As Playgarden parents, you probably get this question quite often. Grandparents and relatives, as well as friends and neighbors, who are caught up in the academic whirlwind for preschoolers, might express their concern about play based education. If this is your experience, then you are going to love this article, by Lisa Gromicko (Lisa and I graduated from LifeWays training together). She is a long time Waldorf Kindergarten and Early Childhood teacher. As Lisa explains, “Steiner-based, early childhood settings abound with rich opportunities for the development of math and science concepts."
This may be surprising to some who can easily see the beauty, language, and coziness of the Waldorf (The Playgarden) Kindergarten, but not necessarily the mathematical or scientific side. A primary focus of Waldorf inspired early childhood education is on the care and development of the physical body of the child, and that of the child’s environment. Considering the ‘physical’ basis of the early years, it then becomes possible to glimpse at the natural mathematical relationships. In reality, all activities of Steiner-based early childhood education are math and science based, including activities of language acquisition and pre-literacy, such as listening and word recognition, patterning, and story sequencing.”