themselves; the time to live in their childhood rather than through it.
Specialty classes in music, physical education, dance, science, Spanish, storytelling, and library are integrated into the curriculum, enriching and deepening children’s understanding.