Camellia offers a two-year, mixed-age, developmentally appropriate, five-day kindergarten program that focuses on developing the physical, social, mental, and spiritual foundations for a healthy, meaningful, and socially engaged lifetime.
Camellia’s kindergarten is a magical place. The play yard, daily rhythms, daily art, rich language play, healthy snacks, and inspiring classroom make school a special place.
Natural Beauty and a Sense of Rhythm
We surround the children with natural beauty, in our garden and play yard, and in our classrooms. Our school days, weeks, and school years are scheduled to create a sense of rhythm for the children. Quiet activities are followed by active ones, in a consistent daily schedule, with specific healthy foods and activities assigned to each day of the week. (Our snacks consist of whole grains, organic dairy products, kindergarten baked goods, and soups.) Further, we engage in seasonally inspired activities throughout the year, celebrating the essence of each season as we encounter it.
We offer the children much play time (generally, 2-3 hours per day), during which they meet social challenges and practice their social skills, with the teachers facilitating by bringing children together to help them listen to one another, and helping them take responsibility for their actions by caring for one another and the kindergarten environment. We gather together at our tables for meals, at which time we listen to stories from the teachers and the children, practicing listening skills and table manners, helping prepare the children to focus on formal lessons in later grades. We gather round our rugs for seasonally inspired singing and movement activities, developing social and spatial awareness and an artistic appreciation of our world.
We also gather, sitting in a circle of chairs, for story times. The teacher tells a fairytale, a multicultural tale, or a nature story, known by heart, filled with rich language. After telling a story for consecutive days, we engage the children to enact the story, and we also present stories as puppet shows. Thereby, we develop an appreciation and understanding of language, grammar, and literature, as well as offering important images and lessons.
We offer a variety of daily arts and crafts including water color painting, bees wax modeling, finger knitting, sewing, felting, wool combing and spinning, wood working, coloring, baking, and cooking. Seasonal crafts include apple drying, pumpkin carving, egg dying, candle making, lantern making, bubble blowing, soap making, silk dying.
The kindergarten teachers strive to fill themselves with a sense of appreciation for all the kindergarten activities, and all that is in the kindergarten. We strive toward carrying a quiet presence, and gently guiding the children through the rhythm of our days.