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Willow House Preschool

5617 - 24th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417

(612) 229-8392


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf

From the Director:

Creative play is an important part of childhood and child development, and therefore it is an important part of each day at Willow House. Creative and imaginative play set the groundwork for creative thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as social skills such as negotiating and cooperation. Creative activities such as cooking, modeling with beeswax, painting and art projects may also be part of the creative play. Circle is an activity time where children join with the teachers in song, verse, and movement. Age appropriate developmental movement skills are taught through finger plays, circle games, and exercise. Our circle activities reflect the seasons and festivals of the year. Our stories are orally told fairy tales, folk tales, or nature stories presented by the teacher without the use of illustrations, allowing the children to create pictures in their heads. After the story has been told many times, the teachers may present it as a puppet show.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Not Applicable
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Not Applicable
Time & space more

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  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Walks to the lake, focus on nature
Music more

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  • Singing, kinderlyre
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Tree stumps and planks for teeter-totters, balance beams, etc.
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

What the children learn in circle is often brought into their free-play as well (for example, they may create a puppet show out of the story they've been hearing in circle).

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers at Willow House create a nurturing, cooperate environment that each child can find his/her place in.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Inspired by Waldorf and LifeWays philosophies, Willow House is dedicated to nurturing the young child as he or she takes that first step toward school. Children are open to the world around them and whatever their senses take in becomes a part of them. They are imitators of all they see and hear. At Willow House, the teachers strive to be worthy of imitation in their interactions with the children, with each other, and with the environment. If children see adults happy in their work, it gives them something to look forward to as they grow older. In addition, participation in festivals or attending optional parent gatherings are ways that parents can be nurtured along with their children. We welcome your family and wish you a lifetime of happiness and joyful learning.

A Typical Day

9:00- 9:15 a.m. - Arrival Time/Morning Greeting
9:15 -10:45 a.m. - Creative Play/Artistic Activity
10:45 -11:00 a.m. - Clean-up/Wash Hands
11:00 -11:20 a.m. - Snack Time/Brief Rest
11:20 - 11:45 a.m. - Circle Time/Story Time
11:45 -12:25 p.m. - Outdoor Play
12:25 -12:30 p.m. - Goodbye Circle/Pick-up
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch (optional)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled each November, and additional conferences may be held at the request of the parents or the teachers. During the year we have four festivals to which families are invited, as well as optional parent gatherings to discuss parenting topics and perhaps enjoy a craft project. Our bulletin board provides a way for parents and teachers to share community information, and we also occasionally e-mail articles of interest. Parents always have access to the teachers for specific questions throughout the year.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

We advise parents that the more confidence they project to their children, the more confident their children will be. We provide a calm, nurturing environment and a consistent rhythm to the day to provide reassurance. We give each child time (and space, if they need it) to adjust.