The loving teachers at Greenwood encourage and protect the sense of wonder and gratitude that comes natural to a child. The repeating daily rhythm and repeating annual rhythm flow smoothly and predictably so the children feel secure and relaxed within.
Welcome Circle. Our outdoor time to gather and greet the day with seasonal songs, verses and announcements. The same morning circle, relating to the season and approaching festival is repeated for several weeks. This daily repetition enables the children to learn poems, songs and action play through imitation. This stimulates memory, sequencing, vocabulary and clear speech. Gestures, movement and finger plays are also incorporated into our songs and verses.
Seasonal Festivals. The Earth’s movement around the sun provides the rhythm for our year-around curriculum. We celebrate 8 festivals each year that mark the earth’s cyclical movement around the sun.
|Festival Name||Associated Holiday or Alternate Name||Earth Event||Date|
|Samhain||Halloween||15° Scorpio||Oct 31|
|Yule||Christmas||Winter Solstice||-Dec 21|
|Bridgid||Imbolc, Candlemas||15° Aquarius||Feb. 2|
|Eostara||Lady Day, Easter||Spring Equinox||-Mar 21|
|Beltane||May Day||15° Taurus||May 1|
|Midsummer||Litha||Summer Solstice||-Jun 21|
|Lammas||Lughnasadh, First Harvest||15° Leo||Aug 1|
|Mabon||Thanksgiving, Second Harvest||Autumn Equinox||-Sept 21|
Art, Handwork, and Sculpting
The Greenwood art program is tailored to challenge the abilities of each child so they may accomplish greater dexterity, hand-eye coordination, creativity and problem solving.
Gardening and Nature
Over the years with many helping hands, we have replaced all the invasive plant species with native and adapted varieties. We have selected plants that benefit wildlife and reduce our dependency on watering. Children at Greenwood are privileged to witness many natural occurrences that build reverence and respect for nature. Our gardens are tended each day by teachers and children. From seed to leaf, to flower, to fruit, the children experience the process of growing, harvesting and enjoying fresh food.
Our yoga instructor selects poses for the children that create a sense of union in body, mind and spirit. Exercise is only one benefit of yoga. The teacher allows a little time in each class for focused breathing and meditation. The skills our children learn in yoga class help them reduce impulsiveness, increase concentration, rest easier and recover from stress. With regular yoga, our children can maintain a clear mind and a strong body.
The Somos Amigos program weaves music, movement and stories into a fun-filled Spanish class enjoyed by all the children in our school. Longitudinal studies by Harvard University confirm that learning additional languages increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children. Somos Amigos is a special time for our children. They remember what they learn because they are enjoying the experience.
Music and Rhythm
Ms. Sage, our music teacher and cofounder of the school, brings decades of experience teaching music every week. Sage uses a blend of music education models to adapt to the needs of our mixed age group. Children play instruments, dance and sing with enthusiasm for this important art. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas.
Greenwood teachers offer children daily opportunities to enjoy literature. Whether we are reading or telling the tale, children gain vocabulary, understanding of speech inflections and auditory processing skills. During story garden, children learn about characterization, story structure, compassion, cultural diversity, responsibility and much more. When a story is told without the use of a book, a child will engage his or her memory to track the events and characters of the story using imagination to visualize the details. Greenwood teachers often build on the memory and imagination by having the children creatively play out the story. Success in creative drama requires cooperation, listening, enthusiasm and communication. Well-managed discussions about a story can help children prepare for unfamiliar situations.
Greenwood children enjoy hours of imaginative play each week with options to play outside or inside. Our school day always starts outdoors. Wrapped up in squall jackets and snow boots, or covered in UV protective hats and shirts, our children experience the elements and the change of the seasons up close. Our playground provides children with opportunities to ride tricycles, push trucks, fill buckets, stack wood, kick balls, dig holes, run with friends and socialize. Children are encouraged to be experimental, playful and explorative. We discourage competition and arguing, keeping the play lighthearted and fun. We teach children new ways to communicate and resolve conflicts peacefully. Indoors, children are free to select from a variety of materials that they can put together to fashion a kitchen, a lion’s den, a fire station or a castle. There’s no limit to what they can imagine. We aim to provide at least 45 minutes of uninterrupted play so that the children have time to unfold their imagination and play deeply in their creation.
Creative Movement and Tumbling
Our knowledgeable teachers use movement to help each child process and integrate visual, auditory, vestibular, and proprioceptive cues. Children benefit from taking turns, watching demonstrations, listening to instructions, performing movements in sequence and supporting others. Gross motor skills and balance are only part of what our movement program offers.