Spindlewood offers a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday kindergarten for children ages 3 1/2 to 6 years, as well as a Parent-Child Morning Garden on Friday mornings from 9 to 11:30. Located in the center of Lincolnville, Maine, on 50 private wooded acres, Spindlewood began in 1986 as the first home of Ashwood Waldorf School, which now has a separate campus in Rockport.
Spindlewood is a full member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. In Waldorf education, our view of the young child is based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of the developing human being. We recognize that before age seven, children learn through imitation, through their senses, and by actively exploring their environment and participating in meaningful work. The early childhood teacher strives to be a strong, nurturing presence whom the children willingly imitate. Our classrooms offer a harmonious, inviting space, where children relax in the peaceful environment that is designed to be an extension of home. The nursery and kindergarten classrooms are filled with simple toys of wood, wool, and cloth, and many items from nature, such as pine cones, stones, shells and seasonal treasures.
Our outdoor play yards include a shallow frog pond, a flowing stream, plenty of shade trees as well as ample space for running, digging, gardening, swinging and climbing. We have well-designed play structures and a quiet, shaded sand box which provide a balanced outdoor play environment.
A cornerstone of the early childhood experience is the rhythm or routine of the day, which is a consciously balanced program that weaves active, outward activities with quiet, inward activities into a beautiful fabric that brings comfort and security to the children, and greatly reduces the need for discipline. We also emphasize nourishing, organic food, and each morning the children help prepare and serve organic, whole grain snacks, such as cheesey millet, vegetable soup and fresh baked bread.
The curriculum and activities in kindergarten respect and support the sensory-motor mode of the young child. During circle time, the teacher leads the children on movement journeys to verse and song, strengthening their physical development and language acquisition; at story time, the teacher creates a magical environment that allows the children to delve into their imagination and travel on a rich, picturesque journey through the spoken word. During indoor play time, the teachers are often actively engaged in household work, such as baking, cooking, ironing and cleaning, allowing the children to enter deeply into imaginative play. When outdoors, the teachers might take on a gardening project with the children, or lead them on a nature walk through our beautiful woodlands.
Just as the children experience a gentle rhythm to each day, the school year is also balanced with a rhythm that honors the changing seasons and the festivals and cultural celebrations of the year.
Spindlewood’s kinder cottage is located on a little traveled road. You’ll find it just past the frog pond, behind John and Matthew Silverio’s architectural studio. Also on the property are Susan and John’s family home, flower and vegetable gardens, and a barn that is currently home to two wooly sheep, three hens, and two barn cats. It is an extraordinarily peaceful and natural setting that invites children to explore and interact with the natural world and with each other at their own developmental pace.
Spindlewood invites and welcomes children and families of any race, religion, and national or ethnic origin.
Susan Silverio 105 Proctor Road, Lincolnville, ME 04849- 207-763-4652
Member of the Independent Schools Association