Bower Tree Preschool is closely aligned with the Waldorf based approach to in-home early childhood care taught by LifeWays North America. The LifeWays model is an intentional response to the rise of large childcare centers. It is guided by the phrase “life is the curriculum” and emphasizes the value of the home environment, the rhythms of nature and domestic life, the presence of a consistent caregiver, and a mixed age group. A LifeWays group, or “suite,” is typically composed of 8 children with one or two caregivers, often including at least one infant or toddler in addition to preschool-aged children. The LifeWays web site offers classes, trainings, blog posts, resources, and inspiration for both teachers and parents. For a detailed and accessible description of the LifeWays approach, please consider exploring the book Home Away From Home: LifeWays Care of Children and Families, which was co-written by one of my trainers and a founder of LifeWays.
Bower Tree incorporates some elements of the AMI approach to Montessori primary education. AMI’s web site offers a rich resource library including books, music, materials, and research.
Recommended reading for understanding the Waldorf approach:
Recommended reading for understanding the Montessori approach:
Other recommended books:
You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Festivals, Family and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large
Song, poem, & story resources:
Waldorf library of songs, stories, puppet plays, poems, articles, ebooks, and other resources for parents and teachers
Singing Games for Families, Schools, and Communities by Anna Rainville
Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education