Jardin des enfants ERSM

Pre-K / kindergarten (4 and 5 year olds)

This program is a mixed group for pre-K and kindergarten (ages 4 and 5). The Morning Program is taught in French, and includes a variety of crafting activities that alternate with periods of free play. This allows children not only to develop their tactile, intellectual, creative and coordination skills, but also the social skills they will later need in school.

Early Childhood - A Time for Imitation and Play

A visit to the Jardin des enfants often creates an immediate and intuitive link between the daycare and parents - “How I wish I had attended such a place!” The room is warm, colourful, neat and reflective of Nature's beauty and variety. It is a place where children are free to explore their imaginations, while also feeling reassured and protected.

Playing is the core of the work accomplished here. Indoors or out, simple objects such as pieces of wood, shells, stones, silks, or beeswax allow children to invent their own games and original stories. They have the time to develop their creative thinking, their ability to solve problems and their social skills.

However, this free play is also balanced with directed activities - the teacher introduces a daily and weekly rhythm of bread-making, drawing, painting with watercolour, sculpting, handwork and eurythmy (an art of movement). Each day the children gather in a circle to celebrate, sing and dance the season. Song and nursery rhymes awaken in them a sense of the beauty of language and the rhythm of music. Storytelling cultivates the imagination and strengthens the ability to listen and concentrate. Preparing snacks together and tidying the room after play encourage co-operation and a sense of responsibility. Natural social tendencies are thus strengthened to prepare for academic learning such as math and reading.

Furthermore, these daily activities, punctuated by seasonal celebrations, provide children with a wealth of meaningful adult behaviour to imitate. By nurturing the inherent imitative nature of children, the teacher helps them to develop self-confidence on how to be in the world. 

Imagination

Imagination and fantasy are fundamental to child develoment. Albert Einstein said, "When I observe myself and observe my thinking pattern, it seems very clear to me that I care much more about my imagination than my ability to think abstractly."

Joseph Chilton Pearce, in The Magical Child, recounts the story of a child who was bombarded with scientific information from a very early age. At the age of 5, he was precocious and could express himself in with precision and eloquence. However, by age 7, he had a nervous breakdown. Pearce’s remedy was to [s]aturate him with the surreal and unlikely, read him fairy tales and fantasy stories.” Within a few months of this imaginative regimen, the child was able to recover both his health and joie de vivre.

In the Jardin des enfants, there are few objects and lots of imagination. There is variety and nothing is ever completed. Simple objects are transformed - stones become babies, cars, eggs, seeds, animals. Children develop the power of imaginative transformation. They reflect the world they live in and plant the seeds of understanding their place in it.  


kindergarten

Kindergarten-age children are part of the multi-age 4 and 5 year old group. The Waldorf approach believes that the best preparation for the academic work of elementary school is to let children engage in free-play that is creative, independent and constructive. A child's capacity to play is linked with the development of his individuality, and the latter is necessary for abstract learning.  The years spent in Jardin des enfants awaken a child's senses, develop her manual dexterity and teach her that each person has both their place in a group and a contribution to make. When he is ready, the child will cross the threshold to grade 1 with confidence and an anticipation for the pleasures of learning.

5 morning per week
Time: 8:00am to 12:00pm
Days: Monday to Friday

Our Afternoon Program is avaliable from 12:00pm to 3:15pm.

The Extended Day Program is available from 3:15pm to 5:30pm.

 

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When I switched Alexa from grade 3 in public school, where our nightly routine included angry, non-understood homework sessions of 1-2 hours, I was reassured to see the positive change in her. Within a few months, she was singing, reciting poems and loving her school experience. When asked why, she smiled and said, "Mommy, I guess this school opened my heart."

Mother of Alexa / Parent

Mother of Alexa

At ERSM, my child learns to be self sufficient: building a house to "protect herself", knitting to "clothe herself", making bread or apple sauce to "feed herself". These activities do not simply give her the impression of being self-reliant; by doing this with the other children, she learns the value of her own contribution within a group. She builds a place for herself within her own community.

Mother of Lili / Parent

Mother of Lili