About Seeds of Joy Village
Following the philosophies of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education is founded in a profound understanding of the various stages of human development. It is because of this deep understanding and the artistic approach to teaching that the Waldorf curriculum is a healing approach to learning.
Play is seen as serious work because it is through play that children discover, explore, learn to think creatively, solve problems and develop social skills. These skills build the foundation for successful learning in later grades. To allow children to be immersed in imaginative play under the guidance of a qualified Waldorf teacher is one of the most precious gifts you can give your child in these early years.
Through play, imagination, storytelling, artistic and physical engagement, we seek to foster a sense of wonder, independence and reverence in each child.
SOJV has always been immersed in nature, with the majority of the day taking place out in the woods long before COVID-compliance was a concern. Today, we operate fully outdoors. Physical development is strengthened by learning to climb, run and balance in nature.
Children at Seeds of Joy Village grow up in a respectful and positive environment with a loving teacher and role models worthy of imitation. They learn to trust that the world is a good, exciting and wonderful place to live in.
Holding Imagination Sacred
“Imagination is more important than knowledge – for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.” - Albert Einstein
COVID Compliance & Safety
As a small group, nature immersive school, we are lucky to have been positioned better than most to face our challenging new directives. We are working to meet all safety regulations by:
Limiting enrollment to 6 children per pod
Allowing for a 100% outdoor rhythm
Updating our school handbook with new safety recommendations
Eliminating shared toys and supplies where possible
Reducing contact and encouraging social distancing to the extent feasible with our children
Utilizing parent support outside of the classroom rather than in the learning environment
Offering 5-day programs to greatly reduce potential contact outside the pod
This is only a small sampling of the overall changes in place to respond to our world's unique challenges. Waldorf education has survived a century and adapted all along. We feel uniquely prepared to meet the demands of schooling in a pandemic.
For children ages 18 months - 3 years along with their caregivers.
Program is currently suspended due to COVID-19.
Rhythms are one of the most important parts of a Waldorf inspired curriculum. Because the early years are a time of exploration and rapid learning, they are also a time of great uncertainty for the young child. Children long to feel secure in the world.
Rhythms help children anticipate what comes next, such as the time of day, the days of the week, or the seasons, and therefore help children feel more confident and secure in their environment. Rhythm allows children to relax and focus on the task at hand. This table shows an example of Seeds of Joy Village's daily and weekly rhythm.
*This rhythm was created prior to adjustments due to COVID-19. Our school will create a new rhythm in our new environment.
Early Childhood Program
While the activities and curriculum content may change throughout the year based on the teacher's observations of the children and their needs, the basic components of the daily rhythm remain the same.
Emotional development occurs as children express their joy, fear, anger or happiness and experience the responses from their peers.
Social development takes place with sharing, taking turns, responding to rules at school in differentiation to family rules, and doing what is proper for their role in their play. Children make friends through dramatic play, learning to give and take in a social group.
Physical development is enhanced as the children shift and move about the heavy objects during their play.
Creative development is fostered as children evolve. They plan and work out solutions to the action that is taking place. Each episode is new and interesting to children.
Teachers can facilitate play through indirect guidance. That is through the stories, planning and organizing the materials and equipment, and through their direct physical or verbal guidance.
Aspects of the early childhood programming include:
Mixed age learning. Older students take pride in a mentorship role and younger students learn from their bigger / more mature peers.
Parent participation. Parents have previously assisted in all aspects of the classroom, from grocery shopping to cleaning. Due to changing regulations, parents will now be encouraged to participate outside of the classroom by taking on leadership roles in various aspects of the school's function.
Volunteer-run schooling. The entire board of our school volunteers its time. We are happy to be a true "village" of caretakers working to meet the needs of our children.
Diversity and inclusion. We celebrate the natural world and all of its diversity, including the diversity of its people. Festivals honor international cultures, many languages are welcome in the classroom, and we make a sincere effort to be an inclusive, diverse space for our children to learn.
Seeds of Joy Village's Afternoon Enrichment Program offers children a way to get out and explore in the "afterschool" hours. This is a great choice for kids currently in virtual / distance learning programs who need physical movement and connection with nature at the end of the day.
Each afternoon will consist of emotional, social, physical and creative development under the supervision of our lead teacher.
Parent/ Toddler classes are designed for very young children and their caregivers to experience and get familiar with the daily rhythm of a Waldorf early childhood classroom. Parents are kept busy with small handwork projects while their children learn to play and interact with other children on their own in the comfort of the presence of their parents and the teacher.
Upon arrival and sign-in, parents and children gather for free time. Parents have an opportunity to meet other parents. After a hike and story time, circle time gives us a chance to learn simple verses, songs and movements. During snack ritual, children learn to sit still and follow instructions. A candle is lit and we all say a blessing together. Afterwards the children help to clean up. Snack is followed by free play, cleanup, possibly a puppet show and our good-bye ceremony.
We highly recommend that all children first attend the parent/ toddler classes before they move on to our early childhood program. In fact, these classes are a preparation for an early childhood experience with SOJV. The children and the parents get to know the teacher, which will lessens possible separation anxiety later on.
Classes run for 7 weeks, meeting once weekly for 2 hours.
Our Parent/Toddler program is currently suspended due to COVID-19. Please get on our list to be notified immediately upon its reinstatement.
Parent / Toddler Enrollment
Hours: Mornings, 9-11am
Registration: Currently suspended
Parent / Toddler
What People Say
Since starting SOJV we have noticed Ivy has come out of her shell. She has a better appreciation of story telling, and has become a better story teller herself. She has a new fondness of friendship and she has learned great table manners. She has expanded her creative thinking powers and has become filled with love!
You've created a magical bubble of warmth in the classroom. It pleases me to see the joy in new parents' eyes as they realize what a marvelous treasure they have found for their children and how blessed they feel to leave them with you. I'm grateful for the love you've shown both my children in the two years I've known you. Other teachers had seen what was difficult in Andrew, you saw what was beautiful. Thank you.
Since coming to SOJV, Ellie has changed dramatically in important ways. She is learning better self control, is less volatile, and her verbal skills have improved. I appreciate how dedicated you are to making sure the children are learning valuable skills they'll need for school and life. I wish Ellie could stay in SOJV forever. Because of you, Ellie will have so many magical memories of her time at SOJV.