The LifeWays Practices:  

  • Adult and child activities include practical life skills such as building, gardening, cleaning, cooking, washing, repairing, and sewing, among other things.   
  • Movement/play curriculum emphasizes child-initiated activities that promote healthy musculoskeletal development, providing opportunities for unstructured, spontaneous movement in a safe environment. Traditional games and finger-plays provide opportunities for the children to imitate healthy movement, develop proprioception and increase both small and large motor skills.
  • The children go outside in all but the most inclement weather.  This helps them become more robust and strengthens their bond with the environment in which they live.  A protected area is provided for crawlers and infants.  
  • Child guidance is based on the L.O.V.E. Approach to Discipline: Listening, Laughter, Order, Objectivity, Versatility, Vulnerability, Energy and Enthusiasm.
  • Natural organic foods are provided (whenever this is possible) and the children can participate in the food preparation.
  • Foundation for lifelong literacy is fostered through storytelling and puppetry, individual lap time with a book, through poetry, verse, and music on a daily basis, through drama, and through the daily interactions of play and movement in a healthy, secure environment.
  • Emphasis is on loving human interaction with warm speech, live singing, verses, and stories rather than technology.  LifeWays Centers and Childcare Homes are television- and video-free environments except for use in administration and adult education.
  • Festivals and celebrations honoring traditional seasonal festivals, cultural backgrounds of the families, and children’s birthdays are offered.
  • When possible, ongoing relationships are established with senior adults and youth who visit on a regular basis.
  • Community friends who speak a native language other than English may be invited to play simple games or sing simple songs with the children on a routine basis.
  • In child care, “suites” consist of small groups of children who stay together with the same caregivers over a several-year period, creating a more homelike atmosphere and better teacher-child ratios.
  • Pre-School/Kindergarten programs provide a developmentally appropriate, play-based approach found in Waldorf preschools and kindergartens throughout the world.
  • Extended Day programs recognize the need for children to experience the nurture of a home-like setting with opportunities for relaxation, rest and robust play. 

Learn more about LifeWays North America here