The Acorn School day is designed to create a balance between the individual and group creative, and between active times and restful times.
Our Daily Rhythm
The morning begins between 8:30 – 8:45am as children are welcomed by the teachers and say good-bye to their parents or caregivers at the gate.
Creative Play – For young children, play is work, through which they make the world their own. To stimulate healthy imaginative play, the child needs time, a quiet, positive atmosphere, and play materials taken from nature that allow open interpretation. Supported by the adults who are engaged in meaningful, practical tasks of life, children can experience and understand the purpose and process of these activities.
Cooking – During this time, the children participate in the preparation of the meal we will share that day. This may include the kneading of bread dough, chopping vegetables for soup, or grinding a grain to make flour for baking.
Creative Arts – For family festivals, we use many ways and mediums to create seasonal crafts. Activities such as watercolor painting, crayon drawing, finger crocheting, sewing, and even woodworking all encourage each child’s natural sense of beauty and the development of fine motor skills.
Clean-up Time – All playthings and materials are returned to their places and the table is set. This activity teaches children to be good stewards of both their things and their environment. It also begins to develop good organizational skills.
Circle Time – Songs and verses throughout the seasons are learned, sung, and explored with gesture and movement. Hearing and seeing, feeling and imagining, moving and acting are all intertwined and become a whole through the child’s participation. Older children familiar with the words and choreography from the previous year act as models, strengthening the self-confidence in older children and giving the younger ones incentive to imitate them.
Outdoor Play – We go outside rain or shine to run, climb, swing, sled, garden, construct, push wheelbarrows, pull wagons, and jump rope. This is essential free play in which the children delight.
Short Rest and Story Time – Children love stories and fairy tales. These carefully chosen tales contain wisdom and life experience, profundity and cleverness, thoughts and logic–all of which is expressed not in abstract terms, but through imagery. With countless details, entire landscapes are painted, delighting the soul. As the teacher presents a puppet play or tells the story by heart, it is the individual child who creates the pictures with his or her own imagination.
Hand Washing and Lunch – A lunch of organic whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, and cheeses are served family style. Clean up is shared by the whole group, with rotating assignments. Table manners and warm conversation are practiced.
Good-Bye Verse – This is for those children going home for the afternoon.
Siesta – After clean up, a quiet time begins until everyone is ready to lie down on a mat. The teacher tucks each child in with his or her own blanket and pillow accompanied by lullabies, lyre music, and a story.
Quiet Imaginative Play/Projects – Some children continue to sleep while others wake up gradually in the care of the assistant teacher. Those that are ready and awake engage in creative play indoors and out in the company of the teacher until pick up time at 3pm.