PCWS Distance LEARNING: beyond the classroom
Due to the need for distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, PCWS has embarked on a period of distance learning.
Teaching children through their head, heart and hands is a foundational concept for Waldorf education. Our curriculum is multidisciplinary, integrating academics with arts, movement, music and many other ways of learning. Waldorf education also values human connection as a tenet for learning. As our world faces a public health crisis, we must each do our part to ensure health and safety for all, while continuing to provide our children with the support they need to learn and grow. Waldorf Education is 100 years old, but its inherent flexibility allows us to meet the needs of these challenging times. The PCWS faculty has developed a distance learning curriculum that embraces and reflects our commitment to Waldorf education and our students, supporting learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
This page contains an overview of distance learning strategies at each age level, as well as some samples of the learning resources we have created for PCWS students and families to use at home.
Preschool and Mixed-Age Kindergarten
Young children learn best through free play. Children from 3 to 6 years old should be exploring, sensing, and taking in life at an unhurried, unstructured pace. Daily life can be the curriculum. Teachers work with parents to support healthy rhythms for the day and meaningful activities that families can do together, while also leaving children time for independent free play.
Weekly Curriculum Ideas– Inspirations for the week that may include parent discussion topics and age-appropriate activities, such as movement games, songs, stories, and nature reflections. These are shared by email and/or Google Classroom.
Weekly Calls – In addition to office hours, weekly calls are made from both teachers to each family to offer support, ideas, or discuss topics from the weekly email.
Seasonal Activity Kits – Theme/seasonal activities and ideas supporting the foundational senses and fine and gross motor development appropriate of the young child.
Postcards – Teachers send personalized postcards to children on a weekly basis.
Birthdays – Teachers send, for example, handmade gifts, class birthday books, and/or birthday story videos to the birthday child.
Special Activities for Rising First Graders: Rising First Graders have extra projects in their seasonal kits that are traditional for children who are preparing for first grade.
As children enter the world of academics, they still need connection with nature, movement activities, music, and visual arts in their daily lives. Plenty of time for free play encourages growth of creativity and imagination, and chores in the home allow children to know that they are able to contribute meaningfully to their family. Our Grades teachers are working to support parents in establishing healthy rhythms for elementary-aged children while they are learning from home, as well as having direct contact with children through our Google Classroom sites for each grade. Teachers use live online class sessions, video and audio recordings, and written assignments to continue the curriculum:
Daily Main Lesson content, including math, language arts, history and science
Daily storytelling via video or audio recordings
Daily movement and music assignments
Weekly instrumental music, vocal music, Spanish and handwork lessons
Semi-weekly artistic work such as beeswax modeling and painting
Regular parent meetings online
The Three Little Pigs told by Ms. Janaki, Kindergarten Teacher
Third grader builds a shelter
Crocheting washcloths for Handwork
Fifth Grade learns about Botany
Learn about Fairy Chimneys in Turkey as a part of the Shelters curriculum
Third Grade learns The Crabfish with Ms. Knight
Spanish Lesson with Mr. Nary: Muchachito Mazapan