Thank you for your interest in Little Farm School, LLC! Little Farm School welcomes children and families of any race, religion, color, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Little Farm School offers a relationship-based, nature-based and farm-based experience to those in need of quality care for their children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old!
Little Farm School follows the LifeWays approach to childcare, which seeks to replicate the best elements of care found in a healthy family.
It recognizes that young children thrive in a home environment that offers a strong connection to their caregiver, beauty, comfort, security and a connection to nature.
LifeWays draws its inspiration from Waldorf Early Childhood Education, which views childhood as a valid and authentic time unto itself, not just a preparation for schooling. In infancy and early childhood, daily life experiences are the “curriculum.”
Our curriculum follows the flow of the seasons and is deeply influenced by what is happening in the natural world.
We strive to offer child-safe toys made from natural and renewable resources, and often make many of our own! We use safe cleaning products and take into consideration the affect they have on our children and our environment. We offer organic and local food when available and are blessed to grow many foods with the children at Little Farm School! We are also lovingly supported by Old Wells Farm in Limington, Maine and Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine.
We are largely influenced by the works of Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925). Rudolph Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, scientist, mystic and prolific writer and lecturer who created a holistic educational movement known as Waldorf Education, as well as revolutionary movements in medicine, the arts, agriculture, even beekeeping and more. He is also the father of the Anthroposophical Society.
“Steiner, an Austrian educator who opened the first Waldorf school in 1919, was one of the early proponents of educating the whole child, not just the intellect. His indications for “developmentally appropriate education” were supported by the later work of Piaget and Gisell and are being upheld by recent brain research. When parents understand how children develop and learn, they are better able to counteract society’s tendency to treat and educate children as if they were little adults. For example, because young children learn primarily through movement and imitation, early childhood education in the home or Waldorf preschool/kindergarten needs to provide a program rich imaginative play, music, rhythm and artistic activities instead of teaching early reading and math or having a child sit in front of a computer. Studies have shown that the imaginative manipulation found in play-based programs provides the best foundation for later reading and math, and it can serve as a well spring of life-long creativity.”
Waldorf in the home: Waldorf Home Schooling Archives
Domestic, Nurturing, Creative and Social Arts, collectively known as “Living Arts,” are an integral part of the Little Farm School experience. The skills children gain through practicing the Living Arts cultivate within them a sense of initiative and purpose and provide a foundation for higher learning.
We believe healthy nutrition is one of the most important components of growth and development. We are committed to use local, naturally or organically grown meats, vegetables, grains, etc., when available. We use whole foods (whole grains, raw dairy products, meat from naturally or organically fed animals). Children with special dietary needs are welcome and their family’s dietary choices and preference will be respected and accommodated. We will provide all meals and snacks unless other arrangements are made due to dietary restrictions.
Little Farm School LLC has a rhythm for each day, which may be referred to as a routine. It also follows the rhythm of nature and its seasons. Working with the seasonal themes of the year, a balance of the impulses from nature is woven through the artistic activities using stories, songs and verses to enliven and capture the children’s interest and imagination, qualities emerging from the soul. Creating a small nature table or corner in the preschool is a way to bring nature indoors and celebrate the rhythms of the seasons. It helps the child to connect with nature, which is not separate from the spiritual world. Rhythm is also woven through the year following the festivals. The rhythm of each day, the rhythm of each season and the rhythm of the festivals of the year constitute the great rhythm of nature and the cosmos in which the children play in harmony.
"Quality early childhood education programs can provide essential experiences for brain development and consequently have a direct effect on cognitive abilities. These experiences can have an enduring effect on intellectual and scholastic abilities and influence future learning capacity. Good early childhood education programs can also help children to develop social skills by providing a stimulating positive interaction with the environment, adults, and other children. Although individual children develop at their own pace, all children progress through a sequence of physical, cognitive and emotional growth and change. As children develop, they need different types of stimulation to exercise their evolving skills and to develop new ones. By the time they enter school, children who attend high quality programs out-perform children in lower quality programs on measures of learning and development. Quality early childhood education programs give children access to the opportunities that promote school readiness and ensure that the school experience will be successful."
Research has show that much of what you need to succeed in life is established before you enter kindergarten. During that time, the human brain undergoes rapid development; it’s a period when a child builds cognitive skills — the foundation for reading, math, science and academics — as well as character skills, social-emotional growth, gross-motor skills and executive functioning, which includes everything from impulse control to problem solving.
“There’s an explosion of activity in the first five years of life, more profound than any future years,” says Rhian Evans Allvin, executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “If we can capitalize on that and maximize the support and learning opportunities, then we really stand a good chance of setting young children on a trajectory of success.”
"High-quality, intensive Early Childhood Education programs have positive effects on cognitive development, school achievement and completion. Young children learn best through engaging in spontaneous and reciprocal interactions, meaningful activities and caring relationships. ECE should be carefully planned, staffed by skilled and trained people and involve small groups with favourable staff-child ratios if it is to have positive effects. Participating in stimulating, warm and responsive ECE programs supports children’s excitement and pleasure in learning and encourages ongoing engagement in learning activities."
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"Learning Through Life, Honoring Childhood"