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Enchanted Garden Waldorf

10002 17th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98125

(206) 526-1373


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf

From the Director:

The Waldorf approach to learning in early childhood is through play and through imitation of the adults in their environment. Thus I focus on providing a loving and creative role model for the children. They see me comforting children, preparing food and sweeping the floor and they want to comfort their dolls, prepare play-food, and sweep the floor too. There is no overt academic instruction in my preschool, though of course they are learning important lessons about social interactions, the world of nature around them and the cycle of the seasons, and developing their language and music skills through conversation and singing. We sing a LOT. I tell the children stories which I have memorised rather than read to them from books because I find it to be a much more living experience for both of us.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
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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  • Not Applicable
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • We have a nature table which changes with the seasons. We also do seasonal projects like plants grass and bulbs, and watch them grow.
Music more

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  • We approach music through singing, of which we do a lot during the course of our day - singing at each circle time, before each meal, and to mark the change from one activity to another.
Visual arts more

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  • We do simple crafts using primarily materials from the world of nature.
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • 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
  • Inside I have a beautiful little wooden slide and climbing structure, which are enormously popular.
Other subjects taught I work on the childrens' social skills by encouraging them to take turns, tell other children "No" when appropriate, use their words to ask for a turn with a particular toy rather than grabbing, and so on. I also work on rudimentary table manners at snack time, encouraging the children to sit in their seats until they are finished eating, and ask permission to leave the table. All of this I do with humor and cheerfulness rather than in a didactic manner.

From the Director:

(see comments at the top of this page)

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Because the children I take are so young - generally 2 years old, some even younger, a few older - most differences I see are at the level of verbal and social skills. I treat every child differently according to their needs and preferences. Children who are more shy and anxious socially need a lot more encouragement and tenderness than an exuberant and rambunctious child who may need more reminding of boundaries and turn-taking. Children who are preciously verbal can engage in quite a different level of conversation (obviously!) than can a child with no English or language delays. I adapt the songs and verses at circle time to the abilities in my group. Because my group never exceeds 8 children, I am able to give every child individual attention and I get to know them very well indeed.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Enchanted Garden Preschool is a home-based preschool specializing in the care of 2-3 year olds. My goal is to create a warm, loving, peaceful and beautiful environment where the children feel comfortable and loved.

Our home is sunny and open, and our large playroom is flooded with morning light. Wooden toys, cloth dolls and silk play cloths are laid out on low shelves, and our little play-house is well-equipped with a wooden cook-stove, cradle, rocking chair and ironing board. A little slide next to a heap of cushions invites jumping and rolling, and a wooden climbing frame can double as a fort or a house, depending on the childs imagination.

The daily rhythm of the preschool includes our work for the day - one morning we bake bread, and one morning we have a seasonal activity - indoor free play, circle time, lots of outdoor playtime, a snack, and finally lunch. At mealtimes we gather round a low table, turn off the lights, light a candle, and sing a song of thanks for the good things we have to eat. Our yard is large, beautiful and quiet, fully fenced and surrounded by trees, with lots of room to run around and play on the swings, slides, teeter-totter, swinging bench, or dig in the large sandbox. We are situated on a quiet dead-end road in Maple Leaf.

(excerpted from school website)

A Typical Day

9:15 am: Children arrive, greetings, parents socialize, greet-the-day circle.

9:30 am: Morning activity e.g. baking, crafts.

10:00 am: Snack, while I tell them a story from memory.

10:15 am: Free play indoors.

10:50 am: Circle time - seasonal songs and verses.

11:00 am: Outdoor playtime in our yard - front (paved) area for trikes and wagons, back (grass and woodchips) area for slides, swings etc.

11:45 am: Go inside to tidy up the toys and wash hands.

12:00 am: Lunch, while I tell them a story from memory.

12:15 am: Parents arrive to collect children.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

I chat with parents at the end of every school day about how their child is doing, but if there is a problem I want to talk to them about, then I telephone them after school so that the child is not party to the conversation. I am also happy to communicate via e-mail.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

The first week of preschool I split the class into two groups of 4 children; 4 children come one day, and 4 the next. The following week we resume a normal schedule with 8 chldren on both days. The slow start allows me to spend extra time with the children who need it. Parents are welcome to stay as long as they wish in order to help their child settle in. If a particular child is having a problem adjusting, I will visit that child at home and talk with the parents about different strategies we can try.