Ahh, the wonderful smell walking into Waldorf: the bread is baking, the soup is simmering, the muffins rising, the popcorn popping….

Food and nourishment are vital themes in a Waldorf early childhood education. So much so that our Children’s Garden students come to know the days of the school week not by their abstract grown-up-world names (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) but by the snack of the day: Millet day, Soup day, Muffin day, Bread day, or Oatmeal day. Each teacher has their own combination of special dishes which is repeated week after week, for the entire school year. This gives children a sense of security, a deep knowing in “what comes next” which enables them to find their place within the day and week.

Beyond that important sense of place, it is opportunity to be nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually: the class works together to prepare the meal; feels pride that comes with doing real work; sets the table with care; shares thanks for the food and company;  practices the art of pleasant conversation; participates in the washing up afterward.

In today’s fast-paced world, where family supper is increasingly threatened by late work schedules and extracurriculars, children may otherwise only see a meal-time ritual this rich on holidays and special occasions. Happily, in Waldorf early childhood, each and every day is cause for celebration and worthy of such ceremony.

Looking for an education as unique as your child? Head to www.waldorfschoolofbaltimore.org for more information on their inspiring programs for preschool-grade eight.

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