Please ensure that your child eats a healthy and substantial breakfast before coming to school. Grade school students also need a substantial lunch every day, as well as snacks. For food at school, we ask that you provide homemade fare rather than pre-packaged lunch products. Sandwiches, leftovers, soup, etc. as well as fresh vegetables and fruits sent in reusable containers are best for school. Be discriminating in your choice of food: diet and behavior can often be linked.
Waldorf Education seeks to nourish the whole child, and only part of this nourishment occurs during waking hours. A rich sleep experience is essential. What children receive at school and during their waking hours is taken into their sleep life. They need the time of sleep to help this become fully integrated into their being. Most children need at least nine or ten hours of sleep at night. A child’s sleep is as important as is her awakening to a new day ready for life and learning.
Establishing healthy daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rhythms is an essential consideration in the Waldorf approach to education, even in the creation of the daily rhythm to insure a balance of academic, artistic, and hands on work in the structure of the day. An important way parents can link school and home is through the establishment of a regular routine for meals, play, housekeeping tasks, and bedtime. Children flourish in environments that are not only loving but also loving and predictable. Just knowing what is expected at different intervals during the day can help children feel secure in the world.
In our school, we make a conscious choice not to use mediated tools of instruction at the younger grades (overhead projectors, DVDs, computers, tablets), since we want to encourage direct experience with the world, not a world mediated by electronics. The entire purpose of the Steiner-inspired curriculum is to engage the will and imagination of the student directly, through the imagination and will to the teaching methods.
Over and above the often negative message the student may receive from television or video games, we find that the effect of the medium itself is not harmonious with our approach to learning. Waldorf teachers strive to bring images to life as part of the educational experience. If children are preoccupied with media images, the instructional images are less compelling.
We also believe that it is very important that children have time to be actively involved in a variety of home projects, reading, and unstructured indoor and outdoor play. Engaging in electronic entertainment reduces the time spent on personally creative activities that nurture intelligence.
Real multi-sensory experiences are the seeds of imagination and creativity. It is important that your child be able to absorb the curriculum of the day, without electronic interference, in order to integrate and process it during sleeping hours. This is how learning becomes an integral part of life. Allowing your child to awake and attend to the tasks of the morning without the stimulation of electronic media will enhance their ability to focus and become immersed in the day’s curriculum.
In support of the education of your child, the faculty request that our families consciously and significantly reduce or eliminate the use of media for children. We realize that limiting or eliminating media from your child’s life might be challenging in today’s world, however with support and community effort, families often find that more free time means more creative play and more quality time together.