Learning from a distance... but with a difference!
Whatcom Hills Waldorf School’s focus is on experiential learning — an active approach to academics using different senses and subjects like arts, music, movement and ‘hands on’ pursuits to enliven and encourage retention of information.The Waldorf classroom experience is designed to build strong relationships, enhance social and emotional learning, and create community bonds through seasonal events, festivals, assemblies, plays and more.
Since in-person learning is currently not an option at this time, our teachers and faculty are forging new pathways to engage and reach students and parents through our distance learning program. Early Childhood teachers are sharing a wealth of school-to-home activities, stories and songs to meet the needs of the young child. Our grades teachers are working in partnership with parents to help deliver the curriculum with imagination, inspiration, and intuition, while encouraging the older students to take more ownership of their learning, with growing maturity. Early Childhood through Grade Eight programming continues to develop a comprehensive, intentional approach to connect with students and their parents, balance the need for technology, while minimizing screen time.
In this unprecedented time, one thing remains true: parents want their children in a warm and nurturing environment where their child is truly known.
Distance Learning Outline
Early Childhood - Nursery, Preschool and Kindergarten
Waldorf early childhood is based strongly on rhythm, imitation, and the environment. When home is a student’s environment, it is important to create a rhythm for the little ones, even if that is just a small portion of your day. Children thrive on rhythm, so if a walk or activity can be done at the same time each day, it is helpful. Each of our Early Childhood teachers offers a rhythm suggestion, and a rich assortment of recipes, activities, crafts, inspiring articles and podcasts. Stories, songs and fingerplays are also offered in written and audio forms on Google Classroom. Families are encouraged to use what is most helpful and supportive each day.
Grades 1 - 4
In grades 1 - 4, children are in a transition period towards independent learning and will most likely need your support for their productivity in a graduated way: more in first grade and less in fourth. Main Lesson material each day will include a written story or presentation of new material. Some portions may be in an audio or short video format. This will depend upon the material and the best way to deliver it. You will see daily language arts, math and reading practice activities. Artistic and movement activities such as bean bags, clapping games, drawing, speech, poems, singing, and flute will also be included weekly.
Grades 5 - 8
In grades 5 - 8, students are much more accountable for their own work. Their ability to read and follow directions is more developed, but parents may still need to support them with assignments. Generally, this is graduated and you can assume that a fifth grader will need a bit more support than a seventh grader. In these grades, the teachers may employ Zoom "whole class" meetings during the week. There may be additional meetings in smaller groups, if the teacher feels it to be necessary. Students can expect to have daily Main Lesson assignments, and regular math, and reading assignments. Supportive artistic activities will also be offered.
As the eighth graders prepare for high school, the teacher may add additional assignments, Zoom classes and small group meetings for academic support. Events specific to Eighth Grade such as student projects and graduation may need to take a different form, but the school will endeavor to make them as rich and meaningful as possible.
These subjects are integral to Waldorf education, and deeply enrich the curriculum on a daily basis while the students are in school. The teachers will offer weekly assignments for each subject.
Teachers will make themselves available to speak to parents or students during pre-arranged “office hours” via email, video or phone calls.
*Please note that this is subject to occasional updates.