Our core intention at The Treehouse is to develop curiosity by surrounding children with an environment of security, beauty, creativity and wonder. We are a place where children learn to love themselves, others and the earth as we engage the head, heart and hands of each child.
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head.
The Treehouse Nursery and Preschool is inspired by Waldorf teachings. You will see this with our oral storytelling, daily songs, verses and blessings, our homelike environment, natural toys and our engagement in domestic, practical and artistic activities that the children can readily imitate such as baking, painting, gardening and handicrafts. Our curriculum is Child-Led.
Children are motivated by what inspires them. Once inspired, the children are blank slates begging to soak up any knowledge that comes their way. They invite the teachers to use their teaching ability to excite them and continue to intrigue their interest. Using a wide variety of mediums for a diversity of learning styles; books, puzzles, science experiments, writing, art, songs, and dramatic play give the children an opportunity to broaden their understanding. Through careful observation, the teachers can allow the children’s interests to lead the curriculum fluidly ensuring an enriching environment.
Learning Through Art
Our art curriculum provides child centered activities that are developmentally appropriate to inspire in them the desire to create for the rest of their lives. For very young children, making art is a sensory exploration activity. We encourage children to explore open-ended materials such as paint, crayons, finger paint, collage, printmaking, and clay. Children need time to practice and develop skills with materials. By focusing on process instead of products, we give our children the time and space to control the materials and the mediums presented. The staple activities in our programs are beeswax, wet-on-wet water color, wet felting, clay and 'free choice', where a variety of materials are available.
Learning Through Creation
We naturally ebb and flow throughout the seasons. Creation is always changing– it is birthing, growing, flourishing and then dying back just so it can live again. We create an environment that is earth based so attention is constantly brought back to creation as a learning process. God has surrounded us with beauty and given us the responsibility of caring for his creation, including the earth; so we want to recognize and thank him for that precious gift. We are out in the garden as much as possible where we learn from the changing elements. The children experience the joy of planting, harvesting, preserving, dehydrating, and making much of our food from scratch. Our goal at The Treehouse Nursery and Preschool in being “earth-based” programs also comes out in our Circle Time songs and Story Time themes as they change with the seasons. These times help build a foundation for both knowledge of what is happening in the earth we are a part of and generates foundational language skills. The children’s verbal skills and oral retention is nurtured through the repetition of both our songs and oral story telling on a daily basis.
Learning Through Play
"If young children have been able to give up their whole beings to the world around them in their play, in later life they will be able to devote themselves with confidence and power to the service of the world." - Rudolf Steiner
Their capacity for creative thinking is developed through imaginative play and healthy physical activity. We help the children be in relationship with the world by exposing him or her to the entire realm of nature--not only sand and water play, but also outside play on windy and rainy days. Much care is taken to create an environment that is beautiful and rhythmic so the children can learn how to be creative within their safe space. We have many natural, tactile toys that are open-ended to spur the imagination on to create many uses for each object. By nurturing young children's thirst for discovery, it establishes a strong foundation for academic learning and a life-long interest in other people and in the world around them. The day is full of free-play where the children engage in creative play, making use of the wide variety of materials provided for them by their teachers. Children move fluently from individual to parallel to cooperative, small and large group play. Keenly aware of their environment, the entire class might one morning use the furniture to create vehicles like those outside the window; another morning or afternoon the children might dress themselves in scarves and create a pirate ship out of blankets. Older children enjoy acting out the story or puppet play presented daily by the teachers. When this hour comes to an end, everyone helps return all the materials to their places, cleaning and straightening as they work.