Kindy & Bridge
updated April 13, 2024

I would define Preschool as roughly age 2-5, whereas Kindergarten I see as more age 5-6.

Bridge is for 6 year olds preparing to enter First Grade. Signs of First Grade Readiness (PDF)

As there are so many years in Early Childhood, and there is so much important information to share about this time period (not to mention that this is my fourth child), the webpages are getting very full.

I decided to move Kindy over to the Bridge page, and will begin to make notes about what I did with my son when he was older but still in Early Childhood. There's lots of useful information for this time period on the age 3-4 page and on the Online Curriculum Project: Early Childhood page so check them out.

Notes from beginning Kindergarten with Zac when he turned 5, in May 2020

Bridge curriculum (PDF):
A homeschool program for 6 year olds preparing to enter First Grade.

Link is to the document which I wrote in 2005. This short curriculum fills the gap between kindergarten and first grade and introduces your child to new challenges, while still delaying academic content. Lists of many specific signs of first grade readiness are also included to help you assess your child.

First Grade Readiness - Resources, Insights and Tools for Waldorf Educators ed. by Nancy Blanning
available as a free download from the Online Waldorf Library website!

Here is a fantastic MUST-READ article about all of the brain strengthening that needs to happen for a child to learn to read successfully and in a healthy way:

Two Ways to Do Finger Knitting old blog post
(includes one more sign of first grade readiness)

It is said that there is nothing that ISN'T Waldorf, it's just a question of WHEN. The Reggio Emiliaphilosophy is too academic for Waldorf early childhood, but this is a great time to explore it!

Beautiful Stuff!: Learning with Found Materials
by Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini

~ ~ see the rest of my Reggio booklist here ~ ~

Another educational philosophy which works really well for a Bridge year is Charlotte Mason. I highly recommend using Exploring Nature with Children ($18) either standing alone as a Bridge year curriculum or as your 1st/2nd grade Nature Study. It goes along with Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. It can be used for multiple years and with multiple ages.

Handbook of Nature Study

by Anna Botsford Comstock

Notes from beginning Bridge with Zac nine months later, in February 2021

I decided (Feb 2021) to start using Exploring Nature with Children for Bridge and my notes as we went through this curriculum are all organized here in great detail.

Nature Study - February Notes

    A Field Trip

Nature Study - March Notes

    Nesting Birds
    Spring Pond Study
    Vernal Equinox
    Garden Snails

    extra week idea: Natural Dyes

Nature Study - April Notes

    Spring Tree Study
    Plant Life Cycle

Nature Study - Current Month - May Notes

    Black Garden Ants

    extra week idea: Biographies

For this age and stage I would also suggest the following resources, if you don't already own them:

Movement for the Young Child:
A Handbook for Eurythmists and Kindergarten Teachers

by Estelle Bryer
now available as a FREE eBook at the Online Waldorf Library -- download it here

Games Children Play:
How Games and Sport Help Children Develop

by Kim John Payne

The Waldorf Book of Animal Poetry
edited by David Kennedy

Festivals Together:
A Guide to Multi-Cultural Celebration

by Sue Fitzjohn, Minda Weston, and Judy Large

Nature Activities for Children Series by Irmgard Kutsch and Brigitte Walden

Bedtime Chapter Books

At age 3 I started doing the Tiptoes Lightly series by Reg Down as Zac's first bedtime chapter book read aloud stories. At age 4 we switched to the Old Mother West Wind series by Thornton Burgess. When Zac was 5 1/2 we read Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.

October 13 - December 6

Winne-the-Pooh is available online for free at Project Gutenberg

There are soooo many wonderful chapter books for children, and everyone has their favorites! Just for fun, and because I want to remember them when he grows up, I will keep track of our read aloud list here as Zac continues through Kindergarten and beyond. In December 2020 we read Christmas books, then...

Kindergarten - age 5

Bridge - age 5

Summer Before First Grade - age 6

During the Summer of 2021, we are reading the Tales of Limindoor Woods series:

First Grade - age 6

Second Grade - age 7

Third Grade - age 8

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