Our Curriculum

Early Childhood

City Garden has mixed-aged preschool/kindergarten classrooms, each with children from ages 3 through 6. The Waldorf early childhood curriculum meets young children in an age appropriate way, fostering healthy growth intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

Our curriculum is free-play based. Free play is different from play-based academics in that there is no teacher-designed goal. The work of the child is to play, as she tries on every idea he or she experiences in life. Young children imitate all they see, and so at City Garden we strive to provide them with an environment worthy of their imitation and imagination. As he plays, the child develops many of the qualities we value in adulthood, like creative thinking, empathy, motivation, and problem-solving.

During the day, the children also participate in structured activities, designed to increase their awareness of community, encourage their sense of authority, and lay a strong academic foundation. One of these activities is Circle Time, a seasonally inspired rhythmic movement lesson done as a group. This is a joyful time of song and rhyme, when children refine gross and fine motor movement, foster spatial awareness, begin to recognize their place in a group, as well as develop essential language comprehension skills.

Within the daily lesson, City Garden Waldorf School teachers also give the children each day the gift of an image rich story told from memory. Often a fairy tale, these stories help children build their listening skills, memory capacity, concentration, imagination, vocabulary, cognitive capacity and sense of ethics. Some of the other teacher led activities the children participate in include caring for the classroom and the playlot, watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, knitting, weaving, and of course, opportunities for free-play both inside and outside.

Children may attend 5 days, 3 days, or 2 days per week. Children in their kindergarten year are required to attend 5 days per week in order to properly prepare them for first grade. The school day runs from 8:30am to 1:00pm every day. Children stay with the same teacher and friends throughout their experience at City Garden, from their entry to school until they graduate, cultivating those relationships.

Accept the child with reverence, educate them with love, and send them forth in freedom.

—Rudolf Steiner
founder of Waldorf education

Parent Child

Hosted at City Garden, and administrated by Urban Prairie, the parent-child class is designed to meet the needs of children ages 0 to 3, and to lovingly support their parents. Each Saturday morning, parents and children gather under the leadership of the teacher to explore the joys and challenges of parenting, learn simple crafts, and enjoy songs and stories with their children. The parent-child class mirrors the Waldorf kindergarten day, and is geared towards both parents and children. It is a wonderful, loving place for your child to take his or her initial steps towards friendship and community, and also for you to connect with other families and enrich your parenting journey. For more information and to register, visit Urban Prairie's website.

Summer Camp

After school is out for the summer, City Garden is the place for good old-fashioned fun at Summer Camp. Camp is held during the three weeks immediately after the regular academic year ends. Each day will include lots of outdoor play, themed crafts, singing, and story time. The children will play in the sand, build forts, splash in the wading pools, dig in the earth, watch the garden grow, and generally return home tired and smiling. Children ages 3 to 7 may come for one day, a week, or the entire weeks-long session. You may use the online registration form, or if you prefer, download it. While we usually have enough spaces to take everyone, spots are first-come, first-served.

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem

Apparell'd in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream...

—William Wordsworth