Kindergarten children at Coastal Waters turn 5 years old by September 30th of the school year.
Joy and play are at the heart of our unique approach to education, fostering healthy physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development. Our days are infused with rhythm, repetition, and reverence. The young child’s primary means of learning during these early years is through imitation. Knowing this, we strive to provide the children with an aesthetically beautiful setting within which all adults are engaged in meaningful activity or purposeful work.
We create a protected childhood space where imagination blossoms. Here, in the warmth of a loving atmosphere, each child’s individuality is respected. In this ideal environment, filled with natural materials, children’s intrinsic capacities for development unfold through imaginative play, enlivened teacher-led instruction, and healthy, inclusive social experiences within the class. Each child is nurtured, allowing for growth at his or her own pace. This results in a strong, balanced, and healthy human being.
Mother Nature is one of our most valued teachers. The children experience a wonderful variety of New England weather – rain, snow, ice, wind, and sun. In the Autumn, we plant bulbs, rake leaves, and greet woolly bear caterpillars preparing for their winter sleep; in the winter, we build snowmen, feed winter birds, and sled; in Spring we welcome the return of flowers, leaves, beloved insects, and spring birds. This rhythmic exposure to the natural world around us is the basic element of scientific observation and this implicit knowledge will provide a foundation for all future scientific pursuits.
The rich language content of our program, combined with the repetitive element of these experiences, helps to develop generous listening, sequential recognition, and the capacity to focus one’s attention. This builds a foundation for strong literacy skills. In Kindergarten, activities such as finger plays, sorting of play objects, folding laundry into specific shapes, setting the table, and counting the chairs for snack time all provide foundational math skills. During circle time, math skills are brought through movement, story, and games. Play is used as a bridge to learning.
At Coastal Waters, woodworking, sewing, finger-knitting, artistic endeavors, cleaning and caring for the classroom and its contents are ongoing activities during morning work time.Our weekly rhythm also includes: cooking, beeswax crayon drawing, watercolor painting, beeswax sculpting, and plenty of time outdoors. It also includes daily opportunities for healthy movement – bouncing, running, skipping, jumping rope, climbing, crawling, as well as finding stillness, quiet, balance and centering in one’s body. These activities build important neural pathways necessary for future cognitive development.