Early Childhood Education
Greenwood Tree is a place where children gain confidence and flourish through:
• Ample Time to Play and Learn
This program is play-based with daily opportunities for movement, music, crafts, story, and time outdoors. We move through our day at a comfortable pace, that is centered upon the developmental needs of the young child. The curriculum arises from the mood of the seasons, the traditional tasks of daily life such as preparing meals, and tidying up, as well as open-ended free play with beautiful playthings, handmade from natural materials.
• Daily and Seasonal Rhythms Connected to Nature and Art
The children follow a predictable rhythm of activities through the day and week. The schedule has both the form and the flexibility to accommodate the children’s energy and the flow of the particular day. The consistent and dependable schedule provides a safe atmosphere for growth, exploration and learning within the social realm of their peers, other parents and teachers. Nature stories, seasonal songs and festivals awaken children to the turning of the seasons and a reverence for the earth and all living creatures.
• Caring and Community
We model caring and community through the importance we place on the relationship among the children, parents and teachers, as well as our respect for our immediate environment and the earth’s resources. The classroom is a calm and lovingly tended, homelike environment with an emphasis on healthy organic food, eco-friendly materials, and sustainable practices. Greenwood Tree is a place where the imagination is nurtured, childhood is protected, and adults are supported as they navigate their parenting.
Sample Rhythm of the Day
9:00 Health check/drop off/Outdoor Play
9:30 Welcome Circle and Nature Walk
10:15 Daily Activity/Handwork/Free-Play
11:00 Circle and Story Time
11:30 Snack time & dish washing
12:00 Outdoor or Gym Time
12:30 Tulips and Dandelion Class Dismissal/Beginning of the Afternoon Kid's Club
1:00 Thimbleberry Kindergarten Dismissal
Ms. Victoria Baker
Friday 9-11 or 12-2
The Roots program is a parent child group designed to be both a community of support and connection for parents as well as a first taste of school for young children. Together we engage in seasonally appropriate, meaningful activities, both indoors and outdoors, which nurture parent and child in the world of the senses, rhythm, and wonder.
Ms. Eileen Frazier
Mon-Thur 2,3,or 4 days, 9:00-12:30
The Tulips class is a preschool program for children who potty independent and ready for a group experience. Designed to mimic a peaceful home rhythm, Tulips’ days includes a variety of activities.
Unstructured outdoor play which supports the healthy unfolding of their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. Time in nature hones the child’s observation skills and provides excellent opportunities to develop motor skills, balance, and coordination. Circle time, where the children experience being a part of the whole, moving together as a group and experiencing their bodies and senses in relation to self and others. The children learn to mark the seasons, develop their sense of rhythm, connect to peers, while learning out of imitation and creating an embodied foundation for later academic learning. They will also engage in free play time following their own initiative, Art (painting, drawing, craft, etc.) or the practical arts (washing, folding, sewing, preparing food, etc.) and a nourishing snack time.
Mon-Wed 2 or 3 days, 9:00-12:30
Dandelions is a mixed age Pre-K which offers preschoolers and introduction into classroom life that meets them where they are. Students enjoy outdoor time, circle time, free play, story time, arts exploration, practical arts, and a wholesome snack time together. The program days align with our Grades Program and Dandelions is often the right choice for a family with multiple students at GWT.
Ms. Victoria Baker
Mon-Thurs 3 or 4 days, 9:00-1:00
Our mixed aged Kindergarten, students must be 4 by August 31st. The program provides a gentle bridge into the classroom community based upon the principles of Waldorf Education. We are guided by the notion that children learn best when the whole child- head, heart, and hands- is fully engaged. Abundant opportunities for open-ended free play, lively movement and artistic expression during the preschool years provide a strong foundation for healthy physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
Waldorf Infused Alternative Learning Model
With a full staff of dynamic teachers, we are blessed to have so many skills to share in our community.
Our classes are divided into ‘Pods’ allowing same age groupings for core Waldorf themes, specialty classes and socializing. Track lessons are taught with mixed ‘ages and stages’, lessons brought through cooperative games in the autumn quarter, as students are assessed by abilities. This helps teachers work with groups that have similar skills and allow mobility within groups as students reach their ‘grade levels’ in literacy and numeracy.
Our teachers and class guardians share the planning and implementation of lessons in teaching teams. Specialty teachers and Lead teachers work through grade appropriate curriculum outlines to bring a whole picture of learning for head, heart and hands. Our Waldorf trained teachers carry the Main Lesson themes, track lessons for language arts and maths, Supporting specialty teachers bring areas of expertise according to the Waldorf Main Lesson Block Rotations.
Pod 1 Ages 6-7
Ms. Robyn Pipkin
Ms. Robyn comes to us with a robust background in yoga, movement arts, co-operative games and mindful practices. She has a warm, steady presence in the classroom.
Autumn Quarter: An introduction to consonants through storytelling, rhymes, and tongue twisters will bring delight in learning the alphabet for the first 4 weeks. Introduction to numbers and counting systems will lay a foundation for introducing the 4 processes October and November. In December, the vowels will be taught in preparation for reading in the New Year. Co-operative games, baking and handwork will fill the specialty classes.
Pod 2 Ages 7-8
Ms. Ruth Bostwick
Ms. Ruth brings amazing storytelling talents, her beautiful singing voice, gardening and baking expertise to the program. She is an experienced parent/ assistant with GWT.
The autumn term begins with the story of Saint Michael and the dragon, a Waldorf classic. Saint George, Saint Joan of Arc and Aesop’s fables will take the students on a journey through the autumn term as they are introduced to the soul qualities, polarities of light and dark that lives in both human and animal natures. Basic reading and the 4 math processes will be reviewed and built onto with new skills. Handwork and baking will be shared with POD 1.
Pod 3 Ages 8-9
Ms. Marie Stromberg-Wojick
Ms. Marie carries a wealth of knowledge of Waldorf Education, languages, movement arts and co-operative games. She is returning with new and exciting curriculum skills for POD 3.
The harvest season will be celebrated in the Hebrew tradition. Baking and cooking, measurement and math will shape the first 4-6 weeks of the autumn quarter. Farming and straw bale gardening will help students get their winter garden ready. Simple science skills through the farming block will be introduced. Students will explore soil health and human nutrition. Co-operative games, singing, recorder and movement will fill the autumn quarter.
Pod 4/5 Ages 9-11
Ms. Natasha Daggs
Ms. Natasha returns to her beloved class with her strong background in Waldorf Education, and an enthusiasm for ‘bringing it all together’. She has completed several new trainings and will focus on math, science and botany in the autumn quarter.
Nature studies, botany, organic science and pollinator studies launch the first 4-6 weeks of the autumn term. Geometry and local geography provide a backdrop to Indigenous studies of the first peoples and their culture. Project-based learning with woodwork, handwork and puppetry compliments the content of creative writing and theatre arts.
Pod 6 Ages 11-12
Mr. Stephen "Wonder" Harvey
Wonder brings his love of circus arts, leadership and communication workshops to all grades. He has lead child-oriented dance camps and is a yoga teacher. Wonder also teaches ASL.
The Eagles class will be involved in content spanning the Eaglets and the Sunflowers, enabling groupings by interest and offering choice. Circus arts, interpersonal communications, and food sciences will all be part of the curriculum entering the autumn term. Students will design a year-long cookbook project with recording finding from tested and experimental recipes. Movement in the circus arts will provide challenges and build dynamic relationships between peers.
Pod 7/8 Ages 12-13
Ms. Suzanne Glick (Interim)
Ms. Suzanne will manage a student-led learning program, overseeing specialty tutors and teachers that mirror the experience students will have in a high school setting.
Student mentorship roles will be provided to engage students as role models for other PODs as well as working in independent study groups. Track numeracy and literacy skills will be the main focus for the autumn term alongside specialty classes in organic science, world history and geography.
Meets on a private acreage South of Mt. Vernon, WA
This class will facilitate children in creating a new relationship to themselves, each other, community, and nature. Children will receive the experience of being outside with minimal restrictions, as well as having choices in curriculum based on their own interests. Teachers will offer tutorials throughout the day, letting children spend their day studying plants, animals, plant spirit medicine, primitive skills, or the ecosystem as their curiosity leads them. In addition, group activities of wilderness skill games and obstacle courses will help bring the participants into a more cohesive group that learns to rely on each other and the ecosystem around them. Individual time spent drawing, journaling, and sitting in nature will help students cultivate a sense of self amidst the life around them.