New Amsterdam School offers classes inspired by the Waldorf approach to education. Our early childhood programs consist of Seedlings Parent & Child and Maple Two’s classes in addition to our Mixed-Aged Kindergartens. Each class is tailored to meet the nuanced development of the growing child. Robin’s Nest Aftercare is available to children ages 2.9 – 6 who are enrolled in our early childhood classes, providing families the opportunity of extended care.
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Upon entering our Waldorf inspired pre-school classroom for the first time, many parents are struck by the peace and beauty of this child-centered environment and experience it as a peaceful sanctuary in the busy city. In this home-like setting, the rhythm of the day is balanced between lively and quiet activities that reflect the child’s need for active play, meaningful social interaction and attentive focus.
Activities in our early childhood programs include free play, songs, movement games, bread making, snack preparation and clean-up, seasonal crafts, storytelling, and puppetry. These activities slowly transform children’s sensory experiences into knowledge of themselves and the world around them. Healthy cognitive development is bolstered by the growing knowledge of one’s self, and ample opportunities to explore freely.
By participating in the practical work of the classroom, children develop fine and gross motor skills, social skills, concentration, and other skills necessary for later educational success. Further, these activities nurture each child’s innate capacity for wonder, reverence and awe, seeds planted now that will spring forth later as a lifelong love of learning, creative thinking, and a sympathetic interest in the world and the lives of others.
In the grade school, New Amsterdam students follow a curriculum that integrates the sciences and humanities with art and practical activity. We teach the core subjects in a system of main lesson blocks in which we discover and delight in one topic for a two-hour period over the course of four weeks. This generous rhythm allows the students from grade one to grade eight the time and opportunity to penetrate each subject, whether history or biology, mathematics or geography, thoroughly and with purpose.
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