Welcome to the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor’s Parent-Child Program! We have worked hard to create a program that enables families to enjoy some time together and get great support while sharing a joyful experience with their children.
Let’s go over some of the details of the Parent-Child Program so that you will be familiar with what to expect when our group meets…
Please park in any available space. We start our program outside, but if it is your first class feel free to enter through our main entrance and our office staff will be happy to help direct you to your class. If you are running late, please do not rush or worry! We start outside so that people don’t have to stress about their arrival; our little ones sometimes can make arriving on time a little more challenging!
Please bring a pair of comfortable slippers or shoes to wear in class for both you and your child or bring socks that have grips. Our room is a safe, comfortable place where the children can tumble around on the carpet during free play. We hope to keep the carpet as clean as possible and slippers/socks help immensely! Right outside the classroom there are hooks to hang your belongings and a place for you to keep your outdoor shoes (with their outdoor dirt ).
In order to focus on the children and each other better, please silence cell phones during class. Thanks! Also, if you want to take photos, please be very discreet. (and please email us a copy later!)
Our class runs from 9 until 11 and starts outside, as long as the temperatures are safe and not too cold. On Thursday we meet in the back garden behind the left side of the building, and on Friday on the front playground. As long as the weather is nice, we will head inside for our circle at 9:30 when it is cold and 9:40 in the warmer months. The children are not expected to participate in circle, but most do when they see the other children and adults doing so. It is sometimes too hard for some to not play, and that is okay!
After circle we have our snack. As with play, children are not expected to be at the table but most follow along and look forward to a warm bowl of food. We have tubs of water to wash our dishes afterwards, and the children often spend lots of time washing and playing with the bubbles!
During free play children are allowed to play with anything they find in the classroom. Playtime is a great, safe place for children to play and to learn from one another and build on their social skills. I will try to help navigate any conflict may arise, but don’t feel bad if your child may try to take a toy or doesn’t want to share- it is part of childhood!
We will end the class with tidying up the room and then a puppet play at the rug. At 11:00 we say our goodbyes when our story is over. After class parents often enjoy taking their children outside to play. We welcome you to play in the Kindergarten space behind the school where the small children can be together away from our playground where the older children are actively playing. We also have a wooded area on the other side of our school that is nice for the young children to explore in if it is available.
We will occasionally provide articles on various topics of interest. These are for you to explore as you wish and are not required reading. Take whatever information is helpful to you and leave the rest. Parenting is a complex journey and there is not one “right way” to do things, aside from the basics. If there are specific topics that you would like more information on, please let us know and we will try to find it for you. Depending on how the children are able to play and interact, there are usually opportunities for us to have a discussion on topics of interest and to check in and support each other.
In our experience, very young children delight in and are nurtured by familiarity. Knowing what to expect and what comes next gives children a healthy sense of security. For this reason, we repeat the same songs, rhymes and finger plays for the entire session. It may induce boredom after a while in us as adults, but children under age five never seem to tire of hearing the same songs and rhymes over and over again. As they begin to learn songs by heart and sing along, they gain confidence in their abilities. Please bear with this quality of the class for their sake!
The Parent-Child families are a vital part of our school community and are invited to participate in our school’s community life such as festivals and celebrations. Some events may be too late or too long for the young children in our program to appreciate, but there are many age appropriate events for you to enjoy. Families need not be currently enrolled to participate. Feel free to ask me for more details. Each season has its own specialness and we will do our best to keep you aware of what events are on the horizon that may be a fit for you and your young child to experience. The school calendar can be found on the home page of our website.
Also, please make sure to double-check (or put right into your calendar) all of the dates of the session’s classes. In some sessions we will not meet every week due to the school calendar or holidays. We would hate to miss you or have you come to school if we are not gathering!
Also, many families that participate in the Parent-Child Program end up applying for our Early Childhood Program. We have three, four and five day options as well as half and full days. If at any time you feel it may be a fit for your family, please promptly ask about our admissions deadlines. Our classes sometimes fill up early and we hope you will have the opportunity to apply and explore the possibility of having your child in our Early Childhood Center.
Thank you so much for your interest in the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me for help. We all love this work and deeply appreciate the young families who come to the Parent-Child class. We look forward to meeting you and your children!
Early Childhood Teacher