A gentle bridge between home and school...
Many well-respected early childhood professionals defend old-fashioned imaginative play and are speaking out against rigidly-structured academic programs for the very young. I recommend the following reading for families wishing to know more about the importance of play-based programs for children:
The Genius of Play: Celebrating the Spirit of Childhood, by Sally Jenkinson
Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less, by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PH.D. & Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PH.D.
A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play, by Vivian Gussin Paley
Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society, by William Crain
Tumbling Over the Edge: A Rant for Children's Play, by Bev Bos & Jenny Chapman
* * * * *
My program is not affiliated with nor inspired by Waldorf education, but I cherish and protect childhood just as much. Waldorf schools respect the whole child: "Head, Heart & Hands" while providing toys of wood & silk, and natural objects such as branches & seashells. The focus is on fantasy play, folk & fairy tales, baking, watercolors & beeswax sculpting, and nature appreciation.
Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education, by Lynne Oldfield
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven, by Barbara J. Patterson & Pamela Bradley