The program has been developed using the guiding principles of Waldorf education and an anthroposophical view of the young child. The teacher along with the assistant creates an environment that is full of love, warmth, and beauty. A rhythmical day includes practical and meaningful activities such as grinding corn, churning butter, milling wheat, baking bread and chopping vegetables. Each day a whole grain snack and meal are shared, providing the children not only with nourishment but also with the opportunity to learn proper table etiquette and to develop gratitude and reverence. Movement, imaginative play, transformation, and practical work promote healthy sense development. The children are engaged in their will senses as they build, garden and care for the hens. The circle is seasonal and full of opportunities for imitation, learning and fun. The indoor part of the day includes rest, story, puppet shows, coloring with beeswax crayons, painting and seasonal activities. Finger games introduce dexterity, counting, and other skills that are needed for future academic work. Social relationships and positive interactions contain much of the learning in early education and are truly essential life skills. This developmentally appropriate program encourages positive individual growth while allowing for group cohesion. The morning is mainly held outdoors in the natural beauty and the ever-changing cycle of the seasons.
Earth and Sky Farm is a family operated small biodynamic farm located just 4 miles from The Garden. We care for the earth and grow and prepare our own food. The children have the opportunity to develop relationships with the farm animals fostering love and responsibility. The Garden joins together with Earth and Sky Farm for learning and therapeutic agriculture.
Michaelann Murphy holds her BA in sociology and social work from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station. Michaelann earned her Masters Degree in Education from Sunbridge College. Her waldorf teaching certification encompasses early education through high school. With over 25 years of experience in the realm of early education she has taught at a number of Waldorf and private schools on the east coast. As a trained and experienced biodynamic farmer she brings years of experience creating and guiding programs for the healing of the earth and the therapeutic effects of agriculture and nature for children She has been the director and lead teacher of The Garden Childcare and Farmschool for five years, previously located in New Lebanon NY. She is committed to providing parenting education -combining her love of the natural world in particular the influences of the elements, her recognition of children as spiritual beings and her knowledge of child development. Michaelann is an ordained interfaith minister and offers services to adults and children promoting peace and celebrating diversity. She is actively pursuing certification as a dance leader. Michaelann, her husband and four of her six children have recently relocated to Brockport NY. She is happy to be providing nature based early education for the children in this area.
Shannon Hess holds her BS in studio art with a concentration in painting from SUNY Brockport, has completed a number of herbal apprenticeships and trainings, is a certified birth doula (DONA International), and is currently working towards becoming a certified women's herbal educator. Before coming to The Garden she spent 5 years working at Herb Haven, a community herbal gardening program for women and their children, facilitating the nature based children's program and women's herbal product making. Shannon is thrilled to be spending her days immersed in the joy of young children and nature together at The Garden.
songs, stories, coloring, finger games and other fun activities introduce skills needed for future academic work
social relationships and positive interactions are much of the learning in early education